WILMINGTON -- The UNC Wilmington Cameron School of Business ranks first on a national list for sending off their MBA graduates with little debt.
The U.S. News Short List analyzes specific higher education programs and grades them.
Based on statistics from 94 schools nationwide in 2011 MBA students graduated with an average of nearly $48,000 in debt.
UNCW graduates averaged $8,000.
Student Scott Bliss said he's not surprised because he did his research before applying to the program.
"I found that online programs are very, very expensive and I decided to come to an information session at UNC Wilmington and found that it was the least expensive option for me," said Bliss.
One of the requirements for getting into the MBA program at UNCW is you must have at least two years of professional work experience and students said that helps with the cost.
"By being able to support myself for five or six years out of school, I know how to create a budget," said Bliss.
School officials said combine this with employers offering reimbursements, financial aid, and a state that traditionally has low tuition costs and you have their secret to success.
"A lot of us might question some of the ways they go about the rankings but the bottom line is potential MBA students are looking at them," said Vince Howe, the MBA program director.
And once they're here, students said they're more than happy with what they paid for.
"It allowed me to understand other opportunities within GE and try to maneuver my career within GE Hitachi," said Kenneth Dieppa, a graduate of UNCW's program.
"In my class of about 30 people, 11 people since beginning the program in May 2011 until today have either gotten a promotion or started their own business," said Bliss.
UNCW is the only university in the state to make the top 10 on this list.