College students and young professionals often wonder whether attending a top graduate business school will set them up for career success.
An MBA degree is a popular steppingstone to C-suite jobs at large corporations, and it is also an asset for budding entrepreneurs. It’s a credential that appears on the resumes of numerous Fortune 500 executives, including Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon, who earned his MBA at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, an MBA alumna of Harvard Business School in Massachusetts.
MBA tuition rates can range from $20,000 to over $160,000. However, obtaining an MBA can catapult graduates into management positions, expanding career options and earning potential – so the investment may be worthwhile in the end.
This article explains how much an MBA costs, as well as financial assistance possibilities and strategies to make an online MBA more affordable.
Factors That Affect The Cost Of An MBA
The entire cost of an MBA program is determined by a number of criteria, including residency, part-time vs. full-time enrolment, school type, and whether students choose online or on-campus education. On-campus fees, such as accommodation and board, can quickly add up and differ greatly between colleges.
Let’s take a look at each of the factors that affect the cost of an MBA program:
1. Enrollment status
One of the most important choices you’ll have to make concerning your MBA program is whether to enroll full-time or part-time.
Due to the cost of accommodation and board, the possibility of relocation, and the loss of income and opportunity, full-time, in-person MBA programs often require the biggest expenditure. Lodging and food can add $20,000 to $60,000 to the cost of an MBA, depending on the school.
Part-time programs allow students to continue working while pursuing their education. Students often pay per credit in these programs, which might take three or more years to finish. Tuition rates per credit at public universities range from roughly $230 for in-state students to about $2,000 at private institutions.
2. Type of program
When choosing an MBA school, you should consider the length of the program as well as how you will obtain your education. MBA programs are typically 30 to 60 courses long and take two years to complete full-time. Many schools, however, offer accelerated MBA programs that can lead to an MBA in as little as a year. These programs can help you save a lot of money on tuition, fees, and room and board. Graduates also return to work within a year, reducing the financial burden of lost wages.
Online MBA programs can also help you save money on your MBA. Out-of-state residents are not charged extra fees by several online programs. Many online students work while studying and do not have to pay on-campus fees or room and board.
3. The type of school
The cost of an MBA program is also influenced by the type of school. Private schools are normally more expensive than public schools, with in-state citizens paying the lowest tuition at public colleges. The more prominent programs, as well as those that provide additional services, tend to be more expensive.
Tuition and fees at some of the top-ranked private colleges, for example, range from $97,929 to $115,464 per year (Carnegie Mellon University) (Wharton).
The lowest tuition rates for in-state residents at four-year public colleges could be as low as $7,788 per year (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley).
How Much Does An MBA Cost?
According to bankrate, MBA tuition rates can range from $20,000 to over $160,000. However, the true cost of receiving an MBA in person involves far more than tuition. The cost of tuition, lodging and board, transportation, and textbooks all add to the bottom line.
Textbooks can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000, and annual fees can easily exceed $2,000. The cost of room and board might range from $10,000 to $20,000 or more each year, depending on where you live.
Full-time, on-campus students should think about the opportunity cost as well. If a student quits their work, this cost refers to the missed wages and job opportunities.
For example, if you earn $60,000 per year and resign to pursue a full-time degree, your opportunity cost over two years is $120,000.
How Much Does An Online MBA Cost?
The cost of online tuition is frequently compared to the cost of in-person tuition and ranges from $250 to $2,200 per credit.
While some institutions do not impose out-of-state fees, tuition rates for online students can be significantly higher than those for in-state students. In addition, many online schools charge a delivery or technology fee for online education.
While students do not have to pay for accommodation and board, some programs require participation on campus, which necessitates travel expenses. Although some courses require online students to buy hard copy books, students can save money by purchasing digital textbooks. Furthermore, students who take an online MBA while working lower their opportunity costs.
How Much Does A Part-Time MBA Degree Cost?
Part-time MBA degrees are a popular study choice for working individuals who want to continue their education while still working. As a result, part-time MBAs typically take longer to complete.
They can also be less expensive than traditional MBAs because the fees are spread out over a longer period of time. The good news is that most MBA programs provide part-time study options, which is ideal for working people who require more flexibility in their studies.
According to mastersportal, a part-time MBA usually costs the same amount as a full-time MBA. For instance, if I received an MBA in one year, I could spend $20,000 for that year, but if I received an MBA in three years, I would only have to pay $6,600 per year.
Make sure to look over the MBA program’s comprehensive tuition details on the program website to see if that’s the case for the degree you’re interested in.
How Much Does A Top Rank MBA Cost?
Both public and private colleges have top-ranked MBA programs. Total tuition costs for private institutions range from $90,882 to $161,810, according to MBA Today’s top 25 programs. The entire cost of attendance can potentially approach $200,000 with additional expenses.
Six public colleges made MBA Today’s list of top-ranked MBA programs. These schools offer lower tuition rates for state residents. Residents of the state benefit from discounted tuition prices at these schools. The total out-of-state tuition for these top-ranked public schools ranges from $102,907 to $143,100, with in-state students saving anywhere from $6,000 to $47,000.
How To Make An MBA Affordable
Despite the rising costs of MBA programs and college expenses, students can help lower their MBA degree costs by doing any of the following:
1. Earn an accelerated MBA
Accelerated degree students may spend less time in school than normal students. These students, on the other hand, may not have time to work while studying. As a result, individuals may be forced to take out a loan to support their living expenses.
2. Opt for in-state public schools
State money is used to subsidize the costs of public schools. As a result, these colleges can charge students, particularly in-state students, less.
In-state students come from families who contribute to the school’s funding through taxes. Some colleges, on the other hand, charge in-state tuition to all students, regardless of residency.
3. Get a job while attending school
Part-time degree applicants can frequently work full-time while pursuing their studies. A part-time job is possible even for full-time students. They can utilize their earnings to cover living expenditures as well as loan repayments.
4. Fellowship, grants, and scholarships
Fellowships, scholarships, and grants should be one of your first stops for financial help because they do not need repayment at the end of your school. Many colleges and universities offer fellowships that cover all or part of a student’s tuition costs, as well as mentorship and work opportunities.
Academic merit, financial necessity, professional experience, and future career ambitions may all be taken into account by schools when awarding full-ride scholarships.
You may be able to acquire grants at the state level and scholarships through private organizations outside of school. Scholarship search engines can assist you in identifying possibilities that are most relevant to your interests, background, and future objectives.
5. Obtain employee-sponsored aid
Many firms cover some or all of the tuition costs for employees who are pursuing an MBA. Deloitte, Apple, and Intel are among the corporations that provide tuition aid.
Most employer-sponsored aid and reimbursement schemes require employees to stay with the company for a certain number of years after graduation, and others have maximum aid amounts.
6. Apply for Federal Financial Aid
To apply for federal financial aid, including federal grants, loans, and work-study programs, MBA students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form may also be used by schools to determine scholarship and institutional aid eligibility.
7. Opt for student loans
If you’ve exhausted your possibilities for free financial aid, you may need to take out MBA loans to pay for the rest of your studies. Graduate students can apply for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and grad PLUS loans from the federal government, which have set interest rates and benefits such as income-driven repayment plans. These are typically the best places to begin your search.
While private student loans may not offer the same benefits as federal student loans, they frequently offer fixed and variable interest rates as well as a number of repayment options. Just bear in mind that any money you borrow will have to be repaid with interest, so it’s better to start with scholarships and grants.
How Much Can You Make With An MBA Degree?
Here are some prominent MBA job options if you’re wondering what you can do with an MBA degree or what MBA jobs are available: Manager of business operations, management analyst, market research analyst, top executive, human resources manager, and so on.
According to the QS Jobs & Salary Report 2019, the following are some of the world’s average MBA annual salaries:
- In the US – 102,100 USD/year
- In Canada – 99,800 USD/year
- In Australia – 98,400 USD/year
- In Singapore – 82,700 USD/year
- In the UK – 92,400 USD/year
- In Switzerland – 123,500 USD/year
- In Germany – 77,200 USD/year
- In France – 98,500 USD/year
- In Italy – 86,400 USD/year
According to payscale data professionals with an MBA earn an annual average salary of $91,000.