What Does an MBA Cost?
The cost of an MBA can differ greatly depending on the program, country, school, course length, and a variety of other factors. Some tuitions run as low as $10,000/year, but the average cost is around $50,000/year. Programs in the United States, for example, are often pricier than those in Europe.
Whose tuition was highest for 2016? Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business totaled $22,180 per quarter (with 3 payable quarters each year). Following this, the first year would come out to $66,540. The two-year program’s total cost is $130,080.
And these figures aren’t even factoring in opportunity cost, or the income you’ll lose while completing a full-time MBA. The figures also don’t count for the cost of books, living expenses, and other necessities that go along with an MBA degree.
Why Is MBA Tuition Rising?
The normal annual increase in tuition of an MBA program is between 3-5%. Still, many MBA programs have raised tuition fees because demand is rising.
Elite MBAs are as seen as valuable. A Wharton MBA, for example, is a highly coveted certification that many people are willing to invest in, take out loans for, and possibly go into debt for. Since students often look at future earnings, a 3-5% hike in tuition will not deter them if the salary expectations are still high.
High-quality programs need high-quality staff. To attract and retain top professors, lecturers, coaches, and mentors, business schools are paying big bucks. This cost may be carried over to students through tuition hikes.
MBA students want well-rounded programs. Now more than ever, business school applicants are looking at the “extras” that go along with an MBA: trips, career-management services, networking events, lecture series, school clubs, etc. These students are willing to pay higher fees for a “better” MBA experience.
Simply put: technology. In this day and age, everything is digital. Business schools need to adapt their courses and teaching facilities accordingly. And top tech can be costly.
What Can Aspiring MBAs Do?
Due to rising costs, more scholarships, fellowships, and grants are available than ever before. That’s that good news. The bad news is that they’re very competitive.
For people who simply cannot afford the high MBA tuitions, you’re still in luck! Alternatives such as part-time/online programs can increase savings. The slower (but longer) pace of these programs allows you to still hold down a job while pursuing your MBA.
If you want to skip business school all together, there are thousands of free or low cost MOOCs available online (many offering the exact same content as in top MBA programs).
MyLeanMBA offers an affordable, 100% online program called The Lean MBA™. At just 299€ total, this 1-year program provides business administration training in 12 functional areas of business.