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New Study Reveals Rising Costs of MBA Programs

Posted on November 22nd, 2012 by Jenny Frankel

Just how expensive are the nation’s best MBA programs? That’s the question a new survey by Poets&Quants seeks to address in a recently released study. In fact, when both direct and indirect costs are accounted for, the total cost of an MBA program at some of the country’s best business schools now exceeds a whopping $300,000 USD.

According to the study, the Stanford Graduate School of Business is the most expensive in the nation when direct costs like tuition and opportunity costs like foregone earnings are factored in. Given that the average Stanford student typically leaves a jobs that already pays an average of $88,000 USD a year, the total cost of getting an MBA is fully $351,662. Nor is Stanford alone at the top. Seven other schools (including Harvard, Wharton, and Dartmouth) joined Stanford in the $300,000 club this year but even public universities have a hefty price tag these days. If you are thinking of getting your MBA in the US, the only relative bargain is the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Of the top 25 schools in the nation, it alone checks out below the $200,000 mark – at a mere $195,380.

Not that studies like should dissuade you from pursuing your MBA in the US. Prestige comes with a price and this study concentrated on the top 25 schools in the nation. Plus, prestige brings with increased earning potential that continues long after you complete your MBA. Moreover, if the top tier is out of your budget don’t worry: there are hundreds of other, more reasonably priced, business schools in the country. Because the country’s accreditation system ensures students that almost any certified American business school (be it large or small, public or private) can provide you with a quality business education, you can rest easy knowing that each one brings with it the distinction of a US education.

Written by Jenny Frankel

Jennifer is the Director of Financial Services at Envisage International. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Florida where she holds a Masters in International Business and a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She has lived and worked abroad in Chile, Costa Rica and London, and traveled extensively in South America, Europe and Asia.

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One Response to “New Study Reveals Rising Costs of MBA Programs”

  1. LpAnt Says:

    Students are major financial investors in the academic environment. Attending an institution of higher education has become more than an investment in personal growth and educational development. It has become a long-term financial contract of debt repayment and sacrifices beyond the college years. Lee (2012) states that the “availability of these loans often means the difference between attending or not attending the college of a student’s choice”. Whether a MBA program or 2 year associate program, the issue remains the same, students need to make an informed decision and weight the cost of obtaining a college education.

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