The average age of a graduate student is 33, and this figure is on the rise. For executive MBA (EMBA) students, the average age jumps to 37.5, according to the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC). As working adults with more responsibilities than a high school graduate and less help from parents, graduate students in this age group worry even more about how they can swing the costs and time commitment associated with earning an advanced degree.
While some students are lucky enough to have a sponsor, such as major Fortune 100 corporation, most MBA students will have to take out loans, dip into savings or in extreme cases—ask parents and other family members for help. Fortunately, some schools are much less expensive than others, and if you enroll in a program at home, you can expect to pay less out-of-state students. Still, an MBA will cost you, but for most graduates it will pay off.
According to Fortune Magazine and The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), MBA graduates in the U.S. can expect a $45,000 jump in pay, with an expected median salary of $100,000 for 2015. Job prospects are expected to be plentiful as well, with 84 percent of employers saying they plan to hire MBA graduates this year, up from 74 percent in 2014, according to GMAC’s 2015 survey. More good news: while there is no set cost for all MBA programs, we can at least provide a few ranges for you to work with.
Tuition Costs for Public School MBA Programs
According to U.S. News & World Report, public business schools such as Lamar University in Texas or San Diego State University offer some of the lowest tuition rates for out-of-state students. The MBA program at Lamar University’s College of Business costs $27,523 (minimum 36 hours) for non-residents and $16,095 for residents. The costs are for tuition and fees only. Tuition for the MBA program at San Diego State University’s College of Business Administration is $254 per semester unit for residents and $372 per semester unit for non-residents. Registration fees part-time (0 to 6.0 semester units) total $2,650. Registration fees full-time (6.1 or more semester units) total $4,066. The program requires completion of 39-45 semester units to graduate.
Other public schools on the U.S. News list range from $17,300 per academic year up to $24,600. However, according to the Report, nationwide, students paid $34,378 per year, on average for out-of-state tuition and fees. Room and board, books, and other miscellaneous fees are not included in these figures.
Tuition Costs for Private School MBA Programs
U.S News & World Report lists around a dozen respected private business schools that offer MBA programs for $55,000 or less. For example, Brigham Young’s Marriot School of Management offers an Executive MBA program for $45,000 ($833.33 x 54 credit hours) for the full two-year program, while St. Mary’s College of California offers an AACSB-accredited Professional MBA program for $54,000 ($3,000 per 4-unit course/18 courses required). However, MBA students at most private schools can expect to pay $60,000 or more for tuition and fees.
Top MBA Programs and What They Cost
The average tuition costs for top-ranked business schools such as Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and the Wharton School at UPenn are around $120,000 to $140,000+ per year. This does not include fees, room and board, and other costs. For example, Harvard Business School’s MBA Class of 2017 Student Budgettotals $98,400 for single students and the Wharton School at UPenn costs $100,450 per year including tuition ($70,870), health insurance, room and board, books and supplies, and miscellaneous.
Because program costs fluctuate year to year, always check the school’s official website for the most current tuition information.
Dumond, Marv. "Investopedia - The Real Cost of An MBA." Investopedia.com. Investopedia, 22 May 2013. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
Executive MBA Council | Executive MBA | Executive Education | Executive MBA Schools. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
"Graduate Management Admission Council." GMAC.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.
Zillman, Claire. "Fortune - Congrats, MBA Grads! You're Getting a $45,000 Raise." Fortune.com. Fortune, 19 May 2015. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.