Business School Costs & Funding: How Much Will You Pay?
Like most people, you probably care (intensely) about business school costs and funding opportunities. And you wouldn't be the first person to make decisions about where to go based on money. The reality is that not all schools are created equal. Some schools are less expensive or offer superior funding based on the size of their endowment and private/public ownership. The reality is that there is a dearth of "free money" to attend an MBA program since the expectation is that you'll make plenty of money when you graduate. Consider that the average debt of a Harvard Business School graduate is over $70,000.
Business school costs is such an important topic that we discuss it separately in our paying for school section. For now, though, take a look at the following criteria and run them against the schools that you're thinking about.
Cost of Tuition
We all know what tuition is and it hurts to pay it. We've seen tuition fees as low as $15,000 a year and as high as $50,000. The range in tuition makes this a nontrivial issue.
Tuition Reduction from Tuition Waivers
Find out whether any of your target schools offer partial or complete tuition waivers. These are uncommon, but if found it means that the university will forego their right to charge you tuition, saving you thousands of dollars. Sounds great, right?
Income from Assistantships
In some cases, you may find MBA programs that offer teaching or research assistantships. This is just what it sounds like – helping a professor teach his class, or conduct his research, in exchange for a stipend. Find out how many assistantships are offered each year and how much they pay.
Income from Fellowships
Similar to assistantships, fellowships provide students with a tuition waiver or income. The difference is that you don't have to work for it. This is one of the few free lunches in academia. For many people, this is a dream come true. Go to school, learn, focus on your research, all without worrying about money or work! Harvard Business School, for example, awards fellowships based on financial need to offset business school costs. Approximately 50% of HBS students receive needs-based fellowships averaging $25,000 a year.