HELP ON THE WAY AS COSTS KEEP CLIMBING
A Stanford MBA costs the most overall but the highest tuition belongs to Wharton, at $78,948. Looking only at out-of-state tuition, nine schools have annual tuition over $70,000, including Columbia ($74,400), MIT ($74,200), and Harvard ($73,440). The lowest tuition of the 23 schools was at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, which charges $48,333. The average for all schools is $66,514.
Bottom line: A MBA from a top school is not cheap. The average total cost to attend one of the programs in the chart below is $196,067, up from $185,747 last year — and up from about $168,000 three years ago. The elite of the elite have seen their costs jump considerably in the last two years: Stanford from $210,838 to $231,672 (9.9%), Wharton from $200,908 to $223,800 (11.4%), NYU Stern from $206,474 to $226,232 (9.6%), Harvard from $196,800 to $218,248 (10.9%), Columbia from $199,648 to $221,956 (11.2%), and MIT the most of all, from $196,028 to $223,148, or 13.8%.
Fortunately, financial aid is available for many. At Stanford GSB, the average fellowship is about $35,000 per year or $70,000 in total awards; at Harvard, it’s even more: $40,000 per year, or $80,000 total. UCLA Anderson has 625 scholarships, grants, fellowships, and awards; UC-Berkeley annually spreads millions around its relatively small MBA cohort.
And beyond scholarships, there’s the fact that a MBA continues to be a reliable magnifier of salary potential. According to a 2018 survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council, 2016 and 2017 grads saw their post-MBA salaries rise by a median of $40,000. Among respondents, 82% agreed that B-school increased their earning power. The schools with the best ROI and starting salaries? According to a P&Q analysis earlier this year, it’s all the ones you see in the chart below. HBS grads, for example, now average more than $160,000 right out of the gate.