The flip side of affordable is … costly. P&Q spends a lot of time on the schools on this side of the ledger, but it bears repeating: Go to an elite U.S. business school and you will pay dearly. (Is it worth it? It depends.) Nine schools have two-year tuition bills above $140,000, led by Columbia Business School ($148,800) and MIT Sloan ($148,400); among the nine, only NYU Stern ($143,352) is not a top-10 school.
When it comes to living expenses, the estimates published by the schools themselves are notoriously, shall we say, conservative, but the top estimates for two years of living-while-studying might approach reality. The place where you’ll pay the most: Palo Alto, California, home of Stanford Graduate School of Business, where two years costs an estimated $90,412. The next four schools all are in the $70K range: MIT Sloan (Boston), $75,186; NYU Stern (New York), $74,632; the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business (Pittsburgh), $72,068; and Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business (Hanover, New Hampshire), $70,100. Altogether, Stanford is also the school with the highest total two-year cost: a whopping $231,594 by U.S. News‘ calculation.
None of which accounts for two big factors that can only be calculated on an individual basis: two years of lost livelihood, and whatever interest the bank puts on your sizable student loan.