A HELPING HAND
The bottom line is that an MBA from a top school is not cheap. The average total cost to attend one of the programs in the chart below is $194,031, which is actually down slightly from last year ($196,067) but up from $185,747 in 2017 — and up considerably from about $168,000 four years ago.
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, where 50% of the MBA class is eligible for assistance, 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. At MIT Sloan, this year’s most expensive school, there are literally dozens of fellowships available, most of which don’t even require an application: students are automatically considered for them.
Beyond scholarships, there’s the fact that a MBA continues to be a reliable magnifier of salary potential. According to recent surveys by both the Graduate Management Admission Council and The Financial Times, post-MBA salaries rise by a median of $40,000. The schools with the best ROI and starting salaries? According to a P&Q analysis, it’s all the schools you see in the chart below. HBS grads, we learned recently, now average more than $170,000 right out of the gate, while Columbia grads do even better.