The Real Cost of an MBA Much More Than Just Tuition

Date2015-02-05

The Real Cost of an MBA Much More Than Just Tuition

Most people in the field of business will tell you that an MBA can offer a person greater flexibility and advancement opportunities. While an MBA may offer these benefits what is the real cost of this flexibility and opportunity? Can you actually afford it? The actual cost is greater than the tuition though this amount is the figure most commonly used by school. Added to this are lodging, food, clothing, health care, books, transportation, laptops, required software, and even oversea trips required by some courses. These items can quickly triple the cost of attending. Adding to this cost is two years of missed salaries and work experience. Many of these totals can become very high with many top schools reporting a total cost of near or more than 1/3 of a million dollars. Eight schools report a cost of over $300,000. Harvard reports a total cost of $348,000, Wharton-326,000, Columbia -$322,590 and Dartmouth a cost of $316,000. It's true you can go to a lesser known school and save money. Most public schools will only cost about half of the total costs of a top-tier school. However, such degrees may be of lesser value in the job market. The same issue occurs with on-line schools. In terms of dollars, this means that the best paying jobs will most likely go to those who graduate from the top tier schools. There are other ways in which a student may save some money while in school. Living at home and eating there could save a nice sum of money. Perhaps required software can be bought second hand. Health care can usually be gotten on campus, at least the basics would be available though there would still be a small cost and referrals for more major issues could cost considerably more. A bicycle could save on transportation. These small ways to save could help some but are unlikely to put a large dent in the total. Now compare the expenditure with how long it would take you to earn enough to begin to break even after graduation. Here is where things begin to be bad. The cost of an MBA has gone up 4X more than the rate of inflation for the last ten years. So your education will cost you as much as a home while your salary will most likely be less than could have been expected only ten years ago. Another consideration is working while going to school. Holding a part-time job can certainly be done and would help reduce the overall cost due to income while in school. People who have a family would need to be especially careful of this route. With time taken out for work and school, there would be precious little to spend on loved ones creating difficulties that could harm school work or worse the family itself. So before embarking on the path to an MBA, make sure you have the money, time and ability to commit to earning the degree. Remember that in a slow economy jobs may be more difficult to find and may pay less. MBAs require a large investment so be sure the cost is worth it to you. Sources: Byne,John "MBA Costs Soars. Salaries?Not so Much." Fortune/Time Inc. Network. 18 Nov. 2011. Web 2, Feb., 2015 Dumon,Marv. "Real Cost Of An MBA", Investtopedia. nd. Web. 2, Feb. 2015