Business School Tuition

Most people attend business school because they believe it's likely to improve their chances of obtaining their dream job and a higher paycheck after graduation. It's also an excellent way to become informed on big business issues, gain knowledge on an ever evolving global economy and interact with challenging business concepts. One important aspect to consider when applying for an MBA program is the cost of tuition. According to Business Insider, an MBA from a top business school may cost an average of $100,000; however, the degree will likely improve a person's hiring chances, networking capabilities and innovative skills. Read on to find out more about business school tuition.

Average Costs

The cost of attending business school will largely vary on a school to school basis. Other important factors to consider involving costs include whether the university is a public or private school, whether it's a full-time or part-time program and whether a student is paying in-state or out-of-state tuition. The average cost of tuition for one year of a regionally accredited MBA program in 2014 was $37,011 while attending a program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) cost an average of $36,000 in 2014 according to Get Educated. Top ranked programs may cost much more; however, these prestigious programs are also more likely to lead to a better job. The cost of attending one of the top ten ranked MBA programs according to U.S. News in 2014 ranged from $51,412 to $61,152 for one year. It's worth noting that these tuition costs don't include other fees such as living expenses, books and club fees. When combining tuition with other expenses, an MBA from a prestigious program will likely cost about $100,000 or more a year according to Forbes. Paying for Business School After being admitted to business school, many students begin to wonder how on earth they'll be able to pay for an MBA. Some will need to decide whether they want to continue working or take two years off to complete the program. Even the least expensive schools cost about $35,000 in tuition a year.

Prestigious business schools, which are likely to give students the largest return on their investment, come with an average tuition and expenses budget of $80,000 or more according to U.S. News and World Report. Many top programs also offer a variety of study tours, networking and club events that will put a further financial strain on most student's budgets. In the months before starting school, prospective students should begin exploring their financing options. The majority of students will qualify for a variety of financial aid that may help pay for the program. Below are the three most popular ways to pay for business school tuition and expenses.

Company Sponsorship

One great way to earn an MBA while decreasing or possibly eliminating degree costs is to work for a major company that will either pay a partial or all of the cost of obtaining an MBA program for their employee. Many Fortune 100 companies offer their dependents this type of benefit according to Investopedia. This also permits individuals to earn an income while obtaining a degree, which will pay for living expenses and other costs. Choosing this route is challenging since it will likely require balancing a full-time job with a part-time MBA program, and this balancing act will likely consume about 70 hours a week between school and work.

Financial Aid

Another way to finance obtaining an MBA is to apply for scholarships and financial aid. According to Poets&Quants, the top 25 business schools award students about $230 million in scholarships a year. Harvard Business School, one of the most prestigious MBA programs, claims that at least 65 percent of students admitted to their program receive some form of financial aid according to their website. Many students, especially low-income students, may qualify for a variety of scholarships, fellowships and financial aid from a business school to pay for a portion or all of their tuition and expenses. Students who have an outstanding academic background and high test scores may also be awarded a variety of scholarships. Many private companies also offer funds for school, and applying to a variety of these private scholarships may increase the probability of receiving money to pay for business school.

Public and Private Loans

Many students pay for business school using a combination of options including financial aid and student loans. The U.S. government offers graduate students the Stafford Loan and the Grad PLUS Loan for each academic year. In 2014, the maximum amount of money awarded for a Stafford loan was $20,500 while the maximum amount available for a Grad PLUS loan was up to the total cost of attending a particular school; however, most students are typically awarded less. Stafford loans have several benefits including that these funds aren't awarded on the basis of a student's credit, a low fixed interest rate, various repayment plans and tax deductible interest payments. The government also pays interest on subsidized Stafford loans while a student is in school; however, unsubsidized Stafford loans don't come with this benefit. Graduate students with a good credit history may also apply for a Grad PLUS loan. These loans have the benefit of a low and fixed interest rate, interest may be tax deductible and payments may be deferred until students finish school. Students who have exhausted public loan options but still require more funds to pay for school may also apply for private loans. Some private loans even offer lower borrowing rates than public loans, so it pays to shop around. Business school is one of the most lucrative graduate degrees. During the Great Recession in 2008, the unemployment rate for MBA holders was three times less than the national average, and most MBA graduates were able to find jobs after graduation according to GMAC. In most cases, business school is expensive and paying for the program is a challenging endeavor. However, more than half of MBA graduates recoup the cost of their education in salary and bonuses within four years of graduation. Using a combination of financial options, most students can minimize the cost of attending business school and vastly improve their job prospects after graduation.

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