How much does an MBA in the USA cost?

mba cost

It is fact that studying in the USA can be expensive. The International student applying for MBA in USA is to either get a scholarship or find good schools with less tuition fee. This article will cover the cost of MBA in the USA including a rough idea of living and other expenses.

We have considered an Indian GMAT based college, a European 1-year program and a full scale, 2-year course in the USA on the lines of ISB, INSEAD, Stanford, Stern, Columbia, Harvard and to name a few.

Average Cost of MBA in the USA

We have broken the entire cost of MBA in the USA into four segments for better understanding. All figures are in INR.

Pre MBA Expenses:

Pre MBA expenses includes entrance exams fees, university application fees

Parameters Low Range 1year High Range 1 Year High Range 2 Year
GMAT Fee 16,250 16,250 16,250
TOEFL Fee 10,725 10,725 10,725
TOEFL Fee 3,000 16,000 17,875
Total 29,975 42,975 44,850
Average MBA Program Fees:

The average cost of an MBA, or the Tuition fees business schools charge for their MBA programs, can vary considerably depending on the school you’re applying to.

Parameters Low Range 1-year High Range 1-Year High Range 2-Year
Tuition 1,744,000 4,760,000 7,741,500
Fee 200,000 116,000 511,680
Books 20,000 64,000 504,660
Laptop 50,000 50,000 50,000
Total 2,014,000 4,990,000 8,807,840
Personal Expenses:

Living costs for MBA students in the USA can vary significantly depending on factors like lifestyles, food and other daily expenses. The main expenses can be split up as:

Parameters Low Range 1-year High Range 1-Year High Range 2-Year
Travel (Local Flight) 115,000 450,000 437,930
Accommodation 168,000 720,000 3,655,860
Food 100,000 424,000 Inclusive in accommodation
Exchange/Job Search 400,000 152,000 6,500,000
Misc MBA Cost 33,000 120,000 72,150
Taxes 261,414 N/A N/A
Opportunity Cost:
Parameters Low Range 1-year High Range 1-Year High Range 2-Year
Average Incoming Salary 829,086 829,086 1,658,172

Now you can add all these individual segment wise cost to see the total cost under each category of MBA. However, in recent times, things have drastically changed in India and many students including overseas candidates varying for an MBA seat in Indian top B-schools. In the debate of pursuing an MBA from India versus abroad, there are several counts on which an Indian MBA scores over a foreign degree.

The foremost advantage is the cost. An MBA degree, from any good B-school in the US or UK, costs anywhere between Rs 25 to 50 lakhs. The same reduces to almost ten percent of the same amount in India.

Moreover, while living abroad, you spend far more than you would in India. Most of you would try to recover the cost working there for at least a few years. This eventually hampers your prospect of returning to India after the completion of the degree.

Other Cost while studying in the USA

Other cost attributes that will add up to your total MBA course cost is as:

Travel: Generally students will travel once to the university campus and make 2 trips during the course tenure. In such cases, cost may vary depending on your inclination to pay visits to your home country.

Average Incoming Salary: The average incoming salary is the same for Indian, European and US schools. So you may want to tweak this to your own favorite number.

Socializing/Entertainment: Again this would vary depending on your plans how much you want to spend on these aspects. This may cost you a significant amount finally adding up to your total expenses.

MBA cost calculator

With this piece of information disseminated above, you can attempt to calculate a potential ROI and Payback.

Comparing your incoming and outgoing salaries, you will have a sense as to which school would be the best for you in terms of ROI. While doing so never forget the perils of averages. The average or median salary can be quite misleading on a case to case basis. So be extra vigilant.

However, things will be different in case you are willing to look beyond the top B-schools. The calculations would look quite different.

In such context, the value of MBA scholarships can’t be underestimated, as they can bring down the MBA costs significantly.

Using such information to analyze an indicative cost is a prudent move.  So, don’t make a decision just on the basis of a decimal point differential between two schools.

The bottom line is at the end of the course you should be able to reap the value for which you spent a fortune and you will get it only through proper guidance, research and doing some cost analysis before you jumped to any conclusion.

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