40 Most affordable MBA programs in the world | Low fees & high quality options

Top MBA programs with low fee structure

[Editor’s note: Article updated in April 2018] The tuition fees for the elite business schools coupled with the other expenses, put them out of reach for many cost-conscious international students. Read this related post on MBA costs at the best bschools.

It also doesn’t help to create a list of global MBA programs with the lowest fee structure. The ‘cheapest’ colleges in the world offering the ‘lowest’ fee will usually have other baggage to deal with – like low ranking, bad faculty, sub-par quality of teaching, and the biggest one – very low market value of the degree.

It’s all about striking the right balance – a good ranking MBA with low fees. We stick to the 100 best business schools (FT100) and then filter out the top 40 based on their affordability.
 


The 40 most affordable business schools in the world

High quality MBA programs with low fee structure

 
An international MBA program comes with a steep price tag. The tuition fee alone shoots over $155,000 for The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, over $143,000 for Columbia Business School and above $137,000 for the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Does that mean that the higher the fees you pay, the better the takeaway? Well, not really. In fact, it’s the other way around if your primary focus is on getting ‘value’. Read this article on the best value programs in the world.

It’s also a fact that not everyone can make it to these elite MBA programs. And obviously not all international students can afford to shell out such a huge amount as the total expense adds up and goes much higher after adding the various other associated costs like living expense, health insurance, travel, books, international trips and so on.

However, there are many more business schools that have a good reputation and can give you a good quality, international MBA degree at a much lower cost.

We have listed below some of the business schools that have performed well in the FT global MBA rankings and which offer low tuition fees less than $100,000.
 

 

FT Rank 2018 Business School Approx. Total Tuition fees
39 Renmin University of China School of Business $20,000
35 IIM Bangalore (IIMB) PGP $30,000
78 Indian Institute of Management Calcutta $30,000
31 IIM Ahmedabad (IIMA) PGP $32,000
42 Fudan University School of Management $35,000
64 Durham University Business School $39,000
92 Leeds University Business School $39,000
73 University of Edinburgh Business School $41,000
94 University College Dublin – Smurfit Graduate Business School $42,000
98 University of Strathclyde Business School $42,000
34 Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Antai $43,000
70 Lancaster University Management School $43,000
51 Sungkyunkwan University GSB $46,000
94 WHU Beisheim $46,000
18 National University of Singapore (NUS) $47,000
22 Nanyang Business School (NTU) $47,000
80 The Lisbon MBA $47,000
28 Indian School of Business (ISB) $49,000
49 Singapore Management University, Lee Kong Chian $49,000
71 Wisconsin School of Business $49,000
99 EMLyon Business School $49,000
100 University of Bath School of Management $52,000
100 Copenhagen Business School $54,000
41 Warwick Business School $55,000
61 Cranfield School of Management $55,000
96 Essec Business School $55,000
46 City University-Cass Business School $57,000
60 University of St. Gallen $58,000
36 University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester $60,000
58 University of Florida, Hough $61,000
88 ESMT Berlin $61,000
37 Erasmus University-Rotterdam School of Management(RSM) $62,000
93 University of Texas at Dallas, Jindal $62,200
61 University of Mannheim-Mannheim Business School $62,300
63 AGSM at UNSW Business School $64,000
8 CEIBS $65,000
66 Melbourne Business School $65,000
43 CUHK Business School $70,000
78 McGill University, Desautels $70,000
13 University of Cambridge (Judge) $73,000

[Note: Tuition fees taken from bschool websites (and converted into USD) on 27th April, 2018]
 

As the list includes both one year and two year programs, it’s obvious to see the shorter duration programs dominating the list. Most of the US based MBA programs have a duration of two years (which means two years of tuition). The b-schools in India, UK and Europe offer shorter one-year MBA programs. Each of these programs has varying minimum work experience requirement, so select your business schools accordingly.

The shorter the duration of the MBA program, the lower will be the living expense and the opportunity costs (forgone income during your study period) as well. Select the college taking into account your financial scenario as well as a decent brand that can offer you a good ROI (return on investment).

The tuition fees tend to increase each year, so verify the latest updated tuition amount while considering your MBA costs. Also explore the various options for financial aid including the ease of obtaining loans, MBA scholarships and various assistantship opportunities.

There may be many other good, economical programs that we haven’t been able to include in the list (for the sake of brevity or plain oversight). Let us know in the comments if you have any favorite business schools that applicants should consider while applying.

You might find this helpful.
Looking to find ways to reduce cost of living? Here’s how to do it in Los Angeles, California as an international student


Free Trial: ApplicantLab | GMAT Prep | MBA Abroad Videos

Serious about higher education? Join us on social media for regular updates.

MBA Crystal Ball provides professional Admissions Consulting services. Hire us to improve your chances of getting into the top international universities. Email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

MBA Crystal Ball //
MBA Crystal Ball
Our counsellors can help you with career counselling and admissions consulting. Check out our free resources for: GMAT Preparation & GMAT Syllabus | MBA Subjects | MBA Scholarships | And much more
Got queries unrelated to this article? Post them on our General Queries Page.

13 Comments

  1. Sultan says:

    Very informative post. Many thanks, however, I believe it misses the University of Wisconsin-Madison MBA, it is one of the most affordable programs with high quality and always ranked in the top 50 in most rankings.

  2. dinesh says:

    all these fees are per year ,post two years fees

  3. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Sultan: That’s a good program too. Probably we’d have to expand the list to Top 50 in the future to include a few more names.

    @Dinesh: The fee is for the full course duration for each program.

  4. Avinash says:

    The tuition fee for Rotterdam School of Management is 46,500 Euros. Please correct it.

  5. Sameer Kamat says:

    You are right, Avinash. The RSM MBA fee for 2017 is 46,500 Euros.

    This is an old post that took a snapshot of the fees mentioned on the respective websites and converted into USD. Some (or many) of these numbers may have changed since then. Which means their position in the ranking may have also changed.

    It’s best that applicants visit the official site for the most accurate and most recent data.

  6. shrikant samiti says:

    sameer can u suggest me mba( in finance ) university in abroad within 15 lac fees……..

  7. Avinash says:

    I see that this post was published in January 2016.
    Such a big increase in just 4 months? Do the colleges change their tuition fee regularly.
    Please comment.

  8. Sameer Kamat says:

    Here’s another site that published the old RSM fee (in Euros) 6 months before our article:
    http://www.scholarshipportal.com/students/browse/scholarship/150/rsms-full-time-international-mba-programme.html

    Bschools review and update their fee structure each year. Generally, the increments are spread out over a period of time to reduce the Y-o-Y impact. Seems like RSM decided to take a bigger leap of about 22%.

    Also, the USD:Euro exchange rate has increased over the last few months, so the converted numbers (which we used so it becomes an apple-to-apple comparison) will appear higher today with the current exchange rate.

    Rather than focussing only on the absolute fee, it helps to look at the ROI aspects as well. If you are getting a salary that’s higher than what you paid in the previous year, despite the taxes and other expenses, that’s generally a good deal.

  9. Charun says:

    Sir, I want to do MBA in a good University. So IELTS/TOEFL TEST will best for me? Or I have to give GMAT EXAM. Sir, if I want full scholarship then what is more suitable.
    Sir I want to join in2018-19 so Hou mush time before I have to give GMAT EXAM?

  10. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Charun: There are many programs that skip the GMAT and admit students based on their IELTS / TOEFL scores.

    Stay away from them. It’s best to go for the competitive programs, even if it means additional work in getting the GMAT score, filling in essays, tackling interviews.

    You can plan to get the score around 6 months – 1 year before the application deadlines.

  11. Dhawal says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I have just started with my GMAT prep and have several doubts which are creating doubts whether to even go for GMAT or not.

    On what E-mail ID can I contact you?

    Thanks!

  12. Anees says:

    Sir
    Iam doing B.tech in EEE in India. I really want to opt MBA after my Ug. I want to make sure i could do a part time job too. please suggest me a good University ?
    -If i score Better marks in GMAT. Is there any chance of reduction In tution fee ?
    – Other than GMAT,should i need to attend any other Competititve exams ?

  13. Rajnish Kumar says:

    Can anyone one compare one year MBA program vs 18 month dual degree vs 2 year MBA program. Pros and cons of each of this. I have 3 year of experience, currently I am working in public sector bank.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *