[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.
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|
|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|
|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|
|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.
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While we’re on the topic of saving money, before you pump all your money into any full-time degree, try out these free online business courses from top universities.