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

[[Editor’s note: Article updated in July 2021]] 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

Top 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 (not exhaustive) 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 2021 Business School Approx. Total Tuition fees
94 IIM Indore (India) $23,000
35 IIM Bangalore (IIMB) PGP (India) $31,000
48 IIM Ahmedabad (IIMA) PGP (India) $31,000
67 Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (China) $31,000
94 University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (South Africa) $35,600
44 Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (India) $36,000
35 Sungkyunkwan University GSB (South Korea) $43,500
74 Durham University Business School (UK) $46,000
96 Lancaster University Management School (UK) $46,000
37 Nanyang Business School (NTU) (Singapore) $46,000
90 EMLyon Business School (France) $46,000
78 EADA Business School (Spain) $46,300
82 The Lisbon MBA (Portugal) $47,000
58 University of Mannheim-Mannheim Business School (Germany) $47,000
54 WHU Beisheim (Germany) $48,000
14 National University of Singapore (NUS) (Singapore) $49,000
23 Indian School of Business (ISB) $49,000
58 Singapore Management University, Lee Kong Chian (Singapore) $50,000
53 Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Antai (China) $51,000
80 ESMT Berlin (Germany) $52,000
98 Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) $52,500
81 Essec Business School (France) $55,000
32 Warwick Business School (UK) $61,000
39 IE Business School(Spain) $61,000
40 University of Florida, Hough Warrington (USA) $62,000
79 AGSM at UNSW Business School (Australia) $62,000
30 University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester (UK) $63,000
32 Fudan University School of Management (China) $65,000
64 University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) $65,000
73 University of Texas at Dallas, Jindal (USA) $65,000
7 CEIBS (China) $68,000
87 Melbourne Business School (Australia) $68,300
12 SDA Bocconi (Italy) $70,000
48 CUHK Business School (Hong Kong) $72,000
22 HKUST Business School (Hong Kong) $75,300
29 HKU Business School (Hong Kong) $75,600
63 Erasmus University-Rotterdam School of Management(RSM) (Netherlands) $78,000
91 McGill University, Desautels (Canada) $80,000
16 University of Cambridge (Judge) (UK) $85,000

[Note: Tuition fees taken from bschool websites (and converted into USD) on 2nd August, 2021]
 

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

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.

GMAC owned news site, BusinessBecause recommends MBA Crystal Ball for cost-conscious applicants looking for affordable MBA admissions consulting.


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15 thoughts on “40 Most affordable MBA programs in the world | Low fees & high quality options”

  1. 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.

    Reply
  2. @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.

    Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply
  5. 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.

    Reply
  6. 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?

    Reply
  7. @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.

    Reply
  8. 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!

    Reply
  9. 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 ?

    Reply
  10. 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.

    Reply

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