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

Top MBA programs with low fee structure

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 shoots up to $141,740 for The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, $135,637 for Columbia Business School and $128,100 for 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.

S.No Business School Total Tuition fees
1 IIM Bangalore (IIMB) EPGP $35,980
2 IIM Ahmedabad (IIMA) PGPX $36,252
3 Erasmus University-Rotterdam School of Management(RSM) $36,935
4 University College Dublin – Smurfit Graduate Business School $37,482
5 Nanyang Business School (NTU) $38,261
6 University of Mannheim-Mannheim Business School $39,106
7 Indian School of Business (ISB) $39,950
8 ESMT – European School of Management and Technology $41,276
9 National University of Singapore (NUS) $43,103
10 Univ of British Columbia – Sauder School of Business $47,724
11 University of Bath School of Management $48,637
12 University of Cambridge (Judge) $49,000
13 SDA Bocconi $52,148
14 Cranfield University $53,059
15 City University-Cass Business School $58,217
16 University of Melbourne- Melbourne Business School $59,370
17 CEIBS $59,844
18 HEC – Paris $60,824
19 University of Manchester $64,575
20 ESADE Business School $64,824
21 CUHK Business School $65,842
22 University of Hong Kong $66,190
23 IE Business School $67,232
24 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign $69,244
25 HKUST (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) $69,900
26 University of South Carolina-Darla Moore School of Business $71,580
27 Oxford University-Said Business School $73,988
28 University of Iowa: Tippie School of Management $75,594
29 INSEAD $77,116
30 Pennsylvania State Univ (Smeal) $78,020
31 IESE Business School- University of Navarra $79,476
32 Purdue University-Krannert School of Management $84,368
33 IMD $85,039
34 Michigan State University-Eli Broad College of Business $89,720
35 Arizona State University-W. P. Carey School of Business $90,000
36 Boston College-Carroll $91,040
37 University of Minnesota-Carlson School of Management $93,000
38 Indiana University – Kelley School of Business $93,120
39 George Washington Univ School of Business (GWSB) $93,780
40 University of Western Ontario (Ivey) $96,750

[Note: Tuition fees taken from bschool websites (and converted into USD) as on 1st January, 2016]

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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  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:

    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?


  12. Anees says:

    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.

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