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A master of business administration (MBA) degree can open the door to a multitude of opportunities by paving the way for greater advancement opportunities, increased career flexibility, expanded networks, and better advancement opportunities.
However, earning an MBA degree is a substantial financial investment for individuals after factoring in tuition, fees, room and board, and textbooks. To pay for business school, many students rely on financial aid, including borrowing student loans. Fortunately, there are several steps resourceful prospective students can take to lower the total cost of their MBA.
Consider Public or State Universities for an MBA Degree
Public universities are often a less expensive option than private business schools, while still offering a degree that will earn students more credibility in the professional world. While many point to the prestige of a private program, that isn’t necessarily true. Two of the top ten MBA programs in the US are from public universities, UC Berkely and the University of Virginia.
Enroll in Part-Time or Evening Classes
Students can work full-time while still earning their MBA degree on the side by way of part-time and evening classes. It will likely take extra time it will take to complete this degree (typically three years or more), but the extra work experience could bolster students’ resumes after graduation.
Ask if Your Employer is Willing to Pay for Your MBA
Some companies, particularly Fortune 100 companies, will often assume partial or the entire cost of graduate school to employees. This is a great way for companies to further educate their workforce and retain talented employees.
Every company will have different requirements for enrolling, average grades that are needed for the benefit, and how long you will have to stay after completing your degree. Working full-time in addition to earning an MBA degree will require excellent time management and will be very time-consuming, but a great way to save on the cost of advancing your career.
Take a Look at One-Year and Online MBA Programs
One-year and online MBA programs are options for those looking for less of a time commitment. However, it is important to make sure this is still a quality program that will be seen as credible by future employers. Not all online programs are created equal.
One of the benefits to these shorter programs is that it means students can begin working sooner and earning a salary a year, earlier in addition to reducing education expenses.
How Much is Tuition at the MBA Programs?
Below you can find the cost of attendance for the U.S. News & World Report’s top-ranked MBA programs in the United States, as well as links to top sources of non-loan aid.