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How to Reduce the Cost of Getting Your MBA

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Earning an MBA can be the ideal boost that you need when it comes to improving your credentials for starting your own business. However, getting an MBA can be expensive, and most new business owners would prefer to keep their costs as low as possible.

When it comes to your finances as an MBA student, there is much more than simply tuition fees to consider. Many of the best MBA programs out there are offered in cities where there is a high cost of living that you’ll need to contend with while you are a student. In addition, if you are planning to quit your job or put starting your own business on hold in order to make time for you to earn your MBA, you will also need to factor in the opportunity cost, or the earnings that you’re going to lose out on as a result of deciding to study.

Anybody who has gotten an MBA will tell you that it’s almost impossible to do this degree cheaply. If you want to get an MBA from one of the most prestigious business schools such as Stanford Graduate School of Business or Harvard Business School, you could be looking at around $200k in total to get this degree and that’s just for the tuition. The good news is that more affordable yet well-respected programs are available and there are several things that you can do to get your MBA on a tighter budget and enjoy a larger return on investment after you graduate.

For some students, scholarships are an ideal option to consider when it comes to reducing the overall cost of getting an MBA. The degree will require significant financing for the majority of students, however, it’s worth bearing in mind that the investment is likely to pay for itself in the future due to the substantial increase in career and salary opportunities that it can help to bring about for you. Here are some of the main strategies to consider if you are looking to save money on getting your MBA.

Consider Studying Online:

Sadly, the tuition costs of most online MBA programs are now around the same as you would expect to pay for a traditional classroom-based MBA, due to the fact that they are increasing in popularity and providing a viable alternative for students who want to get an MBA but might struggle to take the traditional route. Although you might not see a massive difference in your tuition costs when you study online, the truth is that getting an online MBA can be an ideal way to significantly reduce the overall expenses. This is because studying online allows you the more flexible option to learn from home, which can make it easier to continue working while getting your degree and allows you to save a significant amount of money on the associated costs of studying such as commuting to campus. Learn more about the Boston online MBA program from Suffolk University here.

Choose the Right School:

While you can’t get away from the fact that attending a prestigious university is always going to make people look up and take notice of you, the truth is that the MBA is a very highly respected qualification no matter where you get it from. Getting an MBA and reaping all the benefits that come with having this on your resume doesn’t mean that you need to study at one of the prestigious and expensive business schools. Today, there are more and more affordable options available to students who want to get an MBA with prices that might not make your eyes water quite as much. It’s a good idea to spend some time shopping around and researching the different business schools that are available to find one that offers the type of MBA that you want and works for your budget. One of the main things to consider is that the school you choose is accredited by a relevant, independent accrediting body.

Consider Getting Your MBA Abroad:

If you are interested in traveling or have considered the idea of working or starting a business in another country in the future, the option to study for your MBA abroad could be a good way to get the qualification that you want along with lots of other skills and experiences while saving money at the same time. There are many countries around the world where the tuition fees for international students are actually cheaper than the tuition fees for citizens in the US. Many European schools, for example, have reasonably priced tuition for overseas students and you can often graduate faster with programs that are shorter and more to the point. In addition to the option to take advantage of lower tuition fees, you might find that studying abroad in certain areas means that you can save money by moving to an area with much lower living costs.

Financial Aid and Scholarships:

Before paying for your tuition, it’s a good idea to spend some time checking for any financial aid offers that you might be eligible for. If you think that you might be eligible for financial aid, it’s important to apply for this as early as possible, especially if you are hoping to get a scholarship. More scholarship funds tend to be available at the start of the application cycle compared to later on, and some schools are now offering full-tuition scholarships to students applying for MBA programs in a bid to get more students interested in the program. However, any financial aid options such as fellowships and scholarships tend to be extremely competitive and once they are filled, they’re no longer available to apply to. For this reason, it’s important to apply early and take your time to put together an application that gets you noticed.

Student Loans:

A federal loan is one option to consider if you want to borrow money to help cover the cost of tuition for your MBA. However, before you apply for a student loan, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons, along with spending some time determining if you have the financial means to pay for part of your tuition costs without borrowing money in order to keep your debt levels low. Interest of your loan will begin to accrue from the moment that you take out the loan, rather than being deferred until graduation. When it comes to borrowing money to pay for your tuition, there are various options to consider. Perkins loans are designed for students who are on a low income, but these are capped at just $8k per year, meaning that you may be left to make up the difference yourself depending on where you are going to school and the cost of tuition. On the other hand, you can get a Stafford loan, which will be called at just over $20k annually. Graduate PLUS loans can be applied for to fill any financial gaps, however, these have higher interest rates.

Graduating Earlier:

Most full-time MBA programs that are offered in the US will last for two years. However, recently there has been an increase in the number of study options that are available for students who want to get this qualification in a shorter period of time. Some US business schools are now offering accelerated MBA degree programs where you can graduate with your MBA in as little as one year, allowing you to save money on the total cost of tuition. However, it’s worth noting that these MBA programs are very intense and will usually require you to commit completely to studying the program for the entire duration, meaning that the opportunity cost is often much higher.

Working And Studying:

If the idea of borrowing a high amount of money to pay for your tuition is going to be the main concern when getting your MBA, it’s worth considering any options where you can continue working and earning money to put towards your study costs simultaneously. For some students, the best way to do this is with a part-time MBA where fewer hours are dedicated to studying to allow them to work the rest of the time. Online MBA programs offer a flexible, home-based option where students can decide when and where to study based on their needs. Due to the flexibility of these programs, they’re often a top choice for students who want to continue working while earning an MBA. In addition, online MBAs are popular choices for employees who are going to ask their employer for help towards paying tuition fees. More and more employers today are now offering tuition support programs, however, they often prefer online study since this means that the employee does not have to take time off work for two years or more while earning their degree.

Whether you want an MBA to boost your business career or to get you started on the right track to launching your own business, it’s definitely not cheap. These are some of the main ways that MBA students can cut costs while getting this well-respected degree.


Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at

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