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Stanford MBA Is the Most Expensive in the World – $185,000

December 26, 2012 5:30 am0 commentsViews: 551
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The Graduate School of Business at Stanford has passed the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Business School to be the priciest two year MBA program on Earth, according to a new survey by the website Poets&Quants. 

Stanford is telling new applicants for its MBA program that the new cost of its full time MBA is $185,055. This is $18,000 more than Stanford stated it would cost only two years ago. At that time, Columbia was the most expensive MBA on the planet. At that time, Columbia’s price tag was $168,000. In two years, the price of Stanford’s degree has got up 10%. This estimate does include a $4500 global study trip.

Harvard Business School is Stanford’s top rival, and it now costs more than $20,000 less, but you should keep in mind that Harvard is in Boston, where it is more expensive to live. The program at Stanford costs about $25,000 more than at Berkeley. Also, the difference between Harvard and Stanford is even more than it appears, because Harvard gives out about $26,000 in fellowship awards each year. This is by far the most of all other business schools.

The new estimate from Stanford covers tuition for two years, books, fees, supplies, insurance and estimated costs to live and eat in the Silicon Valley area. It estimates that you will spend $23,300 for food, rent and expenses for what it terms a moderate lifestyle.

However, you should know that the estimated numbers often end up being on the conservative end. They do not include most of the time the 3-5% increase in tuition costs in the second year of the program. They also usually underestimate what personal costs are to attend a top MBA program. Some of the extra expenses include going out to expensive dinners with friends and going skiing on long weekends.

Just the annual tuition at Stanford is about $57,000, but the extra costs do tend to pile up quick. Some of these include $2100 on books/supplies, $1700 for instructional materials, $960 for transportation, $3700 for medical insurance and a health fee each year of $540.

If you are a single student and you live off campus at Stanford, your costs could soar to $195,000. If you are married, your costs could be as high as $220,000. Stanford notes that based upon your marital status and other family and personal factors, you should budget another $30,000 to $47,000 per year for cost of living.

The Stern School of Business at New York University is the second priciest MBA program for 2012. It’s program costs about $184,000 for two years. One of the reasons for this is that room and board costs $24,400 each year. However, living in a small studio apartment and feeding yourself in New York is going to cost a good deal more  than what the business school estimates.

At Cornell, its business school estimates that the costs for food and housing are for sharing an inexpensive apartment that costs about $800 each month, and a budget of $400 a month for food. This is in Ithaca, NY, so that is at least a possibility.

The priciest books and supplies are at Harvard Business School. That school teaches by a case study method. Buying those case studies and other related materials costs about $7000 each year. At Columbia, the cost for books and supplies is only $900 a year. A more typical figure for books and supplies is about $2000 per year.

The report also noted that the top international business schools are not nearly as expensive as the US. London Business School is one of the best but its total two year cost is only $111,000.

Of course, you should remember that at Stanford, you will enjoy mild weather year round, and the total compensation for a new Stanford MBA is around $185,000 per year. So if you get your MBA from there, you will likely be able to afford your student loan bills.

If these MBA schools are too pricey for you, there are plenty of other quality MBA schools to choose from that are more reasonably priced.