One of the surest signs that recent MBAs are struggling to repay their graduate school loans is the recent comment one Harvard Business School graduate made to a Chicago Tribune reporter—that he felt like he had a gun to his head whenever he thought about the $101,000 he owed.
At $60,610 per year in tuition and fees, Harvard is the most expensive private business school in the country, according to data from the 46 U.S. private business schools that reported to U.S. News for the 2011-2012 school year. The Business School at Columbia University ($58,350 per year) and the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania ($58,244 annually) were close behind—both ringing in at well above the average cost of $44,066 per year in tuition and fees for private business schools.
At the 10 least expensive private business schools, the average cost in tuition and fees was much lower: $28,963. The Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University—Provo, ranked 34th in the U.S. News Best Business Schools rankings, topped the least-expensive list with an average annual cost of $10,600 in tuition and fees.
BYU was also the highest-ranked school on the list of 10 lowest-priced private business schools, according to the Best Business School rankings. The next highest-ranked school was the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, which ranked 64th and costs $32,058 per year in tuition and fees, putting it 7th on the least-expensive list.
Only schools that reported the yearly cost of tuition and fees were included in this analysis. Private schools that provided tuition and fees data to U.S. News based on per-credit hour costs or overall costs for the entire length of the program were excluded. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.
Below is a table of the 10 lowest priced private business schools based on tuition and required fees for 2011-2012 (figures do not include room and board, books, and other miscellaneous costs):
Photo: U.S. News and World Report
*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one fourth of its ranking category. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.**While the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University—Provo is a private institution, the school offers two different tuition rates—one for students who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and one for non-LDS students. BYU’s tuition for Mormon students is lower than the tuition provided in this article.
Don’t see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Business School Compass to find data on cost and much more.
U.S. News surveyed more than 400 schools for our 2011 survey of business programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’s data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Business Schools rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’s rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools.
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