Business school tuition can be expensive--whether you are studying at the graduate or undergraduate level. One of the reasons for this is the popularity of business degrees. Business is the most popular undergraduate major in the United States; it is also one of the most common choices among master's level students. But that doesn't mean that you can't find fair-priced tuition or find ways to lower the cost of your business education.
How Much Is Business School Tuition?
There is no set price for business school tuition. Costs can vary from school to school or even program to program. Tuition at some of the top business schools can cost more than $100,000 for a two-year MBA program. Of course, there are many lower-tier schools that charge considerably less. It is possible to get a two-year MBA education for less than $20,000. You can learn more about MBA tuition costs at specific business schools by using the Business School Calculator available on Forbes.com.
The tuition for undergraduate programs is often cheaper. Of course, the costs can add up since most undergraduate programs take four years to complete. Costs are sometimes dependent on whether or not you are an in-state or out-of-state student. Income can also play a role. There are some schools, such as Columbia University, that are willing to waive tuition costs for families that have a low annual income. There are also a small number of undergraduate schools with free tuition.
Fees Beyond Tuition
When deciding how much money you are going to need to pay for school, it is important to remember that there are additional costs beyond tuition that must be accounted for. Textbooks are not included in tuition costs. There may also be additional application or administration fees to pay. If you will not be attending school online or living at home while you earn your degree, you will also need to factor in the cost of room and board--which isn't always cheap. Depending on the school you attend, you may have the option of living on campus. This is often less costly than off-campus housing, especially if you are attending school in New York City or another metropolitan area with a high cost of living.
How to Pay for Business School Tuition
The elevated price of business school tuition can seem daunting. You may be wondering how you could possibly afford the education you want and need. The good news is that you don't always have to pay your tuition all at once. Most schools offer payment plans to help break up the costs. You also don't have to pay business school tuition out of pocket. There are many forms of financial aid that can help to offset the high fees.
Business School Scholarships and Grants
It is estimated that more than 70 percent of students receive some form of financial aid. Undergraduate students often receive more financial aid than graduate students, but help is available for every student, regardless of study level. The best types of financial aid are those that don't have to be paid back, i.e. scholarships and grants. Many scholarships and grants are reserved for students who have true financial need, which means they fall below a specific income level. However, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available for students who volunteer in the community, have a high GPA, or know how to craft a winning essay. You can also find scholarships that award money based on random drawings so that everyone has an equal chance of getting aid.
Another popular option among business majors is tuition reimbursement. Tuition reimbursement occurs when you are reimbursed by an employer for any costs associated with earning your degree. Although some employers will pay the school directly, most reimburse you, which means you have to pay for the business school tuition out of pocket and get reimbursed after graduation. Read more about tuition reimbursement.
Student loans may be necessary if you do not have the cash, scholarships, or grants you need to cover your business school tuition. The two most common types of student loans are federal loans and private loans. However, there are other ways to get loans or donations through social networking. GreenNote is a good example. Read more about how to apply for a student loan.