Affordable MBAs

Executive MBAs for under $50,000? Yes, they exist.

May 16, 2011: 12:36 PM ET

They may not have the cachet of a Columbia or a Wharton, but we found nearly 50 business schools in the U.S. that offer executive MBAs for less than $50,000 in total tuition.

By John A. Byrne, contributor

Tanner Building at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management

Tanner Building at Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management

(poetsandquants.com) -- Executive MBA programs can be pretty costly. The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School program in San Francisco sits at the very top of the luxury brands, with a breath-taking price tag of $172,200. Most of the highly ranked executive versions of the MBA are all well above six figures.

Are there any reasonably priced executive MBA experiences out there?

You bet. We found nearly 50 business schools in the U.S. that offer executive MBAs for less than $50,000 in total tuition. They may not have the cachet of a Columbia Business School, Chicago Booth or Northwestern Kellogg, but then many of these programs cost only a third or less than the big brand exec MBAs. You'll take similar courses in all the business basics for a fraction of the cost.

Imagine earning an MBA for a flat $10,000. It's possible at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, in a 24-month program with a class size of 50 students with an average work experience of nine years.

The catch? It's a defense-focused degree available only to officers and senior civilians in the Navy.

So the least expensive executive MBA in the world is a bit of an anomaly. But then there is Ohio University's program in Athens, Ohio, at a mere $29,000 in total tuition -- just one-sixth the cost of Wharton's San Francisco program.

Or want something even more reasonable? Try Benedictine College's $22,200 program, a fast track, 12-month experience in Atchison, Kansas.

How can these schools offer executive MBA programs at such low costs? More

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