By John A. Byrne
(Poets&Quants) -- Stanford's Graduate School of Business has leapfrogged the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and Columbia Business School to become the most expensive two-year MBA program in the world, according to an analysis by Poets&Quants.
This year, Stanford is telling applicants that the estimated cost of its two-year, full-time MBA program is a whopping $185,054, a new record. That is some $18,242 more than Stanford said it would cost an MBA student only two years ago, when Columbia was the school with the most expensive MBA program in the world. At that time, Columbia estimated that the cost to attend its MBA program was $168,307, while third-place Stanford's price tag was $166,812. In just two years, Stanford's estimated cost of the degree has risen by 10.9%, though the estimate includes a $4,000 global study trip.
Harvard Business School, Stanford's No. 1 rival, now costs over $20,000 less in estimated charges, even though it is in pricey Boston. The Stanford program is also $25,860 more than the cost of an MBA for a non-resident student at nearby UC-Berkeley's Haas School of Business. The actual difference between Harvard and Stanford is even greater because Harvard hands out an average $26,745 in annual fellowship money for its MBA students, far more than any other business school.
The total cost of the Stanford program includes two years worth of tuition, fees, books and supplies, mandatory medical insurance, the estimated costs to live and eat in Silicon Valley, and the $4,000 cost for a global study trip. Stanford says that its $23,391 estimate for rent, food, and personal expenses is for a "moderate lifestyle."
But as often is the case, these estimated numbers by the business schools tend to be conservative. They rarely include the inevitable 3% to 5% increase in tuition during a student's second year. And they tend to underestimate the "personal costs" of attending an elite MBA program, from expensive dinners out with friends to traveling to ski resorts over long weekends with new student friends. More
Wharton's class of 2013 will likely be the first MBA class in history to pay more than $100 million in loans and interest payments for the privilege of gaining the degree. By John A. ByrneAug 22, 2011 2:34 PM ET
Many highly qualified applicants appear to be getting squeezed out because they went to a state school, worked for a no-name company, or lacked the connections. By John A. ByrneAug 8, 2011 10:32 AM ET
Wharton admissions deputy Ankur Kumar discusses how the b-school managed to recruit more women than any of its competitors and the major myths about women who pursue MBAs. By John A. ByrneJul 25, 2011 12:42 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. ByrneMay 16, 2011 12:36 PM ET
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