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A graduate degree in business can help students double their earning potential, according to a report by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. But sometimes you need to spend money to make money, and an MBA from a top-tier business school comes with a hefty price tag.
Tuition and fees at Harvard Business School and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, which tied for first in the 2013 Best Business School rankings, rang in at $60,610 and $55,200, respectively, for the 2011-2012 school year.
The high cost of studying business at these schools places them among the 10 most expensive private business schools.
Other top-ranked business schools on the list include the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Wharton took the No. 3 spot in the Best Business Schools rankings, while Booth and Kellogg tied for 4th.
Students attending the 10 priciest private b-schools paid an average of $55,934 in tuition and fees during the 2011-2012 school year, up from $52,775 the previous year. The newer figure is almost $14,000 more than the average cost to attend a private business school, which totaled $42,362 in tuition and fees in 2011-2012, according to data reported by 49 ranked private b-schools in an annual U.S. News survey.
While students may pay a premium to attend a top-ranked private business school, the ends may justify the means. Roughly 93 percent of Harvard Business School's 2011 MBA graduates were employed within three months of graduation, with an average starting salary of almost $121,800. Stanford b-school's 2011 graduates garnered an average starting salary of more than $127,000.
Only ranked business schools that provided the annual cost of tuition and fees were included in this analysis. Those that provided tuition data on a per-credit basis or for the entire duration of the program were not included. Business schools designated as Unranked were also excluded from this report. U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for Unranked programs because the program did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked.
Below are the 10 most expensive private business schools for the 2011-2012 school year based on tuition and fees. (Figures do not include room and board, books, and other miscellaneous costs.)
|Business school (name) (state)||Tuition and fees (2011-2012)||U.S. News b-school rank|
|Harvard University (MA)||$60,610||1|
|Columbia University (NY)||$58,350||8|
|University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||$58,244||3|
|Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)||$56,555||9|
|Stanford University (CA)||$55,200||1|
|Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) (PA)||$54,800||18|
|University of Chicago (Booth)||$54,252||4|
|Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)||$54,225||4|
|Yale University (CT)||$53,900||10|
|Cornell University (Johnson) (NY)||$53,200||16|
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Business School Compass to find tuition data, salary information, 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 produces 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. The tuition and fees data above are correct as of Jan. 15, 2013.