I just received a prematriculation email from HBS informing me that the Class of 2011 budget is now available. Total for year 1, including living expenses = $76,600. Stanford's budget was available a while ago and its year 1 budget = $84,071 (how wonderfully precise!) if you include the pricier study trip.
A couple things to note (besides the obvious shock at the implied $150-200K price for an MBA):
1) HBS's class of 2011 budget is $550 lower than this year's cost summary. Wow, I wonder if Harvard is adjusting because of the tough economic climate! I somehow doubt that. In fact, upon closer examination, it looks like tuition, health care, and board have all increased while room & utilities has somehow fallen by $3,240. Hmmm... given that they don't differentiate between on and off-campus dwelling students and that the majority of students live on campus, I have to assume that HBS housing is taking the hit, but it does seem strange. Stanford's budget is up $3,737 from last year, an almost 5% year-on-year increase.
2) Stanford's tuition is $5,171 higher than Harvard's next year, coming in at $51,321. What is that about?
3) Each school includes a note indicating that this budget is for a "moderate" lifestyle. Well, given that every bschool student I know travels every chance he/she gets, I'm guessing that $5-10K should be tacked on just for travel. Regular trips abroad, skiing, and to wine country typically qualify as lavish, not "moderate."
I am ready to join the league of debt-laden students. Yes I am.
Note: All figures are for a single student living on campus (Stanford differentiates; HBS does not)