Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sticker shock: $200K

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)


Anonymous said...

Rents are falling in cities like Boston these days, so the $3K reduction in room & utilities is probably an estimate of how much off-campus students will save. $270/month? Maybe. That seems like a lot, even for a typical HBS student apartment.

Ali said...

does anyone else think these numbers are absolutely insane? 50K for TUITION? for grad school? i think i must live on another planet.

but really, how can future business execs expect to ever be able to pay this off, in a world where their salaries are going to be capped and their financial adventures, being largely subsidized by the government, will have to be posted on the internet?

Ronin said...

Nice comparative analysis. Looking at the numbers alone definitely can make one pause. But in the long run it will all be worth it.

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