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What’s the Actual Cost of an MBA?

This article is sponsored by Juno.

We’ve all seen the published sticker price of MBA programs, but how much will it actually cost you and what tools do you have at your disposal to pay for it?

Here’s how to think about it: your actual cost of attendance is the published cost of attendance minus scholarships & financial aid plus any additional costs (travel, club dues). Let’s break it down.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Both the amount of financial aid you receive from various schools and the criteria schools use to determine financial aid packages will vary. But there is a way to make sure you’re maximizing your financial aid: negotiate.

Your financial aid award letter is a first draft, not a final product. A good way to negotiate is if you got into other programs that offered you financial aid, tell your top choice that you would love to attend if it made more financial sense. Curious what tuition discounts other students are getting? Check out our financial aid award tracker. Don’t feel bad about asking, they won’t rescind your admission offer just because you’re trying to look out for your financial future.

In addition to aid from the school, apply to outside scholarships! We’ve created the most comprehensive free database of all MBA scholarships. There are plenty of scholarships available, with many geared specifically toward womxn and minorities.

Additional costs

You may have also heard that you should budget for additional costs on top of tuition and living expenses, from school trips to club dues. According to a survey by Bloomberg, the average full-time MBA student reported spending an additional $10-16K more, so we recommend budgeting for it.

Plan for your financial future

Once you receive your financial aid and scholarships and you have an idea of how much your MBA will cost you, you can choose to use a combination of income, savings, outside help/sponsorship (if any), and student loans to cover it.

In terms of student loans, be sure to research all your options and the difference between federal versus private student loans. Knowing and comparing all your options will help you make the best decisions for your financial future, as MBA students can often receive lower interest rates with private lenders than with the federal government.

Whatever you do, it is never too early to start planning for how to pay for your MBA!

Founded by two Harvard Business School students, Juno (formerly LeverEdge) is an initiative that utilizes the power of group buying to negotiate lower rates on new private student loans and refinancing existing loans. Folks who sign up have no obligation to take our negotiated deals, nor do we ever charge our members. It’s free to join and signing up simply adds your voice to the collective and gives you the option to take the deal when it’s ready. Our members have saved upwards of $26M on interest and fees using our deals over federal loans. Sign up in two minutes and drop co-founder Chris a line if you have any questions!

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