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The MBA Financial Factors You Need to Consider

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If you're considering an MBA degree, dozens of questions may be filling your brain: How much will it cost? Do business grad students make more money? Is an MBA worth it? We understand that money talks, so we've gathered all the different financial factors and implications you should be thinking about before you make the decision that's best for yourself and your career.

MBA Program Costs
Tuition is expensive, and including other variable costs like textbooks and living expenses adds to that number. If you decide to go the full-time route, you will also be forgoing your salary for the duration of the program, while hybrid Weekend MBA program students have to consider the opportunity cost of their time.

According to, the average yearly tuition cost for an MBA program is $50,000. Krannert offers some of the most affordable MBA programs when stacked against other top schools with tuition below or right around that average.

Availability of GAs and Financial Assistance
The good news is many MBA programs offer financial assistance. Students can apply for federal and private loans and many programs have additional options that help cover costs.

At Krannert, we offer graduate assistantship opportunities and scholarships to qualified applicants each year to help offset program costs. The best part is you don't even need to apply. We consider all applicants for these merit-based awards. If you're awarded a graduate assistantship, you'll work approximately 10 hours a week and you'll receive a monthly stipend as well as a significant remission of tuition and fees. Lastly, there are other Purdue graduate assistantships, outside of Krannert, that students can apply for. For more information, visit our financial aid webpage.

Another option is to serve as a resident assistant. Many master program students choose this route to receive room and board, a small stipend, and partial remission of tuition and fees.

Consider Cost of Living and Quality of Life
A financial component that isn't often considered is cost of living. Monthly rent, weekly groceries, and taxes can vary greatly depending on the city you choose to pursue your MBA studies.

Purdue is located in West Lafayette, IN, a city with a cost of living below the national average. You can expect to pay around $651 for a one-bedroom apartment when attending Purdue. To put that into perspective, the average cost of an apartment in New York City is $2,768, and in Ann Arbor it is $1,009. The sales tax in West Lafayette is only 7%, compared to cities like Fayetteville's 9.75% and Los Angeles's and Berkeley's 9%. We also have a local farmers market on campus, which allows students to shop fresh, local produce at an inexpensive rate. The Purdue campus and the city of West Lafayette are an easy place to call home.

After Graduation Salary
While the cost of tuition is expensive, don't forget to factor in an estimate of your post-graduation salary.

Since most students take out loans to cover their MBA costs, it's important to consider how much you'll make upon graduation. According to Forbes, post-MBA graduates make around 50% more than they were pre-MBA.

Let's say you make $50,000 right now. Post-MBA you could be making $75,000 (50k x .5 = $25k. 50k + 25k = $75k).

Krannert’s 2017 MBA graduates make an average of $91,000 upon graduation with additional bonuses at a 94% domestic employment rate. A Purdue MBA also fast tracks graduates for promotion. According to U.S. News and World Report, the Purdue MBA offers one of the top-10 MBA returns on investment with a 2.4 to 1 Salary to Student Debt ratio.

So, do business grad students make more money? The short answer is yes. Is an MBA worth it? That's up to you. If you would like more information or to discuss the Purdue MBA program, please don't hesitate contacting us.

heather goodwin headshot 

Heather Goodwin
Assistant Director of Recruiting
Krannert MBA & MS Programs