• Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Kaplan Test Prep
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Varsity Tutors
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Target Test Prep
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    PrepScholar GMAT
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Veritas Prep
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Economist Test Prep
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code


Hidden Costs Of Business School

This topic has 1 expert reply and 1 member reply


Stacy Blackman MBA Admissions Consultant
26 Apr 2006
1049 messages
Followed by:
113 members
50 times

Hidden Costs Of Business School

Post Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:19 pm
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com


Almost every business school publishes an official cost of attendance figure, but getting an MBA could cost you thousands more.

From experiential learning trips to club dues to interviewing for jobs, there are costs that your school may not advertise. And whether you’re applying to business school or have already been accepted, it’s up to you to plan for these fees.

Additionally, there are many costs that you may incur long before you get an acceptance letter. Many people overlook the true costs of the application process, or at least don’t have a complete picture.

The costs of researching schools, taking the GMAT and submitting your applications may seem obvious and easy to plan for. However, not so obvious costs of a great application include the price of visiting your target schools to strengthen your application, as well as traveling to events hosted by the schools’ admissions committees. If you use test prep services and admissions consultants, you could easily run up bills for several thousands of dollars before you even submit your applications.

When you do accept a spot in an MBA program, you’ll need to take a closer look at your chosen school’s COA calculation. This figure encompasses all of the costs that your school believes a student will incur in a given year, and is used to set the maximum amount of financial aid - in the form of scholarships or loans - that your school will certify for your use.

However, you should take this figure with some caution. For instance, not every school includes the cost of living with a partner or supporting a dependent, and often do not cover the expenses associated with international courses and projects or other immersive learning experiences.

Another potential pitfall of COAs is that they only include expenses for the school calendar year. For many students, a key part of the MBA experience is a paid summer internship, often in another city or across the country, and its stipend may not cover transportation and moving expenses.

If you’re planning to take a lower-paying internship at a startup or nonprofit or potential start your own company over the summer, room and board costs alone may exceed your income for the summer. Remember that you may need to also purchase appropriate interview attire for landing that new gig.

There are certainly other expenses your COA may not cover. While these are largely tied to lifestyle costs, the value of building a strong social network of your MBA peers can’t be overstated.

Be critical when reviewing a school’s miscellaneous and even broad spending categories. If you join a handful of clubs, as nearly every MBA student does, note that dues run about $50 to $150 for each organization, and some club events may come with additional costs.

There are also the expenses of once-in-a-lifetime retreats, trips and dues for your class, cohort or section, not to mention dinners and drinks with new friends.

As one Harvard Business School student recalls, “I didn’t realize how much all of the club dues, trips and social events would add up. While they are technically optional, you don’t want to cut them out because they are part of the experience and they help build friendships.”

All these assorted extra fees don’t necessarily mean that an MBA isn’t worth it. Start creating your budget as soon as you’re accepted into your target program, and contact your financial aid office if you have any questions.

Financial aid officers can be a wonderful resource for new students. They are on your side, and have a lot of experience with a wide variety of different student financial situations. CommonBond, which lends to MBA students at many programs in the U.S., has a nifty calculator that allows you to add in additional costs to your COA and build a custom budget specific for your needs.

Also, vet your financial aid options and student loan lenders carefully so that you can rest assured that, if you do ultimately need to increase your spending during the year, you can do so hassle-free. Business school can be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience - there’s no reason you can’t enjoy it to the fullest if you go in with your eyes open.

- See more at: http://www.stacyblackman.com/2014/07/28/uncover-the-hidden-costs-of-an-mba-education/#sthash.oYGiEPGG.dpuf

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact
S T A C Y B L A C K M A N Consulting
Admissions Strategy

Read the SBC blog.

Follow me on Twitter.
Like SBC on Facebook.

Learn more about me

Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!


Michael@VeritasPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
19 Aug 2015
381 messages
Followed by:
6 members
13 times
Post Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:19 pm
I think it all depends on the person and what they like to do with their free time. Sure, you can attend every event, join every club and make every trip. It will probably cost you lots and lots of money, but you can do it. What I recommend is really figure out what you have first, then with that money, prioritize what is important to you. If something isn't that important and you don't have the money, just say no. Don't let the fear of missing out (FOMO) rule your wallet. If you do, you'll end up in even worse debt!

Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now!
nycOliviaMBA Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
02 Feb 2016
2 messages
Post Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:55 pm
Stacey and Michael - any idea how much course materials will typically run? This is by no means a "hidden" cost, but is it inflated compared to the cost of undergraduate materials?

Best Conversation Starters

1 Vincen 132 topics
2 lheiannie07 65 topics
3 LUANDATO 54 topics
4 Roland2rule 43 topics
5 ardz24 40 topics
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members...

Most Active Experts

1 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

133 posts
2 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

114 posts
3 image description EconomistGMATTutor

The Economist GMAT Tutor

113 posts
4 image description Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...


109 posts
5 image description DavidG@VeritasPrep

Veritas Prep

72 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts