At this point, the headlines ring almost like a broken record. The cost of college is incredibly high. Student loan debt has become such an issue, free college has become a topic among candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls. Each year when we rank the top undergraduate business schools in the U.S., we also gather data on costs of attending those schools, scholarships available, and average debt graduates take on at schools.
First, we’ll take a look at projected costs among this year’s list of school, which is near 100.
For students and families looking to earn a business degree at the lowest cost, public universities are still very much the way to go. While not technically a public school, followers of the Church of Latter-Day Saints can earn a degree from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School for less than $75,000. And that doesn’t include any potential scholarships or aid. Four years of tuition at BYU is just $23,160 — the lowest of all schools on this year’s list. Located in Provo, Utah, which rests about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, the school estimates the four-year living and additional fees cost — including housing — to be $51,634.
Following BYU is Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business, where the estimated total four-year cost is currently $82,775 for Iowa residents. The total four-year tuition rate at Iowa State is $36,216, but cost of living in Ames, Iowa is one of the lowest in this year’s ranking at just $46,559. Purdue University — based in Indiana — was the next least expensive school with an estimated total four-year cost of $91,248. Rounding out the top five were Ohio State University at $94,718 and the University of South Carolina at $97,456.
In all, nine schools still over in-state residents a college degree for less than six figures. Geographically, besides BYU, the first 18 least expensive schools are all located in the Midwest, South, or Southeast. The University of Delaware at $111,298 is the first Northeastern school on the list for the least expensive schools. And at $111,600, Oregon State University is the first Northwestern School to show up for least expensive schools.
When it comes to bargain hunting, there is no question what students and families should do: attend a public university where you have residence. All 48 public universities in this year’s ranking are cheaper for in-state residents than the first private school. Of the private schools, Lipscomb University has the lowest total estimated four-year cost at $193,642. The private Christian school based in Nashville has a total four-year tuition cost of $121,456. The school estimates the total four-year cost of living and additional expenses to be $72,186. Elon University in North Carolina is the next least expensive private school with an estimated total four-year cost of $195,460.
As for the most expensive schools, Bucknell University, located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania — over 150 miles northwest of Philadelphia — reported the most expensive total estimated four-year cost at $318,516. It was the only school to report more than $300,000 for a total cost, although not by much. Up next is Santa Clara University at a total four-year estimated cost of $299,316. Santa Clara is located in California’s Silicon Valley. Following closely is Hult International Business School’s San Francisco campus, which has a total estimated cost of $298,800. Rounding out the top-five most expensive schools are Boston University ($297,899) and New York University ($295,958).
(See the next two pages for in-state total costs and then out-of-state total costs at this year’s top B-schools.)
The 2020 Best Undergraduate Business Schools Story Package: