Total cost of a college education might not be the most prioritized data point when making a college decision. But it’s usually at the top of the list. Student loan debt continues to be an issue for millions of Americans. Each year when we rank the country’s best undergraduate business schools, we also ask schools to report total cost estimates for students entering the school this past fall to get a sense of what future college students and their families might expect to pay over four years of college.
This year students at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business have the lowest estimated four-year total cost and just $61,176 for in-state students. BYU was by far the least expensive school, with an estimated total cost of about $22,000 less than the next school with the lowest cost — the University of Pittsburgh College of Business at $83,224. Following Pitt is the University of Akron’s College of Business, where the estimated total cost was $91,420.
Not surprisingly, in-state residents at public universities have the least-expensive options. In-state residents at 13 public schools can still earn a degree for less than six figures. Those schools mainly reside in the Midwest, South, and Southeast. Three schools with estimated total costs of less than $100,000 are in Ohio — more than any other state. However, all but three of those 13 schools were outside the top-31 ranked schools this year. The only school in the top-10 with an estimated total cost of less than $100,000 is the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. BYU and Pitt were the next-highest ranked schools this year at 31st and 30th, respectively. All other schools with an estimated price tag of less than $100,000 ranked 60th or higher.
|Rank||School||In-State Total Cost|
|31||Brigham Young University||$61,176|
|30||University of Pittsburgh||$83,224|
|76||University of Akron||$91,420|
|81||University of Kentucky||$92,135|
|89||Iowa State University||$93,332|
|86||Florida International University||$93,504|
|73||Texas Tech University||$94,824|
|60||University of Oklahoma||$97,144|
|68||Bowling Green State University||$97,826|
|92||University Of New Mexico||$98,500|
|6||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||$98,936|
|84||North Carolina State University||$99,940|
Private schools all around the country dominated the list for most expensive schools. Bucknell University in Pennsylvania had the highest estimated price tag — a whopping $320,640 for four years of college. Top-ranked University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School followed with $318,540. No other state saw a greater spread in total cost among business schools than Pennsylvania, which had one of the least expensive options but also the two most expensive schools. Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business in Dallas had the third-highest estimated total cost at $310,648.
In total, seven of the 93 schools to be ranked this year had estimated total costs of at least $300,000. In addition to the three schools listed above, Boston University’s Questrom School of Business ($310,648), Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business ($306,860), Hult International Business School ($304,800), and New York University’s Stern School of Business ($302,192) all estimated total costs above $300,000.
Private schools dominated the list of most expensive schools. Of the 10 most-expensive schools to participate in this year’s rankings, four were ranked in the top-10. All but one was ranked in the top-50.
|Rank||School||In-State Total Cost|
|1||University of Pennsylvania||$318,540|
|26||Southern Methodist University||$316,504|
|8||Carnegie Mellon University||$306,860|
|32||Hult International Business School||$304,800|
|3||New York University||$302,192|
|87||Santa Clara University||$296,992|
|50||University of Denver||$294,360|
See the next page for estimated total costs at all of the ranked business schools.
POETS&QUANTS BEST UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOLS RANKINGS STORIES: