The good news: School-provided data for our 2023 ranking of the Best Undergraduate Programs revealed that salaries and first-year compensation soared for 2022 graduates, rising 10.75% over the previous year.
The not-so-good news: Total cost to earn a four-year business degree – a combination of tuition, fees and other expenses – is rising at both ends of the spectrum.
13 SCHOOLS CHARGE $300,000+ FOR A BUSINESS DEGREE
As part of the extensive data-collection process for our annual ranking, we collect student demographic data that, while not used in the ranking methodology, does offer important insights about the school environments. This includes analysis on the percentage of women in an incoming freshman class as well as the number of international and underrepresented minority students.
We also ask schools to report total cost estimates for students entering the school during the most recent fall term in order to see what future college students and their families might expect to pay over four years.
In Fall 2022, 13 B-Schools charged $300,000 or more for a four-year degree, one less from the 14 from 2022’s ranking. Just seven schools charged that much in 2021.
On the other hand, debt-conscious, in-state students could still earn a degree for less than six figures at 10 schools in 2022 – the same number as 2021, but three less than the 13 schools in 2020.
HULT OFFERS LEAST EXPENSIVE DEGREE B-SCHOOL DEGREE
For the best value four-year business degree, students should look at their in-state, public universities first. Tuition for in-state students is often magnitudes cheaper than for out-of-state.
For example, Georgia Institute of Technology (Scheller) offers in-state students one of the best values in a four-year business degree. Total in-state tuition is $50,810 compared to $134,742 for out-of-state students. Hult International Business School is the biggest deal for all 93 of our ranked schools coming in at $49,100.
Several schools didn’t report their additional estimated expenses, making an apples to apples comparison more difficult. They are Hult, Georgia Scheller, and University of Illinois Gies College of Business.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE SCHOOLS IN P&Q's RANKING
That old adage that you get what you pay for? Well, it’s certainly true that many of the highest-ranked schools on our 2022 list are among the most expensive. Take Wharton School. It has topped our ranking – which measures schools on academic rigor and experience, career outcomes, and admission standards – the last five out of six years. And starting salaries for its graduates are the highest in the land, topping $100,000 for 2022 grads.
It also has one of the most expensive four-year business degrees at a whopping $315,051 in total tuition and expenses. It’s not even the most expensive. Not only did the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business overtake Wharton to become the No. 1 school in our 2023 ranking, it also overtook it as the most expensive.
Most of the schools on the most-expensive list are private, with no tuition breaks for in-state students.
The lowest ranked school with a price tag over $300,000 was Southern Methodist (Cox) ($300,699), ranked 23rd in our ranking, at a cost of $302,076.
NEXT PAGE: Tuition and cost data at all P&Q-ranked undergraduate business programs
EDITOR'S NOTE: The first published version of this article provided incorrect data on the total cost of a business degree at Boston University. We regret the error.
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