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7 Top MBA Programs Which Cost Less Than $50k

Getting an MBA can be costly, but these top-ranked, affordable MBA programs offer a high-quality experience for less—and they all have one thing in common

Mon Aug 24 2020

BusinessBecause

MBA students can expect big salary boosts, exciting career advancement, and access to unrivalled professional networks after graduation. However, MBA programs cost money.

In our BusinessBecause Cost Of MBA Report 2020, we found that the total cost of an MBA at the top schools—including tuition, program fees, living expenses, and healthcare insurance—can easily exceed $200k. The world’s most expensive MBA, at MIT Sloan, has an estimated total cost of over $237k.

Tuition tends to be the biggest contributor to total cost, with MIT charging over $154k for two years of tuition. 

Luckily, not every MBA program out there comes with a hefty price tag. We’ve found seven of the best, most affordable MBA programs which charge tuition fees under $50k. 

All the programs listed below come from the top 40 of the Financial Times’ 2020 Global MBA Rankings, so you can be sure that they’re high in quality, even if their cost is considerably less than some of the bigger-name MBAs. 

What’s one thing all these MBA programs have in common? They are all based in Asia, where the average tuition cost of a top-ranked MBA program is less than half the average tuition cost of a top-ranked MBA in the US.


The Best MBA Programs Which Cost Less Than $50k


7. Renmin University of China Business School


Rank: 38

Cost: $25,400

Location: Beijing, China


The cheapest MBA program on our list, Renmin’s MBA tuition fees come in at just 16% of those at MIT Sloan. Renmin also manages to make the top-40 in the Financial Times’ MBA ranking, at 38. 

The program offers two specializations in Financial Management and Leadership & Corporate Social Responsibility, and students also get to participate in a real-world consulting project, a networking program, as well as business competitions. 

Even with its low cost, over 85% of international students on Renmin’s MBA are offered some form of scholarship or financial aid. Merit-based scholarships are available, awarded to students with exceptional academic or work achievements or those with GMAT scores between 670-700.

Read why the Renmin MBA is your ticket to jobs in China

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6. Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Antai


Rank: 37

Cost: $44,000

Location: Shanghai, China


The Antai MBA at Shanghai Jiao Tong University was the first program in China to achieve triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS, and AMBA, so despite the lower cost, it’s actually in the top 1% of business schools worldwide. 

Based in the center of Shanghai, this program has an strong China focus, with links to Shanghai business leaders and offering weekly Chinese courses for international students. Merit-based scholarships are available, based on interview performance and GMAT scores. 

Find out why European student Anais Pothon chose the Antai MBA

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5. Nanyang Business School, NTU Singapore


Rank: 35

Cost: $44,500

Location: Singapore


The MBA at Nanyang is a 12-month program with impressive recommendations—it was ranked 30th in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2019, while The Economist named it one of the top two MBAs in Singapore. 

Education tracks allow students to specialize in everything from Banking to Marketing, while the included Business Study Mission takes students around the world to understand differing business challenges. 

Scholarships are available to early applicants, talented women, SME leaders in Singapore, and students from emerging markets, among others.

Read why Nanyang is one of our 10 business schools to look out for in 2020

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4. Fudan University School of Business


Rank: 33

Cost: $45,600

Location: Shanghai, China


Fudan University’s International MBA frequently tops rankings for MBAs in China and the Asia-Pacific, and is taught in collaboration with MIT Sloan—without the MIT Sloan fees. Students pursue a Chinese-focused MBA with lectures from MIT and Fudan faculty, as well as internship opportunities and immersive projects. 

Applicants who achieve exceptional GMAT scores have access to scholarships from 30%-100% of the tuition fees, while additional scholarships for international students include an Excellence Scholarship, Young Talent Scholarship, and a Social Responsibility Scholarship.

Find out how Sojung Lee went from the Fudan MBA to a leadership role at IBM

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3. Indian School of Business


Rank: 28

Cost: $32,650

Location: Hyderabad & Mohali, India


The Indian School of Business has locations in both Hyderabad and Mohali, and the Postgraduate Program in Management features at number 28 in the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings. The school was the 100th business school in the world to achieve the coveted triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS, and AMBA, and ranks in the top five MBA programs in Asia. 

The PGP at ISB counts Wharton School of Business, Kellogg School of Management, and London Business School as academic partners, ensuring that research and teaching is among the best in the world, while the MBA itself puts a focus on emerging economies in Asia. Exceptional applicants are rewarded with tuition fee waivers totaling between 25% and 100% of the total cost.

Read how engineer, Parichit Bagga, landed a job five months before completing the ISB MBA

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2. Indian Institute of Management Bangalore 


Rank: 27

Cost: $28,000

Location: Bangalore, India


The Post Graduate Program in Management at IIMB is a two-year program equivalent to an MBA and the highest-ranked Indian business school on the FT’s ranking, 27th in 2020. 

The program offers standard core courses in business foundations, as well as a large number of possible electives including modules in business analytics, Indian economy, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. There are a host of scholarship opportunities for students based on both merit and means. 

Read: 5 reasons why you should consider an MBA in India

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1. National University of Singapore Business School 


Rank: 15

Cost: $47,000

Location: Singapore


Ranked at number 15 on the FT’s Global MBA Rankings, the National University of Singapore is the world’s best most affordable MBA program. Coming in at just shy of $50,000, this makes it a great choice for anyone looking for an intensive course at a fraction of the cost. 

The MBA at NUS seeks to blend knowledge of Eastern and Western business practices, while offering specializations in Digital Business, Innovation, Healthcare, and more.

The school also offers almost $1m in merit-based scholarships, which don’t require any separate application. This includes location-based scholarships for students coming from Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and more, as well as a Women-in-Business scholarship and scholarships for budding entrepreneurs.

Read stories from NUS Business School MBA students

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Next Read:

Want to know how much the world's best MBA programs cost? Check out our BusinessBecause Cost of MBA Report


The data in this article was sourced from school websites, the BB Cost of MBA Report and the FT MBA ranking. All tuition fees have been converted into US$, correct as of July 2020.

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