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Comparing MBA CoA to calculate ROI

Katie Schenk - January 13, 2020

Comparing CoA for top 50 MBA programmes

As we’ve seen before, the Cost of Attendance (CoA) is critical for international students. It includes tuition, fees, books, medical insurance, and everything you need to live during your studies - and you'll need to prove you can cover these costs to secure a visa.

Cost of Attendance (CoA) definition for international student loans

Although universities publish CoA figures – even if it’s just tuition and the lowest possible amount they believe a student can survive with – it can be tough to compare apples to apples.

Costs are given in local currencies – pounds, euros, rupees, yuan, and dollars (that includes American, Canadian, Australian dollars as well as Hong Kong and Singapore dollars). That alone is enough to set your head spinning – and it gets more complicated when you try to work out your return on investment (ROI).

How to work out the ROI of your MBA

You’ll find salary statistics are often published as American dollars. 

Even if you consider only European schools – and only those that charge in euros, you’ll still need to convert the amounts to dollars to estimate your ROI. 

If you’re bringing euros or dollars to the table, it’s doable, but when you factor in a third home currency, you’re in for some serious head scratching. (Usually, you’ll find way more zeros than you want to see.)

Calculating ROI demands that you consider the cost of attendance + opportunity costs (including the duration of your studies) + loan interest (less any monies saved or awarded as scholarships) and weigh that against earning potential.

Of course, you don’t know your earning potential when applying to various schools. 

The median reported salaries (whatever currency they’re reported in) don’t mean a lot. You could be on the low end of the salary scale now, which likely puts you on the lower end of the salary scale post-MBA – but location changes, internship experience, and career switching all play a role.

How much do MBA programmes really cost?

Absolutely. But, you still need to work out that ROI before you decide an MBA (and which MBA) is right for you. (Though, just to throw a little spanner into that, it’s worth noting that MBA experiences offer a lot more than simply monetary rewards.)

We’ve taken figures reported by universities – and converted them to US dollars and accounted for study duration so it’s possible to compare the top 50 apples. It’s worth noting, however, that we’ve only doubled the first year CoA for two-year US programmes, so there will be some variation.

Then, we’ve taken a look at the weighted three-year salary for each university, as reported by the 2019 FT World MBA Rankings – as well as their income increase percentage (so you can attempt to work out your future salary range based on your current one).

In the end, most of the figures are estimates only, but they’re a great jumping off point for calculating your ROI – and for piecing together your starting budget. 

And, when listed in order of least to most expensive MBA programmes, you may find yourself considering a few schools that may not have crossed your mind previously.

We've got the data below, and a ROI calculator to make it even easier for you. 



Indian School of Business

Hyderabad | India 

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 24
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 55,213
  • Average salary increase: 187%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $156,122 

  • Course duration: 1 year

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Bangalore| India 

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 33
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 55,213
  • Average salary increase: 124%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $178,774

  • Course duration: 1 year

Sungkyunkwan University GSB

Seoul | South Korea

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 42
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 59,598
  • Average salary increase: 100%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $131,166

  • Course duration: 18 months

Durham University Business School

Durham City | UK

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 43
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 60,915
  • Average salary increase: 110%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $120,556 

  • Course duration: 1 year

NTU Singapore: Nanyang Business School

Singapore

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 30
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 67,014
  • Average salary increase: 126%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $134,036 

  • Course duration: 1 year

Fudan University: School of Management

Shanghai | China

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 34
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 70,386
  • Average salary increase: 195%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $110,062

  • Course duration: 12 years

Warwick Business School

Coventry | United Kingdom

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 36
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 71,330
  • Average salary increase: 83%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $118,406

  • Course duration: 1 year

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad| India 

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 47
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 75,428
  • Average salary increase: 100%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 186,170 

  • Course duration: 2 years

Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Calcutta| India 

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 49
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 77,840
  • Average salary increase: 139%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 158,138

  • Course duration: 2 years

National University of Singapore Business School

Singapore

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 17
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 82,695
  • Average salary increase: 131%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 153,216

  • Course duration: 17 months

SDA Bocconi School of Management

Milan | Italy

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 31
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 87,458
  • Average salary increase: 124%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 130,628

  • Course duration: 1 year

Singapore Management University: Lee Kong Chian

Singapore

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 43
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 87,763
  • Average salary increase: 133%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 118,415

  • Course duration: 15 months

Imperial College Business School

London | United Kingdom

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 39
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 89,995
  • Average salary increase: 67%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 126,873

  • Course duration: 1 year

University of Cambridge Judge Business School

Cambridge | United Kingdom 

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 16
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 93,665
  • Average salary increase: 98%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 163,508 

  • Course duration: 1 year

IE Business School

Madrid | Spain

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 31
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 100,122
  • Average salary increase: 100%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 153,547

  • Course duration: 1 year

University of Hong Kong Faculty of Business and Economics

Pok Fu Lam | Hong Kong (China)

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 41
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 102,830
  • Average salary increase: 116%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 131,386

  • Course duration: 14 months

University of Oxford Saïd Business School

Oxford | United Kingdom 

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 13
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 103,870
  • Average salary increase: 118%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 161,443

  • Course duration: 1 year

ESADE Business School

Barcelona | Spain

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 21
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 104,895
  • Average salary increase: 116%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 148,060

  • Course duration: 18 months

HKUST Business School

Clear Water Bay | Hong Kong (China)

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 18
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 106,600
  • Average salary increase: 108%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 156,202

  • Course duration: 1 year

HEC Paris

Paris | France

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 19
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 108,164
  • Average salary increase: 106%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 142,622

  • Course duration: 16 months

IESE Business School

Barcelona | Spain

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 12
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 117,753
  • Average salary increase: 128%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 151,076

  • Course duration: 15 months

IMD Business School

Lausanne | Switzerland

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 22
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 129,780
  • Average salary increase: 76%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 151,944 

  • Course duration: 1 year

INSEAD

Fontainbleau | France | Singapore

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 3
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 130,159
  • Average salary increase: 104%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 179,661

  • Course duration: 10 months

University of Florida Warrington College of Business

Gainesville, Florida | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 39
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 131,982
  • Average salary increase: 151%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 121,000

  • Course duration: 2 years

Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Hyderabad | India 

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 43
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 152,180
  • Average salary increase: 122%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 137,568

  • Course duration: 2 years

CEIBS

Shanghai | China

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 5
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 152,880
  • Average salary increase: 183%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 174,115

  • Course duration: 18 months

University of Texas Austin McCombs School of Business

Austin, Texas | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 37
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 153,444
  • Average salary increase: 104%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 151,235

  • Course duration: 2 years

University of Washington Foster School of Business

Hyderabad | India 

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 49
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 164,284
  • Average salary increase: 107%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 133,519

  • Course duration: 21 months

London Business School

London | United Kingdom

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 6
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 169,675
  • Average salary increase: 102%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 169,675

  • Course duration: 18 months

University of California Irvine Merage School of Business

Irvine, California | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 48
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 178,337
  • Average salary increase: 1129%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 130,056

  • Course duration: 21 months

Emory University Goizueta Business School

Atlanta, Georgia | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 38
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 184,552
  • Average salary increase: 119%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 150,659

  • Course duration: 2 years

Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania| United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 35
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 187,338
  • Average salary increase: 113%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 148,892

  • Course duration: 21 months

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Washington DC| United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 29
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 187,704
  • Average salary increase: 121%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 147,384

  • Course duration: 2 years

University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Ann Arbor, Michigan| United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 28
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 193,392
  • Average salary increase: 108%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 157,727 

  • Course duration: 2 years

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Durham, North Carolina | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 19
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 193,700
  • Average salary increase: 111%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 163,808

  • Course duration: 22 months

Cornell University Johnson School of Business

Ithaca, New York | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 27
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 193,896
  • Average salary increase: 112%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 162,417

  • Course duration: 2 years

University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Charlottesville, Virginia | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 23
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 197,560
  • Average salary increase: 114%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 157,437

  • Course duration: 2 years

Yale School of Management

New Haven, Connecticut | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 11
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 200,548
  • Average salary increase: 121%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 172,547

  • Course duration: 2 years

University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business

Berkeley, California | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 10
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 203,068
  • Average salary increase: 104%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 188,746

  • Course duration: 2 years

University of Southern California Marshall School of Business

Los Angeles, California | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 46
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 205,750
  • Average salary increase: 108%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 147,565 

  • Course duration: 2 years

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

Evanston, Illinois | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 14
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 211,220
  • Average salary increase: 99%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 170,830

  • Course duration: 2 years

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Chicago, Illinois| United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 7
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 217,644
  • Average salary increase: 126%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 185,861

  • Course duration: 21 months

UCLA Anderson School of Management

Los Angeles, California | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 26
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 220,115
  • Average salary increase: 108%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 162,985 

  • Course duration: 2 years

Harvard Business School

Boston, Massachusetts | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 2
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 221,480
  • Average salary increase: 112%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 205,486 

  • Course duration: 2 years

Columbia Business School

New York, New York| United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 9
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 228,618
  • Average salary increase: 114%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 184,099

  • Course duration: 20 months

University of Pennsylvania The Wharton School

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 4
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 229,792
  • Average salary increase: 114%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 197,267

  • Course duration: 20 months

Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

Hanover, New Hampshire| United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 15
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 230,080
  • Average salary increase: 114%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 173,636

  • Course duration: 2 years

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford, California| United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 1
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 231,834
  • Average salary increase: 129%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 228,074

  • Course duration: 2 years

New York University Stern School of Business

New York, New York| United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 25
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 233,022
  • Average salary increase: 117%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 156,485

  • Course duration: 2 years

MIT Sloan School of Management

Boston, Massachusetts | United States

  • FT global MBA programme rank: 8
  • Estimated cost of attendance: $ 237,636
  • Average salary increase: 107%

  • Weighted 3-year salary: $ 188,173

  • Course duration: 2 years

Calculate the 20 year returns from studying a Master’s degree.

Please enter a number between $ 20,000 and $ 225,000.
Please enter a number between $ 2,000 and $ 200,000.
Please enter a number between $ 2,000 and $ 250,000.
Please enter a number between 0% and 5%.
%

Total 20 year earnings

You would earn Help over 20 years if you did a Master’s degree.

Without a Master's degree

With a Master's degree

Need a loan to cover the cost of attending your dream school?

Once you figure out the ROI on your studies, it's time to find the finances to pay for it - and Prodigy Finance is ready to help with that. 

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Post updated for accuracy and freshness on January 13, 2020. Originally published on Dec 5, 2017.


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