ELITE MBA COST

stacked wooden dice with number 1, 2, 3

There is a deliberate useless intellectualizing of business, foisted on America by elite business schools. Using self-developed pseudo-scientific jargon, DBA eggheads manage to repackage the most glaring examples of common sense and the obvious in so much math and psychology mumbo jumbo that the uninitiated are actually fooled into thinking that something profound is going on! 

Four years ago, the total cost of a two-year, full-time MBA had a hard ceiling at $200,000. That ceiling was cracked the next year by New York University’s Stern School of Business, and by 2016, three more schools had joined NYU Stern in projecting costs greater than $200K for MBA tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses: Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Columbia Business School. Now there are nine schools over the $200K threshold, and more knocking on the door.

The Magnificent Seven need no introduction. Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Columbia Business School, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management are the cream of the business school crop. M7 is the Holy Grail of the MBA Kingdom. Every year, thousands of applicants will apply to the M7 schools, and most will fail to crack the code, because these schools are the most selective in the B-school landscape. Two years at any of the M7 schools will set a student back about $200,000, but there are many scholarships from alumni and employers. M7 attracts the most talented students and faculty, and certainly the most corporate recruiters offering the most sought-after jobs. M7 also boasts highly achieving alumni and valuable networks in nearly every walk of life. But other business schools, such as IMD, Insead, IESE, Cambridge Judge, Oxford Said, LSE, London Business School, and Webster Athens, provide a similar education at a small fraction of the cost.

 

Harvard Business School signaled its move into the $200K club last year and, indeed, joined four other schools atop the 2017 list: Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Meanwhile, five more schools cost $180,000 or more: UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Yale University’s School of Management, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. If you’re keeping score, that’s three public schools among the top 15 in the dubious distinction of costliest MBA programs. The average percentage increase at those top 15 schools between 2016 and 2017: just under 7%.

 

So what’s the very costliest? As it was last year, Stanford takes the prize, costing $225,594, though NYU Stern ($220,948) and Wharton ($218,900) aren’t far behind. And to paint a not-so-pretty picture of inflation, in 2014 a Stanford MBA cost $202,870.

Webster University’s master of business administration program is designed for people on a fast track to success. It’s the perfect answer for professionals who want to shape their own destiny, upgrade their credentials, and be strategic players in the world of business. Trump’s rhetoric is channeling international MBA applicants to European branches of American colleges. Webster Athens has an excellent MBA program. Webster Athens is dedicated to fostering a campus culture that embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion, and promotes international understanding and appreciation. Preparing students for effective, responsible and dynamic involvement in the modern societies in which they live and serve, and for excellence and leadership in their personal and professional lives. The campus is located in Athens, Greece – in the historic district of Plaka. Your Global Learning Experience begins in Webster Athens.

Stanford GSB is impressively transparent when it comes to breaking down the costs associated with its MBA, to say nothing of the accuracy of its estimates regarding living expenses in ultra-expensive California. The price tag to live in sunny Palo Alto for one year includes $68,868 for tuition, a $34,653 living allowance, $1,518 for books, a $1,155 materials and program fee, $1,005 for transportation, $4,968 for medical insurance, and a $630 health fee. But hold on. That’s the cost for a single person living on campus. Get married and your living allowance balloons by $15,000, to $49,920; move off campus and it jumps again, to $51,054. Likewise, transportation costs for a married off-campus student are four times that of a single on-campus student: $4,140. In total, a married off-campus student will pay an estimated $132,333 for one year in the Stanford MBA program, or $264,666 for their degree.

And about those living expense estimates: Stanford is not alone in projecting numbers that likely underestimate the true cost of living in a particular area. Most schools estimate expenses based on a “moderate lifestyle” that may or may not approximate reality. It’s common for a school’s estimated living costs to be between 10% and 20% lower than what MBAs actually end up spending. And there are wide disparities among the elite schools: Does anyone believe it costs less to live in New York City while attending Columbia Business School (official school estimate: $21,375 per year) than it does to live in Hanover, New Hampshire, while attending Dartmouth Tuck (an estimated $28,673)? Living expense estimates range from $34,653 for Stanford GSB students to spend a year in Silicon Valley to just $10,000 annually for students to live in South Bend, Indiana while attending Notre Dame University’s Mendoza College of Business.

But the biggest gap in estimated cost versus reality is the fact that schools don’t calculate lost salary. Take Stanford for example. Most of the MBA Class of 2018, about 20%, came from the investment management/venture capital field, where the average salary is about $90,000 per annum. That’s $180,000 someone won’t be making while they’re getting their degree. Add that to the $225,594 official estimated cost of the MBA and you have a new total cost figure of — gulp! — more than $405,000.

As the world is becoming multipolar and knowledge is set to disperse throughout the globe, embedding oneself in its changes and evolution remains essential. Academic rigor will stay competitive by integrating new teaching methods, program designs, research methods and learning processes. If a school can generate knowledge in multiple locations around the world and blend it to create new insights, it can be assured of fostering a globally-compatible and creative student body.

Whether your interest is management, marketing, or communication, you will be an active learner at Webster Athens.  The classrooms give many hands-on experiences in various cases, and the location in the capital of Greece provides plenty of internship opportunities. With a low student-to-faculty ratio and average class size, Webster Athens makes business education personal. Faculty get to know students on a first-name basis and are readily available to help students when needed. Webster Athens is dedicated to excellence in business teaching, incorporating a global business perspective throughout the curriculum. Every step of the way, students receive the attention and support they need to thrive in business.

Webster Athens offers a fantastic MBA program in a flexible structure which promotes academic depth and encourages business graduate students to explore diverse business interests. At Webster Athens, students have opportunities to build skills and competencies through study trips, conferences, and internships. On the campus, students study in a culturally diverse environment that will create a life-long international network.

Any way you slice it, getting an MBA costs a lot of scratch. The median price tag of the degree at a Top 25 school is $185,747, up big from about $171,000 last year, which itself was an increase from about $168,000 the year before.

Yet schools are not unaware of the financial hurdle they are asking students to jump; the cost can be, and often is, mitigated by scholarships, fellowships, or other assistance. At Stanford, the average yearly scholarship grant has hovered above $35,000 for the last few years; at Harvard Business School, scholarship support to MBA students hit an unprecedented $34 million in 2016, up from $32 million a year earlier. In 2016, UC-Berkeley spread $5.8 million in scholarship money to its relatively small class of about 250 MBAs.

Vasilis Botopoulos, Chancellor of Webster Athens, points out: As we look to the future one thing is certain – knowledge will be a key resource and will be highly sought-after around the world. Our challenge is to help to generate ideas that will benefit society, and to educate and train people to work in fields where they will be valued both for their specialized knowledge, and for their ability to communicate and solve problems. To meet these challenges we need to build on the alliances and collaborative partnerships the University has established with business, government, and other institutions. It is equally important that we keep close to our wider communities of interest. This will help to ensure the on-going relevance of our academic programs and the continued excellence of our teaching and learning.

And there’s also the fact that an MBA is a ticket to boosting income by leaps and bounds. The projected median base starting salary for recent MBA grads in the U.S. is $110,000, up from $105,000 in 2016 and an incredible 83% premium over recent bachelor’s-degree holders, who can expect to receive a median starting salary of $60,000 in 2017. Schools love to talk about ROI; some have numbers to back up their case. Stanford GSB boasts about the $140,553 average salary and the $136,000 median for the Class of 2016; UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, the costliest public-school MBA program in the U.S., promises a 137% increase in salary six to eight years after graduation.

Botopoulos notes: The greater vision of Webster Athens is to build an excellent educational experience embodying mind, body and spirit through a variety of innovative undergraduate and graduate programs. We offer a solid intellectual foundation as well as an extraordinary opportunity for personal growth and thorough understanding of the subject matter. This is learning with ethos, authenticity, cultural understanding, ecological conscience, and service to others.

Botopoulos says: At Webster Athens we cultivate and build the leaders of tomorrow.  It is our hope that our students and alumni, with ethos and philotimo, will inspire others to live their lives with dignity, integrity and compassion. I invite you to come visit our campus. If you seek learning in a way that is challenging, personal, and meaningful, we would love to have you as part of our community. For more information, please refer to www.webster.edu.gr

The ultimate benefit of internationalization for Webster University is to learn from the world, not just teach the world what Webster already knows in order to widen its global reach. Instilling a global learning mindset to their students will enable Webster to provide the globally competent talent that companies need. Since the turn of the century, many institutions have added international modules or programs to their curricula, importing faculty and students from elsewhere and exporting their students by offering them study abroad opportunities. Others have formed joint ventures or alliances whereby they export their curriculum to teach local students in distant geographies.

Some institutions have gone a step further than importers and exporters and extended their reach with a physical campus abroad. Business schools were early adopters of this model with the establishment of campuses in Asia and the Gulf countries, such as Carnegie Mellon University establishing a business school in Qatar, INSEAD in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, ESSEC in Singapore, and Webster University in Athens. The benefits of foreign campuses are numerous. First, an extra campus allows the school to attract high quality students who might not have applied to the home campus, and enrich diversity at the same time. Second, it enhances the school’s ability to hire high quality foreign faculty members who might wish to live in the region where the extra campus is located thus increasing the diversity and background of its faculty. Third, it increases the breadth of alumni and broadens the school’s network. Fourth, it improves the school’s visibility and gives it higher credibility as a global institution.

But these initiatives cannot be designed as independent add-ons to an institution’s home campus and core activities. Multi-location institutions must also internationalize their home campus by harmonizing diversity, admissions standards and student culture across their multiple sites. They should aim to create a seamless environment for students and faculty to interact and travel between campuses to maximize their global experience and learning.

The success of the multi-campus Webster University rests, among other things, on having an internationally recognized brand; seamless transfer of knowledge between campuses; local and foreign students meeting the same admissions standards; frequent travel of faculty and administrative staff across the campuses; and graduates who are able to find local and regional jobs that allow them to put into practice what they have learned.

There are different types of institutions with presences abroad. The multicampus institution is in essence an exporter of its home-grown programs. The multinational institution is a more structured student-exchange-led school. The transnational institution is an integrated collection of international campuses located around the world. In this configuration, students follow the same curriculum wherever they are, but are encouraged to spend time on the school’s different campuses, along with faculty and staff.

A truly global institution should go beyond these structures, free from a home campus bias and driven by a desire to learn from the world to create new knowledge. This is the metanational education institution. It should have at least three main campuses of roughly equal size, each in a major region of the world, that is, Europe, Asia and the Americas. To avoid assimilation traps, these campuses should be located in cosmopolitan cities and could have satellites in neighboring countries. In such a network, no campus should be perceived as inferior to the others. The network’s leadership must therefore foster a culture of cooperation among the sites and stimulate formal communication. The raison d’être of a metanational higher education institution is to generate knowledge in multiple locations with the objective of blending that knowledge to create new insights, and to instill a global learning mindset in its graduates. Webster University is a metanational higher education institution.

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