How Expensive is Business School?

How Expensive is Business School?

Let’s get down to business when it comes to going to business school. If a career in the world of finance and business is something you’re interested in, you’ll need a degree (whether an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree) in a related field.


Most employers will require some sort of education to join their company—and an associate or bachelor’s degree in business administration is considered a starting point. Those already in the workforce often consider earning an MBA (Master’s in Business Administration) to help increase their skill set and knowledge. Plus, this degree often earns those who hold it a higher salary and job title.


Whether you’re getting started in the business world with an associate or bachelor’s degree or want to go back to school to hone your skills, the cost of your education is something that you’ll need to consider when you’re deciding to enroll in a degree program. There are plenty of factors to think about that will determine what you pay for a degree in business administration.


At the Imagine America Foundation, we have partnered with our enrolled colleges to help our students better understand the costs of going back to school.


Here are five factors that will impact what you pay for a degree in business administration.

Entry-Level Qualifications

If you’re looking for a way to get through school and on the job faster, an associate degree in business is a great way to learn about the field in a short amount of time. An associate degree can help you get an entry-level position at many companies and lay a great foundation for you in the business workforce.


On average, a two-year associate degree in business can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 per year. Taking the time to invest in an associate degree is also a great first step toward earning a more advanced degree in business later on.

The Bachelor Option

For those who are interested in spending a little more time in the classroom for a more advanced degree, a bachelor’s in business is a great option. Bachelor’s degrees are four-year programs aimed at teaching students a lot both in the classroom and through various hands-on experiences.


All schools charge different amounts per year for a business degree, and you can expect to pay anywhere from $9,000 to $30,000 a year in tuition and fees. For many employers, a bachelor’s degree is considered the minimum requirement in order to hold a job with their company. A bachelor’s degree can give you a great foundation to work in business, and you can also customize your degree by choosing a concentration in areas like marketing, management, logistics, accounting, and finance.

Become A Master

After a few years on the job, you may find yourself stuck in a rut. Whether it’s a job you’ve outgrown or the desire for a higher salary, increasing your education is a great next step. Earning an MBA is also a great résumé booster.


Like an associate or bachelor’s degree, costs for an MBA vary based upon the school you attend. Students should expect to spend up to $60,000 a year on average while working toward their degree.

Online or Traditional Colleges

When students go to school online instead of a traditional brick-and-mortar college, they can save a lot of money with living expenses. Since online schools don’t require students to live on or near campus, students can live where they want and save the cost of room and board, not to mention commuting and parking costs.


The average bachelor’s degree in business from an online college costs between $40,000 to $70,000 total. Both traditional and online schools have tuition, fees, and textbook costs associated with them—but online colleges usually charge higher fees, especially related to technology since their classes depend on it.

Get Help Paying for Your Degree

Many workplaces value education and like to see their employees continuing their educational journey—which is why some employers offer tuition reimbursement. This type of program rewards employees for increasing their knowledge and skill set by paying them back for some or all of the money they spent on school. Employers often have certain conditions, such as a specific GPA requirements or tenure minimums, in order to qualify.


Scholarships, like the ones offered by the Imagine America Foundation, are also a great resource when you’re interested in going back to school. Before you enroll and pay for college, speak with your employer and see if they offer any sort of assistance to help with your education.

Other Cost Factors

In addition to these considerations, it’s important to factor in the miscellaneous costs of business school. For example, textbooks, lab fees, and health insurance are cost you will need to cover while you are attending school. Every year, you should plan to spend somewhere from $1,000 to more than $3,000 on textbooks and supplies.


Health insurance is another important consideration: On average, health insurance can cost students between $1,000 and $4,000 each year. Application fees will also be charged when you’re applying to your choice schools.


As with any other degree from a traditional college, living expenses will be a major part of what you pay for your degree. These expenses vary greatly depending on where your school is located and what type of housing you’ll live in. To be safe, you should expect to spend between $10,000 and $20,000 a year on housing, meals, and other living expenses.

The business of a business degree may seem like a lot to take on when you’re at the beginning of your journey. The good news is that once you finish your degree, you can pursue lots of opportunities for developing your career path. Holding a degree in business is not only relevant to the world we live in today, but also a tool for future success.

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