The top 10 most expensive states to be an MBA student in the U.S.

BY Sydney LakeJune 17, 2022, 12:42 PM
Vermont State House with autumn color, as seen in October 2019. (Photo by John Greim—LightRocket/Getty Images)

The cost of college has more than doubled so far this century—with an average annual increase of 6.8%, according to research from the Education Data Initiative. Today, students enrolled at public four-year schools pay an average of about $35,000 in tuition, but those who attend private schools shell out more than $53,000 each year. 

“For too many, earning a degree or other credential after high school is unaffordable today,” President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign platform reads. “For others, their education saddles them with so much debt it prevents them from buying a home or saving for retirement, or their parents or grandparents take on some of the financial burden.”

Recently, there’s been a lot of debate surrounding the cost of higher education and student loan debt. While Biden campaigned on the promise of forgiving up to $10,000 per borrower, he hasn’t done so yet. Rather, he’s forgiven about $20 billion in student loan debt for targeted groups of borrowers—and more debt cancellations could be on the way in the near future. 

In the meantime, though, students continue to take out loans to pursue bachelor’s degrees and beyond. The U.S. is the most expensive country to be a student, with tuition alone at public schools at more than $11,000 per year and annual living expenses of $29,351, according to data from DealA, a promotional offers website.

“More students invest in college in order to attain [the] middle class,” Oleg Segal, founder of DealA, tells Fortune. “The more they enroll, the more the fees increase. Fees that go towards paying teachers, building amenities, dorms, delivering the higher education through highly educated faculty and staff requires high expenditure—more even so with the teacher shortage education is facing.”

Fortune took a look at DealA’s data and has compiled the average undergraduate tuition and living expenses for the 10 most expensive states to be an undergraduate student. We’ve also included tuition information for full-time MBA programs (as ranked by Fortune) in those states. Vermont clocks in as the most expensive state to be a college student based on tuition, fees, and accommodation expenses for undergraduate students, followed by Massachusetts, which is home to many top-ranked business schools.

“The cost of operating support for higher education has been cut significantly by several state governments, which led colleges to increase tuition fees as a substitute,” Segal adds. “Eighty-percent of American students attend public colleges—and therefore, budgetary decisions taken by state governments are key determinants of tuition costs.”

Fortune, using its MBA ranking data, has compiled a list of the MBA programs in the most expensive states to be a student, as deemed by DealA. The data below lists tuition figures for two-year, full-time MBA programs in the most expensive states to be a student.

Vermont, the most expensive state to be a student, does not have a top-ranked business school, so therefore is not listed. Rhode Island also does not have a top MBA program.

Note that the data about full-time MBA programs includes only tuition—not other related expenses including fees, living expenses, and materials.


Harvard University (Fortune rank No. 1) 

Yearly tuition: $73,440

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) (Fortune rank No. 8)

Yearly tuition: $80,400

Boston University (Fortune rank No. 34)

Yearly tuition: $61,050

Babson College (Fortune rank No. 45)

Yearly tuition: $71,564 

University of Massachusetts–Amherst (Isenberg) (Fortune rank No. 46)

Total tuition: $34,225


Yale University (Fortune rank No. 9)

Yearly tuition: $79,000

New Hampshire

Dartmouth University (Fortune rank No. 10)

Yearly tuition: $77,520

New York

Columbia University (Fortune rank No. 6)

Yearly tuition: $77,376

New York University (Fortune rank No. 7) 

Yearly tuition: $78,700

Cornell University (Fortune rank No. 12)

Yearly tuition: $76,690

Fordham University (Fortune rank No. 38)

Total tuition: $104,780

Clarkson University (Fortune rank No. 57)

Tuition per credit hour: $1,533

Hofstra University (Fortune rank No. 62)

Tuition per credit hour: $1,605

Syracuse University (Fortune rank No. 65)

Yearly tuition: $32,436


University of Oregon (Lundquist) (Fortune rank No. 59)

Yearly tuition: $30,492


Stanford University (Fortune rank No. 2)

Yearly tuition: $76,950

University of California–Berkeley (Haas)  (Fortune rank No. 13)

Yearly tuition: $65,360-$71,817

University of California—Davis (Fortune rank No. 27)

Total program tuition: $102,600

University of California–Irvine (Merage) (Fortune rank No. 43)

Yearly tuition: $11,442

Pepperdine University (Graziadio) (Fortune rank No. 48)

Tuition per term: $27,315

University of San Diego (Fortune rank No. 50)

Total tuition: $68,860


University of Maryland–College Park (Smith) (Fortune rank No. 26)

Tuition per credit: $1,708-$2,098

Morgan State University (Graves) (Fortune rank No. 68)

Tuition per credit: $455-$894


University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) (Fortune rank No. 3)

Yearly tuition: $84,874

Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) (Fortune rank No. 15)

Yearly tuition: $72,800

University of Pittsburgh (Katz) (Fortune rank No. 39) 

Yearly tuition: $31,280-$53,000

See how the schools you’re considering landed in Fortune’s rankings of the best master’s in psychology programs, public health programsbusiness analytics programsdata science programs, and part-timeexecutive, full-time, and online MBA programs.