The Art of Saving Money During Your Mba

Your MBA begins even before you sit in your first lecture. It is important to start thinking like an MBA graduate from the day you decide to pursue an MBA.

Always think of the bottomline, the net profit. And to profit from your MBA, your return on investment should be positive over the short as well as the long term.

While the benefits will start accruing during and after the MBA, you can atleast consciously look to reduce your costs throughout the MBA journey.

These are some of the unfamiliar but quick ways of saving money:

#1 GMAT Fee Waiver

The cost of taking the GMAT test is $250. GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council), the owner and administrator of GMAT, offers GMAT fee waivers to Business Schools.

Business Schools can request GMAC for upto 10 fee waivers within a 12-month period, which are sent to the School in the form of fee waiver codes via secure email.

Before taking the GMAT test for the first time or even before retaking it to improve your score, you can ask your target Business School to provide you the GMAT fee waiver.

#2 GMAT Score Reporting

Business Schools can process your admission with a copy of your GMAT Test taker’s Report. But, if you are selected, they cannot confirm your selection with the Official Score Report from GMAC.

The cost of GMAT includes up to 5 Official Score Reports, which are sent within 20 calendar days of your test to 5 of your chosen Business Schools at no cost.

Before taking the GMAT test, decide on the top 5 Business Schools you would like to apply to. Otherwise, the cost of the Official Score Report for any additional Business School is $28.

#3 Application Fee Waiver

The application fee for most Business Schools might range from $50 to $100. Even if you apply to 5 Business Schools, you would end up at least $250 lighter.

If you pay the application fee and eventually don’t get an admission offer from the Business School, it is not a favorable outcome.

Before applying, you can request the Business School for an application fee waiver along with your reason. Many Business Schools have a provision for waivers which applicants are unaware of.

#4 Tuition Fee Waiver

The tuition fee of most MBA programs ranges from $40,000 to $60,000 per year. This is the biggest investment you would be making.

It is a no-brainer, but worth reiterating that don’t apply to Business Schools which do not provide substantial tuition fee waiver in the form of scholarships, grants, or zero interest loans.

In addition, find out if the Business School provides Research/Teaching Assistantship so that you can cover a part of your living costs by working at the Business School itself.

#5 Used Books

Many units/subjects in the MBA have one or more text books for mandatory reading and several other books for optional reading.

The cost of each book might range from $50 to $150. Even if you buy a minimum of 10 books, you have to shell out at least $500.

A smarter way to reduce this cost is to opt for e-books (if you prefer reading on screen), borrow those books from the previous cohort, or simply buy second-hand version of the books.

Last Updated: 14 May 2017

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