Friday, March 11, 2011

The Cost Of An Executive MBA Program

$172,000: The Cost Of An Executive MBA Program At Wharton

MBA programs have never been cheap. And as the demand for these courses grows, so too, do the course fees. In fact, if the staggering fees for two-year full-time MBAs astonished you, have a look at the tuition fees being charged by part-time executive MBA programs. The most expensive executive MBA course is currently the one being offered by Wharton in downtown Francisco. The 24-month part-time course costs a whopping $172,000.

Break that figure down and you will find that students are spending about $250 an hour for the course. The per hour figures for full-time MBAs at the same institution is a good $100 less. Some more number crunching and you realise that per hour-long class, Wharton is pocketing some $12,300.

This is not even a stray case. Coming in second on the list of ‘most expensive executive MBA programs’ is Wharton’s Philadelphia campus. Here, students have to shell out $162,300 for the entire course. Compare that with the $108,000 that full-time MBA students pay at the same campus. Thus, some 400 students are contributing $35 million as annual revenue for Wharton’s Executive MBA programs.

The reason for the crushing fees is largely related to Wharton’s brand image. As with other luxury brands, Wharton’s reputation helps justify the high fees. Michael Desiderio, executive director of the Executive MBA Council, calculates that an executive MBA program should cost an average of $65,555. However, Anjani Jain, the vice dean for Wharton’s MBA Program for Executives, claims that what pushes the cost up is that the institute offers a premium learning experience that includes boarding, lodging and some of the world’s best business faculty. Part of the story is also that employed executives are less troubled by the high costs.

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