No specific statement can be made about expenses for MBA acquisition, as there are major differences by region and MBA program type (full-time or part-time). Broadly speaking, there are MBA programs in Japan with tuition prices ranging from 1.5 million to 6.5 million yen, while an average price for an overseas MBA is around 4.0 million yen (excluding living expenses). Websites providing MBA information give similar details, and the fact is that there are few differences between Asia and America regarding expenses for MBA acquisition. Below is a report from AACSB, an international accreditation organization of business schools that grant MBAs. The prerequisites to be included in the report are as follows:
- Tuition at business schools must have acquired international accreditation
- An educational program exists at the graduate school level
- Total expenses included are those required for degree acquisition
- Full-time MBA program (the individual must not have regular employment)
- Living expenses are not included
This graph clearly shows that MBA acquisition expenses are generally the same, with the exception of those in Europe. Moreover, regardless of region, MBA expenses are uniformly increasing. The reasons are clear for the high price of MBA acquisition in Europe: many countries in Europe forbid the charging of course fees for undergraduate education. A university thus has two sources of income: government subsidies and income obtained from unregulated general education (i.e., of the general public) or from company training. Hence, MBA fees are set relatively high.
It is also important to note the United States has a wide variety of business schools, and the amount shown here is an average. Top business schools are extremely costly.
With respect to the overall trends for increasing MBA acquisition fees regardless of region, this is proof that the return on investment matches the expenses of the investment in oneself for an MBA, as there are constant human resources needs for MBA management skills on a global level. Truly, one can see that in Japan, MBA acquisition expenses have risen by 10% over the last 10 years.
Finally, living expenses incurred during an MBA acquisition can be a major burden in European and North American countries. In places where prices are high, like London or Oslo, it is not rare for the 2-year living expenses to exceed 4.0 million yen. At the same time, one can expect to pay living expenses of at least 8.0 million yen in trendy cities in Western countries. Naturally, in major urban areas in Japan as well, food and accommodation for a 2-year period are likely to cost 4.0 million yen. Thus, in the case of the “full-time” MBA, the total expenses do not vary so much by region.