How Much Do MBA Application Fees Cost?

Overview of MBA Application Fees

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An MBA application fee is the amount of money that individuals must pay to apply to an MBA program at a college, university, or business school. This fee is usually submitted with the MBA application, and in most cases, must be paid before the application is processed and reviewed by the school's admissions committee. MBA application fees can usually be paid with a credit card, debit card, or checking account.

The fee is typically non-refundable, which means that you will not get this money back, even if you withdraw your application or aren't admitted into the MBA program for another reason.

How Much Are MBA Application Fees?

MBA application fees are set by the school, which means that the fee can vary from school to school. Some of the country's top business schools, including Harvard and Stanford, make millions of dollars in application fees alone each year. Although the cost of an MBA application fee can vary from school to school, the fee does not typically exceed $300. But since you need to pay a fee for each application you submit, it could up to $1,200 total if you apply to four different schools. Keep in mind that this is a high estimate. Some schools have MBA application fees that range in price from $100 to $200. Still, you should overestimate how much you might need just to be sure you'll have enough to pay the required fees.

If you have money leftover, you could always apply it to your tuition, books, or other education fees.

Fee Waivers and Reduced Fees

Some schools are willing to waive their MBA application fee if you meet certain eligibility requirements. For example, the fee may be waived if you are an active-duty or honorably discharged member of the U.S. military.

Fees may also be waived if you are a member of an underrepresented minority.

If you do not qualify for a fee waiver, you may be able to get your MBA application fee reduced. Some schools offer fee reductions for students who are members of a particular organization, such as the Forte Foundation or Teach for America. Attending a school information session can also make you eligible for reduced fees.

The rules for fee waivers and reduced fees vary from school to school. You should check the school's website or contact the admissions office for more information about available fee waivers, fee reductions, and eligibility requirements.  

Other Costs Associated With MBA Applications

An MBA application fee is not the only cost associated with applying to an MBA program. Since most schools require submission of standardized test scores, you will also need to pay the fees associated with taking the required tests. For example, most business schools require applicants to submit GMAT scores.

The fee to take the GMAT is $250. Additional fees may apply as well if you reschedule the test or request additional score reports. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the organization that administers the GMAT, does not provide test fee waivers.

However, test vouchers for the exam are sometimes distributed through scholarship programs, fellowship programs, or non-profits foundations. For instance, the Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program sometimes provides GMAT fee assistance for selected program members.

Some business schools allow applicants to submit GRE scores in place of GMAT scores. The GRE is less expensive than the GMAT. The GRE fee is just over $200 (though students in China are required to pay more). Additional fees apply for late registration, test rescheduling, changing your test date, additional score reports, and scoring services.

Besides these costs, you will have to budget additional money for travel expenses if you plan on visiting the schools you are applying to - either for information sessions or MBA interviews.

Flights and hotel stays can be very expensive depending on the location of the school.