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How Much a Harvard MBA Costs — And How to Pay for It

If you’re wondering how much a Harvard MBA costs — and what options are available to fund your degree — read on to learn more.

Harvard Business School is prestigious for a reason, and a Harvard MBA is priced accordingly. While an MBA from Harvard can be a major career booster, you’ll be on the hook for significant tuition costs in exchange for the opportunity.

If you’re wondering how much a Harvard MBA actually costs — and what options are available to fund your degree — read on to learn more.

How Much Does an MBA from Harvard Business School Cost?

The total cost of a Harvard MBA is $112,764, which includes tuition, room and board, health insurance, fees, and other living expenses. Unlike other schools, Harvard offers only a full-time MBA program, which takes two years to complete. 

Here’s how the costs break down:



Married with one child

Married with two children

MBA tuition 





Student health fee





Student health insurance plan





Student health plan for spouses/dependents





Course and program materials fee





Rent and utilities

$1,650 per month (for a two-bedroom apartment with roommate)

$2,569 per month (for a one-bedroom apartment)

$3,300 per month (for a two-bedroom apartment)

 $3,300 per month (for a two-bedroom apartment)

Living expenses 

$1,838 per month

$2,372 per month

$2,876 per month

$3,446 per month






The monthly rent figures may vary depending on where you choose to live. For example, if you find a house with multiple roommates, your costs may be considerably lower. On the other hand, if you choose to live alone in a luxury apartment, your costs may be much higher. If you have a spouse who can cover living expenses while you’re in school, your costs will also be much less.

Boston has a higher cost of living than most cities, so if you’re from a less expensive part of the country, you may be surprised at how much housing costs.

The expenses listed above do not include the costs associated with applying to Harvard Business School (HBS). Students interested in applying must take the GMAT, which is similar to the SAT or ACT. Taking the GMAT costs $250, but students may also pay for optional tutoring or prep courses, which can cost hundreds of dollars.

How MBA Students Pay for Harvard Business School

HBS students can receive various types of financial aid to pay for their MBA degree. Here are the most common kinds:

Student Loans

Student loans are one of the most popular ways for students to pay for their Harvard University MBA program. There are two types of student loans: federal and private. 

Harvard MBA students are eligible for two types of federal student loans: Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans, also known as Grad PLUS Loans. MBA students do not qualify for Parent PLUS Loans or Direct Subsidized Loans.

The annual limit for Direct Unsubsidized Loans is $20,500, and the aggregate limit for Direct Unsubsidized Loans is $138,500, including loans taken out for any undergraduate degrees. Once you hit the annual or aggregate limit, you will have to take out a Direct PLUS Loan, which has a higher interest rate than a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Students who do not qualify for federal loans, including international students, can take out private student loans to pay for an MBA degree program. Domestic students can also take out private student loans. Private loans may have higher interest rates than federal loans, and they will have fewer benefits, including income-driven repayment plans and longer forbearance periods.

Juno offers deals on private student loans for international students and MBA students. Juno makes lenders compete to offer you lower interest rates than you can get on your own. Join Juno for free today. 


Harvard provides several fellowships for MBA students, which are available here. The amount available for each fellowship varies. For example, the Forward Fellowship pays $15,000 per year, while the John H. McArthur Canadian Fellowship pays $10,000 per year.

Students can apply for these fellowships once they are accepted to HBS. Many of these fellowships are available only to students with demonstrated financial need.

Employer Tuition Assistance

Some companies will offer full or partial tuition assistance if you get an MBA. The amount of assistance you receive will depend on the employer and its policies.

For example, many companies will reimburse you for tuition and other expenses only if you maintain a certain GPA. You may also have to work for that employer for a certain amount of time after you graduate. If you leave before then, you may have to repay the reimbursed amount. 


Scholarships do not have to be paid back after graduation and are one of the best ways to pay for a degree. MBA students can apply for scholarships to cover the cost of attendance. Harvard has a brief list of scholarship resources that students can use.

Students can also look for scholarships through the following major sites:

Personal Savings

If you’ve already been working for several years, you may have some money saved that you can put toward tuition. For example, if you have money in a savings account, you can withdraw it to pay for tuition, living expenses and more. 

If you’ve contributed to a 401(k), you can take out a loan and use those funds to cover tuition. You must be a current employee to take out a 401(k) loan, but if you are fired or leave, you may have to repay the loan immediately or have it count as an early withdrawal. The repayment term for a 401(k) loan is usually five years or less. 

Zina Kumok

Written By

Zina Kumok

Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four and everything in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Conscious Coins.


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