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Cost of INSEAD MBA August 15, 2006

Posted by InvisibleInk in MBA Financing / Loans, Scholarships.

Simply, higher than you think! Now that my accommodation for next year is sorted, I need to look into getting a loan and applying for scholarships. INSEAD MBA programme is not cheap. The tuition fees cost €45,000 and average living expenses are €22,500 (excluding campus exchange costs and deposits). According to one of my interviewers, five years ago the tuition fees were only €27,000. He said since then INSEAD realised that it is at par with the elite American MBA programmes and adjusted the fees accordingly. What a way to almost double the fees in five years! The fees are normally paid in three instalments. 10% within three weeks of being offered a place, 60% one month before the classes start, and 30% four months into the programme. So, I will have paid 70% of my fees in three months time, scary…

There are many hidden costs that INSEAD doesn’t talk about until you’re admitted. For instance, the optional pre-MBA classes cost an additional €1200. If you don’t already speak three languages at business level or above, you may need to take language tuition during your studies. This would cost you €495 per period (A period is two months in INSEAD). A supplementary module, outside of core classes and required number of electives, would cost you €2200. Moreover, you should budget a further €800 for books. If you have to hand back your laptop to work and buy yourself a new one, count that in as well. So in the end, we probably looking at almost €50,000. I know some other MBA programmes providing all of these extras at zero cost to their MBAs. They simply integrate it into their tuition fees. This makes it more manageable but clearly this is not INSEAD’s choice.

On the positive, the school has a good reputation, especially in Europe, and it helps when looking to get a loan. So far from my observations, HSBC International offers the most competitive MBA loan at base rate plus 2% (currently makes 5% APR). Depending on individual circumstances they can offer anything from €10,000 to €50,000 with payback period up to 10 years. There is no penalty for early settlement. If you are in the UK, don’t go for HSBC graduate loans (currently around 7.5% minimum and more limited in many ways), make sure to contact HSBC International. There is also decent number of scholarships available to INSEAD students. I counted 45 when I last checked. They range between €3,000 and €15,000, a couple of higher ones at around €22,500 mark. Although, each one of them is targeted to different nationalities and some are gender specific. For instance, I am eligible to apply to nine of them, however we have been strongly advised not to apply to more than five and students are only allowed to get up to two scholarships. Currently, 20% of the students are financing their fees through scholarships. I heard that INSEAD is actively looking to increase its scholarships so there may be even more funding available in the future.