Understanding the cost of studying MBA at Harvard is not as straightforward as one would think. Sure, the simple answer would be a bit shy of $150,000 in terms of tuition fee; but, there are multiple factors to consider which may raise or lower this amount.

Unlike many other top B-schools, Harvard has not raised its annual tuition fee since 2018. But, there are many other costs that fluctuate from time to time, making the total cost different for each year. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of the costs of studying MBA at Harvard.

Basic cost of Harvard MBA

Costs  Approx Amount (1 year) Approx Amount (2 years)
Tuition $73,440 $146,880
Health Insurance $3,922 $7,844
Course Fees $2,550 $5,100
Room & Utilities $14,130 $28,260
Board & Other $16,570 $33,140
Total $111,818 $223,636

While these are the indeed the costs that you will be required to pay for studying at Harvard, there are added costs if you are married. The amount increases further if you are married with children, and the number of children matter as well. This is primarily because it is a residential program, and the various costs will also include your spouse and children.

Take a look at this table to understand how these costs increase depending on your marital status:

Costs – 2 years Married Married With One Child Married With Two Children
Tuition $146,880 $146,880 $146,880
Health Insurance $7,844 $7,844 $7,844
Course Fees $5,100 $5,100 $5,100
Room & Utilities $44,100 $56,700 $56,700
Board & Other $41,780 $51,780 $61,780
HUSHP For Student Spouses/Dependents $16,236 $24,864 $29,200
Total $264,352 $295,580 $309,916

How to meet the Harvard MBA costs?

As an applicant from India these costs may seem enormous at a glance. But, that is far from reality! If someone possesses the necessary merit to be a part of the Harvard MBA program but is unable to afford it, then Harvard will fund their education. More than 50% of students receive some sort of need based scholarship every year, and one in every 5 students is able to get a complete scholarship! Harvard does not provide any direct merit-based scholarships.

Harvard’s need based scholarships are also available to international applicants, and the common range of aid provided is between $30 – $50 thousand per year! If you have been selected for the Harvard MBA program, you should always try to get some of your tuition fee covered by the need-based scholarships.

Truth be told, most Indian students applying to Harvard for MBA depend on a scholarship to cover at least a substantial part of their tuition fee. Here is a look at the ideal breakup of how expenses at Harvard are to be managed:

Source: Harvard website

If you have a good GMAT score (above 740) and fit the criteria for a need-based scholarship, then you should be able to get at-least a partial amount of your tuition fee covered by the scholarship amount. Feel free to visit the Harvard website to read more about their scholarships and when you can apply. If possible, talk to someone who has already received the scholarship or a consultant and you will have a better sense of how it works and also how it is possible to get a full Harvard scholarship for Indian applicants.

Harvard provided more scholarships, $34 million, for MBA students last year than any other business school! It’s important to understand that the baseline for getting a Harvard scholarship is annual family income of $65,000. Beyond this, the more you earn the lesser scholarship aid you get. For a regular Indian student, this provides a great scenario and raises the chance of getting a Harvard scholarship.

You also need to add in your internship pay, which you will definitely receive as a Harvard MBA student. This is usually a median of $16,000 for two months of work. Add all of this together and the total amount may be near half of what the table above showed you!

The direct scholarship from Harvard is not the only aid you have to count on! There are plenty of other fellowships that you can apply for. Here is a quick look at some of them:

Scholarship Name Scholarship Amount Purpose
Boustany Foundation Scholarship for Harvard MBA $51,100 annually Help foreign students with tuition-fee
John C. Phelan Forward Scholarship $15,000 annually To help students from lower-income backgrounds, specifically those who help their parents or siblings
Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship $10,000 one time Help individuals who have served the public sector or NGOs
The Robert S. Kaplan Fellowship $10,000 annually To help students who possess exceptional intelligence

If you apply with enough time on your hands and manage to snag a need-based scholarship, as well as an external fellowship, you can bring down the total amount to even less than half of what the actual costs were! Applicants to the Harvard MBA program have been known to pay as low as $40K for their entirety of the two year program!

Is it worth it?

Absolutely! Even beyond an experience that will likely be the most memorable of your life, having an MBA from Harvard on your resume is golden. You’ll learn a ton, forge enduring friendships, get the job you really want, and almost always be thought of as the smartest person in the room throughout your career. Every return-on-investment analysis makes it a no-brainer.

So, choose the right paths, act as early as possible, and you too will be able to earn a prestigious MBA scholarship at Harvard!