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Betsy Kacizak

Additional Costs to Keep in Mind When Creating a Financial Plan for Business School

by Betsy Kacizak Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Many candidates focus on tuition, books and living expenses when they think of the cost to attend business school.  In reality, however, you really need to consider a lot more. When researching MBA Programs, be cognizant of the “total cost of attendance”, which can give you a more complete picture of the expenses you could incur. You can view information about the Wisconsin MBA’s Cost and Financial Assistance on our website.  Below you will find a few other items you will want to keep in mind as you think about the total cost of attending an MBA Program.

Health insurance.  If you were employed, you likely had this covered by your employer or paid a monthly premium for it.  As student, you will need to determine how you (and your family) will be covered.  This cost can range from $2,000 to $13,000 a year depending on the type of plan you may need.  The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers health insurance plans for students and families through University Health Services.

Moving expenses.  You may not be attending a program in the city you currently live in. If this is the case, you will want to factor moving expenses into your own “total cost”. Even if you plan on moving yourself, the costs can add up especially when factoring in security deposits for your apartment.  

Computer. Has your computer seen better days? If yes, you may need to buy a new laptop. While this is a one-time expense, you can still plan effectively for it.

Business Casual and Professional Attire. Do you have enough business casual or even casual clothes?  Do you need to buy a suit for interviews?  Are you prepared for colder temperatures? All things to think about.

Household Set Up Expenses.  You might be coming with a lot of items to set up your new home, but there may still be things you will want purchase.  If you are sharing an apartment with a classmate you may even need to put some items in storage. Additionally, are there set up fees for your internet or cable? Try to identify any potential set up costs ahead of time.

Travel. Do you plan to travel home for school breaks?  Do you plan to travel on weekends to visit new cities? Budgeting for travel expenses is very wise.  Think about what you may want or need to do while you are in school.

Global Course. As a Wisconsin MBA student you have the opportunity to take a global course that includes a travel component. This experience does carry an additional expense that will fluctuate depending on the country location. In general, we suggest you budget $2,500 to $3,000 for each global course experience. While optional, this is a priceless opportunity that many of our student enjoy. Make sure this is added to your budget so you can at least do it once. 

I hope this helps you plan for the additional expenses of business school, and really look at what it will take to maximize your experience in business school.