How much does the INSEAD MBA really cost?

With a list of famous alumni, high average salaries, and an international reputation for excellence, the INSEAD MBA is one of the most prestigious MBA programs in the world. But how much does the program actually cost? We spoke to Virginie Fougea, Global Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at INSEAD, to find out.

In short

Tuition costs for the INSEAD MBA

The tuition fees for the INSEAD MBA are €89,000 / $105,000. Although INSEAD has campuses in Fontainebleau (near Paris, France), Singapore, Abu Dhabi (for one period if attending the July classes), and San Francisco, you can only study the full-time MBA in Fontainebleau or Singapore. The tuition fees are the same no matter which campus you choose to study at. Virginie Fougea, Global Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at INSEAD, tells us what’s included – and not included – in the price:

“It includes health insurance, for example. It includes language tuition, because we have a language policy which requires our graduates to have a validated level in three different languages,” she explains. “If they want to travel between our two campuses – Fontainebleau and Singapore – this is not included in the cost. If they want to take part in a specific track or field trip, that will not be included.” (01:10)

Although tuition fees make up the majority of the cost of the INSEAD MBA, there are plenty of other things to take into account. In the next section, we’re going to take a look at how much you should set aside for living costs during the program.

INSEAD MBA living costs

The question of living costs at INSEAD is complicated by the fact it has multiple campuses across different continents. According to Virginie, there are slight differences in living costs between campuses.

“We’ve done a calculation with an average that gives people an idea of what to expect,” she says. “The average for the current class in Fontainebleau is €10,000 for the whole year and it’s €12,000, close to €13,000, in Singapore.” (06:05)

“So people need to budget an overall amount of €114,000 to be comfortable,” she advises. “That will include everything – the tuition fees, but also a car lease or field trips. That’s a reliable and safe budget which applies to both campuses.” (13:08)

However, if you’re planning to bring your partner or family with you when you do your MBA, it’s important to factor in the additional living costs.

“The average age at INSEAD is 29 and many people have come with partners and sometimes with children. That will obviously increase the cost [of accommodation]. We tell people to plan for a 30% increase in total expenses if they come with a family,” Virginie says. (05:19)

Financial assistance for INSEAD students

Given that the total cost of the INSEAD MBA is around €114,000 / $135,000, including living costs, the question of how to finance your MBA is a difficult one to answer for many students. INSEAD offers a range of financial assistance for its students, including loans. But before choosing a loan provider, Virginie explains why you should first think about your work destination post-MBA.

She says, “The other thing that people need to put into perspective is whether they have a loan [in Euro currency] and they will be earning a salary in [Euro], or if their salary will be in a different currency. Some of our loan providers lend in USD, but this is important to account for.” (12:22)

“We work with a number of loan providers,” she adds. “Some will be providing loans in USD, and that’s interesting if the person is going back to the USA post-INSEAD. That could be a clever source of funding.” (20:02)

The average salary of INSEAD MBA graduates

An MBA requires a big investment of both time and money, so graduates understandably expect big results from it. One of the ways you can measure the impact of an MBA on your career is the average post-graduation salary. Although INSEAD graduates boast some of the highest average salaries in the world, Virginie explains why you should approach the numbers with caution.

“The number we give is $103,000,” she tells us. “[It’s in USD] because post-MBA we speak in USD so that people can make the comparison. Bear in mind that this is an average or median salary that will need to be put into perspective depending on the sector and the country [post-INSEAD]. So I’m always very very careful with that number because it can seem low for some people but huge for others.” (23:04)

“It’s important to put things into perspective, and this is the reason why on our website we divide by country and by sector,“ she concludes. (24:26)

The INSEAD MBA – and any MBA, for that matter – is clearly a big investment. But if you’re considering applying, it’s important to look beyond the boost in salary that it may provide. The benefits you’ll gain from a program like this are far-reaching and will last a lifetime. 

As with any major decision in life, it’s all about risk and reward. Is it possible to find the funding for your MBA? Do the benefits outweigh the cost? Is this program what you need to take the next step in your career? If the answer to those questions is “yes,” maybe now is the time to hit the apply button.

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