Getting an MBA is no small feat both financially and academically. It has never been, especially financially and with the high demand around the world for this cherished qualification, it has only gotten even more expensive. Aspiring business professionals are often very discouraged when they consider the cost of acquiring a business degree.

Thankfully, there are several things an MBA student can do to greatly reduce the cost that will be incurred during the duration of the program. Getting a business degree on a budget is very possible using some of the tips listed below.

Use Free or Recycled Textbooks.

Textbooks and educational materials can be very expensive especially MBA-related resources. Brand new books could cost upwards of hundreds of dollars. As they are mostly relevant to the study, they often cannot be substituted. A good way to save on study material is to take advantage of free materials online or buy recycled or second-hand textbooks. After graduating, most students do not feel the need to keep these books around so they sell them to others. There are several sites where these books are sold for a fraction of their original price. It’s a good way to save a lot of money.

Take Advantage of Online Business Courses.

Getting an MBA online is another financially prudent route to take. There are several online resources designed to prepare students for the MBA final exams. Many of these online institutions offer low-cost and certified credit score courses that can be transferred to partner colleges and universities. Platforms like Straighterline, provide hundreds of online business courses that are very affordable. The student can take relevant core courses up to a certain point before transferring credit to the college or university they will finally graduate from.

Save More, Spend Less.

Very basic and cliché advice but at no time will it ever become redundant. A student pursuing an MBA on a budget must understand that saving money every chance they get is imperative to running the program without incurring too many financial burdens. Saving money ensures that whenever there is an urgent, unavoidable need for the fund, they can easily tap into their piggy bank and take care of the problem. Not having savings is a formula for becoming stranded and helpless when money is most needed. Avoid spending money on unnecessary purchases. For the entire duration of the study, students on a budget must tighten their belts and close their eyes to things that would be considered unnecessary and even luxuries giving the current financial circumstances. Those funds should be channeled toward saving instead.

Eat Out Less and Learn to Cook.

This is another seemingly basic tip. It is however just as important as saving, if not more. Few people realize how much of their money is lost when they eat out. Financially stable folks can afford to do this now and then but an MBA student on a budget should avoid this as much as possible. Consistently eating out costs quite a lot when the numbers are added up. Cooking at home, however, makes up a fraction of the cost of eating out. It is cheaper to buy groceries and cook at home. Learning how to cook especially as a financially handicapped student is a surefire way of staying afloat for the duration of the study.

Learn To Budget.

Indiscriminate spending will greatly hamper the financial liberty of any person especially a financially struggling student. Conscious spending is important. An account of every dime that comes and where it goes is important to help keep track of spending. Budgeting also ensures that the necessary needs are taken care of over less important things.

Get Multiple Sources of Income.

Working as many jobs as possible without compromising one’s health or time to study is advised. It could be shifts taken at companies or online freelance work. Whatever brings in an added income is most welcome.

Take Advantage of Every Possible Scholarship and Fellowship

There are numerous scholarships and fellowships available to help MBA students in need of financial aid and assistant to pay for their program. Do proper research. Find these resources and take advantage of the opportunities they offer.


Getting an MBA on a budget is not only possible, it is a reality for many students all over the world. With meticulous financial and mental planning, patience and endurance, an MBA will be the prize at the end of the journey.