MBA program more affordable for out-of-state students

Trevor Werner

The U.S. News and World Report has recently awarded Iowa State’s MBA program as being among the least expensive public B-schools for out-of-state tuition. Students in the MBA program at Iowa State pay about $21,000 per year while on average students nationwide pay $34,000 per year.

In a separate study, Iowa State’s MBA program was ranked No. 64 in the country among accredited universities as well as No. 3 in overall placement rate after graduation.

“It really shows our students get an outstanding value when you have a program which is this strong of quality and you aren’t paying as much in tuition,” said Michael Crum, Raisbeck Endowed dean for the College of Business. “Of the 10 least expensive universities for out of state students MBA programs, we were the highest ranked in quality … by quite a bit.”

He went on to describe how the College of Business tries to keep a “student-centric state of mind” and make sure the needs of students always come first.

Financial issues are becoming a major concern at Iowa State. President Steven Leath has listed financial issues as one of his major concerns during his presidency. 

The College of Business agrees with Leath, stating they look for every opportunity to reduce costs to students.

“We in the College of Business try to be efficient in everything we do; we are a very lean college,” Crum said. “When we spend money we try to put it where it will have the greatest impact on students and their learning.”

Tuition costs have always been a priority for the College of Business.

“We utilize that money to hire more faculty and to provide a lot of other students support at the undergraduate level,” Crum said. “Our communications center and Gerdine Leadership Programs are good examples of that, at the graduate level we have professional development courses that the students have to take above and beyond the content courses, where we bring in experts on a variety of topics and skills.”

The College of Business also made the choice to use differential tuition about four years ago to help with funding programs for the college. Differential tuition is a fee a college charges which is above and beyond the regular or base tuition rate. Students in the college of business will only be charged differential tuition if they are in the professional business program with 60 or more credits. Students pay $821 extra per semester once they pass the 60 credit mark, which is generally during the junior and senior years.

“The money we have collected from the differential tuition from our students we plow right back into the program we generate it from,” Crum said. “So we don’t use differential tuition revenue from our MBA students and apply it to our undergraduate program and vice-versa.”

This is not the only place differential tuition is used. According to the College of Business website, “Iowa State’s College of Engineering charges its juniors and seniors differential tuition, as do certain majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Design.”

Crum went on to explain how the money they receive from tuition and other revenue sources to improve a student’s experience and education.

“My predecessor, [Labh] Hira, did an outstanding job of bringing in private funds to help support our efforts,” Crum said. “Not only are we utilizing money received from tuition and state appropriations, but also the support we get from companies, alumni and other friends of the college have been really helpful in helping to keep the costs down for the students.”