B-School Chart of the Week: The Hidden Cost of Housing

Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. Each week, we bring you a chart to help you decide which of the schools’ strengths speak to you.

With so many factors to consider when contemplating which business school is right for you, housing may present a hidden cost that can be easily overlooked when you are comparing programs. The cost differential between renting in a Midwestern college town and renting near Greenwich Village in New York City, for example, can be significant—more than $50,000 on a cumulative basis across two years. So how do the different business schools fare on the issues of affordable housing?

We spoke with students and examined market prices at a variety of top programs and identified economical one-bedroom apartments (after all, the sky is the limit in New York) in locations that are either popular among students or close to campus. Our list is thus a representative approximation of the lower end of monthly rental costs that one might encounter when attending each program. We then calculated the cumulative price differential between the cheapest housing option (at Michigan Ross) and all others, across two-year programs. As you will see in our chart, the savings can be significant!


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