Can I afford an MBA?

MBA fees in Australia range from $16,000 to in excess of $80,000. Study location, the type of provider, awards and prestige are the main drivers for this disparity.
There are a number of ways to fund your MBA. Scholarships, government loans, employer co-funding and recognition of your previous experience help fund or reduce MBA fees.

MBA Fees Reduction & Financing Options

Government FEE-HELP Loans

The most common way to fund your studies is to undertake a government loan. There are numerous restrictions are these loans, including a limit of $100,879 in 2017. No loan fee applies for postgraduate work, including the Masters of Business Administration.

You are eligible to apply for FEE-HELP if you:

  • are going to study at an approved provider
  • are enrolled in an eligible unit by the provider’s census date
  • haven’t exceeded the FEE-HELP limit

AND one of the below

  • are an Australian citizen
  • NZ Special Category Visa holder
  • permanent humanitarian visa holder
  • permanent visa holder undertaking bridging studies.

You need to confirm with your provider of choice that they offer FEE-HELP. Not all providers are approved.

More information about FEE-HELP eligibility can be found on the Study Assist FAQ page.

MBA Scholarships

A large portion of MBA universities and providers offer scholarships. Some scholarships completely cover your MBA fees.

Contact your shortlisted providers for more information about MBA scholarship eligibility.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL is defined by the Australian Qualifications Framework as a process “that involves assessment of an individuals’ relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal learning) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit”.
Your previous learning and workplace experience could reduce your MBA fees. You will need to submit some form of assessment, and there is no guarantee that you will succeed. Applying for RPL can cut down the time it takes to complete your MBA, while also reducing the overall costs.  It is not normally possible to RPL a complete Higher Education degree.
Many providers recognise your previous study and work experience and allow you to RPL a portion of your MBA.

This AQF fact sheet provides an in-depth explanation of RPL.

MBA Employer Co-funding

With the cost of getting your MBA rising every year, having the support of your employer is essential.
This support could be as simple as allowing you to take time off to study. Some employers go a step further and help fund your MBA.  Deloitte, Apple and Procter & Gamble all provide funding to offset MBA fees.
Typical restrictions on MBA funding includes company tenure, MBA fees and post-study expectations.
Speak to your manager or Human Resources team to see if a policy already exists. If no policy exists, building a business case may be enough to obtain employer funding. Covering things such as your motivation to study, the outcomes you will learn which in turn have both short and long-term benefit to the company.  The commitment required to study an MBA, both monetary and time, should also be included.

Payment Plans

Payment plans could also be available. Contact your potential MBA provider’s support/sales team to find out if they offer tuition installment plans.

Pay Per Unit

You may be able to study and pay-as-you-go. Enrolling in a single unit breaks up the total cost into smaller lumps.

Knowing whether you are eligible to study an MBA is the next step. Find out more about typical MBA study prerequisites.