There is never a “perfect” time to  earn your  MBA, especially when you are considering a part-time MBA program. In addition to motivating yourself for the GMAT, financing your MBA can be a concern for many prospective students. Dropping $60,000 is not a casual transaction, and you want to know what you are getting yourself into and that the investment is a smart one. This article aims to address the return on investment (ROI) and several financing options for your MBA, specifically for the Professional MBA and Online MBA programs at the University of Utah.

Return on Investment

On average, about half of students in the Professional MBA and Online programs receive a promotion or increased responsibility while still in the program, with salary increases hovering around 30%. While numbers fluctuate from student to student, we have seen some students’ salaries increase even more than that. Additionally, many of our students  transition into positions and industries that are of greater interest to them. This results in not only higher-paying work, but also greater job satisfaction.

Included in the program tuition is access to one-on-one coaching with our Career Advancement coaches. They will help you navigate your job search, negotiate salaries, develop a personal brand, market yourself to your target industry, and set both long-term and short-term goals to help you achieve your career objectives. This access begins when you start the program and continues for up to a year after graduation.

An MBA is a lifelong investment, and our alumni routinely report that earning their MBA set them up for long-term success and growth. With a solid business foundation through our core coursework, our MBA students are prepared for the next step in their management progression. A class of 2013  alumnus, for example, now makes over three times his original salary and manages his company’s global efforts in China, all within four years of graduating. While his story is an outlier, it is a glimpse at the potential for future business success an MBA brings.

Financing the MBA

While not everyone is fortunate enough to receive tuition assistance from their employers, there are a few other ways to approach financing your MBA. Need/merit-based scholarships are available based on the overall applicant profile, prior academic achievement and a competitive GMAT score (past recipients averaged a 650 on the GMAT). These scholarships may cover up to 10% of the tuition costs.

Scholarship opportunities outside the MBA programs are available through different programs on campus, such as the Lassonde Institute and the University of Utah Alumni Association, as well as through third-party scholarship organizations. Since these scholarships are outside the MBA programs, they are subject to the respective organization’s discretion.

If you follow the recommended curriculum schedule, you will be classified as a full-time graduate student, and therefore eligible to file the  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may begin the process and fill out the application before you are admitted into the program, but note that your financial aid application will not be processed until after they receive the program’s recommendation to admit you into the university.

Flexibility of the Professional and Online MBA

Another factor that can help ease the burden of tuition is the flexibility of the Professional and Online MBA programs. Both programs are designed to be finished in two years, but students can stretch the programs to four years, unlike the Full-Time and Executive programs. Not only does this allow for busy seasons at work or unexpected life events, it can also help in regards to tuition. Since tuition is paid each semester and is based on credits, a lighter class load means a lighter tuition bill.

We understand that pursuing an MBA is not only a big step for you regarding the future of your career, but also a big step financially. The up-front costs may seem challenging, but we are confident that we will provide the resources for you to make it worth it in the long term.

Think the Professional MBA or Online MBA is what you are looking for in the next stage of your life? Learn more at the Professional MBA or MBA Online websites, give our offices a call at 801-581-6836 (PMBA) or 801-587-8870 (MBAO), or email us at or and begin investing in yourself today.

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