Completing an MBA can cost as much as buying a house, so deciding whether to pursue one is a choice that requires much deliberation.The ideal situation for most professionals is to have their company pay some, or all, of the cost of an MBA program. Many Fortune 100 corporations do just that. Tuition can run $40,000 a year, plus another $20,000 for boarding and books. Peripheral expenses like computers, supplies and required trips can double the cost. And most full-time MBA candidates must forego at least two years of salary, so a professional who earns $60,000 a year is out an extra $120,000 in opportunity cost. Plus, there’s always the chance they won’t find work upon graduation because of an economic downturn. MBA programs at public universities are usually less expensive than private schools, sometimes by up to half the amount. But a more prominent business school will likely charge an annual tuition that’s in the six figures. There are one-year MBA programs and online options that lower expenses and expedite the process. But it’s important to make sure those options are the right quality to open career doors upon graduation. Working and building up savings for a couple of years before enrolling in an MBA program is a good idea. And anyone with a family needs to consider the toll of taking intensive courses while working a job. It leaves very little time for loved ones or a social life.