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Before the MBA applications go in, students should ask themselves whether the investment is worth it.

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An MBA represents a big financial commitment, with tuition as high as $90,000 for domestic students and almost $100,000 for those from abroad. In addition to calculating forgone salary, tuition and fees against future earnings, here are 10 questions to ask before making the MBA decision:

1. Why do it? Ask the basic question: "Where do I want an MBA to take me?"

2. Placement rates: Where do graduates find jobs and how quickly after graduation? Check school websites for details.

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3. Length of study: With programs that run one year, two years, somewhere in-between (14 to 16 months) and part-time, how long do I want to be out of the work force?

4. Program focus: What subject orientation (finance, consulting, international), teaching method (lectures or case study) and internship options is a school known for?

5. Career plans: What coaching and other support does a school offer for personal growth?

6. Payback period: Will it take months or years to finance an MBA?

7. Scholarships: How extensive and how valuable are they?

8. Loans: What arrangements are possible through the school (in partnership with major banks) to offer no-interest (until graduation) or low-interest rates?

9. Networking: What is the access to classmates outside of lectures, industry leaders, internships and case competitions?

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10. Class size: Whether large, small or in-between – each has merit – which one best suits your learning style?

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