If pursuing an affordable online MBA is part of your business plan, this list may be a good starting point for your research. It includes 10 Affordable Online MBA programs recognized by U.S. News and World Report as having some of the lowest tuition costs per credit.
Check them out, or fill out our form to get matched with best online MBA programs that may be the ideal fit for you.
Top 10 Affordable Online MBA Programs
According to U.S. News and World Report, the top-ranked business school for 2019, Harvard University, charged $72,000 per year in tuition.i Fortunately, not every MBA program is quite so hard on the wallet - and we've listed those below! However, keep in mind that the 2017-18 tuition listed for the programs below may be subject to change, and additional costs and fees are not included.
Southeast Missouri State University is a comprehensive public university based in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In addition to undergraduate programs, they offer more than 75 graduate programs that serve over 1,000 graduate students.
The Donald L. Harrison College of Business at Southeast Missouri State University offers both a traditional and online MBA program. The online MBA is available in three concentrations: General Management, Sport Management, and Health Administration. And, the program is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), an honor held by fewer than 400 MBA programs around the world.
Tuition per credit*: $334ii
The University of Central Arkansas is a public comprehensive university with a reputation for excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. The university offers a diverse array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including 33 master’s programs. Though the main campus is located in Conway, Arkansas, UCA offers online learning.
The online MBA program features 21 hours of MBA core courses plus 9 hours of electives, with a focus on business knowledge areas like communication, problem solving, research, case studies, and project-based instruction. Several concentrations are offered: Finance, Health Care Administration (HCA), Information Management, and International Business.
Tuition per credit*: $325 ii
Western Illinois University is a public university serving students in Illinois and beyond. The university has been ranked as a “Best Midwestern College” by the Princeton Review and as a “Best Midwestern University” by U.S. News & World Report.
The College of Business & Technology at Western Illinois University offers an MBA program with three formats: on campus (Macomb and Quad Cities), online, or hybrid/blended. Concentrations that may be available to online learners include Management and Supply Chain Management. The program is accredited in both business and accounting by the AACSB International.
Tuition per credit*: $324ii
The University of the Cumberlands is a private, Christian college based in Williamsburg, Kentucky. In addition to traditional undergraduate and graduate degree programs, they offer a variety of accredited online programs designed to let students learn at a schedule and pace that fits their busy lives.
The University of the Cumberlands had been educating future business leaders for 120 years. Their Hutton School of Business offers an online, 30-credit MBA program that may be earned in as few as 18 months. Students study business, leadership and management techniques, managerial accounting, and more, while enjoying the flexibility of distance learning.
Tuition per credit*: $315 ii
Oklahoma State University is a public land-grant university founded in 1890. They offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs that serve over 35,000 students. In addition to five campus locations, OSU’s OCampus offers flexible online learning.
The Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University is home to an online, part-time MBA program designed for busy professionals. The 42-credit program emphasizes teamwork just like a traditional MBA, facilitating collaboration in preparation for the business world.
Tuition per credit*: $308 ii
Sam Houston State University is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in Texas, with over 137 years of history. This doctoral-level research university serves both undergraduate and graduate students and is particularly well-known for its online degree programs.
SHU offers a 36-credit online MBA program that features 27 hours of core courses and 9 hours of electives. The program is designed to integrate multiple disciplines to help students prepare for diverse business challenges. Fall, spring, and summer starts may be available.
Tuition per credit*: $300 ii
Wichita State University is a public research university serving Kansas and beyond. The university has a main campus in Wichita, Kansas, multiple satellite campuses, and the potential option of online learning. They are committed to fostering creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and student success.
The Barton School of Business at Wichita State University offers an online MBA program designed for busy adults. The degree may be earned in 36 to 51 credit hours, depending on your undergraduate background. Choose from the general MBA track or a concentration in Marketing.
Tuition per credit*: $294 ii
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive university system with four physical campuses, along with online learning. MSU serves over 26,000 students, most of them at the Springfield, Missouri campus. The university is home to 100 graduate program options, 16 of which can be earned entirely online.
The Master of Business Administration program at Missouri State is offered 100% online – perfect for working professionals. The MBA program also offers the same tuition to both in-state and out-of-state students, potentially making the program a great choice even if you don’t live in Missouri. Earning the degree requires 33 credits, after foundational course requirements are met.
Tuition per credit*: $285 ii
Part of the University of Texas System, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin is based in Odessa, Texas. They offer 35 undergraduate and 18 graduate programs of study, which serve more than 7,000 students. UTPB takes pride in aiming to provide an affordable path to higher education.
The College of Business at UTPB is home to a 30-36 credit online MBA program that may be earned in as few as 12 months. Pursue a general MBA, or else choose a Finance or Accounting concentration, which requires some additional coursework.
Tuition per credit*: $224 ii
Fitchburg State University is a public university based in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Founded in 1894, the university has expanded to serve about 7,000 students in more than 30 undergraduate programs and 22 master's degree programs. Fitchburg State also offers 100% online programs.
The Master of Business Administration in Management online program at Fitchburg State University requires 30 credits and may be earned in as few as 12 months. Tuition costs are the same for both in-state or out-of-state students.
Tuition per credit: $417iii
*2017-18 part-time, out-of-state
How Much Does an Online MBA Cost?
That varies widely by program. When it comes to tallying the costs of earning your MBA online, consider these and other potential expenses:
- Technology expenses, e.g. your internet bill or the cost of new equipment
- Application fee
The Missouri State University estimated that the cost of earning an MBA online was $10,890, per 2018 data, which included $9,405 in tuition as well as a graduate-level course fee of $1,485.iv However, this estimate was for planning purposes only and did not factor in all of the potential expenses listed above.
What’s More Cost Effective: Online MBA Programs or On-Campus MBA Programs?
Again, that depends. However, online learning may offer a few potential benefits when it comes to saving money. These include:
- Possible Tuition Savings. Some online MBA programs may offer the same tuition to all online students, whether they’re in state or out of state. Take the example of Missouri State University, from above. While pursuing MSU’s traditional MBA program cost an estimated total of $12,357 for in-state students and $21,300 for out-of-state students, MSU’s online MBA cost an estimated $10,890 to earn, regardless of where students lived. [iv] Not all MBAs offer tuition breaks to online learners, but you might find others that do.
- You Could Skip the Lost Income. Full-time students pursuing a traditional MBA may end up leaving their jobs to return to school. According to Investopedia, that can result in significant lost income, which should be factored into the cost analysis of a prospective MBA program. Online learning, on the other hand, is often designed for students who intend to keep working while pursuing their studies.
- Avoid the Expense of Relocating or Commuting. Moving across the country to pursue an MBA, or even commuting to a college or university that’s relatively close to home, can result in costs you might not incur if you opt to study 100% online.
Search Affordable Online MBA Programs
Want to learn more about online MBA programs that may be an ideal fit for your lifestyle and goals? Request more information about MBA courses from the schools above, or fill out our form to get matched!
[i] usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings | [ii] https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/slideshows/10-most-aff... | [iii] https://online.fitchburgstate.edu/programs/master-of-business-administra... | [iv] https://mba.missouristate.edu/estimated-costs.htm