An MBA is a valuable qualification that can help you to advance your career and secure a range of well-paid positions across many sectors. However, not everyone can afford an expensive MBA program or don’t want to get themselves into mountains of student debt in the process.
Maximize the return on your investment by choosing one of the various affordable online MBA programs with a wide range of concentrations on offer, from marketing to healthcare management and aerospace logistics to women in leadership.
We’ve picked out the best among the most affordable MBA programs available today, which are not only reputed for the quality of their teaching and curriculum, but also for their lower tuition and costs.
We also prioritized colleges recognized for the best online programs that have a short duration, allowing you to complete them in record time. The tuition amounts listed here reflect those published on the universities’ official websites.
Which of these cheap online MBA programs is right for you?
Read on to learn the costs, duration, and acceptance rates.
Georgia Southwestern State University has been ranking high among the schools offering the most affordable online MBA degrees for the past few years. This is one of the cheapest online MBA programs and is available to students anywhere in the world.
Courses include: Managerial economics, international business, and strategic management.
WGU is acclaimed for offering affordable education: each bachelor’s credit costs just 57% of the national average, according to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. This very affordable, 100% online MBA gives you the option to finish the program in just 12 months, or even less if you prefer.
Courses include: Managing organizations & leading people, global economics for managers, and data-driven decision making.
The University of Central Arkansas is a public university that offers a range of flexible online programs with the same faculty, content, and qualifications as their on-campus counterparts. This is one of the most affordable MBA online programs that offer the choice of three concentrations: healthcare administration, information management, and finance.
Courses include: Operations management, advanced accounting theory, and business intelligence.
The University of Texas Permian Basin is a public university that offers a range of affordable and flexible online programs with six start dates every year. This affordable online MBA program has the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students, allowing students to get the degree at the same cost no matter where they live.
Courses include: Accounting analysis, production & operation management, and financial management.
Cameron University is a public university with many flexible, fully online programs that are especially geared towards working professionals. This is not only one of the cheapest MBA programs around, but it’s also very comprehensive, allowing students from any discipline to pursue the program.
Courses include: Applied business strategy, management information systems, and contemporary marketing problems.
Missouri State University is a public university and a strong supporter of online education, with around half of its students studying online. Besides being one of the most affordable online MBAs, this program also has the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.
FHSU is a reputed public university that the US News & World Report named one of the best online colleges and offers affordable programs. This is one of the most affordable MBA programs offered online and welcomes students from all occupational and educational backgrounds.
Courses include: Advanced managerial accounting, advanced corporate finance, and organizational behavior in a global context.
The John Massey School of Business is renowned for its flexible programs specializing in business and aviation. The school offers one of the most affordable online MBA programs, with 15 concentrations, including data analytics, aerospace logistics, and women in leadership, along with the usual tracks.
Courses include: Behavioral management, women in leadership, and logistical strategies in aerospace administration.
Northeastern State University is a public institution and one of the country’s most affordable colleges. Therefore, it’s not a surprise this program is one of the lowest-cost MBA online programs available today. Through the program, students gain practically-oriented knowledge and skills that will help them to excel in the workplace.
Courses include: Analysis for decision making, managerial accounting, and marketing strategy.
Lamar University is a public university whose namesake, Mirabeau Lamar, is credited with founding public education in Texas. The institution offers a wide range of 100% flexible online programs with similar curricula to their on-campus programs. This affordable online MBA allows you to tailor the program to meet your career objectives with various in-demand concentrations.
Courses include: Managerial decision making, international business, and ERP overview.
An MBA is a valuable qualification for a range of career paths, not only within the spheres of business and entrepreneurship but also across a wide range of fields. The skills and knowledge you gain while studying this kind of course, including analytical, communication, and negotiation skills, are widely applied. So this qualification is valued by all kinds of employers.
However, while an MBA is likely to deliver an excellent return on your investment, not everyone can afford highly expensive programs. Especially if you already have high levels of student debt from your undergraduate studies, an affordable MBA can help you earn your degree without a hit to your finances. An online program allows you to study remotely while continuing in your current job, which is even more helpful financially.
Financial Aid Options for Online MBA Programs
Most online MBA programs offer financial aid options, ranging from scholarships and grants, based on either financial need or academic merit. Additionally, federal aid, loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), and veteran benefits are available to online students studying accredited programs.
The Cost of Online MBA Programs
The cost of an online MBA program can vary widely based on many factors. Generally speaking, programs offered by private institutions cost more than public colleges. Additionally, many public schools offer greatly reduced tuition for in-state students. Fortunately, many universities offer high-quality online MBA programs with specializations of your choice at very affordable tuition rates, from as little as $9,210 for an entire 30-credit program.
How to Save Even More Money on Your Affordable MBA
Even after choosing an affordable, low-cost online MBA, you can save even more by applying for scholarships. You could be eligible for various scholarships, grants, and loans, and securing such financial aid can further reduce the costs related to your education.
You can also reduce your costs through creative alternatives to investing in educational supplies, such as using rented or digital study materials instead of buying new textbooks. Choosing a non-technically oriented program also usually involves lower costs.
Many universities offer affordable online MBA programs for students. The programs listed above are some of the cheapest available in the country for accredited, well-recognized programs in the country.
Is an Online MBA Less Valuable?
These days, online programs are generally as valued as their on-campus counterparts. The main criteria are the institution’s reputation and the program’s accreditations.
Is an Online MBA Expensive?
The tuition and other expenses for online MBA programs vary widely depending on the university. This can be very expensive or much more affordable: you can study an online MBA for just $257 per credit and complete a 30-credit program for a total tuition of $9,210.
What Are the Admission Requirements for Affordable MBA Online Programs?
To apply to many affordable MBA online program admissions, you may need to have:
A bachelor’s degree, usually including business-oriented subjects
Two or three recommendation letters
A personal statement
Not all online MBA programs require all of these elements, and they may ask for different criteria as part of the application process. Therefore, it’s important to check with the admissions office about all the programs you’re interested in applying to, well before the deadline.
How Does Accreditation Affect Affordability?
Generally speaking, programs with more and higher-quality accreditations tend to be more expensive. However, accreditations make any higher-education program valuable and well-regarded by future employers, and this is particularly true when it comes to an MBA. Furthermore, a range of affordable programs with valuable accreditations, like the ones listed above, offer an excellent balance of value and affordability.
You may think that a cheap online MBA means low quality, but it is not necessarily true regarding an MBA program. Well-known universities offer many high-quality online MBAs. Having said that, it’s always important to do your research and be prudent when choosing any degree.
In particular, check the accreditations of the programs you’re considering. The best online MBAs will boast accreditations such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Lisa is a full-time writer specializing in career advice, further education, and personal development. She works from all over the world, and when not writing you'll find her hiking, practicing yoga, or enjoying a glass of Malbec.