Most Affordable Online MBA Programs 2024
An online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degree can cost upwards of $10,000 per semester, but luckily that’s not always the case. Forty-one of the fifty-nine affordable online MBA programs on our list have base costs of less than $10,000 and cover concentrations from Finance to Agri-business to IT Management and more.
An MBA provides students with the knowledge, skill sets, and experience that make them desirable candidates for the most competitive of positions.
If you’re thinking of becoming an MBA student, you may want to look at online programs. Benefits include cheaper tuition, flexible scheduling, multiple start dates, a self-paced curriculum, mobility, and interactive learning tools. The schools on our list offer the cheapest online MBAs that can be completed from anywhere in the world.
American Public University offers one of the most unique, affordable online MBA programs with a focus on Homeland Security Resource Allocation. For those looking for multiple concentrations from which to choose, Fort Hays State University, Oklahoma State University, and Liberty University offer many options.
As the tuition fee and expenses change, we advise you to check with each university for actual costs. All listed costs are estimates based on the most recent information of tuition rate and fees from each school or the school's website.
Without further adieu, here are the most affordable online MBA programs for 2023.
Featured Online MBA ProgramsLearn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
EDsmart provides a simple, reliable, and honest ranking of the most affordable online MBA programs .
This ranking of the most affordable online MBA programs is based solely on net price.
A college’s net price gives a more accurate view of what students can expect to pay after receiving financial aid, compared to the college’s tuition or sticker price.
All data was gathered from the most recent National Center for Education Statistics database.
Cheapest Online MBA Programs 2024
#1 Georgia Southwestern State University School of Business Administration
Georgia Southwestern State University's online MBA program is accredited by AACSB-International. The the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. GSSU was ranked in the 2022 issue of U.S. News and World Report #101 in Regional Universities South, #95 in Top Performers on Social Mobility, and #48 in Top Public Schools. Georgia Southwestern State University educates students through a combination of expertise from world-class faculty and real-world experience within your communities. You'll learn the ethics, values, and multicultural influences that affect our market today. Admission into this program is competitive making it a more lucrative program to be accepted into and worthy of every MBA candidate to look into.
#2 Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State is a public university located in Hays, Kansas. Their MBA can be completed fully online. The online MBA is 33 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 12 months of full-time study. Courses are delivered in 8-week sessions asynchronously. The program has six start dates per year.
Concentrations are available in finance, human resource management, international business, and more. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree, 2.5 minimum GPA, resume, essay, and 2 letters of recommendation. GMAT/GRE is not required. The program is cohort-based and small class sizes allow for interactive learning. All students are assigned an advisor.
Students have access to online tutoring, library services, career services, and other academic resources. Fort Hays State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The MBA program is accredited by the ACBSP. Financial assistance and scholarships are available for qualifying students in the online MBA program.
#3 University of the Cumberlands
University of the Cumberlands is a private Baptist university located in Williamsburg, Kentucky. They offer an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with several concentration options. Concentrations include Accounting, Healthcare Management, Managerial Leadership, and more.
The online MBA can be completed in as little as 12 months with full-time enrollment. Typical pace is 2 years. Courses are delivered 100% online through asynchronous lessons. No campus visits are required. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, 2.5 minimum GPA, resume, essay, and professional recommendations. GMAT is not required.
Regionally accredited by the SACSCOC. The business programs have additional ACBSP accreditation. Students have access to online tutoring, library services, academic advising, and other student resources. Financial aid, scholarships, and military benefits are available for qualifying students in the online MBA program.
#4 Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Southeastern Oklahoma State University is a public university located in Durant, Oklahoma. They offer an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with two concentration options. Concentrations are available in Healthcare Management and American Indian Leadership.
The online MBA is 24 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 12 months with full-time enrollment. Courses use 8-week scheduling and are delivered fully online through asynchronous lessons. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree, 2.5 GPA, resume, essay, and letters of recommendation. GMAT is not required.
The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Students have access to online academic advising, library services, technical support, and other resources. Financial assistance, scholarships, and military benefits are available for qualifying students.
#5 Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico
It is offered through ENMU's College of Business Administration and accredited by the ACBSP. The program is fully online with no required campus visits. Courses are delivered asynchronously via the Blackboard learning platform. It consists of 30 credit hours of coursework. Students complete core business courses in areas like accounting, finance, management, and marketing.
Elective options allow customization with focuses available in areas like agriculture business, general business, and healthcare administration. Admission requirements include a 2.5 GPA, resume, and leadership essay. GMAT/GRE scores are not required. The program has six 8-week terms per year, so students can start in Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter sessions.
Full-time students can complete the degree in just 1 year. Part-time students usually finish in 2 years. ENMU also offers an online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration which counts 12 credits toward the full MBA degree.
#6 Northeastern State University
Northeastern State University is a public university located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. They offer an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with two concentration options. Concentrations are available in Business Analytics and Tribal Leadership.
The online MBA is 36 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 12-18 months with full-time study. Courses use 8-week scheduling and are delivered fully online through asynchronous lessons. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree, 2.75 GPA, resume, essay, and professional recommendations. GMAT is not required.
The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Online students get access to advising services, library resources, tutoring support, and more. Financial aid, scholarships, and military benefits are available for qualifying students in the online MBA program.
#7 Chadron State College
With values of accessibility, collaboration, diversity, innovation, integrity, and student engagement it's no wonder that Chadron State College is one of the best schools to earn an online MBA degree. Chadron State College holds a strong mission statement to, "continue as a learner-centered institution. We are committed to students through our focus on continuous improvement and excellence in teaching, applied scholarship, and service." No GMAT is required upon admission and degree length varies between 24 months and 18 months. While attending the program you'll take courses in managerial accounting, corporate finance, business strategy, marketing management, high-performance leadership, organizational behavior, and the legal/social environment of business. Feel confident continuing your career and becoming a stronger leader.
#8 Fitchburg State University Business Administration Department
Fitchburg State University ranks #85 in Regional Universities North, #38 in Best Value Schools, and #24 among Top Public Schools according to U.S. News and World Report. According to GradReports.com, 95% of student reviewers recommend this school, and 67% said their Fitchburg degree improved their career. Earning an MBA online from Fitchburg State University has never been easier and provides a freedom that other universities can't. This MBA degree offers 8 different concentrations a few being, accounting, healthcare management, human resources management, management, marketing, and supply chain management. This MBA program stands out for a multitude of reasons, one being that students can complete it in as little as 12 months, meaning you'll graduate and kick-start your career before graduating from other universities. For those wanting a valuable investment, they choose Fitchburg State University.
#9 Missouri State University College of Business
Missouri State University College of Business has been providing top-tier higher education to individuals across the globe for decades. MSU College of Business has designed its Master of Business Administration program based on the growing demands of the business field. In this online master's program, you'll become skilled in critical thinking, multi-disciplinary problem solving, how to work effectively in teams, and gain valuable knowledge in current theory and applications of business. One of the most important components to be successful in a business career is becoming a strong leader. Missouri State University College of Business will give you the tools and experience needed to graduate with the leadership skills that employers will be looking for. Admission into this MBA program is competitive and on a rolling basis, but it's advised to apply as early as possible as seats fill up quickly. To be accepted you'll need to submit your graduate application, a professional resume showing related work experience, official GMAT or GRE score, and any other previous transcripts showing your academic performance. This program is competitive but graduates will agree that the knowledge earned was worth the work.
#10 Kennesaw State University
It is offered through the Coles College of Business at KSU. The program has AACSB accreditation, which is the top accreditation for business schools. It is a fully online program with no required in-person component.
Students can complete the MBA entirely remotely. It consists of 33 credit hours of coursework plus a 3 credit hour internship or practicum. Total program length is 36 credit hours.
The curriculum covers core business topics like accounting, finance, marketing, management, analytics, and more. Students can also select electives in areas like entrepreneurship, healthcare management, and cybersecurity. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA, GMAT score of 450+, and 2 years of professional work experience. The work experience requirement can be waived in some cases.
KSU offers 4 start dates per year so students can begin in Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter semesters. The program can be completed full-time in 1.5 years or part-time in 2-3 years. They have a dual degree option to earn your MBA and an MS in Information Systems simultaneously.
All You Need to Know About Cheapest Online MBA
Many professionals want to advance their education to higher levels while continuing to work. There are many benefits of attaining advanced education. There are many advanced degree options to consider; the most common one is the master’s degree. An MBA degree or master’s of business administration is a higher level of education attained after a bachelor’s degree. Most people pursue their MBAs after working in the business field for a few years after obtaining their bachelor's. However, you can enroll in an online MBA degree program immediately after completing a bachelor’s program if you prefer.
There are many MBA programs in which you can enroll. Some allow you to attend online classes, while others require occasional or full-time on-campus studies. Online learning is a popular way to gain your MBA these days. Other than being more economical, it also allows you to engage in other activities and attend classes at your convenience.
Many programs are available; however, finding an affordable online MBA program made for you could be challenging. We offer the following information:
- How to find an online MBA program with the lowest cost
- Importance of accreditation for online MBA program
- Cheap online MBA programs that do not require GMAT scores
- How to save additional money on your online MBA
How To Find An Online MBA Program With The Lowest Cost
Various institutions offer MBA programs in different specializations, making it hard to choose a program that is best suited for you. The nature of specialization and the training offered determines your marketability as a professional. Here are some of the common online MBA programs.
- MBA in Finance and Economics
Finance is one of the most technical areas in business and is in high demand. For these reasons, many professionals advance their education to handle the dynamics involved in this specialty. There are different forms of MBA finance programs available. The most common one is corporate finance. Corporate finance deals with the financial operations of corporate entities. These include government and private organizations. In an MBA finance training program, you will learn about various quantitative and theoretical approaches to managing finances. Various institutions offer online masters in finance programs. Consulting various stakeholders in the finance sector will help you select one that suits you best.
- MBA in Strategy and Operations
The success of corporations depends on the excellence of management. For this reason, many employers in managerial positions must have at least an MBA. For those working for big corporations, the best option is an MBA in strategy and operations. With this MBA, you can be a part of the team responsible for planning company strategies and making expansion decisions. Pursuing an MBA in strategy and operations places you in a better position to rise through the ranks. Most employers look for employees who can be responsible for certain areas of their operations. With this MBA concentration, you can be put in charge of other professionals within your workplace.
- MBA in Marketing
This is one of the most common yet lucrative MBA concentrations you can enroll in. Marketing is the backbone of all profit-making entities. It involves finding new markets and expanding the existing ones for products and services. Having an MBA in marketing sharpens your skills, making you an essential part of the organization you work for. With this MBA, you can venture into private service as a consultant. You will be helping individuals and companies strategize on how best to access the market for their products. Working as an independent consultant is profitable as you deal with more than one client. Additional skills such as efficient communication guarantee a successful career when coupled with this MBA concentration.
- MBA in Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship refers to identifying and exploiting business opportunities in various fields. This process requires a set of technical skills that are explored and perfected with an MBA in entrepreneurship. This MBA concentration exposes you to ways in which you can create profitable businesses from available opportunities. Additionally, you get training on how to increase the profitability of a business from available resources. The amount of time it takes to complete this MBA concentration depends on a wide range of factors; the main ones are mode of study and institutional policies. Attaining this MBA major puts you in a position to manage expansion projects. You can also be part of policymaking teams to improve the profitability of the organization you work for.
- MBA in International Business
Thanks to technological development, many organizations carry out business across national and regional borders. The differences in culture and national laws between countries have led to a rise in the need for international business experts. To become one, you need an MBA in international business. This MBA concentration helps you learn how to plan and execute business transactions beyond national borders. Common concepts you will be exposed to include international business law and logistics. Knowing international business law allows you to transact without breaking laws in your region of operation.
There are many other MBA concentrations you can pursue through online platforms. However, the above-named are the most common ones. Before joining an MBA major, you should ensure it is worth your investment. Assessing the amount of time and finances involved in completing the program helps you gauge its profitability. Online MBA programs allow you to attend classes while having other commitments, making it easy to be promoted at your workplace as you don’t have to leave work to attend classes.
There are several factors you should consider when selecting an online MBA concentration. These factors determine how much you will benefit from the MBA. They include:
Marketability of the MBA concentration- One of the main reasons for investing in education is financial gain. Some MBA concentrations are more marketable than others, implying that prospective students are likely to be employed if they pursue a marketable specialization for a working professional. For instance, many corporations are looking to expand operations beyond national borders, an executive MBA in International Business is likely to earn you employment faster. Some fields, such as entrepreneurship, have few professionals due to the technicalities involved. Pursuing such MBA concentrations guarantees employment or promotion at workplaces. However, you should pursue a concentration that matches your interest and abilities.
Cost of the MBA concentration-Financial considerations are essential for every online executive MBA candidate. It's important to know how much an MBA program costs and how much you are likely to earn after it. Understanding the expenses involved allows you to gauge the profitability of an MBA concentration before enrolling in it. A well-equipped university will charge high tuition fees for online students. However, you will save on rent and commuting expenses by enrolling in an online program. An affordable MBA program will not strain your mental and financial status. However, financial aid is available in cases where you can’t afford to pay for the program. This financial aid includes scholarships, grants, and student loans given by the government and other institutions.
There are many more factors to consider when selecting an online MBA program. However, it is hard to tell the exact conditions of any program without consulting a professional from the same program. There are many ways to know about the quality and suitability of an online MBA program. Thanks to technology, you can read reviews about the program from other MBA candidates in the institution. Good online MBA programs usually attract a higher number of candidates. Additionally, they record high completion and graduation percentages. Such programs are usually classified according to the availability of students.
Importance Of Accreditation for An Online MBA Program
As stated earlier, accreditation is one way through which the government regulates the operations of stakeholders in the field of business. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits online MBA programs. This organization is responsible for ensuring that professionals receive quality training in the business field. Before enrolling in an online program, you should make sure it has AACSB accreditation. You cannot be licensed to practice as a professional with an MBA from an institution or program that is not accredited.
To be accredited, an institution must be a member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). It is the responsibility of the institution to initiate the accreditation process. The institution then submits the MBA program units in need of accreditation to the Initial Accreditation Committee for reviewing. The institution applying for accreditation should contract an AACSB accreditation staff member for evaluation of the facilities available. After a review of the units and facilities, a formal application for accreditation is made.
The applicant institution should submit an application for eligibility through relevant channels to the AACSB. If the training program is for profit, the institution can apply for both business and accounting accreditation. At this stage, the institution pays an accreditation fee to the AACSB. If the application meets all the requirements, it is submitted to the Initial Accreditation Committee for a final decision. After approval, a volunteer AACSB licensed business school administrator mentors the institution. The volunteer mentor should have no conflict of interest and assist in developing the initial self-evaluation report for the institution. The mentor acts as the main contact person between the AACSB and the accredited institution throughout the evaluation period, after which the institution receives formal communication of eligibility.
Although the accreditation process could be cumbersome, institutions should ensure they are accredited for the sake of prospective students. Accreditation has many benefits for students pursuing online MBAs. Some of the main benefits include:
Accreditation indicates that the MBA program meets the required standards set by the government. Students graduating from accredited online MBA programs have a higher chance of getting employed. Employers look for skills to promote or employ workers in their companies. Attending an accredited program at university indicates that you have taken the accepted core courses and have the right set of skills to perform various roles as a working professional in the business field.
- Quality training
One ultimate goal of being in the business field is to venture into private practice at some point. Before accreditation, experts will analyze units to be covered in an MBA program to determine their suitability, guaranteeing that you can apply whatever you learn during the training program in real-life situations. Accredited MBA programs such as MBA in strategies and operations prepare you for life as a business owner in the future.
There are many more benefits of accreditation to the MBA student. Some of these benefits depend on the MBA concentration you pursue, whether it’s business administration or another specialization in an affordable online MBA program.
Cheap Online MBA Programs That Do Not Require Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Scores
There are many online MBA programs you can enroll in and various procedures for starting an online MBA program. The admission process to get into a program depends on the institution's policies; most involve sitting for the GMAT. GMAT, or Graduate Admission Management Test, is an important admission requirement for many post-graduate degree programs in the business field. The GMAT tests the preparedness of candidates for post-graduate training. During the admission assessment, the student admission committee analyzes GMAT scores and work experience to determine your suitability. While most online programs require GMAT tests, some do not insist on going through the tests before admission. In some cases, you could receive a waiver and gain admittance without meeting the set GMAT threshold score.
When a GMAT score is not needed, you might have to undergo a GRE or General Record Examination. Just like the GMAT, a GRE could have a significant impact on your admission into the online MBA program of your choice. There are differences and similarities between GMAT and GRE tests. The main difference is in the content involved. While GMAT involves multiple-choice questions that test general business knowledge, GRE tests the arithmetic prowess of candidates. However, both tests evaluate a candidate’s ability to read, write, and interpret certain concepts in the business field. In most cases, online MBA programs have no GRE requirement.
Online MBA programs receive many applications from willing candidates. Since the institutions don’t have the facilities to handle all the candidates that apply, they adopt elimination criteria. One of these is administering the GMAT to all applicants for the programs. Only those who attain the minimum score get admission into the program. However, not all programs administer the GMAT tests and use other requirements to determine your suitability for the program. Some of these requirements include:
- Work experience- Some of the aspects asked about in a GMAT are related to professional working life. In the absence of a GMAT, you must provide proof of adequate work experience, which allows the admission committee to gauge whether you can handle the concepts involved in an online MBA program. You could present work experience in the form of a detailed list of places you have worked with roles played in your workplace.
- Advanced degree- You receive an MBA after graduating from undergraduate institutions. To be admitted, you must prove that you completed the minimum academic qualification, in this case, a bachelor’s degree. When applying for an online MBA program, you will be required to provide a copy of your undergraduate degree. A bachelor’s degree forms the foundation for you to understand certain concepts in an MBA program.
- Professional licensing- You need work experience when applying for an online MBA program without a GMAT, and you must have worked as a professional in the business industry. To prove you have this experience, you are required to attach any professional licenses you hold. A license indicates that you have been practicing according to the laws. You can’t get into an MBA program without a valid license. If your license expires at the time of application, you should attach a recommendation letter from your employer. Additionally, you could be required to provide an official letter indicating your application for renewal of the license.
- A personal statement- This is a written explanation of why you should be accepted into the MBA program. In most cases, you must give your desired research topic in a personal statement. However, the main reason for this requirement is to give the admission committee information about who you are. You can outline your hobbies and likes in the personal statement as well.
Many online programs don’t require GMAT scores. Choosing one that is best suited for you could be challenging. However, reading about the programs online will help you identify one that is best for you. Print media, such as magazines and journals, are also great sources of information about MBA programs without GMAT requirements.
How To Save Additional Money On Your Online MBA
Financial considerations are essential when choosing an online MBA program. Many factors affect how much you spend to earn an MBA. One of the main ones is the MBA concentration you pursue. Technical concentrations are more expensive since institutions invest a lot to facilitate tutoring. The main expense in every online MBA program is the tuition fee. The tuition rate varies depending on the institution and online master's degree program one enrolls in. Enrolling in well-equipped institutions means you will pay more tuition fees. In cases where you find it hard to finance your online MBA program, you can apply for student financial aid.
There are many organizations offering scholarships to exemplary students in different online MBA programs. The process of getting the scholarships varies depending on the scholarship organization and the MBA concentration you pursue. To get one, you must submit a written application either physically or through an email. A selection committee then reviews the application to determine your eligibility. The requirements when writing an application vary depending on the nature of the scholarship. However, some conditions are standard in all scholarship applications. Such requirements include:
- Personal information- When giving out scholarships, organizations need to have details of all the beneficiaries as it allows them to follow up on the suitability of the program in availing education opportunities to financially disadvantaged students. You might be required to provide your name, address, financial statements, among others. Financial statements gauge your financial status as an MBA student and whether you need the scholarship or not. To get a clear picture of the information required, you can visit scholarship websites for the organization you apply to.
- Proof of admission-Scholarships are given to candidates who have already been admitted to a program. As part of your application, you need to attach a letter of admission from your online MBA program, which assures the scholarship organization that the funds given out will be used for the right purpose.
- Recommendation-Recommendations are essential when applying for scholarships. These are written comments about your behavior by a trusted third party. Most scholarship organizations require recommendation letters from your previous schools or any other significant person that can comment on your character.
There are many other requirements you might be subjected to when applying for scholarships. Before applying, you should ensure the scholarship is for people on the same educational path as you. Some scholarships are specifically for people in on-campus MBA programs. Applying for such scholarships will be in vain if you are in an online MBA program.
Other than scholarships, there are many other forms of financial aid you can apply for to offset your online MBA expenses. These include student loans and grants. Student loans attract a certain amount of interest depending on the institution giving them out. Grants are mostly given out by the government. Grants are monetary aid given to students to offset their expenditures while at school and are not repaid. However, grants are not common for post-graduate students since most of them are employed and can finance their online MBA program expenses.
One of the easiest and most economical ways of advancing your studies is through online MBA programs. There are many MBA concentrations that you can enroll in, depending on your preferences. The MBA concentration you choose determines your marketability; hence affects your lifetime earnings as a professional. Online MBA programs make it easy to get a promotion since you can continue working while taking classes. One of the most profitable concentrations to major in is MBA in international business. With the increased trade volumes across national borders, many companies are looking for experts to facilitate international transactions.
Other than marketability, the credibility of an online MBA program is a key aspect to look into when choosing a program. Pursuing an accredited MBA program increases your employability as it shows you have received quality training. The AACSB is the main body in charge of accrediting academic programs in the business field. To check whether a program is accredited, you can visit AACSB's official websites or request information from the institution offering it.
You might have to take several tests before being admitted into an MBA program. These tests include the GMAT and GRE, which test your understanding of various aspects of the business field. In some cases, you might not have to sit for the tests when applying for an online MBA program. However, other requirements, such as work experience, could be used to determine your suitability.