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.

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Picking an MBA program is all about striking a balance - you've got to weigh the financial investment against the potential return, pinpoint the curriculum that aligns with your passions, and plan your post-graduation trajectory. Budget constraints holding you back from pursuing an MBA? Our ranking of top programs by total cost is here to help. By bringing costs into sharp focus, we're giving students the tools they need to make informed, financial decisions. Cutting through the notion that business education equals financial burden, we've uncovered exceptional MBA programs across the US that deliver excellence without the hefty price tag.

Benefits of Online MBA Programs

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Multiple start dates
  • Self-paced curriculum
  • Mobility
  • Interactive learning tools

Notable Programs

  • American Public University: Unique focus on Homeland Security Resource Allocation
  • Multiple Concentrations: Fort Hays State University, Oklahoma State University, and Liberty University

Note: As tuition fees 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 ado, here are the most affordable online MBA programs for 2023.

Featured Online MBA Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Ranking Methodology

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

Rank School Name Total Program Cost
1 University of North Georgia $9,696
2 Eastern University $9,900
3 Sam Houston State University $11,529
4 University of Texas Permian Basin $11,730
5 Florida Gulf Coast University $12,322
6 Northeastern State University $12,340
7 Fitchburg State University $13,080
8 Lamar University $13,153
9 Missouri State University $16,250
10 Oklahoma State University $17,789

University of North Georgia

Total Cost: $9,696

The Cottrell MBA is a fully online program at the University of North Georgia. It requires 32 credit hours. The program is designed for working professionals. Classes are mostly asynchronous. Four specializations are available. Faculty members have industry experience. Foundation courses may be needed. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA, two years of professional experience, and foundation courses in accounting, finance, economics, and business math or statistics.

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Eastern University

Total Cost: $9,900

Eastern University offers an innovative online MBA in Organizational Management. The program is 100% online and self-paced. It can be completed in as little as 10 months. The total cost is $9,900 for the 2023-24 academic year. The program uses Eastern's "LifeFlex" modality for maximum flexibility. It consists of 30 credits across 10 courses. Students can take up to 2 classes per 7-week term. The curriculum covers key business areas like Talent Management and Data Analysis. Four concentrations are available. The program is accredited by ACBSP. Admissions are rolling, with starts every 7 weeks.

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Sam Houston State University

Total Cost: $11,529

Sam Houston State University offers an online Master of Business Administration program through its AACSB-accredited College of Business Administration. The program requires 36 credit hours and can be completed entirely online. It's ranked as the Best Online MBA Program in Texas by Admission is open to students from any academic discipline. Application deadlines vary by semester. The degree and transcript do not specify "online," making it equivalent to the on-campus MBA. Specific tuition costs are not provided, but interested students can contact the university for detailed information.

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University of Texas Permian Basin

Total Cost: $11,730

The University of Texas Permian Basin offers an online MBA program through its AACSB-accredited College of Business. The program requires 30-36 credit hours and can be completed in as little as one year. Tuition ranges from $11,729.70 to $14,075.64, with no out-of-state tuition rates. The curriculum includes core courses, courses beyond core, and elective options. Admission requirements vary, with regular admission requiring a bachelor's degree and a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credit hours. Conditional admission options are available for those with lower GPAs. Students with an undergraduate business degree may be able to complete the program in 30 credit hours. The application fee is $40, waived for veterans and active duty military.

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Florida Gulf Coast University

Total Cost: $12,322

Florida Gulf Coast University offers an AACSB-accredited online MBA program that can be completed in as few as 12 months. Students need to complete 33 credit hours to wrap up the program, with 24 of those credits coming from core classes and 9 elective credits. Tuition is $373 per credit hour, with a total program cost as low as $12,322. Students explore business topics from financial reporting and economic trends to effective leadership and data-driven insights that inform your decision-making process. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA. Some students may need to complete up to four self-paced leveling courses before enrolling in certain MBA core courses. Multiple start dates are available throughout the year.

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Northeastern State University

Total Cost: $12,340

Northeastern State University offers an MBA program that can be completed online, blended, or face-to-face. The program requires 36 credit hours and can be finished in two years or less. It's designed for working professionals, with a Professional MBA option for those with at least three years of work experience. The curriculum includes eight core courses and four elective courses in one of eight specialization options. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Tuition is $343 per credit hour for Oklahoma residents, with a total program cost of $12,340. Financial aid and a Quad State Tuition Waiver are available for eligible students.

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Fitchburg State University

Total Cost: $13,080

Fitchburg State University's online MBA in Management program focuses on practical learning with real-world applications. The curriculum, designed by experienced faculty, emphasizes participatory learning through online discussions and collaborative groups. Students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills while gaining knowledge in finance, human resources, and accounting. This program prepares graduates for various management roles, including Business Operations Manager, Management Analyst, and Project Manager. With its emphasis on applicable skills and industry-relevant knowledge, Fitchburg State's MBA offers a strong return on investment through enhanced career opportunities.

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Lamar University

Total Cost: $13,153

Lamar University offers an online MBA program through its AACSB-accredited College of Business. The program is 100% online and accessible 24/7. Most MBA options can be completed in as few as 12 months and require 30 credit hours. The dual MBA/MS in Management Information Systems takes 18 months and 48 credit hours. Lamar offers various MBA concentrations, including General, Accounting, Business Analytics, and Healthcare Administration. The program is designed for working professionals, with multiple start dates throughout the year. Tuition for most 30-credit MBA programs is $13,153. The Princeton Review ranks Lamar's College of Business among the nation's 300 Best Business Schools.

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Missouri State University

Total Cost: $16,250

Missouri State University offers an AACSB-accredited online MBA program that can be completed in 34 credit hours. The program is available entirely online, with tuition costs the same for in-state and out-of-state students. Online tuition is estimated at $16,250 for the full program. Full-time students can complete the MBA in 1-2 years, while part-time students typically take 2-3 years. The GMAT/GRE requirement is temporarily suspended. An accelerated MBA option is available for eligible undergraduate students, allowing completion in as little as one year after earning a bachelor's degree. Various graduate certificates can be pursued alongside the MBA. The program is designed to accommodate working professionals, with about 50% of MBA students studying online.

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Oklahoma State University

Total Cost: $17,789

Oklahoma State University offers an AACSB-accredited online MBA program ranked 16th out of 350 online MBA programs by U.S. News & World Report. The program requires 33 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 16 months. It's designed for working professionals, with courses taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus. Tuition is $530 per credit hour for out-of-state students and $489 for in-state students. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and either three years of professional work experience or a competitive GMAT/GRE score. The program offers flexible start dates in spring and fall. Graduate certificates can be integrated into the MBA curriculum for specialization. The estimated total cost, including living expenses, is $29,860 for out-of-state students and $29,350 for in-state students.

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All You Need to Know About Cheapest Online MBA

Online MBA programs offer professionals the opportunity to advance their education while continuing to work. These programs provide flexibility, allowing students to enroll either immediately after completing their bachelor's degree or after gaining work experience. Key benefits include:

  • Economical learning option
  • Flexibility to study at one's own pace
  • Ability to immediately apply learning to current job
  • Acquisition of knowledge and skills for competitive positions

Common Online MBA Specializations

There are several popular MBA specializations available online, each focusing on different aspects of business:

  • MBA in Finance and Economics: Covers corporate finance, financial operations, and quantitative approaches to managing finances.
  • MBA in Strategy and Operations: Prepares students for planning company strategies and making expansion decisions.
  • MBA in Marketing: Focuses on finding new markets and expanding existing ones, often leading to consulting opportunities.
  • MBA in Entrepreneurship: Teaches how to identify and exploit business opportunities, covering strategies for increasing business profitability.
  • MBA in International Business: Addresses challenges of conducting business across borders, covering international business law and logistics.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online MBA

When selecting an online MBA program, several factors should be considered:

  • Marketability of the MBA concentration
  • Cost of the program and potential return on investment
  • Availability of financial aid (scholarships, grants, student loans)
  • Program reviews and graduation rates
  • Alignment with personal interests and career goals

It's important to research and compare different programs to find the one that best fits your needs and career aspirations.

Importance of Accreditation

Accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is crucial for online MBA programs. The accreditation process involves several steps:

  • Institution applies for membership and accreditation
  • Initial Accreditation Committee reviews the application
  • AACSB staff evaluate the facilities
  • A volunteer AACSB licensed business school administrator mentors the institution

Accredited programs offer numerous benefits to students, including increased marketability, assurance of quality training, and better recognition by employers.

Online MBA Programs Without GMAT Requirement

Some online MBA programs offer admission without requiring GMAT scores. Instead, they may consider alternative criteria for admission, such as:

  • Relevant work experience (detailed list of previous roles and responsibilities)
  • Advanced degree (proof of completed bachelor's degree)
  • Professional licensing in the business industry
  • Personal statement explaining motivation and goals

These alternative requirements allow programs to assess an applicant's readiness and potential for success without relying solely on standardized test scores.

How to Save Money on Your Online MBA

There are several strategies to make an online MBA more affordable:

  • Apply for scholarships (requirements may include personal information, proof of admission, and recommendation letters)
  • Explore student loans (compare interest rates from different institutions)
  • Look into government grants (non-repayable financial aid, though less common for postgraduate students)
  • Consider less expensive MBA concentrations
  • Take advantage of online format to save on housing and commuting costs

By carefully considering these options and planning ahead, students can significantly reduce the financial burden of pursuing an online MBA.

In Summary

Online MBA programs offer one of the easiest and most economical ways to advance your studies in the business field. These programs provide a flexible pathway for professionals to enhance their education while maintaining their current career trajectories. The diversity of MBA concentrations available allows students to tailor their education to their specific interests and career goals.

Key benefits of online MBA programs include:

  • Flexibility to continue working while taking classes
  • Opportunity for career advancement and promotions
  • Various MBA concentrations to choose from based on preferences
  • Potential for increased marketability and lifetime earnings
  • Ability to apply learned concepts directly to current work situations

The choice of MBA concentration can significantly impact your future career prospects. For instance, an MBA in International Business is particularly profitable in today's globalized economy. With the increased volume of trade across national borders, many companies are actively seeking experts who can facilitate international transactions and navigate the complexities of global business environments.

When selecting an online MBA program, two critical factors should be considered:

  1. Credibility: The accreditation of the program is paramount. Pursuing an accredited MBA program significantly increases your employability as it demonstrates that you have received quality training. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is the primary accrediting body for business programs. To verify a program's accreditation status, you can visit the AACSB's official website or contact the institution directly for information.
  2. Admission Requirements: The application process for MBA programs can vary. Many programs require standardized tests such as the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). These tests assess your understanding of various aspects of the business field. However, some online MBA programs may waive these test requirements, especially for candidates with substantial work experience. In such cases, your professional background and other qualifications may be used to determine your suitability for the program.

Online MBA programs make it easier to secure promotions in your current workplace, as you can immediately apply your learning to your job while continuing your education. This practical application of knowledge can demonstrate your growing expertise to your employers, potentially leading to new opportunities within your organization.


Featured Online MBA Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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