The cost of obtaining an MBA may seem prohibitive. But it doesn’t have to be. How much does an online MBA cost?
While some programs are certainly expensive–upwards of $100,000–there are more and more accredited, reputable institutions offering online MBA degrees at an affordable price.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list of all MBA programs and their prices, but it will give you an idea of how much you may expect to pay based on the institution that you choose. Some programs are very affordable–students can earn an MBA for about $20,000. Other institutions are less so but may be worth the extra investment depending on the student’s academic and career goals.
Affordable online MBA programs
As mentioned above, an increasing number of colleges and universities throughout the country are offering affordable online MBA programs for working professionals and full-time students.
Coupled with the ease of earning a degree online and the flexibility of hybrid or blended learning opportunities (both online and in-person courses), it’s easier and more affordable than ever to earn an MBA.
Some examples of affordable online MBA programs include the following accredited and reputable institutions:
- Fayetteville State University (Fayetteville, NC)
Base program cost: $5,789
Cost per credit (non-resident): $402.50
Credits required: 36
- West Texas A&M University (Canyon, TX)
Base program cost: $11,680
Cost per credit: $292
Credits required: 31
- Ball State University (Muncie, IN)
Base program cost: $11,820
Cost per credit (non-resident): $590
Credits required: 30
- University of Louisiana Monroe (Monroe, LA)
Base program cost: $15,195
Cost per credit: $506.50
Credits required: 30
Expensive online MBA programs
As you may have guessed, there are still some MBA programs–both online and in-person–that require a significant financial investment. These programs tend to be offered by the country’s elite colleges and universities (“brand-name” MBAs, if you will).
But, again, many well-known colleges also offer strong programs at much more affordable prices.
Here are some examples of more expensive online MBA programs:
- University of Virginia – $97,800
- Northeastern University – $71,650
- George Washington University – $81,113
- Syracuse University – $72,414
Financial aid for programs
If you’re worried about the cost of obtaining an MBA, there may be some financial opportunities for you out there.
Many MBA programs have grants and scholarships available for students with both outstanding academic/professional merit and financial need.
You can learn more bout these programs by visiting the program’s website and finding their section of costs and financial aid.
But, it’s also important to keep in mind that earning an MBA is an investment. Even without financial aid, most degree programs can pay for themselves within a matter of years, assuming that the MBA is put to good use and the student has a solid plan of action upon obtaining their degree.
A $50,000 MBA could lead to a $10,000 or $20,000 per year salary increase, which would pay for itself in just 3 to 5 years.
How to pay for an online MBA program
Even with financial aid options, it’s unlikely that your full cost of attendance will be covered. This likely means that you’ll need to find additional ways to pay for your degree.
If you’re fortunate enough to have an employer that offers tuition assistance or education credit, you may be able to get them to pay for some or all of the cost of your MBA.
While these programs generally come with some stipulations–such as staying with the company for a set period of time upon graduation–it may be a great choice for someone pursuing an MBA in hopes of moving up within the same company.
Even if your employer won’t cover the full cost, the amount that they are willing to offset may be pretty significant and make the ROI of obtaining your degree that much better.
Student loan options
There are many federal and private loan options for students pursuing an MBA.
For those with limited credit history, federal loan programs can help cover thousands of dollars each year. And for more established candidates, private lenders offer incredibly low-interest rates for MBA candidates with strong credit and payment history.
Read our full guide on MBA student loans to learn more about your options.