Earning an Online Master’s of Business Administration takes a great deal of commitment from a time and financial standpoint. But according to a recent study, those who complete their MBA can expect to see an average raise in salary of around $36,000. On average, those interviewed for the study had a yearly pay of $79,505 before completing their MBA and made $116,248 afterward. This data helps solidify the potential monetary benefits of earning an Online MBA but still leaves the question of how much Online MBA programs cost.
The truth is that many factors go into calculating the cost of any degree. But earning an Online MBA may be much less expensive than you may think. The following is a list of several factors that can affect the cost of earning a distance MBA. While this won’t give you a specific total, the information provided will help you make an informed choice and help you find programs that fit within your budget. It is also important to note that no matter which program you choose, there are many financing, scholarship, grant, and internship opportunities available to graduate students.
Public vs. Private Institutions
Tuition for Online MBA programs will vary greatly based on whether the university you plan to attend is a public or private institution. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2016, the average cost per year for private graduate school was $26,551. In contrast, the average for public master’s degrees was $11,617. As you can see, public institutions generally offer their programs at a significantly lower price point. Another advantage of Online MBAs is that many of the distance degree options do not include out-of-state fees that are common with both public and private universities. There is a level of prestige associated with private programs, but there are many extremely well-respected public options as well.
Business Accreditation vs. Regional Accreditation
Accreditation is an essential aspect of any quality business school, but especially when it comes to Online MBAs. Looking for business accreditation such as AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE in addition to regional accreditation for the university is essential. Only five percent of business schools worldwide are accredited by the AACSB. If you look for schools with business accreditation, that will point you in the direction of higher quality programs with greater return on investment potential.
Distance Learning and Additional Fees
For the most part, Online MBA programs are offered at the same or lower price points than their on-campus counterparts. As mentioned above, many times, students who are attending a program that is out of state can save considerable amounts on tuition by not having to pay out-of-state tuition fees. This does not apply to all OMBA programs, so be sure to read the fine print! Distance learning fees that can add to your tuition costs may include residency weekends, technology fees, and books or other school supplies. A reliable computer with proper internet and software should also be considered as you create your online business school budget.
Accelerated Programs vs. Part-Time Programs
Another factor affecting the cost of an Online MBA program is timeframe. When choosing your OMBA, you will want to think through your desired workload and graduation timeline. Many students save money by participating in accelerated Online MBA programs. It makes sense that these programs may have a lower price tag because students use the school’s resources for less time. However, accelerated graduate programs can be extremely time-intensive, which is not ideal for those who are already working professionals. In the long run, part-time programs can be a bit pricier, but they do allow more flexibility to maintain work and life responsibilities. When choosing your OMBA format, there is no right or wrong answer, only what works best for your goals, timeline, and budget.
Financial Aid and Other Online MBA Funding Options
One last thing to consider as you add up the cost of Online MBA programs is that there are many financial aid options that can help fill in the gaps of the cost of your degree. A few of these include student loans, university and school-specific scholarships, federal and state grants, and more. Many business schools include automatic consideration for scholarships and grants with admittance. Internships or becoming a teaching assistant can also offer tuition discounts. For more ideas on how to pay for your Online Master’s of Business Administration, check out this article.
According to our data, the average base tuition cost of an Online MBA in the United States falls around $30,000. There are many high-quality schools with tuition rates that fall both above and below the national average. As you search for Online MBA programs, remember to consider your budget, the business program’s accreditation, and additional fees. Private schools and high tuition rates do not necessarily translate to better job opportunities. Many affordable public schools have exceptional post-graduation employment rates. Make a goal to apply to at least ten business schools. You may be surprised at which Online MBA programs are the best fit for you!
Lastly, you may be wondering how to figure out what your budget for business school should be. Listed below are a few steps to creating and evaluating your finances so that you can make informed choices when it comes to funding your Online MBA.
Step 1) Commit to the budgeting process by connecting with your goals. Understanding your current financial situation can help you understand what schools are an ideal choice without ending up in tons of debt.
Step 2) Take a look at your current spending habits. This can be done with a pen and paper or with convenient apps such as Mint or PocketGuard. Be sure to consider any irregular expenses such as holidays, car repairs, or health-related costs.
Step 3) Add up your total income, including any side hustles or investments. You must know how much money is coming in compared to your total outgoing expenses.
Step 4) Decide what budgeting system you would like to follow. There are many options to implement based on your needs and personality. Make a point to find one and start it.
Step 5) Re-evaluate your plan monthly and start crushing your financial goals so that you are prepared to pay for your Online MBA.