Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

Matt Whittle
by
Updated May 1, 2024
Edited by
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Looking to attend an online business degree without breaking the bank? Explore this ranked list of the most affordable online business programs.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Paying for college is crucial, and it’s also really personal. What may be “affordable” or “cheap” for one person may be costly for another. Some may not have a frame of reference for standard tuition costs, making it difficult to know where to begin budgeting.

On the lower end, annual tuition for an online business degree at the bachelor’s level may cost around $4,000. However, based on factors such as location, the school’s private or public status, and prestige, a year’s worth of tuition could be as high as $15,000 or more.

Online business degrees have become more prevalent as schools have expanded their distance learning options. These programs offer skills that you can apply across various sectors and allow you to focus your studies with specializations.

The broad nature of a business degree — one of the most popular majors — can lead to gainful employment in many areas and provide a strong return on your educational investment.

Explore our in-depth ranking of the most affordable online business degrees.

Popular Online Programs

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

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Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Business

#1 Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

Excelsior College

  • Location-markerAlbany, NY
  • 2 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$0
  • Out-of-state$0
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled14,584
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

The University of West Florida

  • Location-markerPensacola, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,735
  • Out-of-state$16,004
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate53%
  • Students Enrolled13,288
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment88%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

University of the Cumberlands

  • Location-markerWilliamsburg, KY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,875
  • Out-of-state$9,875
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate85%
  • Students Enrolled19,272
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment95%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

Indiana University East

  • Location-markerRichmond, IN
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,274
  • Out-of-state$20,634
  • Retention Rate64%
  • Acceptance Rate78%
  • Students Enrolled2,981
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment84%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

Dickinson State University

  • Location-markerDickinson, ND
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,976
  • Out-of-state$8,294
  • Retention Rate57%
  • Acceptance Rate72%
  • Students Enrolled1,476
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment61%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

University of Missouri, Columbia

  • Location-markerColumbia, MO
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$10,074
  • Out-of-state$30,441
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate79%
  • Students Enrolled31,344
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment63%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

SUNY Empire State College

  • Location-markerSaratoga Springs, NY
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,070
  • Out-of-state$16,980
  • Retention Rate62%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled9,462
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment89%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

Central Methodist University

  • Location-markerFayette, MO
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,240
  • Out-of-state$6,240
  • Retention Rate33%
  • Acceptance Rate100%
  • Students Enrolled3,242
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment59%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

Tarleton State University

  • Location-markerStephenville, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,798
  • Out-of-state$14,201
  • Retention Rate72%
  • Acceptance Rate57%
  • Students Enrolled13,946
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment82%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Cheapest Online Business Degrees 2024

Bellevue University

  • Location-markerBellevue, NE
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,560
  • Out-of-state$7,560
  • Retention Rate72%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled11,902
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment95%
  • AccreditationYes

Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is the Admissions Process?

Norma Feriz-Gordon, a state-certified professional school counselor, knows what students should look for when considering an online business bachelor’s degree program. Norma worked on the College and Career Planning Team in the New York City Department of Education. In her role, she established partnerships that support students and their families in the postsecondary planning process.

“Schools are looking for well-rounded individuals who are looking to gain a degree and be active participants in their learning process,” Feriz-Gordon told TheBestSchools. “Many of the schools may evaluate GPA, a personal statement, transcripts, and other supplemental materials such as letters of recommendation from employers or teachers and counselors.”

She also notes that the admissions process is usually the same for online and in-person programs. Make sure to check on deadlines and requirements before applying. Feriz-Gordon suggests students apply to programs without worrying about the cost. Once you’ve applied to the programs, and for state and federal aid and scholarships, you can make an informed financial decision.

Choosing an Online Program

Online programs differ in their learning formats and the concentrations they offer. These differences can help you choose the program best suited to your needs. Feriz-Gordon notes several questions you should consider:

  • check-circle Is the program fully online, or are there in-person requirements?
  • check-circle If the program requires internships, can you fulfill the requirement locally?
  • check-circle How long does the program take to complete as a full-time student?
  • check-circle What is the graduation rate, and how does it compare to other programs’?
  • check-circle What is the tuition and the average amount of financial aid students receive? Do they award scholarships?
  • check-circle What are the student outcomes, including job projections and salaries?
  • check-circle What career and alumni services do they offer?
  • check-circle Do they offer assistance for students who need additional support, such as English language learners or those without reliable access to the internet?

She also stresses understanding the differences between various business majors. When choosing a school, you want to ensure it offers a program aligned with your academic and professional goals. A few of the business majors to consider include:

One of the most important factors in your decision, regardless of the specific kind of program you choose, should be accreditation. Both institutions and business programs can earn accreditation.

Accreditation ensures employers will recognize your degree and that you can easily transfer credits. Some state licensure tracks require you to attend an accredited school or program. To receive federal student aid, learners must attend an accredited school.

“Prospective applicants should ensure that their program is recognized and searchable in the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs,” says Feriz-Gordon. “The online degree program should be accredited by either the U.S. Department of Education or the nonprofit Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which is responsible for overseeing programs and educational institutions.”

Business schools may receive accreditation from one of the following accreditors:

  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Business Program

Students pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in business can often choose from a variety of courses and concentrations. Offerings vary by program. Below, you can explore a few common courses and concentrations often found in online business degree programs.

Business Degree Concentrations

Marketing

A bachelor’s degree in marketing teaches students how to identify marketing opportunities and develop and launch appropriate, forward-thinking business strategies. Courses cover topics like market research, consumer behavior, international marketing, and marketing communications. Graduates may work in areas such as advertising, sales management, distribution, and business marketing.

Finance

An online bachelor’s degree in finance gives students knowledge and skills applicable to careers in corporate finance, real estate, international finance, banking, and investments. Courses cover topics like financial markets, financial analysis and planning, accounting, and risk management.

Economics

A bachelor’s program in economics teaches students to research and analyze economic data and trends. With these skills, graduates can create economic forecasts and reports to advise companies on business policies and strategies. Common courses include intermediate micro and macroeconomics, capital markets, and international economics.

Management

A concentration in business management is a popular choice for many undergraduate business students. Common areas of study include organizational behavior, negotiation, entrepreneurship, and human resources management. Graduates can pursue managerial roles in diverse industries.

International Business

A bachelor’s in international business examines global business concepts and perspectives. Common courses include international accounting and finance, management in a global economy, and cultural environments of international business. The concentration may also include study abroad experiences and foreign language courses.

Online Bachelor’s in Business Degree Curriculum

In an online business degree, you’ll complete various types of courses, including general education, core, and elective classes. Some programs culminate with a project-based course, like a capstone.

Core coursework comprises the most of your curriculum with business-related subjects, while electives allow you to tailor your degree toward more specific business topics or unrelated subjects. The following list explores several common business classes.

  • Introduction to Finance: Finance is a common subject among business programs. This core course provides foundational information on corporate policies for valuing assets, forecasting financial outcomes, and budgeting. Students who are particularly adept in this class can pursue a finance specialization and various financial professions after graduation.
  • Supply Chain Management: Supply chains start with the creation of a product or service, culminating in the delivery of the item to customers. With so many interconnected systems at play, each link in the chain requires careful management and oversight. Topics in this core class include procurement, logistics systems, and emerging technologies in the sector.
  • Business Statistics: This core course takes a mathematical and analytical approach to gathering, analyzing, and applying data to business. You’ll use real-world data sets across various types of businesses for a look into the accuracy of price forecasts, probability, and sampling distributions. They learn to create and test hypotheses to improve their business decision-making skills.
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology: In this elective course, students get into the minds of business professionals to better understand issues such as corporate culture, productivity, employee retention, and morale. By choosing this class, you can expand your business knowledge, exploring soft skills like organization, communication, collaboration, and conflict management.

Business Careers

Graduates with an online business bachelor’s degree can pursue a variety of roles across diverse industries. Knowing which direction to go can feel overwhelming. Feriz-Gordon suggests, “A good first step is researching the positions you are interested in or even learning which positions are available based on the degree you would be earning.

As you begin to tune into the roles available for that career trajectory, you can fine-tune the actual major or specific program that you pursue.”

The following list outlines popular careers for business graduates, including common duties and potential salaries.

Management Analysts

  • Median Salary (2022): $95,290
  • Projected Job Growth (2022-2032): 10%

Management analysts, sometimes called management consultants, make recommendations to improve organizational efficiency. Many management consultants work as contractors rather than full-time employees. They may specialize in areas like healthcare or telecommunications.

Management analysts work closely with an organization’s managers. Common tasks include interviewing and observing personnel, analyzing financial data, and developing solutions to problems.

Entry-level management analysts typically need at least a bachelor’s degree and several years of relevant work experience, and some employers prefer to hire candidates with an MBA. These professionals benefit from strong analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills.

Accountants

  • Median Salary (2022):$78,000
  • Projected Job Growth (2022-2032): 4%

Accountants provide financial services for individual and corporate clients. They may examine financial records for accuracy and compliance with regulations, prepare tax returns, assess financial operations, and make suggestions to enhance revenue or reduce costs.

Accountants may specialize in a certain area, such as providing services to the general public, aiding internal business operations, or working on behalf of government agencies.

Entry-level accountants typically need a bachelor’s degree. This career requires keen analytical, organizational, and communication skills.

Human Resources Specialists

  • Median Salary (2022):$64,240
  • Projected Job Growth (2022-2032): 6%

Human resources specialists work for an organization’s HR department, interviewing job applicants, contacting references, managing new employees’ orientation, and processing paperwork and employment records. They may also process payroll, administer benefits, and handle employee questions or problems.

This career typically requires a bachelor’s degree in business, human resources, or a related field. Some positions may require previous work experience in an HR department or in customer service.

Human resources specialists can pursue certification through organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management. They benefit from strong communication and decision-making skills.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Cheapest Online Bachelor’s Degrees

Are online bachelor’s degrees cheaper than in-person degrees?

As with on-campus programs, tuition costs vary significantly among online programs. Virtual degree programs are often comparable in price to on-campus programs. However, online students can find savings.

Many online programs do not charge out-of-state fees. Additionally, online students may save money on relocation costs and transportation.

How hard is it to get an online business degree?

Accredited online business programs require the same level of commitment and coursework as traditional programs. While you can expect the same academic challenges, some online programs offer greater flexibility, enabling you to work at your own pace.

Is an online business degree respected?

Yes, online business degrees are respected. That said, make sure you earn your degree from an accredited institution. Accreditation ensures you will receive a high-quality education.

What is the easiest degree to get in business?

While some suggest that human resources, marketing, and organizational leadership are some of the easiest degrees to earn, it really depends on your own skills and preferences. Some students thrive at accounting, while others excel in entrepreneurial environments. It’s best to follow your passion and consider your strengths when choosing a business degree.