Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

TBS Staff Writers
by
Updated November 30, 2023
Find the most affordable online MBA programs and further your career with the right online MBA degree.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

MBA degrees can provide graduates with a competitive advantage, and affordable online MBA programs can help make this training more accessible.

Earning master of business administration (MBA) degrees can help graduates build professional networks, pursue leadership positions, and earn higher salaries. However, they can be pricey.

Affordable online MBA programs reduce costs by expanding school options, minimizing travel expenses, and offering in-state tuition for out-of-state learners. Furthermore, the best online MBA programs offer flexible asynchronous study options, access to innovative technologies, and more diverse and globalized classrooms.

This guide examines online MBAs, explores available career pathways, and ranks the most affordable online MBA programs.

Explore Programs From Boston University

Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site

The Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

#1 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Location-markerEdinburg, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,664
  • Out-of-state$16,792
  • Retention Rate76%
  • Acceptance Rate80%
  • Students Enrolled29,113
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment51%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Texas A&M International University

  • Location-markerLaredo, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,818
  • Out-of-state$13,946
  • Retention Rate79%
  • Acceptance Rate54%
  • Students Enrolled8,305
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment46%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Fayetteville State University

  • Location-markerFayetteville, NC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,982
  • Out-of-state$14,590
  • Retention Rate74%
  • Acceptance Rate69%
  • Students Enrolled6,551
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment70%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

California State University, Stanislaus

  • Location-markerTurlock, CA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,742
  • Out-of-state$17,622
  • Retention Rate83%
  • Acceptance Rate89%
  • Students Enrolled10,974
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment46%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

  • Location-markerDurant, OK
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,240
  • Out-of-state$14,880
  • Retention Rate62%
  • Acceptance Rate74%
  • Students Enrolled5,049
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment80%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Cameron University

  • Location-markerLawton, OK
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,740
  • Out-of-state$14,160
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled4,142
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment49%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Northeastern State University

  • Location-markerTahlequah, OK
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,913
  • Out-of-state$14,313
  • Retention Rate60%
  • Acceptance Rate100%
  • Students Enrolled7,517
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment66%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

The University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Location-markerFairbanks, AK
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,962
  • Out-of-state$22,980
  • Retention Rate73%
  • Acceptance Rate76%
  • Students Enrolled7,179
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment68%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Texas Woman's University

  • Location-markerDenton, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,430
  • Out-of-state$15,559
  • Retention Rate73%
  • Acceptance Rate93%
  • Students Enrolled15,886
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment60%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

The University of Missouri–St. Louis

  • Location-markerSaint Louis, MO
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$11,079
  • Out-of-state$29,295
  • Retention Rate77%
  • Acceptance Rate73%
  • Students Enrolled15,988
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment32%
  • AccreditationYes
#11 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Louisiana State University Shreveport

  • Location-markerShreveport, LA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,656
  • Out-of-state$5,656
  • Retention Rate65%
  • Acceptance Rate84%
  • Students Enrolled8,579
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment86%
  • AccreditationYes
#12 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

New Mexico State University-Main Campus

  • Location-markerLas Cruces, NM
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,875
  • Out-of-state$21,864
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate55%
  • Students Enrolled14,296
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment44%
  • AccreditationYes
#13 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside

  • Location-markerKenosha, WI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,298
  • Out-of-state$14,568
  • Retention Rate73%
  • Acceptance Rate66%
  • Students Enrolled4,388
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment47%
  • AccreditationYes
#14 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

University of Michigan-Dearborn

  • Location-markerDearborn, MI
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,729
  • Out-of-state$25,845
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate62%
  • Students Enrolled9,191
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment34%
  • AccreditationYes
#15 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus

  • Location-markerPortales, NM
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,996
  • Out-of-state$5,994
  • Retention Rate63%
  • Acceptance Rate58%
  • Students Enrolled5,685
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment69%
  • AccreditationYes
#16 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

The University of Texas Permian Basin

  • Location-markerOdessa, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,867
  • Out-of-state$5,767
  • Retention Rate63%
  • Acceptance Rate88%
  • Students Enrolled5,283
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment70%
  • AccreditationYes
#17 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Location-markerRichardson, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$13,442
  • Out-of-state$38,168
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate79%
  • Students Enrolled29,543
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment19%
  • AccreditationYes
#18 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Florida Atlantic University

  • Location-markerBoca Raton, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,522
  • Out-of-state$14,374
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate63%
  • Students Enrolled30,061
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment49%
  • AccreditationYes
#19 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Excelsior College

  • Location-markerAlbany, NY
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$0
  • Out-of-state$0
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled25,245
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#20 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Midwestern State University

  • Location-markerWichita Falls, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,567
  • Out-of-state$7,516
  • Retention Rate67%
  • Acceptance Rate79%
  • Students Enrolled5,969
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment52%
  • AccreditationYes

Affordable Online MBA

undefined

2023


The Best Schools

Affordable Online MBA Programs Ranking Guidelines

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

Rankings Methodology

What Is an Online MBA?

An online MBA offers business professionals a supportive learning environment. Enrollees develop research, communication, and problem-solving skills while building experience in networking, presentations, and leadership. In addition to learning from teachers and textbooks, MBA students learn from each other’s experiences.

An affordable online MBA appeals to both aspiring and experienced business professionals. These degrees can open the door to positions within large corporations and provide entrepreneurs with the skills and confidence they need to run successful businesses. In most cases, MBA students already have several years of experience, but need advanced training to take the next professional step.

How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA?

MBA degrees typically take 1-3 years to earn, depending on the school, student, scheduling options, and delivery methods. Full-time students can often complete these programs in one year through accelerated pathways, while working professionals may prefer part-time options.

Affordable online MBA programs may offer asynchronous or synchronous delivery, which can also influence how much time a student needs to dedicate to their studies. Some programs even offer transfer credits for prior business training or relevant experience, reducing overall program length.

Featured Online MBA Programs

Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site

Choosing an Online MBA Program

Prospective students need to weigh multiple factors when researching affordable online MBA programs. Below are a few things to consider when selecting a program.

  • Availability of Specializations: Specializations allow learners to focus their training in niche areas of business management. Enrollees who develop specialized skills may have more employment opportunities and postgraduate certification options. Common concentrations include marketing, international management, finance, and consulting.
  • Program Cost: Attending a university in your state is usually the most affordable option, but online learners should also check if other schools offer in-state tuition rates for out-of-state online learners. Earning a degree online can also mean saving on transportation and moving costs, though some programs also include technology fees.
  • Transfer Policies: Generous transfer policies can help reduce tuition cost and program length. Though transferring credit between graduate programs is often more difficult than it is at the undergraduate level, some schools do accept these credits — typically three, six, or nine of them.
  • School Size and Type: The size of a school often determines class sizes as well. Generally, private schools enroll fewer students than public schools, meaning smaller classes. With MBAs, students should weigh the benefits of more personalized learning experiences in smaller classes against the networking opportunities afforded by larger programs.
  • Program Length: MBAs typically require 30 credits (or 60 quarter units), and enrollees typically take two years to graduate. However, accelerated programs can allow learners to progress through courses more quickly. While MBA students usually take one three-credit course per term, an accelerated program may allow learners to double up on their credits, graduating in a year.
  • On-Campus Requirements: Hybrid MBA programs require students to attend some classes, workshops, or seminars in person. For students who cannot make the trip, these on-campus requirements may present too great an obstacle. For these students, the best online MBAs are the ones that require no campus visits.

Accreditation for Online MBA Degrees

Prospective students should always ensure that their online MBA program holds the proper regional and programmatic accreditation. Attending a school without regional accreditation may lead to issues with access to federal funding, certification eligibility, and employment qualifications.

For business schools, programmatic accreditation may come from one of three major institutions: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

Online MBA Program Scholarships

While affordable online MBA programs provide learners with access to high-level business training, even at discounted rates, the cost of an MBA can still put the degree out of reach for many. In many cases, prospective students can pursue MBA scholarships to reduce the overall price of their education.

Degree-seekers can research scholarships through online scholarship databases, school and government websites, and local and national organizations. Scholarships may target students from specific locations, schools, or demographics.

What Can I Expect in Pursuing an MBA Online?

Affordable online MBA programs have different curricula and structures, which can alter the learning experience. Many programs offer courses entirely online, with some using asynchronous delivery while others run synchronous classes. Even in primarily asynchronous programs, students should expect some live collaboration elements, such as video meetings, live group projects, and enforced deadlines.

Choosing the right MBA program means finding the most suitable MBA specialization for your educational and professional goals. Concentrations allow learners to hone skills in a specific discipline, qualifying them for niche roles. The following information showcases some of the most popular MBA concentration options and some common courses within each focus.

MBA SpecializationTypical Courses
Executive MBA
  • Marketing management
  • Management accounting
MBA in Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial finance
  • Entrepreneurial sales
MBA in Finance
  • Corporate finance
  • Advanced financial statement analysis
Master’s of Healthcare Management
  • Healthcare data and analytics
  • Comparative healthcare systems
MBA in International Business
  • International economics
  • International business law
MBA in Management Information Systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Enterprise systems
MBA in Project Management
  • Strategic project management
  • Risk assessment
MBA in Sustainability
  • Business strategies for sustainability
  • Ethics and social responsibility
MBA in Marketing
  • International marketing
  • Operations management
MBA in Consulting
  • Managerial quantitative analysis
  • Business communication
MBA in Human Resource Management
  • Organizational behavior
  • Organizational change

MBA Joint and Dual Degrees

In addition to pursuing specializations, MBA students can advance their skills in particular areas through joint programs and dual degrees. Many schools offer accelerated pathways for learners who wish to complete multiple degrees in complementary fields.

Compared to an MBA specialization, which helps students specialize their skills within business and management studies, dual and joint degrees offer more advanced and technical training in secondary disciplines. These degrees can work well for students looking to pursue careers in areas like law, healthcare, and technology.

Dual MBA Degree

A dual MBA degree allows students to earn two degrees through an accelerated pathway, often back to back. Learners usually complete both degrees at the same university, but work through different departments. The second degree often omits general education requirements, and some programs have specific curricula for dual-degree-seekers.

Examples

  • MBA and JD
  • MBA and MD
  • MBA and Master of Public Policy

Joint MBA Degree

Joint MBA degrees offer condensed pathways to studying two disciplines, resulting in one degree with two majors. Joint degrees can occasionally occur through two different universities at the same time, especially when those universities are focused on specific disciplines.

Examples

  • MBA and MA in International Studies
  • MBA and MS in Biotechnology
  • MBA and MS in Engineering Science

Career Paths With an MBA

MBA graduates can access some of the most promising careers in the business, finance, and management sectors. While MBA degree-holder salaries vary depending on location, employer, and career, the median annual salary for management professionals was $109,760 in 2020, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

When deciding an educational pathway, prospective MBA students should consider the best jobs for MBA graduates. Below are a few industries that value the skills and training developed by MBA graduates.

  • Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business
  • Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Consulting
  • Marketing
  • Media/entertainment

MBA Professional Organizations

American Management Association

AMA offers solutions and services for management professionals. Members can access educational programs, management development training, and a professional network for sharing and social learning opportunities.

Black Business and Professional Association

BBPA supports Black business professionals by providing them with access to career resources, higher education, and economic development opportunities. The association also rewards member excellence, promotes community equity, and offers several mentorship programs.

American Business Women’s Association

ABWA unites women working in business to help increase networking opportunities and promote their successes. The association offers members access to leadership training, educational opportunities, and career connections.

Prospanica

Founded in 1988, Prospanica seeks to empower Hispanic business professionals through professional development, education, and mentorship opportunities. The organization also offers educational funding, advocacy, and networking events and programs.

Reaching Out MBA

ROMBA supports and promotes the LGBTQIA+ business community. Members can access conferences, events, fellowship programs, and community networking opportunities.

Meet an MBA Graduate

Has getting an MBA been worth it?

Yes. Having the marketing undergrad perspective coupled with the communication graduate student perspective has yielded a fulfilling career in both areas of practice. I spent over a dozen years in nonprofit management, and marketing and communications are usually, if not always, lumped together.

What’s most important when selecting an MBA program? Program prestige, location, cost, or something else?

Importance is relative. It was important to me that the school be geographically convenient to where I may have gotten a job, manageable in terms of the loans I would take out, and where the coursework was interesting.

On the whole, it has to “feel” like a good fit to the degree-pursuer. If you are comfortable taking two years off to pursue a MBA full time, awesome. If you want to continue working in a full- or part-time capacity, then the school should be geographically convenient to your workplace. If you are concerned with cost, then a public institution may be better suited than a private one.

What do you think has been the biggest advantage to your career from completing your MBA?

There is a lot of competition in the job marketplace. I think that my MBA has been a source of differentiation and has made my resume stand out among others. I also think that the way I talk about the benefits of an MBA has been an advantage in this area — not the coursework, but the general “management” outcomes.

Portrait of Laurie Ehrlich

Laurie Ehrlich

Laurie Ehrlich (preferred pronouns: she/her), founder and chief strategist of Elevate Marketing Strategy, is a 19-year marketing and communications veteran, touching the nonprofit, education, technology, financial, and publishing industries. Her expertise lies in multi-channel marketing strategy and planning, corporate communications, and digital media.

Ehrlich built the marketing department of a $60 million non profit from the ground up, constructed the social media presence of many organizations, led the design and development strategy process for more than a half-dozen websites, and established and grew content channels including blogs, podcasts, and whitepapers. She also led crisis communications and manages ongoing communications strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ehrlich received her MBA from Fordham University – Lincoln Center.

LinkedIn

Frequently Asked Questions

Portrait of Doug Wintemute

Doug Wintemute

Doug Wintemute is a Toronto-based freelance writer with professional writing interests in higher learning and entertainment. He completed his BA and MA in English at York University, graduating summa cum laude and earning academic merit, research, and writing awards at both levels. Since 2014, he has contributed content and editorial work for award-winning digital trade publications, global SEO copywriting projects, and hugely popular online brands. He can be contacted through LinkedIn.

Learn more, do more.

More topic-relevant resources to expand your knowledge.

Take the next step toward your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

woman in an office