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Good, Reasonably Priced Online
The business world is very pro-technology and extremely cost-conscious. As a result, schools that offer MBA programs have often been the first to use sophisticated technology to provide students with online chat, podcasting, video lectures, videoconferencing and other useful tools (some business schools even provide learning through the use of online games). And many programs have sprung up that help aspiring business managers get masters degrees at a very reasonable cost. Click to see best-priced MBA programs online
Most schools that offer online MBA degrees don’t require you to ever visit the school in person. But some of the higher end private colleges do require some actual campus visits. A state university, where the cost of an online MBA can be much cheaper, may ask you to attend some workshops or lectures in person to establish residency (state schools also may charge out of state students much higher tuition, even for online MBA programs). Or, you might also have to take tests at a location near you, supervised by a school’s local proctor.
What It Takes
Tuition for online study is usually the same as a classroom version. But you can save big by not living at your school. And by going the distance learning route, you're likely to find more choices in terms of the number of schools and the business specialties they offer degrees in than you’ll find locally. That's especially true if you don’t live near a major city.
Your time commitment for a masters in business can run from anywhere from 11 months to four years. You'll come out at the longer end of the spectrum if you need to take a reduced course load or take breaks to handle your life commitments. If you are truly in a hurry, you might want to consider a more limited “executive MBA” program that can take under 9 months. The shortest of these are more like certificate courses than full Master’s of Business Administration degrees. Alternatively, you might consider an accelerated program, which can allow you to finish a full MBA in as little as 18 months -- if you can put everthing else in your life aside and work at an intensive pace.
A Range Of MBA Tuition Costs
According to geteducated.com, an online degree MBA college and university can run anywhere from under $10,000 all the way up to $115,000. Since you’d have to make a lot of money quickly to justify a $100,000 plus investment like that, it’s a good idea to start by looking at your own public state university. It may offer the most bang for the buck. If you want an MBA from a school that’s recognized all over the country, or you want a very particular specialty MBA, you may have to look at the pricier graduate schools.
Here are some examples of of the most moderately priced MBA schools (some with links where you can request information immediately):
America’s Cheapest MBA Degree?
The lowest cost online MBA degree we appears to come from Chadron State College, a small state school in Chadron Nebraska that has about 3,000 students. Its online MBA degree of 36 credits is offered a total tuition of under $9,500. It’s a general business degree, designed to build the skills of mid-level managers.
While that price is low, we can’t find anything wrong with this school. Chadron is part of Nebraska’s public college system, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It’s probably not realistic to expect an employer outside the midwest to recognize Chadron's name, but for a basic grounding in business management, its online MBA program looks like a bargain. Chadron's website is www.csc.edu. We don't provide a direct link here because we've found their site has been down on several occasions.
Recommended Reasonably Priced Online MBA Programs
While it's not advisable to choose a school only because of it's price, the current economy has made it more important to get the most out of every dollar you invest in school. We make an effort to keep the list below up to date - it's a good deal of work because many of the schools don't like to display their tuition rates to openly. Here's a current listing of good low cost online mba schools, starting with the lowest priced (all numbers for 2012-2013 academic year):
Southern New Hampshire University Southern New Hampshire University is an 80 year old private school that's recently made a big splash in career-oriented online education. It has just been rated as the #12 most innovative "company" in the world by Fast Company Magazine, a rare honor for any school. Fast Company calls SNHU one of the few not-for-profit schools that are "truly up to speed online," noting its high student retention rates and affordability. As a not-for-profit, the school is under less pressure to institute big tuition hikes each year than some other schools. Many degrees are offered on an accelerated basis. Southern New Hampshire University offers online programs in:
- MBA in Accounting
- MBA in Athletic Administration
- MBA in in Finance
- MBA in Healthcare Management
- Plus International MBAs in a wide variety of specialties
Get information on Southern New Hampshire University
American Intercontinental University
One of the largest and best-known online schools, AIU's programs are not generally at the low end of the cost scale. But their MBA degrees are well-priced at under $28,000. including all software and course materials. The school has 15 different specialties in businesss master's degrees including:
- MBA Human Resources
- MBA International Business
- MBA Marketing
- MBA Organizational Psychology & Development
A number of MBA programs in finance, operations and other majors are also offered specifically for part-time students.
Get information on American Intercontinental University
Keiser University eCampus is a very career-oriented for-profit school with 13 campuses in Florida and a variety of pure-online programs. Since changing from a college to a university in 2006, Keiser has become a large player in online education, with a name that's about as well known as Phoenix, Capella and the other top for-profit schools. It has a traditional regional accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Keiser online MBA program requires 42 credit hours, a mimimum of 36 of which must be taken from Keiser. The cost of the masters program is surprisingly affordable. The available MBA specializations are:
- International Business
- Health Services Management
Get free information on Keiser University eCampus here
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