Getting an online business degree has never been easier. It can, however, be overwhelming. There are dozens of schools and online degree programs to choose from, each one in a variety of price ranges.
Featured Business Programs
- BS in Business Administration (ACBSP-accredited): Capella University
- MBA: Keller Graduate School of Management
- Dr. of Business Admin – Leadership: Liberty University Online
The following lists the 10 most affordable online business degree programs. The criteria used to rank each online degree includes overall estimated tuition and tuition per credit hour. Also listed is what each college offers as far as particular business degrees and majors. Depending on the school, other information such as financial aid or scholarship options, awards and ranking, and types of student support has also been included.
1. Fort Hays University
Fort Hays University is based in Kansas and offers several online degree programs. The online degree programs at Fort Hays, which they call their virtual college, provide some of the most affordable online business degree programs available. Undergraduate fees for one credit hour are $182 for in state residents. Out of state students would pay about $428 per credit hour. The college does offer a contiguous state resident tuition program for students living in the states of Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The fee for these undergraduate students is $201.27 per credit hour. Receiving that same credit hour rate of $201.27 would be those students who are in the Midwest student exchange program. Those states include Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Graduate level fees for virtual students are $246.90 per credit hour. The estimated full time cost per semester for a graduate student earning an MBA online is $3600. This is for 9 credit hours. Each credit hour for the MBA program is $400.
The university offers certificates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in business for online study. Certificate programs include a graduate certificate in advanced business, a graduate certificate in human resource management, and a graduate certificate in business. There’s a certificate that can be earned in economics, finance, and accounting. There are nine certificates offered in the areas of management and marketing. These include human resources management, management, marketing, operations management, customer service, and four different tourism and hospitality certificates. Bachelor degree programs include three areas of specialization in business education. There are also bachelor degrees in international business and economics, marketing, management information systems, and management with a concentration in human resource management. There’s also a bachelor of business administration in marketing. A master level degree in business administration (MBA) can be obtained online.
Accreditation & Scholarships
The online school is fully accredited with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Students can apply for several types of scholarships. Some of these include organization scholarships, diversity scholarships, and general scholarships. Students can also apply for general financial aid such as Pell grants and other government assistance. Loans are available for both students and parents.
2. East Carolina University
East Carolina University is one of the most affordable, even cheap, online universities compared to most other schools. The school is based in Greenville, North Carolina. Each credit hour for the 2014 spring semester distance program is $134 for undergraduate residents. For 15 credit hours each semester this brings the cost of tuition for one year to $4,470. An online business degree can be achieved with approximately 120 credits. Non-resident undergraduate fees are $611 per credit hour. Graduate fees for a resident are $222 per semester hour. For a non-resident graduate the cost would be $826. Neither an internship nor a campus visit is required from East Carolina University.
Undergraduate degrees that can be obtained through East Carolina University’s online program include business education, finance, hospitality management, marketing, management, and management information systems. An MBA can also be obtained through East Carolina University completely online. Students who wish to do a combination of online and campus study can pursue this option as well. The MBA program can be taken by those with an undergraduate degree in business as well as those students who have a non-business undergraduate degree. There are 8 required classes called the common body of knowledge (CBK) coursework that all students must take. There are then 3 required electives that must be completed. Those seeking a business degree online and are looking for the most cost effective way to obtain it, may want to seriously consider East Carolina University.
East Carolina University offers students the chance to qualify for the UNC Campus Scholarship. This provides an award worth $1500. There are national and international scholarships students can also apply for. There are different types of loans, grants, and general financial aid available for students.
3. Lamar University
In state and out of state tuition for the business classes is $208 per credit hour. There is a $15 payment in required fees for each credit hour. This brings tuition plus the fees to $6,890 each year for a total of 30 credit hours. While there are not as many online business programs offered at Lamar as some of the other colleges and universities, the affordable price tag can make Lamar a top choice for those students interested in the degrees that are offered. Lamar University is accredited by AACSB-International for both its graduate and undergraduate programs.
The university offers a bachelor of business administration in entrepreneurship, management, and general business. There are several dates throughout the year that students can start the program.
Lamar University offers the general types of financial aid assistance available to students attending college. They also provide a wide variety of scholarship options for students. Incoming freshman can apply for the Mirabeau Presidential Scholars Program. These scholars will receive full scholarship for four years. The McMaster Honor Scholarship provides tuition from $500 to $1,250 each semester. The Tom Jones Memorial Fund also provides honor scholarships. To be eligible for any of these scholarships students must receive 1200 or higher on an SAT score or have a score of 27 or above on the ACT. They must also rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class. These are just a few of the scholarship options available at Lamar.
4. Southern Oregon University
Undergraduate in state tuition for Southern Oregon University is $140.15 per credit hour for those who are residents. Graduate costs for residents of Oregon are $378.72. The average number of credits needed to graduate is a bit higher than most other colleges. It takes about 180 credit hours to obtain a degree. Non-resident fees are $441.84 for undergraduate students and $473.40 for graduate students. There are some fees that may be added to the base tuition cost. A student can receive an online business degree by meeting the same requirements whether the student attends the Ashland or Medford Campus, or completes the classes online. Southern Oregon University is based in Ashland, Oregon.
The degrees that can be obtained completely online include a bachelor degree that comes with three options. There is a management option that includes 8 required course credits and 12 elective credits. The public accounting option includes 24 credits of required courses and 12 elective hours. Management accounting has 16 required hours and 8 hours of electives to complete. Endorsements that can be obtained for an individual who already has a bachelor degree include a non-profit management certificate and an accounting certificate. There is also a certificate that can be earned in business information systems.
Southern Oregon University offers distance education in two different formats. The first is a fully online course. The student can take the course from the convenience of home any time of day, 7 days a week. Each course does have a start and end date, and the student may be required to attend an online meeting at a specific time. The university also offers hybrid classes that involve varying combinations of online work and on-site requirements. These on-site requirement may include meeting every few weeks or only at the start and end of the semester. Classes are sometimes conducted with the use of a two-way, interactive video.
5. Western Governors University
Western Governors University is a completely online university offering students a variety of majors and degree programs, including business. This university was founded by governors from states throughout the country. Western Governors is accredited by the NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education). The university charges a $2,890 flat rate for most programs for every six month term. This is the rate charged for the business bachelor’s program. A degree that was completed in four years, or eight, six month terms, would be less than $24,000. The average number of credits needed to graduate is 120. The business master’s programs are $3250 per six month term. These tuition fees cover all coursework, a variety of learning resources, assessments, and advising from a mentor.
Western Governors University offers several programs in which students can obtain an online business degree. These include a bachelor of science in business management, marketing management, human resource management, information technology management, accounting, sales and sales management, and marketing management. At the master’s level degree programs include a master of business administration, MBA information technology management, MBA healthcare management, an M.S. in management and leadership, and a master of accounting.
Western Governors University does accept financial aid from students who qualify. The university offers several scholarships as well. Those that would apply to business students include the WGU M.S. Management and Leadership Scholarship that is worth up to $2,000 and the WGU Emerging Leaders in Business Scholarship that is also worth up to $2,000. There are also partner scholarships that business students can apply for. One of these includes the WGU Institutional Partner Fund for up to $2,000. This is for employees of WGU’s partner institutions. Students who are employed would need to find out if their place of employment would be considered a partner institution. There are also scholarships for those currently in the military as well as veterans. The WGU Military Spouse “Go Further” Scholarship can be used for a business degree and is worth up to $2500.
6. Eastern Oregon University
Tuition plus fees for undergraduates is $7,533 each year. With books and supplies it comes to about $8,900 each year. This estimate is based on 15 credit hours each semester. The graduate degree, which includes 12 credits, is $12,246 for tuition each year. With books and supplies that total comes to an estimated $13,600. Each credit hour is approximately $138. This makes Eastern Oregon University one of the most affordable online institutions where a student can obtain a business degree online. The university requires 180 credits for a degree.
Eastern Oregon University offers a major in business administration with areas of emphasis that include marketing, accounting, accounting CPA track, and leadership, organization and management. Eastern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The University also offers accelerated credit options for those with life experience that may apply. There’s a year-round schedule and online academic advising to fit each student’s personal needs. Eastern Oregon University is military friendly and are participants in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
7. Columbia Southern University
Obtaining an online degree from Columbia Southern University will cost a student approximately $6,000 each year in tuition. Each undergraduate credit hour is currently $200. Graduate fees per credit hour are $265.
Columbia Southern University provides a wide variety of online degree programs. They have a bachelor of science in business administration, with several areas of concentration. These areas include finance, marketing, management, hospitality & tourism, human resource management, international management, information technology, project management, and sport management. There is also a bachelor of science in health care administration. The MBA programs are just as varied with several areas of concentration to choose from. These include project management, public administration, finance, marketing, health care management, and human resource management. Other graduate level programs include master of science organizational leadership and master of public administration with concentrations offered in criminal justice administration and emergency services management. They also offer an associate of business degree. Finally, the university provides several certificate programs. These include a finance certificate for both graduate and undergraduate students, a hospitality and tourism certificate that is available for undergraduates, a health care management certificate for graduate students, a sport management certificate for undergraduates, a public administration certificate for graduates, a project management certificate for both undergraduates and graduates, a marketing certificate for both undergraduates and graduates, a management certificate for undergraduates, an international management certificate for undergraduates, an information technology certificate for undergraduates, and a human resource management certificate for both undergraduates and graduates.
While the overall costs are not quite as cheap as some of the others on the list, the variety of programs offered may make this online university a desirable choice for some students. There isn’t an internship required for graduation and visiting the campus isn’t necessary. The average number of credits required for graduation is 120. The estimated length of time it takes to graduate for a full time student, however, is 5 years. There are military benefits available as well as assistance for veterans. The university offers the Robert G. Mayes Memorial Scholarship and the Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship that are awarded annually. Columbia Southern University also provides several partner scholarships.
8. Florida International University
For students who are living in Florida and are enrolled in an online bachelor’s degree program, they will pay $157.36 per credit hour. There is a distance learning fee of $53.33 per credit hour. Those who are not residents of Florida pay $333 per credit. It takes an average of 120 credit hours to complete a degree.
They offer a bachelor of business administration with several options for majors. These include finance, international business, human resource management, and management and marketing. The university offers a corporate master of business administration degree. Altogether there are 44 credits required. The cost is $42,500. It takes 18 months to complete the master’s program.
There are several financial aid options for students. Grants, loans, and federal work-study are all available for those students that qualify. Scholarships that students may apply for include the Bright Futures Scholarship, the First Generation Scholarship, and various institutional programs.
Florida International University has a high ranking in several distinct areas. One of these areas is being ranked number ten among international business programs. The university was also ranked number nine in 2012 of the 25 Best Value Online MBA Programs. In 2012 they were also listed as number seven on the list of the largest public universities by enrollment. The University’s graduate school of business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The university also boasts of over 200,000 alumni internationally.
9. Chadron State College
Chadron State College provides several online business degrees at affordable prices. For those taking online classes the fee per credit hour is $220 for an undergraduate resident of Nebraska. The cost for an undergraduate non-resident is also $220. If a student takes 15 credits per semester this comes to $6,600 each year in tuition costs. Graduate costs are $275 per credit hour for both residents and non-residents. Chadron provides several payment options for students. They can pay by cash, check, money order, or a variety of credit cards. There are also installment plans that can be set up for each semester. A student can choose to pay in 3, 4, or 5 installments.
Chadron offers several options for students seeking either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business and wishes to complete their degree online. A student can major or minor in business as well as complete a variety of comprehensive business programs. The college offers online bachelor degree programs in business administration with options in accounting, management, business information systems, and marketing and entrepreneurship. It takes about 120 credit hours to graduate. Students are not required to visit the campus or complete an internship in order to graduate.
The MBA at Chadron State College was designed for those individuals in mid-level management positions and other similar supervisory positions. The program will help students increase their knowledge in the areas of marketing, finance, accounting, economics, business management, and informational management systems. The program is completely online and is set up in eight week sessions each semester. Requirements to be accepted into the MBA program include having received a bachelor’s degree from an institution that is regionally accredited. The perspective student must also have earned a grade point average of at least 2.75 or better that was based on a 4.00 scale.
10. SUNY Empire State College
SUNY Empire State College, based in New York, has been around for over 40 years. The college provides several online business degree programs at affordable costs. Tuition per credit hour for undergraduate students living in New York is $245. Tuition for a year with 15 credit hours each semester comes to $7,350. Out of state costs for online students is $638 per credit. There is an option for a nonresident grant that would bring the out of state cost down to $343 per credit hour. Each perspective student would need to check with the college to see if they qualify for this grant. The graduate fees for New York State residents is $411 per credit hour. The MBA tuition is $505. For out of state residents the general graduate fee per credit hour is $764 while the MBA is $840 per credit.
The college offers an associate’s degree in business, management and economics, with the concentration in business. There are several online bachelor degrees in business to choose from. There are bachelor of science degrees in business, management and economics with several choices for areas of concentration. Some of those choices include business administration, facilities management, health services management, human resource management, marketing, and information systems. The college offers over 500 online classes every year. The degrees can be obtained fully online without a visit to the actual campus.
There is tuition assistance for eligible students. SUNY Empire State College was named “best buy” when it came to online business degrees. This was given by GetEducated, a consumer group that publishes rankings and objective reviews. SUNY is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Active duty military personnel, reservists, those in the National Guard, veterans, and spouses and dependents of those on active duty in the military receive the in state tuition rates wherever they may live.
No matter where a student lives, he or she should be able to find a business degree program online that fits each individual need for a reasonable cost. With all the resources and options available, there has never been a better time to implement online education to further one’s education.