Obtaining a business management degree online is an excellent option for individuals seeking flexibility and convenience while pursuing their education. However, it’s essential to understand the costs associated with these programs before making a commitment.
By researching your options, you could potentially save tens of thousands of dollars on tuition and other fees while still obtaining a high-quality education. Financial aid options, including federal aid and private scholarships, could help you save even more.
To help you find an affordable program, here’s a closer look at how much an online business management degree costs, how you can save money, and a few of the most affordable programs available online.
How Much Is Tuition for an Online Business Management Degree?
According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of an online bachelor’s degree is $51,091. But before you let this figure deter you from pursuing a degree, it’s important to keep in mind that several factors determine the total cost of a program.
For example, while the average cost for a bachelor’s degree online may be over $50,000, the average cost for an online bachelor’s for in-state students is much lower at $38,496.
Other factors that can impact the cost of your degree program may include the type of institution (public or private) and whether the school is a traditional university or a specialized online institution.
- Public vs. private institutions: Public universities generally offer lower tuition rates compared to private institutions. This is because public universities receive funding from state governments, allowing them to subsidize education costs for in-state students. On the other hand, private universities rely on tuition and private donations, which can result in higher tuition fees.
- In-state vs. out-of-state residency: If you are pursuing an online business management degree from a public university, your residency status can significantly impact tuition costs. Even though these programs are offered entirely online, in-state students still often receive preferential tuition rates compared to out-of-state students. If you are considering an out-of-state institution, be prepared for higher tuition fees.
- Traditional university vs. specialized online institution: Traditional universities offering online business management programs may have similar tuition rates for both online and on-campus students. However, specialized online institutions may have different fee structures specifically designed for online learners. It is crucial to compare tuition costs between different institutions to make an informed decision.
You can also expect to pay more overall if you plan to pursue a graduate degree, like a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Other Expenses to Consider
Apart from tuition fees, there are other expenses associated with pursuing an online business management degree.
While these expenses may vary depending on individual circumstances, it is essential to consider them in your financial planning. Here are some common hidden costs of online learning to keep in mind:
- Digital textbooks: Online degree programs often require students to purchase digital textbooks and other course materials. While digital resources may be more cost effective than traditional textbooks, these expenses can still add up over the course of your degree program.
- Distance education fees: Some institutions charge additional fees for online courses. These fees may cover technology expenses, online platform access, or student support services. You should inquire about these expenses before enrolling in a program to ensure you understand the program’s total cost.
- Home office expenses: As an online student, having a dedicated study area or home office can enhance your learning experience. However, setting up a suitable workspace may require additional expenses such as furniture, equipment, and office supplies. While these costs are not directly related to tuition, they are essential for creating an effective learning environment.
While attending an online college will allow you to save on housing, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses, there are a few expenses specific to online learning that you may be responsible for. Make sure to keep these in mind when planning your education.
How To Reduce the Cost of Your Online Business Management Degree
While pursuing an online business management degree may seem financially daunting, there are several ways to reduce the overall cost of your education.
Here are some cost-saving strategies to consider.
Federal Pell grants
The Federal Pell Grant program provides need-based grants to eligible undergraduate students. These grants do not need to be repaid and can significantly reduce out-of-pocket expenses. To determine if you qualify for a Pell Grant, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Filling out the FAFSA will also determine if you qualify for any federal loans or work-study programs. Make sure to fill this application out every year that you’ll be attending college.
Many organizations, businesses, and foundations offer scholarships specifically for students pursuing business-related degrees. Research and apply for scholarships relevant to your field of study. These scholarships can provide financial assistance and help offset the cost of your degree.
You can also find scholarship opportunities directly on your school’s website. Start applying for scholarships early, as scholarship funds are limited and often given on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Work-study programs provide part-time employment opportunities for students, allowing them to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. These programs are often available through your university or college and can help cover your educational expenses. It is important to note that work-study funds typically are not applied directly to tuition. They are received as the student’s paycheck. This income is meant to help students pay for daily expenses that they incur while enrolled in classes.
Employer tuition assistance
If you are employed, check with your employer to see if they offer tuition assistance or reimbursement programs. Many companies provide financial support for employees seeking to further their education, particularly if the degree is relevant to their job.
In some cases, your employer may be willing to cover the entire cost of your degree if it will help you perform better in your role at the organization.
Community colleges or online universities
Community colleges and online universities often offer more affordable tuition rates than traditional four-year institutions. These institutions provide quality education and allow you to transfer credits to a four-year institution later, potentially saving you money in the long run.
This list features some of the most affordable online business management degree programs in the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution, either public or private, with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions.
We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.
Next, we compared this comprehensive list of the most affordable online business management degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.