Posted on 28 April 2013.
Earning an MBA is a coveted goal of many college students and business professionals alike. Some have the desire to enter an MBA program immediately after graduation, but many adults will work in a business environment for several years before making the decision to go back to school and earn their MBA. Earning an MBA can be challenging for many reasons, and one of the most significant challenges relates to cost. According to Forbes, the average cost of an MBA in the United States is just under $100,000. However, in exchange for the time, effort and cost associated with an MBA, those who have this higher-level degree generally will qualify for more coveted positions in a corporation, or business environment. Furthermore, they may command a higher income. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, the average starting salary of an individual with an MBA was over $85,000, and this was over $40,000 more than the average starting salary of an individual with a Bachelor’s degree.
Clearly, there is earning power in many fields for those with an MBA, but the cost of an MBA can be steep. Identifying some of the most affordable MBA programs in the country may help you to find a cost-effective way to enjoy the benefits of an MBA degree without the hefty price tag.
University of Louisiana at Monroe (the College of Business Administration)
For students looking for an option that offers them a flexible schedule, the University of Louisiana at Monroe ranks as one of the most affordable accredited online MBA programs in the country based on a 2013 News & World Report. Tuition for the online MBA at this school is a very reasonable $8,990. What’s more, Monroe is an affordable city to live in with a relatively mild climate much of the year, making it an ideal location for in-state students.
Southeast Missouri State University (Harrison College of Business)
Southeast Missouri State University also offers one of the most affordable MBA programs in the country. With a campus in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Southwest Missouri State University offers an MBA in General Management that can be earned on campus as well as through online education. The in-state cost for the degree is about $9,389, and the out-of-state tuition is about $16,269.
Arizona State University (the W.P. Carey School of Business)
For students who are interested in earning an affordable MBA degree from a larger school with a strong reputation, Arizona State University is a great option. This school’s main campus is located in Phoenix, and there is a second campus in Tempe. These are areas that are known for having great weather and affordable cost of living. The cost of the two-year MBA program for in-state students is reasonably priced at around $22,500 per year, while out-of-state students will pay $30,700. One of the key benefits associated with attending this school is the relatively small class size. Most MBA classes here have less than 50 students each, which ensures that you have access to your instructors and can enjoy personal attention.
Auburn University (College of Business)
Auburn University is located in warm and sunny Auburn, Alabama, and students can earn their MBA degree on campus or through a distance educational program with online courses. The Executive MBA program has been ranked as seventh in the country according to a list by U.S. News. The entire 21-month program is $55,480—just over half the nation’s average MBA cost. Students can choose between six different concentrations, and dual-concentration MBA programs are also available. Research assistantships are also available to the brightest students at the school.
The University of Florida (Warrington College of Business Administration)
The University of Florida is widely known as one of the top state schools in the country, and its MBA program is regarded as top-notch. The cost of in-state tuition for the traditional two-year program is $24,908, and the non-resident tuition is $59,695. Students can choose to attend classes on the campus in sunny Gainesville, or they can pursue on online MBA degree. Notable alumni from this school include Florida Panthers owner Alan Cohen and New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner. Furthermore, the school ranked fourth in a listing of the top MBA programs in the country by U.S. News.
Texas A & M University (Mays Business School)
The Mays Business School at Texas A & M University is a premier academic institution. In fact, the Financial Times ranked this school as first overall in regards to “Best Value for Money” in 2012. The main campus is located in College Station, which is conveniently located between Houston and Austin. It offers a rich tradition, a low cost of living and a fabulous climate. In-state students can complete their MBA degree for about $37,667, and non-resident students will pay about $50,000. This school has the notable distinction of being one of the few in the country that have a private trading center for securities and commodities. The school is also known for its retailing research center and real estate school.
Making the decision to earn an MBA may be one of the best steps that you can make to advance in your career as well as to enjoy a higher quality of life over the years. Putting in a bit of research may result in savings of thousands of dollars per year in tuition—and these aren’t the only schools with programs under $50,000. Both Ohio University and Benedictine College have programs under $30,000 ($29,000 per year and $22,200, respectively) and are also great choices, according to a CNN Money report.
With numerous MBA programs available through schools in your state as well as with distance education programs from schools across the country, there are many programs to consider. Students struggling to decide which MBA classes to take should consider web and graphic design or computer programming. The internet is invading the day to day lives of businesses world-wide and MBA students would be well served to increase their internet intelligence.