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Here Are the Cheapest Online MBAs You Can Do From Your Couch, According to a New Report No in-person interaction is necessary and most cost less than $10,000.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • Online MBAs offer flexibility, convenience and can be cheaper than in-person options, though there are drawbacks.
  • Here are the most affordable online MBA programs in the U.S., per a new report.

Recent MBA grads in the U.S. make a median of $125,000.

But if going back to school full-time isn't an option, there are ways to gain the earning potential of an MBA without relocating or breaking the bank.

University ranking site Research.com shared a recent list of the most affordable online MBA programs with Entrepreneur using data from the IPEDS database, Peterson's database, College Scorecard database, and the National Center for Education Statistics.

Online MBAs have grown in popularity over the past few years, with a 158% increase in students from 2020 to 2021 during the pandemic.

"Online degrees have skyrocketed in popularity as they offer flexibility to balance your professional and personal life," said the list's author, Imed Bouchrika, co-founder and chief data scientist of Research.com. "These findings outline the most affordable options available, so you can achieve the degree you want no matter your financial situation."

According to a 2023 survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), professionals have shown steady interest in these programs, too. While the majority of respondents said they'd prefer to take classes in person, online programs drew interest from candidates who care most about flexibility, including women, first-generation collegians, and older students.

Some students considering online MBAs could see the degree as a way to "gain a promotion or secure a current job," the GMAC study found — not primarily for networking opportunities.

Related: How AI Is Changing Business School Curriculum, Accreditation

Still, where you get your MBA may directly impact your earnings. The MBA programs with the highest average salaries upon graduation, including Stanford University, Harvard University, and Northwestern University, were all in the top 15 of this year's U.S. News Best Business Schools rankings.

None of those schools are on this list; most cost more than $200,000 to complete. Most of the below cost less than $10,000.

Related: MBA Programs Are Making a Grab for Laid-Off Tech Workers

Here are the top 10 schools with the cheapest cost per credit for anyone considering an online MBA.

1. Northeastern State University

Location: Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Per credit cost: $251.00

Total credits: 36

Estimated total tuition cost: $9,036

2. Georgia Southwestern State University

Location: Americus, Georgia

Accreditation: AACSB International

Per credit cost: $257.00

Total credits: 30

Estimated total tuition cost: $7,710

3. Fitchburg State University

Location: Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)

Per credit cost: $275.00

Total credits: 30

Estimated total tuition cost: $8,250

4. Eastern New Mexico University

Location: Portales, New Mexico

Accreditation: ACBSP

Tuition: $297.25

Total credits: 30

Estimated total tuition cost: $8,917.50

5. Missouri State University

Location: Springfield, Missouri

Accreditation: AACSB International

Per credit cost: $309.00

Total credits: 33

Estimated total tuition cost: $10,197

6. University of the Cumberlands

Location: Williamsburg, Kentucky

Accreditation: IACBE

Per credit cost: $315.00

Total credits: 37

Estimated total tuition cost: $11,655

7. Sam Houston State University

Location: Huntsville, Texas

Accreditation: AACSB International

Per credit cost: $320.00

Total credits: 36

Estimated total tuition cost: $11,520

8. University of Central Arkansas

Location: Conway, Arkansas

Accreditation: AACSB International

Per credit cost: $325.00

Total credits: 30

Estimated total tuition cost: $9,750

9. Texas Tech University

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Accreditation: AACSB International

Per credit cost: $333.00

Total credits: 30

Estimated total tuition cost: $9,990

10. Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Location: Durant, Oklahoma

Accreditation: AACSB International

Per credit cost: $337.00

Total credits: 36

Estimated total tuition cost: $12,132

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

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