If you are looking into an MBA degree to help advance your career and you are considering going the online route, then you’ll have quite a few options. Unfortunately, many of those options are still quite expensive, so in this article I will cover five of the best affordable online MBAs to help make that search a little bit easier.
Best AFFORDABLE Online MBAs of 2022
I’m a big fan of online MBAs because more often than not they represent the most flexible and most economical way to earn the degree. I myself am currently finishing up my MBA online through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which happens to be in my top five list and because I have had such a great experience.
I now spend a good amount of time spreading awareness and education around online MBA programs and it’s actually led me to do a lot more research on what really constitutes a strong MBA program beyond just the rankings that we may see through conventional university ranking publications.
I have another article where I outline the criteria I use to determine what programs is really a good value but in short it’s these five areas that I focus on tuition, flexibility, global university rankings, number of specializations offered, and networking potential. This is because these programs are all online and the flexibility is the same across the board.
I’ll actually be focusing on three points which is tuition, global university ranking, and number of specializations. I think those are the three more important points to highlight. So with that said here are the top five.
1. University of Louisiana, Lafayette
Coming in at number five is the University of Louisiana, Lafayette and this represents one of the better values for an MBA at just $13,000. While the university is fairly well known in the United States, perhaps the brand is not as strong globally or abroad. However, it does offer eight specializations which gives you many options to differentiate your MBA and also interestingly enough it includes healthcare administration and hospitality both of which are harder to find in many programs. So these two in particular are good differentiators.
2. University of Nebraska
The number four best university offering affordable online MBA on our list is the University of Nebraska. This is a far more recognized program both in the US and abroad, so we’re jumping up quite a bit in ranking and so is the price. The price jumps up to $30,000 but nonetheless it’s still a great value.
It’s a fraction of the cost of most other strong reputable MBA programs and six specializations are offered here but they are all in the more traditional business functions. Business analytics is probably the more modern one but again nothing all too unique here.
3. Oklahoma State University
Number three is Oklahoma State University and although it ranks lower than University of Nebraska, I give this one the edge because it is almost a third of the cost and it offers some pretty unique specializations. It offers nine in total, including data science which is becoming more and more important for business decision makers to understand. So this is actually a fantastic and a unique specialization to have.
Then, there’s also energy business which happens to be another unique specialization across MBA programs but it makes sense here because it’s Oklahoma. It’s big in the oil and gas sector so all things considered, this is a really good value with some fairly unique specializations that you can use to differentiate your degree.
4. Boston University
Now we are taking a much bigger jump in terms of global brand recognition with Boston University that started offering their MBA online in the fall of 2020. They are a long standing established university founded in 1839 and one of about 130 R1 designated research institutions in the US. This just means that they produce a lot of research.
The only downside I see here is that there doesn’t appear to be any specializations offered which does make it a bit challenging to differentiate the degree from other comparably ranked degrees. However, you are not going to find many programs in the ballpark of this ranking at this cost which makes this the second best value for an online MBA on the list.
5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The number one best university offering the most affordable online MBA is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Now this is the program I’m currently in and I’m in it because I determined it to be the best value for me. However, objectively speaking, it’s still one of the best values for anyone out there looking for an online MBA degree.
Like Boston University, the brand recognition in the US and globally is among the best. It’s a top research institution and has been around since 1867. So they were also really the first university of its reputation to offer their MBA degree online at the price point. That they did which right now is around $22,500 and it was unheard of when they launched it in January of 2016. Even to this day it continues to be a rarity in online higher education.
The networking potential is incredible as there are many alumni of course but also a large number of concurrent students in the program. They have been doing this for a number of years and the student base has only grown exponentially since then.
To cap it off, they offer a good number of specializations one of which is data analytics which is the newest offering and it really helps bring the MBA into the context of the modern business world which is reliant on mountains of data but then reliance on professionals to then interpret that data and take actions with it.
To this day, this program represents the best value for an online MBA degree and really for any MBA in general due to the strong brand of the university and the price point.
Final Thoughts on the Best Affordable Online MBAs
In future articles, I’ll go into a bit more detail on each of these programs and I also have plans of doing a similar article like this but focused on the top MBAs globally as opposed to just in the US. One of the benefits of these online MBA programs is that you can do them from anywhere in the world so programs that are outside your current region are now accessible without you having to relocate over there. So again it really opens up the pool of potential programs for you if you are looking globally.
Folks let me know in the comments down below if there are any programs that you think should be considered for this list or if you yourself have had any experience with an online MBA that you would recommend to my readers.