Receiving a Master’s in Business Administration, or MBA, is a powerful tool to help a person advance in nearly any professional field. Actually finding the time and money to complete this graduate degree can be extremely difficult, but there are particular ways to go about it that make it more cost effective and efficient. One of the methods that has seen a significant increase in popularity over the past decade is getting an MBA from an online program.
Not All Online MBA Programs Equal
Online MBA programs, much like on campus programs, can run the gamut from well respected and pricey to lesser caliber programs that might not be worth the money at all. The wide spectrum of programs available online mirrors the availability of programs available on campus, and many of the on campus programs offer the same courses online as well. The costs, much like the programs themselves, depend very much on the university itself: is it public or private? Is there financial aid offered? Is it a top ranked program that will command higher tuition rates?
What Goes into the Cost of an Online MBA Program
All of these issues matter when determining the price of an online MBA. Some of the expenses will not differ even in an online MBA programs. Student fees will still be charged and textbooks will still need to be purchased. These can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. It is possible that purchasing a computer might be a slightly higher burden for a student pursuing an online only program, if they did not already own one or have access to one. A computer can run anywhere from $700 to $2,000. Tuition costs are where the biggest difference will be found, however. Tuition for an online MBA can range from as low as $10,000 to as high as $90,000, with most programs running somewhere between $35,000 and $50,000. The average for on campus programs tends to run higher than that, and the opportunity cost is greater because of the salary that is likely not being earned while getting an MBA in person. Most estimates state that on campus MBA programs will cost anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 over the same two year period.
The Benefits of an Online MBA Program
Online MBA programs allow the flexibility of working full or part time while attending school online, often on a person’s own schedule, or from far away. Online programs mean a person can attend the university of their choice without having to move or leave a much loved job. There are also no worries or expenses associated with needing to live near a campus, where housing prices can be very expensive. Being able to work full or even part time effectively means the online MBA will cost even less, because less financial aid or scholarship will be required.
Deciding if an Online MBA is Worth It
Much like on campus programs offered by public universities, their online MBA programs are more affordable than most private universities’ programs. Any degree earning student seeking an online MBA is eligible for financial aid, just like their on campus counterparts, and can seek out student loans, grants, scholarships, or even employer sponsorship for their online MBA. Any student intending to seek out an online MBA should carefully consider the cost of their program, additional fees, their income, and how much should be financed versus how much is covered by scholarships or other mechanisms which do not require repayment. These calculations are invaluable in determining whether a program is worth it for a student or not.