Daniel D'Souza
Written By - Daniel D'Souza

Check MarkEdited By Darryl S.

Check MarkReview & Contribution By Dixie Brown

Choosing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program can be challenging due to many considerations, the chief among them being cost. The cost of different online MBA degree programs might vary by a wide margin based on several variables and factors. On the other hand, the potential increase in earnings that getting an MBA can provide can frequently compensate for the cost of these programs. Several high-quality online MBA programs are available at various price points, with features corresponding to increased costs. Online Masters Colleges (OMC) analyzed various online MBA programs to assist students who compare program prices and understand the aspects contributing to their variances.

Important: Students must note that this guide is restricted to only online MBA programs and not traditional on-campus offerings.

Online MBA Cost

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University


Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

What are the Costs Associated with an Online MBA?

The total cost of an online MBA program is determined by various factors. Students from within and outside the state may be required to pay a different amount for tuition, and the costs of attending a private college are often higher than those of a public school. MBA programs that are more well-known or prestigious than programs that provide a greater number of services both before and after graduation may charge higher tuition.

Because various regions have greater living costs, an institution’s physical location is another factor contributing to the overall cost. Fortunately, online students are not physically present at the school and, therefore, are not impacted in any way by the cost of living in the surrounding area. Almost all online students can reduce their expenses related to travel and housing. Tuition is only one component of the overall price of an online MBA degree. Students are responsible for paying for their own textbooks and materials, in addition to any additional costs that may apply, such as buying or upgrading their computers, investing in computer accessories, getting a high-speed internet connection, etc. Students may also have to reduce the number of hours they work or look for lower-paying jobs that provide greater flexibility for their academic pursuits, both of which may result in a decrease in income while they are enrolled in a program.

Cost of Enrolling in an Online MBA

Plenty of additional MBA charges crop up throughout an online MBA program, over and above the tuition fees. Textbooks and other essential resources for classes are typically not provided free of charge to students. Most colleges charge their students various costs, including application, registration, and graduation fees. Because they do not use on-campus services, online students are frequently excused from facility or library fees; nevertheless, they may be required to pay specific online fees instead.

Here is an example of some of the various fee components colleges tend to charge their on-campus and online MBA students:

Registration Fee$20 per Semester$20 per SemesterNA
Application Fee$50$50$50
ID Card Fee$20$20$20
Tuition Fee$437 per Course$1,275 per CourseSame as On-Campus
Technology Fee$11 per Credit$11 per Credit$11 per Credit
Library Fee$8.25 per Credit$8.25 per CreditNA
Program/Facility Fee (Fall/Spring)$670.63 per Term$670.63 per TermNA
Program/Facility Fee (Summer)$262.48 per Term$262.48 per TermNA
Graduation Fee$25$25$25
Online Course FeeNANA$35 per Hour

Source: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2023-2024 AY Tuition & Fees[1]

The table above shows that online students pay significantly less for their MBA programs than their on-campus peers.

An important point to note is that the average cost of attendance at a private institution is far higher than that of a public university, which is why public universities are at the bottom of this list when it comes to costs.

What do Higher-Cost Online MBA Programs Offer?

While almost all online MBA programs provide good value for the amount they charge their students, here is a look at what higher-costing ones provide for the extra pay students pay:

1. Academic Brand Recognition

One of the top features a higher-cost online MBA program brings to the table is the college’s academic brand recognition and reputation. Legacy and well-established institutions add credibility and heft to the degree, providing graduates with an added advantage when seeking jobs.

2. Quality & Experienced Faculty

Most top and higher-priced schools tend to have an excellent faculty lineup. Professors of the online MBA program are usually well-qualified (from reputed institutions) and have many years of experience.

3. Synchronous Courses

Higher-cost online MBA programs often offer synchronous classes to maintain a high standard of instruction and provide students with a structure. This makes the degree more ‘standard’ in that students go through the same education and graduate at the same time.

4. Global Exposure

Colleges that offer more expensive online MBA programs open the doors to experts and professionals from business and industry from across the globe. This provides students with knowledge and understanding beyond the textbook.

5. Internships and Career Coaching

Another critical feature of higher-cost online MBA programs is the opportunity they provide to intern at large multinational corporations. These institutions offer additional coaching and counseling for career development and advancement and assist in job placements.

How to Choose the Best Online MBA by Cost?

So, how does one choose the best online MBA program based on cost? Listed below are some crucial aspects of business schools and their MBAs. Students should check to see if (a) the college and program meet their academic goals and (b) if the program is worth investing in, based on each aspect:

1. Accreditation

Students should seek an authorized MBA program, ensuring that the program fulfills high-quality criteria. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)[2], the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)[3], and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)[4] are all renowned accreditation agencies that evaluate MBA programs. Many firms look at the candidate’s school’s accreditation status. An MBA from an accredited university ensures that one’s money is well spent and provides the ability to advance their career. Read about the benefits and importance of accreditation in the Accreditation Guide.

2. Faculty

Checking faculty members’ educational qualifications, experience, and background of faculty members is always a good idea. The quality of the online MBA program is directly related to the quality of its teaching members.

3. Infrastructure

A college that offers an excellent online MBA program must have excellent infrastructure, especially in technology – computers, software, online tools, etc.

4. Courses & Electives

The more comprehensive the selection of core courses and electives available for an MBA program, the better. This way, students can tailor-make the degree to suit their requirements and align them with their career objectives.

5. Concentrations

To gain an edge over the competition, students should consider opting for specialization with the MBA. Specializations provide deeper insights into a specific study area and could lead to niche jobs that pay well.

6. Internships & Placements

Internships are an excellent way to further one’s knowledge base and gain much-needed exposure that would otherwise not be possible from learning only from a textbook. Learning the ropes and on-the-job training go a long way in making one employable and ready to begin or advance their career. Campus placements are equally important, as they save students the hassle of going out there and looking for a job. Of course, internships and placements are for students yet to begin working and not for working professionals who have returned to school.

7. Networking Opportunities

To be successful as an MBA professional, networking with industry experts and peers is essential. Building connections and relationships across the boards will bring several benefits in the short and long term and widen one’s horizon of knowledge and expertise in almost all aspects of business and industry.

Students who want to earn a Master of Business Administration degree must devote both financial resources and time and effort. Researching the various services colleges offer as part of their academic programs is a good idea for prospective students.

How to Save on Your Online MBA?

There are a few ways to decrease the overall cost of an online MBA. Although seeking financial aid may not qualify as a “reducing cost,” it reduces the money one must pay. Here are some ideas to help students save on an online MBA:

1. Financial Aid

Financial aid can be through scholarships, grants, assistantships, student loans, or from FAFSA. Getting financial assistance will ease the pressure of having to fund an MBA. The Federal Government, Universities, and many Business Corporations give financial aid in different guises. More information on financial aid is available in the Best Guide to Financial Aid.

2. Accelerated Degrees

Another good way to save money on an online MBA is to opt for fast-track, 1-year, or accelerated programs. Not only do accelerated programs lead to faster completion times, but they also typically focus on fewer subjects, resulting in fewer classes and offering more flexibility in schedule and structure. Accelerated degrees that combine a bachelor’s with a master’s as a 4+1 year combo, rather than the usual 4+2 requirement, can potentially reduce the overall educational costs. Read OMC’s guides on Accelerated MBA Programs and One Year MBA Programs to know more.

3. Enroll in a No GMAT Program

Several universities are waiving the GMAT score as an admission requirement. Although this does not directly bring down the cost of the online MBA program, it saves students the money they would have had to invest in pursuing a GMAT course and paying the examination fees. More information on No GMAT MBAs is available in the MBA No GMAT guide.

4. Choose In-State Public Universities

Although this option is more applicable to students opting for on-campus programs, attending an in-state public university rather than a private one or an out-of-state one may prove cost-beneficial. In several instances, online MBA programs are offered at lower prices in in-state public universities versus those outside one’s home state.

5. Attend an Affordable Program

One of the best ways to keep MBA educational costs in check is to attend an affordable online MBA program that offers exceptional value without compromising quality and credibility. The guide on Affordable MBA Programs provides detailed information on how students can choose one.

6. Working while Studying

Working full-time and bringing in an income while studying for an MBA is something that many business students choose to do. This choice can significantly reduce the overall cost of the MBA program. When attending an on-campus program, it can be exceptionally challenging to juggle the demands of both job and education successfully. Pursuing an MBA through an online program can make keeping one’s current work significantly easier. Students can finish their schoolwork whenever it is convenient for them because coursework is frequently made available asynchronously.

7. Pay off Loans while in School

The Master of Business Administration is often paid for by students taking out loans. Federal loans are popular among borrowers because they often have cheaper interest rates. However, because these loans are typically unsubsidized, interest will continue to accrue even while the borrower is enrolled in an educational program. Working while pursuing a Master of Business Administration enables an individual to start making loan repayments earlier, which reduces the overall cost of their education.

FAQs About Online MBA Cost

How to identify the cost of an online MBA? 

The total cost of getting an online MBA is significantly more than the tuition rates alone imply. Examine the school’s website to determine the total cost of the MBA, including tuition and any other applicable fees, before selecting a program to pursue. These fees could include an application fee, a registration fee, a fee for using technology, a fee for using the library, a fee for using a program or facility, a fee for graduating, an international student fee, and a graduation fee and more. Online students may be required to pay additional fees for participation in specific programs, although they may not have to pay for other components that traditional students would pay. Additionally, the tuition fees of an MBA program vary from school to school; therefore, students need to determine whether or not their tuition covers the cost of textbooks and supplies. It may be tough to unearth hidden charges; it is best to talk to an admissions counselor if one feels confused or overwhelmed.

Is an online MBA as good as an offline MBA?

Online or offline MBA – which is better?

Is an online MBA worth it?

Additional Resources

For students looking for more information on various online MBA programs and everything related to MBAs and master’s degrees, Online Masters Colleges (OMC) has in-depth, comprehensive guides to peruse. Read up on:

Also, check out other valuable resources, such as: