Most Affordable Online Business Schools & MBA Programs (2020-2021)

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Earning an MBA can be an expensive proposition, with many programs costing $100,000 or more for tuition alone, plus fees, room, and board. Add to this the need to stop working to earn the degree and the cost skyrockets.

In addition, student loan debt is becoming a crisis. In the U.S. student loan debt has reached more than $1.5 trillion (FRED, SLOAS 2019). Part of the problem is the rising cost of higher education.

Another issue is that students do not realize how much the debt they are taking on is going to cost them in the end with interest, especially on private loans. A study done by Lendkey Technologies (cited on Yahoo! Finance in April 2019) found that 49 percent of borrowers didn’t know what their debt obligations would be, including monthly payments when the loans come due.

Without the proper understanding of the future debt strain, students are taking on more debt than they will be able to pay back given their potential earnings. This can lead to financial stress, delayed home buying, and delays in starting a family. In addition to these repercussions, Huffington Post pointed out that student loan debt is leading to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. In fact, of those surveyed:

  • 10 percent of people say student loan debts are their top worry
  • 65 percent of those with student loans lose sleep from the stress
  • 67 percent have “physical symptoms of anxiety due to the stress from their student loan debt”

Yet another point to consider is the income potential of earning an MBA. Consider the following Bureau of Labor and Statistics data (May 2019):

  • The national mean annual wage for all earners in management occupations was $122,480.
  • Managers of companies and enterprises constitute 19.87 percent of the industry’s employment, and the annual mean wage is $152,320. This is an average hourly wage of $73.23.
  • Under the industry “Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities” the annual mean wage was $190,690. This is an average hourly wage of $91.68.
  • In the “Monetary Authorities-Central Bank” industry, the annual mean wage was $181,360. This comes out to an average hourly wage of $87.19.

The question remains: what can business professionals do to advance their careers and earning income potential while avoiding the massive debt load and the ensuing stress? The answer: find an affordable, online program that can give them the flexibility to continue working and living at home, while earning an excellent MBA education.

Plus, COVID-19 has ushered in some unusual opportunities. With GMAT requirements being waived at top-notch institutions and low interest rates, right now is an extraordinary time to apply for an online MBA program.

Explore online MBA programs ranked by affordability for the 2020-2021 school year.

These rankings are based on tuition data BSchools.org collected in 2020 from 315 online MBA programs. Tuition information is as current as possible, being taken from the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school years as published by each institution.

Most Affordable Online MBA Programs (2020-2021)

There are several affordable online MBA programs for those seeking an MBA degree. Most of the programs are accredited by a reputable organization (AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE) and are 100 percent online. Let’s look at the 20 most affordable online MBA programs ranked by overall cost. Please note that when a cost range was indicated, the average was used.

Affordable Online MBA Programs Are Available

There are several affordable MBA programs that offer the convenience and flexibility of online learning, along with the affordability students are seeking. In addition, these programs are accredited, guaranteeing their high quality and caliber of education.

Check out our other online MBA programs for more information on the excellent offerings available.

Sara Navratil
Sara Navratil
Writer

Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She's the owner of Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about entrepreneurial and general business topics, and providing detailed information on online MBA programs. When not working she likes to read, bake, and spend time with her family.

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