Pursuing an MBA is an investment in both time and money. However, the benefits of having an MBA degree is worth every dollar. An MBA can lead to salary increases, promotion opportunities, and improved leadership and management skills.

If you’re thinking of getting your MBA – you’re already one step ahead of most people. One of the questions you’ll have to think about is whether you want to enroll in an on-campus program or take an online MBA program (distance education). But, what about the costs? Let’s break it down.

According to OnlineMBA.com, there isn’t a straightforward answer. Actually, there are many factors that impact the cost of an MBA program including MBA programs with a higher level of prestige or programs that offer more services before and after graduation.

One of the benefits of considering an online MBA program is there is no cost for commuting to school or living on campus. Due to the format of the program, most do not require students to attend any on-campus classes; as a result, the costs significantly drops. Before selecting a school, it’s important to consider and compare both tuition rates and additional fees.

How Do School’s Calculate Online MBA Tuition?

Most accredited schools that offer online MBA programs calculate their tuition costs either by per-credit hour or per-term (tuition will vary depending on if the program is full-time or part-time).

What Costs Are Associated with Online MBA Programs?

Again, many factors contribute to the total cost of an online MBA program. For instance, if you live out-of-state you’ll most likely pay a different tuition rate. If you decided to do your online MBA with a private institution, you’ll also typically pay more than a government-funded school. Here’s the cost breakdown according to the National Center for Education Statistic (statistics are from 2016):

  • Private Grad School: Average cost of the online MBA program is $26,000
  • Public Grad School: Average cost of the online MBA program is $11,500
  • Non-Profit Grad School: Average cost of the online MBA program is $22,500

No matter what institution your pick, it’s important to look for an accredited MBA program, as most employers will consider the accreditation status of the candidate’s school.

Whether you enroll in an online MBA program or an on-campus program, most courses will require students to pay for textbooks and supplies. Though some schools will have the option to buy digital textbooks. It’s important to spend time comparing the costs of the school’s digital versions versus the hard-copy materials.

Another benefit of an online MBA program is that most school will exempt online students from paying facility or library fees since most students do not use these on-campus resources. Though some school will charge a small ‘online course fee’ typically costing about $35 per credit.

How to Evaluate the Cost of an Online MBA Program

It’s important to spend time reviewing each prospective school’s website to help you fully understand the total tuition costs and additional fees. Some of these extra fees may include a registration fee, application fee, technology fee, service fees, graduation fee, and a fee for international students. It’s important to know that some of these fees may be subject to change if you’re an online learner.

How to Save on Your Online MBA Program

There are plenty of ways you can save on your online MBA program including earning an accelerated MBA (by fast-tracking your degree you’ll pay less in pre-term fees). If you consider an in-state university you may be eligible for a discounted tuition rate. Also, many schools have the option to take a part-time online MBA program that will allow you to continue to work while earning your MBA degree.

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