Just How Much Does an Online MBA Cost?

Online MBA Cost

You may be reading this because you are thinking about pursuing an MBA due to the impact COVID-19 on your professional life. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Graduate business schools have seen an uptick in applications since spring 2020. Many young professionals who have been furloughed or unhappy with their career trajectory are considering an MBA. Business schools are also offering their programs online due to COVID-19. Like many of your peers, you are worried about how to finance your degree during such uncertainty. We have provided information on the online MBA cost and resources to fund your degree below.

What factors determine your Online MBA Cost?

Tuition – The Largest MBA Cost to You

The majority of your MBA cost will be your tuition. Schools charge by the cost per credit. If you pursue a dual degree or add a certificate for example, this can increase your total MBA cost. There are affordable online MBA programs that cost less than $20,000, which can be enticing. However, it is important to understand that you can get what you pay for. These programs can only provide the basic courses, can have a lower virtual classroom experience, and less resources outside of your curriculum There are also well-known business schools such as the University of North Carolina or Michigan University whose programs cost well over $100,000. The tuition reflects the prestige of faculty, number of credits, alumni network, online learning experience, and career services among other factors. All applicants should research these factors to determine the best return on investment for your MBA cost.

Technology Fee

There are fees in every aspect of our lives, and business school is no different. One of the major fees that will impact your MBA cost as a student is the technology fee. This includes items such as technology platform licensing, support, and the platform’s overall quality. We are all familiar with using Zoom nowadays, but a virtual classroom setting is very complex. As you research online MBA programs, you should research the technology each program uses. Another ancillary cost can be the laptop you decide to use for the program. Schools require minimum processors, hard drive storage, high-resolution webcams, and wireless cards. This can also add to the total cost of your MBA.

Student Fees

There are also general fees that impact the cost of an online MBA. The fees are common across on-site and online MBA programs. They are included in your tuition to support student organizations and student activities. For example, this can support the career services office that helps you secure an internship or job. They can also be to support the admissions office for marketing and recruitment expenses to build high-quality student cohorts. You are not alone if you do not like the idea of student fees. However, they are a vital part of your MBA cost and help with your overall investment. We recommend that all students research the fee structure for their program to ensure it aligns with the market.

Books and Supplies

Each school is different in how they charge for books and supplies in their online MBA cost. Some programs charge this expense as part of your overall tuition, while other schools make this an additional expense to students. It is important to ask your admissions representative to estimate the book and supply fee if it is not included in the tuition. Supplies for online MBA programs can include your laptop as mentioned above. The range of your books and supplies fee can be anywhere from $250-$1,500 depending on the program.

Room, Board and Transportation

The beauty of an online MBA is that you don’t need to attend in-person classes. Some programs do require week-long immersion and networking events as part of your curriculum, which can increase your expenses. For these occasions, you would be responsible for your hotel, meal and transportation expense. Other programs do not require any in-person events on-campus, which can eliminate this whole expense. If you are looking to save as much money as possible, you need to understand that these in-person events can be vital to your professional development. Do not overlook these fees as part of your program because they can build your network. Very rarely, students will decide to relocate near or on campus to pursue their online MBA. There are benefits like being more ingrained in campus life and more opportunities to network with students from other programs, faculty, and staff. If you decide this is the right option for you, it could impact the online MBA cost.

Online MBA Cost Summary

Choosing an online MBA is a very important decision and commitment. Researching each program’s tuition cost is the most important factor to consider since it will be the largest expense for your online MBA cost. Students should also research the technology each program uses and the fees associated to ensure their learning experience is paramount. All other fees in your total online MBA cost should be considered, but they will be a very small percentage of your overall investment.

About the Author

Ryan Nemetz

Ryan is the Director of Client Services at MetroMBA and Clear Admit. He has over six years of experience in higher education including his current role and serving as a college basketball coach at Eastern University for four years.

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