Online education is often touted as a way to reach students who would otherwise be left behind, but many business schools still charge high fees, even for their digitally delivered MBAs. However, there are some options that are cheaper and target students from low-income backgrounds or those living precariously around the world.
Some Online MBA programs actually charge zero tuition, or offer scholarships that give some students a full ride. And, despite the low costs, the best Online MBAs for Accessibility come with high satisfaction rates and strong employment outcomes. Many of the best programs also have a quality stamp from the world’s leading accreditation agencies, ensuring high academic standards.
Some Online MBAs on this list offer students the opportunity to take a taster course before signing on the dotted line. There also tends to be more flexible admissions requirements at these affordable institutions, with business schools considering both past achievements but also future potential. Many waive the GMAT or GRE entrance exams.
The list is based on affordability in terms of Online MBA tuition fees and accessibility in terms of admissions requirements. Other factors include the return on investment of the degree, in terms of career outcomes and salary progress that can boost social mobility.
The iMBA was launched with a price point that’s a fraction of what students would pay on most other MBA programs, whether residential or in person. Despite the low cost, the iMBA has satisfaction ratings near 100 percent from students. The program also delivers a strong return on investment, with 53 percent of 2019’s graduates having received a promotion, job offer or a promotion during their time in the program. The salary went up by 20 percent on average too. Students can also try before they buy with a taster course.View School Profile
In the UK, Durham University Business School puts on an Online MBA that is very affordable. Crucially, overseas students pay the same rates as British ones, unlike at some other institutions that charge internationals up to three times more. What’s more, the school awards more than £1.2m in scholarships to outstanding graduate students who can demonstrate academic or professional excellence.View School Profile
Georgia Southwestern State University’s Online MBA is accredited and uber-affordable. The business school has accreditation from AACSB, ensuring high academic standards. The school is also accessible in terms of its admissions policy, with students who are unable to meet the academic requirements still able to receive an offer of admission, conditional on them taking foundational courses in finance and statistics.View School Profile
Texas A&M University offers a cheap Online MBA for working professionals. Not only are the tuition fees on this AACSB-accredited course low, but it is accelerated, with students able to complete the Online MBA in just 12 months. This means that students will begin to recoup a return on their investment sooner than at many other institutions that run their Online MBAs over several years.View School Profile
Southeast Missouri State University is an affordable public institution with a strong reputation for academic rigor. Not only is the course accredited, but the Online MBA is taught by the same professors as the full-time version, ensuring high teaching standards. The program is made even more accessible by a GMAT waiver for certain students who have substantial work experience or a master’s degree from an accredited institution.View School Profile
The Open University Business School is exactly that. It’s MBA is delivered entirely online and it’s affordable as well. And unlike at many other schools, the OU includes the cost of books and study materials, accommodation and food in its tuition fee. This significantly lowers living costs. Students can also pay in instalments rather than in a lump sum, spreading the cost of the MBA over several months. And more than 40 percent of students at the OU receive some level of sponsorship from their employer.View School Profile
The Maastricht School of Management puts on an Online MBA that is far cheaper than many rival courses. It is also accredited by AMBA and is ranked highly by the financial press. The school in the Netherlands offers an early-bird discount on tuition fees, along with a wide range of scholarships for candidates who demonstrate academic excellence, or come from specific backgrounds such as family businesses or the public sector.View School Profile
Southern Arkansas University offers one of the cheapest Online MBA programs in America. There’s a GMAT waiver on offer for applicants who have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher. The school is ranked by US News and World as one of the country’s best institutions for upward social mobility. An AACSB-accredited program, there are numerous specializations such as social entrepreneurship, supply chain management or agri-business.View School Profile
This institution is Kazakhstan is accredited by AMBA. And it runs one of the most affordable Online MBA programs in the world, taught over two years. According to Eduniversal, AlmaU is the best business school in Central Asia and it’s also included in the ranking of the best business schools in the world.View School Profile
The UoPeople MBA is tuition-free, in that the business school does not charge students for teaching, course materials or even enrolment. There is a small fee for application and exam processing. The school aims to improve access to education and admit students from across the world. With that in mind, the admissions policy is more flexible than most. UoPeople considers both what applications have achieved in the past, and what is their potential to achieve in the future.View School Profile
Can Online MBAs Democratize Business Education?
Jul 12, 2021
Technology has made study far more affordable and accessible for low-income students from across the globe