Online MBA Programs for Students with a Low GPA

Family issues or money problems can make maintaining that high GPA challenging. For those who want to earn their MBA, a low GPA isn’t a road block.

September 28, 2021

Online MBA Programs for Students with a Low GPA

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Ideas for Increasing Your Chances of Getting into Business School

For students looking towards a graduate degree, earning a high undergrad GPA is a great achievement. But untimely circumstances like family issues or money problems can make maintaining that high GPA challenging. For those who want to earn their MBA, a low GPA isn’t a death sentence. More colleges are recognizing that a high GPA isn’t the only characterization of a good candidate for an online MBA program. Programs accept “splitters,” or applicants who base their submissions on other criteria like GMAT scores, work experience and faculty recommendations—not just their undergrad GPA marks. Read on to if you’re interested in finding the best online MBA programs for students with a low GPA, or are looking for ways to offset a low GPA on your business school application.

How Low is Too Low? GPA Averages for Online MBA Programs

Graduate-school acceptance is not an objective science; rather it’s a subjective art. Few institutions have specific GPA minimums, but looking into each program’s incoming class GPA averages can be helpful in determining how low GPA requirements may go. While top-25 programs have GPA norms of higher than 3.5, there are many other regional programs that accept applicants with average GPA scores of 2.5 or more. It’s also important to note that many programs accept students with low-end GPAs when they demonstrate supplemental positives in test scores, work experience, or personal essays. Check out our data below to search for AACSB accredited online MBA program GPA requirements.

The Best Online MBA Programs for Low GPA Students

We’ve compiled the list below to make it easier for prospective students to learn which business schools could provide the best chance of acceptance with a low GPA. Students can also see what average tuition and fee costs are at each school, and learn how many graduate students apply, are accepted and eventually enroll to help decide which business school might be the best choice for earning their online MBA.

GMAT REQUIREMENT% OF GRADUATE APPLICANTS ADMITTED% OF GRADUATE APPLICANTS ENROLLEDTUITION AND AVERAGE FEES (OUT-OF-STATE)TUITION AND AVERAGE FEES (IN-STATE)

University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.5

Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.3

n/a 82% 34% $$$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Prairie View A & M University Prairie View, TX

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.5

Not required 86% 32% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

McNeese State University Lake Charles, LA

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

400 82% 48% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$$

Kent State University at Kent Kent, OH

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.5

n/a 85% 27% $$$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Wichita State University Wichita, KS

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

n/a 95% 26% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Louisiana State University-Shreveport Shreveport, LA

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.5

450 76% 56% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

500 93% 35% $$$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

480 85% 37% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Whitewater, WI

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

n/a 80% 36% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

475 85% 39% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

500 92% 40% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Lamar University Beaumont, TX

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

n/a 79% 34% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Wright State University-Main Campus Dayton, OH

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

400 96% 43% $$$$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

n/a 73% 51% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Morehead State University Morehead, KY

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

400 85% 30% $$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

South Carolina State University Orangeburg, SC

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

n/a 95% 20% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Georgia Southwestern State University Americus, GA

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.7

n/a 72% 33% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.5

Not required 79% 24% $$$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Edwardsville, IL

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.5

520 88% 27% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Yeshiva University New York, NY

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

n/a 80% 50% $$$ $$$$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$$

Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, KY

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

520 92% 31% $$$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Mississippi College St. Clinton, MS

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

n/a 82% 31% $$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Samford University Birmingham, AL

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

480 93% 26% $$$ $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Drury University Springfield, MO

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

450 84% 34% $$$ $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Black Hills State University Spearfish, SD

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

n/a 84% 38% $ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

University of Nevada-Reno Reno, NV

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

500 79% 37% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, TX

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3.3

n/a 84% 44% $ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Radford University Radford, VA

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

500 83% 26% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Longwood University Farmville, VA

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.8

420 79% 22% $$$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, AL

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

400 67% 34% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Southeastern Oklahoma State University Durant, OK

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

n/a 72% 45% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Marshall University Huntington, WV

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

500 88% 39% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.5

500 73% 29% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

n/a 84% 26% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

University of Southern Indiana Evansville, IN

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.5

500 69% 27% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Niagara University New York, NY

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

n/a 85% 22% $$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

450 82% 33% $$$$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Emporia State University Emporia, KS

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3.5

450 87% 42% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke, NC

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

n/a 74% 27% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Utah State University Logan, UT

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
n/a

n/a 97% 29% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Arkansas State University-Main Campus Jonesboro, AR

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

480 70% 29% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

Clarion University of Pennsylvania Clarion, PA

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3.3

550 96% 43% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Saint Cloud State University St. Cloud, MN

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3.3

470 86% 30% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

n/a 77% 18% $$$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

University of South Carolina-Aiken Aiken, SC

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.5

400 57% 26% $$$$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

University of Wyoming Laramie, WY

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

550 96% 36% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati, OH

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

n/a 76% 26% $$$$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

Minnesota State University Moorhead Moorhead, MN

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
3

500 77% 28% $$ $

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$

Rowan University Glassboro, NJ

MINIMUN GPA REQUIRED:
2.5

450 71% 18% $$$ $$

Cost per Credit Hour (in- state, part-time graduate students): $$

Cost per Credit Hour (out-of state, part-time graduate students): $$$

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Tips for Getting into an Online MBA Program with a Low GPA

Online MBA programs’ admissions officers are interested in learning about the people behind the applications they receive. They will consider all aspects of the application, but in reality will only spend between 15 and 20 minutes before deciding whether or not to invite an MBA candidate for an interview. There are many strategies students can use to offset a low GPA. From high GMAT or GRE scores to compelling personal essays, here are some traditional and more creative ideas for boosting your value on your online MBA application.

There are more online MBA options than you might realize

No matter which business school you dream of attending, keep an open mind. There are plenty of online MBA programs at smaller colleges and universities that still offer a high-quality and affordable learning experience, as well as excellent networking opportunities in the business community. Check for accreditation standards: there are more than 500 AACSB accredited schools in the U.S.

Find inspiration from others who have been in your shoes

Some online MBA programs are more open to accepting splitters than others. You can find success stories of low-GPA admits by closely researching individual programs, or by looking at online forums like Beat the GMAT or GMAT Club to find feedback on open-minded admissions committees.

Understand admissions officers want to get to know you

Be honest. A compelling personal essay that describes your life, including why you might have a low GPA, might show program heads that you’re strong, persistent and able to overcome challenges. Check for colleges that accept video essays and get creative. Work experience helps, too, especially in a business- or management-related field.

The GMAT can be the difference. Prep for it.

GMAT scores are the keys for splitters to find success in getting accepted. Consultants at Admitbrain.com have dedicated a full section of content on how test scores can offset low GPAs, including which percentiles counteract each other. There are many resources available for test prep, too; from free practice questions at Khan Academy to the official GMAT Mini Quiz.

Demonstrate your abilities by retaking courses related to MBA material

If you have a low grade from college in statistics or calculus, it might be worth retaking those classes, or even picking up an additional course at a local community college to improve your skills. Admissions officers may see this as a sign of commitment to your program.

Let others describe you

Letters of recommendation from former professors or superiors can describe you in a way that you can’t describe yourself. Texas A&M University Corpus Christi recommends demonstrating relationships with former faculty who can attest to your character.

Be persistent

According to Jen Weld, a former admission-committee member, second- and third- time applicants’ submissions get stronger and stronger. They also demonstrate strength and an unwillingness to quit, which are great qualities for candidates to show.

Hints & Advice from An Admissions Counselor

Jared Barlow is the senior associate director of graduate admission and recruitment strategy for the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Here are the hints and advice Jared gives for students who want to earn their MBA despite a low GPA:

What should online MBA program candidates with a low GPA focus on when applying?

If a candidate has a low GPA, do they have to have a high GMAT score to have a chance?

How important is work experience and personal story in an applicant's resume?

Learn More About Online MBA Programs

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