Cheapest MBA Programs

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Save Money and Find the Cheapest MBA Program

An MBA trains graduate students in business analytics, organizational leadership, and strategic decision-making. The degree often translates into higher earning potential and increased professional responsibilities. After earning an MBA, professionals can move into management and supervisory roles.

Cheap MBA programs offer an affordable route to the degree. MBA students can also save money by pursuing financial aid opportunities. This guide outlines how to save money on an MBA.

What Makes an MBA Program Affordable?

The cost of MBA programs continues to rise. In 2019, 12 top-ranked MBA programs cost more than $200,000. However, prospective applicants can find affordable MBA programs. When considering affordable MBA programs, prospective students should weigh their financial aid opportunities, lost earnings during a degree, and job opportunities after graduation.

Many organizations offer financial aid for MBA students, including scholarships and grants. Some programs also offer assistantships and paid internships. MBA degree-seekers should also consider how to avoid lost earnings during school. For example, part-time and online programs help learners work while completing a degree.

Although MBA programs are costly, they can lead to higher earning potential. The average base salary for 2020 MBA graduates exceeded $100,000 per year.

Online vs. In-Person MBA Program Costs



MBA program costs vary by factors like school, delivery format, and enrollment status. For instance, in-state students at public schools typically pay less than out-of-state students.

Cheap MBA programs with online enrollment options can save students thousands of dollars. For instance, many schools allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of residency. Additionally, the flexibility of online learning often allows students to continue working while earning the degree.

How to Save Money in an MBA Program



By applying to cheap MBA programs, researching financial aid, and studying other cost-saving strategies, students can graduate with less debt.


  • Find Scholarships and Grants

    Many professional associations, private foundations, and business schools offer scholarships and grants for MBA students. Applicants can search for scholarships based on factors like their career goals, financial need, and state. Some scholarships fund future CPAs or fraud investigators, for example.

    Many business schools also offer financial aid packages. Students should check with their school for any program-specific funding opportunities.


  • Talk to Your Employer

    Employers may provide financial support for earning an MBA. More than half of employers offer tuition reimbursement programs. These programs typically cover $5,250 in educational expenses per year. Some programs may require a minimum GPA and/or a minimum number of years working at the company.

    Students can also research other benefits available through their employer, including company scholarships and flexible schedule options for working students.


  • Focus on Where You Are Applying

    Application fees can add up. Instead of applying to many schools, students should consider focusing on a few select programs. By applying to fewer programs, applicants can more easily customize their submission materials and save money.

    However, only applying to the top-five MBA programs might backfire. Prospective students should consider applying to at least one or two less competitive schools to increase their odds of acceptance.


  • Track Your Money with an App

    Budgeting and tracking money helps MBA students lower their expenses and avoid debt. Budgeting apps make it easy to monitor costs and keep expenses down. Tracking educational expenses can also make it easier to apply for educational tax credits.


MBA Resources

Portrait of Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University and earned tenure as a history professor at the University of Louisville. An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a freelance writer and consultant.

See articles by Genevieve

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