How Much Does an MBA Cost?

Online MBA costs vary depending on the program. Break down the costs, get help planning ahead, and find out how an online MBA degree pays off.

October 14, 2021

How Much Does an MBA Cost?

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MBA Cost at a Glance

Online MBA cost at top-ranked programs can exceed $100,000, while the average tuition of a two-year graduate degree is $38,628, according to the NCES.

An online MBA is on average $10,011.40 or 25.64% cheaper than an on-campus MBA, according to our 2021 MBA Student Survey

  • Online MBA is on average $4,659.41 or 13.83% cheaper than the average MBA
  • On-campus MBA is on average $5,351.99 or 15.88% more expensive than the average MBA
  • An online MBA is on average $10,011.40 or 25.64% cheaper than an on-campus MBA
  • First generation students paid an average of 10.42% more for their MBA than the survey average
  • Males paid an average of 6.40% less for their MBA than the survey average
  • Females paid an average 5.81% more for their MBA than the survey average
  • Of the 343 surveys collected, three students identified as non-binary/third gender and paid 23.65% more for their MBA than the survey’s average

Of 343 students: Avg cost for MBA: $33,696.79

  • Total $ spent on MBA: $11,558,000
  • 95 students paid 0-$5,000 for their MBA
  • 76 students paid $50,000-$100,000 for their MBA
  • 30 students paid +$100,000 for their MBA
  • Highest recorded total cost of an MBA: $250,000

Paying for Tuition, Fees & Other Common Expenses Pursing an MBA

Consistently ranked as the most popular graduate degree, the MBA serves as the gold standard for business education, building high-level skills and preparing graduates for diverse career paths. An MBA traditionally encompasses comprehensive business knowledge in areas such as finance, management, economics, and marketing. Some programs allow students to specialize their degree with concentrations in areas such as entrepreneurship, information technology, and healthcare administration.

The Graduate Management Admissions Council reports that MBA graduates earn an average starting salary of $115,000. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that the average cost of a two-year graduate degree is $38,628, and tuition at top-ranked programs regularly exceeds $100,000.

Earning an MBA degree online often saves students money. This page offers an overview of what it costs to earn an online MBA, including tuition rates, financial aid options, and strategies to make an online MBA more affordable.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Does an MBA Cost?

According to the 2021 study by AffordableCollegesOnline, students reported that the average cost of a fully on-campus MBA was $39,048.78. The average cost of a fully online MBA was $29,037.38. Several factors affect tuition rates at online MBA programs, including type of school, enrollment status, and delivery format. The NCES reports that graduate degrees of all types cost an average of $19,314 per year, with two-year programs totaling $38,628 in tuition expenses. However, online MBA tuition rates vary widely among schools, and total tuition expenses may exceed $200,000 at many of the country's elite programs.

Public colleges often offer lower tuition rates than private colleges, and in-state students at public schools often pay lower tuition rates than out-of-state students. However, some public colleges offer in-state tuition to all online students regardless of where they reside.

Enrollment status can also affect tuition costs. A part-time MBA gives students the flexibility to work while in school, but these programs feature a lighter course load each semester, keeping students in school longer and potentially driving up tuition expenses. Conversely, accelerated programs feature a heavier course load but enable students to graduate sooner.

Students should also keep in mind that most MBA programs include expenses beyond tuition, such as application and registration fees, textbooks, and technology costs. Planning for higher education expenses can feel overwhelming, but admissions advisors can assist students in understanding common expenses and other fees associated with college education.

We Surveyed 383 MBA Students. Here's What They Said...

How was your MBA offered?

ANSWERTotalAvg Cost+/- Avg% Diff
On-campus41$39,049+$5,351+15.9%
Online107$29,038-$4,659-13.8%
Hybrid (less than 50% in-person)106$41,613+$7,916+23.5%
Mostly Online89$27,404-$6,292-18.7%

Are you a first-generation MBA student?

ANSWERTotalMBA CostCost vs Avg
No154$29,175-13.4%
Yes189$37,380+10.9%

Ethnic Background & Heritage

ETHNICITYTotal StudentsAvg Spent on MBACost vs Avg
African American29$29,230-13.3%
Asian22$36,318+7.8%
Caucasian260$33,777+0.2%
Latino/a19$35,210+4.5%
Multiracial2$74,000+119.6%
Undisclosed1$20,000-40.7%

Gender Identity

FEMALEStudentsAvg SpentCost vs Avg
African American23$40,583+20.4%
Asian12$24,391-27.6%
Caucasian105$36,971+9.7%
Latino/a15$42,333+25.6%
Multiracial1$28,000-16.9%
ALL156$35,852+6.4%
MALEStudentsAvg SpentCost vs Avg
African American16$36,187-7.4%
Asian10$31,200-7.4%
Caucasian152$31,414-6.7%
Latino/a4$8,500-74.8%
Multiracial1$120,000+256.1%
Undisclosed1$20,000-40.7%
ALL184$31,739-5.81%
NON-BINARYStudentsAvg SpentCost vs Avg
Caucasian3$41,667+23.7%

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Frequently Asked Questions About Online MBA Cost

true Q. How long does it take to complete an MBA?

Most MBA online programs take about 18-24 months to complete. Part-time programs may increase this timeframe, while accelerated programs may decrease it.

true Q. Is an online MBA worth it?

An online MBA prepares students for lucrative roles in diverse fields, making the degree a worthwhile investment for many students.

true Q. Does an MBA increase your salary?

Many MBA graduates report doubling their salaries after earning the degree, with average increases of around $70,000-$84,000 annually.

true Q. Can I complete my MBA completely online?

Many schools allow students to complete their MBA online. Other online programs may include some on-campus elements or other in-person requirements.

true Q. How much does an online MBA cost?

Students at all types of graduate programs pay an average of $19,314 per year. However, tuition at MBA online programs varies widely, with tuition at top-tier schools often exceeding $100,000.

Paying for Your Online MBA

Graduate programs in business offer strong career and salary prospects, and tuition rates typically reflect these professional outcomes. Even at more affordable state schools, MBA candidates often graduate with over $50,000 in student debt. Online MBA candidates can ease their financial burden by pursuing educational funding sources, several of which we highlight below.

How are other students paying for their MBA?

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