Most Affordable Colleges for Online Business Degree Programs in 2021

Most Affordable Colleges for Online Business Degree Programs in 2021
Imed Bouchrika by Imed Bouchrika
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were already millions of higher education students taking classes online. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2020), 3.45 million students were enrolled exclusively in distance education courses in the fall of 2019. In the same period, 3.863 million learners had at least one online course.

But because of the pandemic, 84% of students enrolled in face-to-face post-secondary courses had to move to online-only instruction (NCES, 2021). Despite that, 41% of respondents in a different survey expressed that the pandemic barely impacted their decision to enroll in an online program, as they had been considering it previously (Capranos, Dyers, & Magda, 2021).

Regardless of the reason, there is a boon in distance learning. Students who have previously set aside their college plans can now enroll in online degree programs. To this end, this article lists 15 of the most affordable online business degree programs for those who want to pursue this field.

Most Affordable Online Business Degree Programs Table of Contents

Is an online bachelor’s degree as good as a regular bachelor’s degree?

The short answer to this is yes. Students taking an online degree program receive the same instruction as their on-campus counterparts. Professors who teach face-to-face classes are also the same ones who handle the online version of their courses.

If you are concerned about online learning’s impact on your performance, do not fret. In a study by Jasmine Paul and Felicia Jefferson titled “A Comparative Analysis of Student Performance in an Online vs. Face-to-Face Environmental Science Course From 2009 to 2016” published in 2019 in Frontiers in Computer Science, the authors discovered through chi-square analysis that there is no significant difference between the performance of traditional students and online learners. Similarly, the two-way ANOVA yielded no significant difference in the performance of face-to-face and Internet-assisted students with regard to their ranking in class.

Moreover, higher education institutions award the same diploma to graduates of an online degree program as students who attended classes in a conventional way.

organizations that hired online degree holders

What employers think about online-attained degrees

The main concern of prospective learners who are looking to take online degree programs is whether they are acceptable to future employers. Fortunately, hiring professionals and employers alike now look at online degrees favorably. For example, 71% of organizations revealed that they hired a candidate with an online degree in the past 12 months. On top of that, 61% of HR leaders say that online instruction has the same quality as traditional lessons, if not of greater quality.

However, before enrolling in an institution that grants degrees online, students must make sure of their reputation. This is because 92% of employers look favorably upon online degrees from well-known reputable colleges and universities compared to those attained from a higher-education institution that is solely online or less known (Knerl, 2019). This means that the name and reputation of a degree-granting educational establishment have plenty of bearing on the acceptability of an online degree.

What to Expect from an Online Bachelor’s Degree Program

Because of COVID-19, tertiary and post-graduate educational institutions had to move their instructions online. While restrictions have loosened and universities and colleges are beginning to have face-to-face classes, online classes remain a major choice for individuals. Said 37% of respondents in a study, “Due to COVID-19, online education was the only option available.” Besides that, 23% said they could only enroll in online courses because commitments make it difficult to attend on-campus lectures.

While distance learning has its benefits, major adjustments remain for students. Among these are the lack of physical social interaction, challenges in time management, technological and IT difficulties, and the amount of work required to pass online courses.

Lack of Physical Social Interaction

Often, students would have to work in groups, even though the program they are taking is wholly online. This would prove to be challenging as group members cannot interact physically, thus the rapport that can be found in group gatherings may go missing.

To remedy that, you would have to find time to interact online through text chat, voice calls, and even better, video calls. It may not be enough, as people “lose a good 90% of the cues that we usually use,” such as implicit non-verbal signals, said Dr. Aaron Balick, a psychotherapist.

Still, those meetings can run as smoothly as intended when there is an organizer, and everyone shares their thoughts when it is their turn, rather than speaking on top of each other. And when serious discussions are done, students can have informal interactions so they can be more comfortable with one another.

non-verbal cues lost in online online communications

Time Management Challenge

Time management is the ability to plan and control how you want to spend your time to accomplish tasks. This is especially true for students who work either part-time or full-time. The initiative and the responsibility lies with the distance learner to keep up with the curriculum, notably with regard to assignments and projects.

But, of course, it is also important that students set aside time for their families and a little bit of social life. In that case, they need to do away with procrastination and stick to a schedule to stay on top of coursework.

Technological and IT Difficulties

Because classes are held online, it is required of students to have a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone that meets the specifications provided by the institution they are matriculated in. It is also their responsibility to have a reliable internet connection so they can attend live lectures and be a part of real-time discussions.

In some cases, colleges and universities would have their own online learning platforms. In that case, it is up to you to determine how to navigate those. If ever they need assistance, that help may not be easy to be had if the IT or the technical team is not online when you need them.

There is the predicament of not exactly knowing how to use the tools and applications required for certain courses. Students are mainly left to their own devices to install and figure out how to use technical programs.

Most Affordable Online Business Degree Programs

1. Aspen University

Tuition: $4,500 per year

Aspen University’s completion program for its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration allows students to gain their much-needed leadership skills for the world of business. It is foremost among the most affordable colleges for business degrees online for its low tuition. Plus, you can pay the total cost of their degree on a monthly basis.

This online program, however, is designed only for students who have already earned an associate’s degree or have previously completed 60 college credits. Those who want to start from the beginning can only attend on-campus classes. Despite that, the tuition rate remains the same.

2. West Texas A&M University

Tuition: $4,601.82 per year

West Texas A&M University offers fully online Bachelor of Business Administration programs with various specializations. Students can choose among management, marketing, general business, and finance. They may also opt for computer information systems and economics with a law and economics specialization. If students want to attend face-to-face classes on top of their online courses, they may do so.

3. California University

Tuition: $5,355 per year

The online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree offered by California Coast University prepares students by introducing them to the main concepts of common practices of business. The curriculum also includes courses that provide learners with essential information regarding management, operations, and communications.

As well, the California Coast University makes it easy for students to pay for their tuition with interest-free payment plans.

4. Clayton State University

Tuition: $5,694 per year or $2,847 per 15 credit hours

Clayton State University offers four business-related programs to students through Clayton State Online. Students can expect the same rigor in distance learning as they can in traditional learning environments.

Moreover, you can get in touch with the university’s Communications and Technology Services for assistance in regard to distance-learning technology. On top of that, online learners get access to programs such as Microsoft Office for free.

5. University of the Cumberlands

Tuition: $5,970 per year or $199 per credit hour

The University of the Cumberlands has an online Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration program that provides learners with the necessary business skills to excel in the field. Throughout the program, they can learn the theories and processes behind leadership and management. They will also be taught accounting, economics, marketing, and financial management.

6. Fort Hays State University

Tuition: $6,806 per year or $3,403.20 per 15 credit hours

Fort Hays State University’s Bachelor of Business in Administration Management degree helps students succeed in their work in the field of business or even in starting their own. Throughout the program, they will encounter principles of accounting, will be introduced to laws governing business, and be taught know-how in marketing. Learning about human resource management as well as organizational behavior and development are also part of the program.

7. Indiana University East

Tuition: $7,170 per year or $239.01 per credit hour (in-state or reciprocity)

Indiana University East makes it possible for students to gain an online degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration through IU East Online. This program prepares students to become members and leaders of teams in problem-solving and decision-making scenarios. In these situations, they can incorporate ideas from individuals informed by core courses in finance, business analytics, economics, management, and others.

8. Southern Utah University

Tuition: $7,200 per year or $3,600 per 12-20 credit hours

Southern Utah University gives students an AACSB-accredited degree in management. This gives students the foundation to navigate the ever-changing world of business to succeed in their careers or in their entrepreneurial pursuits.

With the university, students have the opportunity to earn certification in ERP with SAP recognition, international business, or entrepreneurship and small business management.

Moreover, students have access to a full-time career coach who can guide them and arrange internships or on-the-job training for them.

9. Dickinson State University

Tuition: $7,470 per year or $3,735 per 15 credit hours (in-state)

Apart from delivery in its Dickinson, Williston, and Bismarck Campuses, Dickinson State University makes available its Bachelor of Business Administration Degree – Administration online as well. The program looks into the fundamentals that enable organizations to operate efficiently. Furthermore, students are introduced to theories in business and are guided on how they can apply those in real-world situations.

10. Georgia Military College

Tuition: $7,785 per year

Students can attain a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Business Management online with the Georgia Military College’s Global Online College. It arms students with the knowledge and skills needed to become effective in leadership roles in any industry they wish to enter. Thus, there are exercises geared towards the sharpening of critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making.

11. Fayetteville State University

Tuition: $8,318.12 per year or $4,159.06 per 12 credit hours

Fayetteville State University is another institution that assists students in completing their general business administration degree online. Through this completion program, non-traditional learners can take classes via the online learning platform Canvas. There are discussion groups and social groups where students can meet online for course discussions and socialization. By enrolling in this program, students can access lectures on YouTube, Khan Academy, and other platforms.

12. Lamar University

Tuition: $8,880 per year or $296 per credit hour

Lamar University designed a Bachelor of Business Administration in General Business Online that gives students a thorough foundation in business principles. With this, students are more equipped to pursue their career goals in accounting, insurance, human resource management, marketing, finance, and even real estate. Learners are exposed to ethics and public policy in business during the course of this program, too.

13. Tarleton State University

Tuition: $9,907.70 per year or $4,953.85 per 15 credit hours (in-state)

Tarleton State University’s B.B.A. in General Business is geared towards students who have undertaken plenty of non-business-related courses. Through this, they can complete the required 120 credit hours without much difficulty. They can also use their military, technical, vocational, and work credits towards the completion of the degree.

And despite being offered online, the degree program opens students to opportunities for studying abroad to allow them to attain a global perspective on business.

14. University of Louisiana – Monroe

Tuition: $12,000 per year or $400 per credit hour

The University of Louisiana – Monroe has an online Bachelor of Business Administration Management aimed at students looking for general business education with a specialized focus on management. Through this program, students can mold themselves into effective leaders in whichever industry they may wish to enter.

15. University of Missouri – St. Louis

Tuition: $12,612 per year

One of the best online programs for business is being offered by the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Its curriculum is a holistic one, developed with inputs from business and industry leaders. Students can even customize it to fit their educational goals by selecting a specialization or by maintaining a general business education approach.

Factors that Affect Online Business Degree Program Costs

Most people look for online college programs because they want to reduce the cost of higher education. There is no need for additional fees attached to traditional classes, such as the use of technology resources and meeting venues. They can also do away with transport costs and slash their food expenses as well.

However, unknown to many, the tuition can actually cost as much as a traditional degree program or even higher. In fact, one study found that it costs $41.48 per credit hour more to develop and deliver an online course compared to a traditional one. Indeed, 74% of online programs charge the same tuition as on-campus programs and 23% exact higher fees for their online offerings.

That is because developing an online course and program is more expensive. Another factor driving the cost of online tuition is the additional expense of the college or university for online instruction and support services. On top of that, the costs of online program marketing are inflating distance learning tuition.

Fortunately, these added costs are less expensive than they used to be. Previously, an institution can shell out as much as $15 million designing an online program, with engagements and assessments suitable for Internet-based environments.

Source: Quality Matters, 2018

How do I get into an online business degree program?

The admission requirements for an online business degree program are similar to traditional ones. To give students an idea of what to expect so they can prepare the essential documentation, here are the requirements of the University of Missouri – St. Louis (Curators of the University of Missouri, 2021) for incoming freshmen as an example:

  • 17 units of credit for English (two units, composition or writing and speech or debate), Mathematics (four units), Science (three units, one of which must be a laboratory course), Social Studies (three units), Fine Arts (one unit), and Foreign Language (two units of a single foreign language)
  • High school transcript and class rank
  • College aptitude test scores

Students must note that business degree programs may require specific subject requirements and may look for more units in mathematics from students.

Be Prepared for College

Entering college is a huge undertaking for any student. Some parents even start preparatory measures, especially with regard to finance, as early as their children’s kindergarten years or even soon after they are born. Learners, on their part, can start determining their options seriously during junior high or middle school. The Federal Student Aid (n.d.) has a checklist that learners and their parents or guardians can refer to so they can be well prepared for college or university.

Among the things they need to consider once they are in junior high is to choose challenging and interesting classes that can help them once they are in high school. Involvement in school and extracurricular activities is also highly encouraged. At this point, students should develop or have cultivated strong study habits.

Once they reach high school, students need to look at the general admission requirements of higher education institutions. If they already have a major or a degree program in mind, it would be time to take academic subjects that can serve as preparatory steps for their college venture. They likewise need to start searching for the most affordable colleges for business degrees.

The list is long and there are more definitive considerations once you reach high school. This is why it is best to always keep this checklist to keep you on track for college.

 

References:

  • Capranos, D., Dyers, L., & Magda, A. J. (2021, August 31). Voice of the online learner 2021. Wiley.
  • Curators of the University of Missouri. (2021). UMSL admission requirements. University of Missouri–St. Louis.
  • Federal Student Aid. (n.d.). College preparation checklist. FSA.
  • Hinde, N. (2020, May 18). The psychology behind video calls – And why they mess with our minds. HuffPost UK.
  • Knerl, L. (2019, February 12). What employers really think about your online degree. Northeastern University.
  • National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Fast facts: Back-to-school statistics (372). NCES.
  • National Center for Education Statistics. (2021, January). Number and percentage of students enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by distance education participation, location of student, level of enrollment, and control and level of institution: Fall 2018 and fall 2019. NCES.
  • Newton, D. N. (2018, June 25). Why college tuition is actually higher for online programs. Forbes.
  • Paul, J., & Jefferson, F. (2019). A comparative analysis of student performance in an online vs. face-to-face environmental science course from 2009 to 2016. Frontiers in Computer Science, 1.
  • Venable, M. A., Brown, K., Brown, N., Lawrence, F., Linton, J., Morgan, K., Muniz, H., Rice, A., Stewart-Rozema, J., & Tomlin, Q. (2021, July 27). Online education trends report. BestColleges.

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