Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degree in Business

Explore online bachelor's degrees in business, including concentration areas and common coursework. Also, learn how to choose the right program and what kind of business careers you can pursue after your business degree program. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Most Affordable Online Business Bachelor's Degree Programs

When determining the most affordable online bachelor's programs in business, we took into account a program's total cost, including tuition and fees. We also considered other factors, such as program flexibility and the business concentrations offered. Below, you can explore the best affordable online bachelor's degree programs in business.

1. Missouri State University-Springfield

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Springfield, MO $7,376 91%

Missouri State University-Springfield offers 2 online bachelor's degrees in the field of business, including the:

  • Bachelor of Science in General Business degree
  • Bachelor of Science in Finance degree

Both degrees accept transfer credits and are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International and the Higher Learning Commission. The BS in General Business allows students to specialize in accounting, marketing, computer information systems, and other business fields, while the BS in Finance allows students to choose the finance track or the financial planning track. At Missouri State University-Springfield, all online students, regardless of residency status, paid $295 per credit for the 2019-2020 academic year.

2. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Whitewater, WI $7,692 80%

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree programs feature several different concentration areas, including:

  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • General Business
  • General Management

These AACSB-accredited business degrees feature flexible online asynchronous classes that consist of streaming videos, discussion boards, and group projects. The online BBA degree program, no matter the concentration, requires a total of 120 credits, and students must complete 20 hours of community service as well. The price for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's online BBA program is $389 per credit for both in-state, out-of-state, and international students. A textbook rental program is also included, where students can receive the course materials and textbooks they need.

3. Central Washington University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Ellensburg, WA $ 8,072 90%

Central Washington University has 3 online bachelor's degree programs that have a business-focus, including:

  • A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree
  • A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Supply Chain Management concentration degree
  • A Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Supply Chain Management degree

The online business administration program is designed for those who have an Associate in Business with direct transfer status, and it can be taken in both full- or part-time formats. The online BAS in Supply Chain Management degree is for those who have already earned an Associate of Applied Science or technical degree and features courses in operations, purchasing, and logistics. During the 2019-2020 year, full-time resident students paid a quarterly rate of $2,757.46, and full-time non-resident students paid $7,984.56 quarterly.

4. Troy University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Troy, AL $8,908 94%

Troy University's online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Global Business degree program offers students the opportunity to concentrate in one of the following areas:

  • Management
  • General business
  • Marketing
  • Human resources management
  • Accounting and finance

Each concentration area can be completed 100% online in short, 9-week terms. Students take core business courses and global business courses as well as concentration courses in their area of specialization. Classes and assignments can be completed at a time convenient to students and feature interactive forums and virtual conferencing with professors. All online undergraduate students at Troy University paid $338 per credit with no extra fees added on for the 2019-2020 academic year.

5. Indiana State University

Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Terre Haute, IN $9,090 93%

Indiana State University offers several online bachelor of science degree programs in the field of business, such as the:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Development for Higher Education and Industry
  • Bachelor of Science in Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing

Each of these programs is accredited by AACSB International, and the BS in HR Development is a SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) affiliate program. These online business programs all require 120 total credits, can be completed in full- or part-time formats, and accept transfer credits. Along with core business courses, students also take specialized courses within their area of study. For example, the BS in Marketing features courses in market research and promotional strategies, while the BS in Management features courses in leadership and organizational design. For the 2019-2020 year, undergraduate Indiana students paid $327 per 0-11 credits, while out-of-state students entering online programs paid $422 per 0-11 credits. A $30 charge is also added per course for online students.

Rank School Name Location Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 University of Southern Maine Portland, ME $8,918 97%
7 Adams State University Alamosa, CO $9,440 95%
8 Mayville State University Mayville, ND $6,666 100%
9 Bowling Green State University-Main Campus Bowling Green, MO $11,105 95%
10 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE $7,512 93%
11 Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses Fort Wayne, IN $9,576 100%
12 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth North Dartmouth, MA $13,921 93%
13 East Carolina University Greenville, NC $7,188 81%
14 Mississippi University for Women Columbus, MS $6,940 100%
15Lamar University Beaumont, TX $8,373 86%
16 West Texas A & M University Canyon, TX $7,935 86%
17 University of Houston-Downtown Houston, TX $6,500 85%
18 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL $8,568 94%
19 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS $5,130 98%
20 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS $10,383 89%
21 Dickinson State University Dickinson, ND $6,768 91%
22 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS $8,624 94%
23 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Stevens Point, WI $8,239 89%
24 Appalachian State University Boone, NC $7,364 71%
25 Montana State University-Northern Havre, MT $5,955 88%
26 Wichita State University Wichita, KS $8,270 89%
27 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI $8,820 80%
28 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus Portales, NM $6,326 98%
29 University of Southern Indiana Evansville, IN $8,349 94%
30 University of Maine at Fort Kent Fort Kent, ME $8,115 95%
31 University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke, NC $3,418 93%
32 University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD $9,061 95%
33 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC $7,331 87%
34 Westfield State University Westfield, MA $10,429 86%
35 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA $7,952 95%
36 University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia, MO $9,972 85%
37 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA $10,354 90%
38 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV $8,856 89%
39 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR $9,130 77%
40 California State University-Channel Islands Camarillo, CA $6,817 81%
41 University of Wisconsin-Platteville Platteville, WI $7,796 84%
42 University of Florida Gainesville, FL $6,381 93%
43 Missouri Southern State University Joplin, MO $6,503 95%
44 Citadel Military College of South Carolina Charleston, SC $12,516 88%
45 Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau, MO $7,418 96%
46 Northern State University Aberdeen, SD $8,497 97%
47 Arkansas Tech University Russellville, AR $7,254 95%
48 University of Colorado Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO $8,523 84%
49 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, FL $11,400 90%
50 George Mason University Fairfax, VA $12,462 76%

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Business Bachelor's Degree Programs

Online bachelor's degree programs in business can typically be completed 100% online. Many programs feature asynchronous class formats, which means students don't have to be online at a specific time and can complete coursework at a time convenient to them. Online classes can include group discussion boards, multimedia lectures, chat, email, and course management software, such as Canvas.

Credits and Length

Generally, business bachelor's degree programs consist of 120 total credits. Students are required to take general education coursework in composition, math, the social sciences, humanities, and the life sciences along with core business courses.

Business bachelor's programs can be completed in about 4 years when attended full-time. However, students with previous college credits or an associate degree can sometimes earn their bachelor's degree in fewer than 4 years, depending on their university's transfer credit policy.

Online Business Bachelor's Degree Concentrations

Many online business bachelor's programs allow students to concentrate in one area of business. These specializations require that students take specific coursework related to their area as well as core business courses. Below are some examples of concentration areas offered in online bachelor's business programs.

General Business

This area of concentration covers a broad range of business subjects in order to give students the skills and knowledge they need to pursue the business career of their choice. Students take courses on everything from management theories to finance concepts. They also study marketing and accounting.

Management

The management concentration focuses on teaching students a range of management and leadership skills. This area prepares students for management-level careers through classes on organizational design and leadership theories.

Finance

This concentration centers on the study of money, banking, investments, and financial industry topics. Students will be prepared to pursue careers in finance, including in the insurance, accounting, and money management fields.

Marketing

The marketing concentration covers topics related to how to sell products and services, create relationships with customers, and design strategies for promotion. Students study a range of concepts in this area, including customer behavior, e-marketing, marketing research, and product management.

Human Resources

Human resources is an area that focuses on all aspects of employee recruitment, management, and development. Students study such topics as HR management, rewards and compensation management, and developing employee training programs.

Common Courses in Online Business Bachelor's Degree Programs

Although the exact courses in online business bachelor's degree programs depend on the area of concentration and university requirements, there are some common core business classes that all students usually take. Below, you can explore the topics that you will study in your business bachelor's program.

Macroeconomics/ Microeconomics

Many online business bachelor's programs require students to take a class on both macroeconomics and microeconomics. These courses cover topics related to the global and US financial markets and how they function. Specific macroeconomic topics that students study include inflation, monetary policies, investment, and economic growth. Some microeconomics topics students could study include pricing, supply and demand, income, and financial decisions made in households.

Legal Environment of Business

This is a course that covers the different legal and ethical concepts that students should be familiar with when it comes to the business field. Students study laws, statutes, and regulations that relate to worker's rights, product liability, and the protections afforded to customers. Usually, this course also covers specific legal topics, such as contract law, torts, and personal property and sales.

Principles of Marketing

This is a broad, introductory course that focuses on the most important marketing theories and concepts for transforming the wants and needs of consumers into products and services. Students learn about a range of different marketing strategies, such as pricing and promotion.

Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior is the study of how groups and individuals behave within a larger business environment. Students learn how to analyze human behavior and human communication in the context of the workplace. The goal of this course is to prepare students to effectively manage employees and organizations as a whole.

Financial Management

Financial management centers on the study of all aspects of the financials of a business. Students learn how to use financial statements to make business decisions, how to use capital budgets, and how to evaluate risk related to interest rates and markets.

Principles of Accounting

This acts as an introductory course to accounting concepts, methods, and practices. Many courses of this type focus on the subfield of managerial accounting, which is the study of how financial accounting information can be used to make effective and strategic decisions. Specific topics that are covered include budgeting, cash flow, asset measurement, and income.

How to Choose an Online Business Bachelor's Degree Program

When deciding which online bachelor's degree program in business is the right one for you, there are several important factors that you should consider, including cost and accreditation.

Cost

The first thing to consider when choosing a program is the total cost of earning your degree. Typically, online bachelor's degree programs in business can cost anywhere from $295 to over $700 per credit hour. That means the total tuition price for a 120-credit degree could be roughly $35,4000 to $84,000.

Residency Status

Some universities will charge out-of-state students more than their in-state peers, so it's important to take your residency status into account when choosing a program. However, many universities will charge all online students, regardless of where they live, the same per credit tuition price.

Fees

Additionally, most universities charge students fees that are added on to their base tuition price. These fees can range from as low as $10 to as high as $200 and above; they can also be charged one-time or every semester. Examples of fees include online program fees, technology fees, registration fees, and graduation fees.

Accreditation

You should also take into account school and program accreditation when choosing an online business bachelor's program. By achieving accreditation, a school or program shows that it has met a high, independent standard in terms of faculty, curriculum, and services offered to students.

Regional Accreditation

Regional accreditation is done through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which in turn, approves agencies that accredit schools in a specific geographic regional area. The following agencies are all approved by CHEA to accredit universities:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

The main reason you want to choose a school that has been accredited by one of the above agencies is that only students who attend an accredited school can apply for federal financial aid.

Business Program Accreditation

There are also agencies that specifically accredit business degree programs. One of these agencies is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. AACSB accredits business programs based on 15 standards that assess strategic management, faculty, curriculum, and professional engagement.

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) is another agency that accredits business degree programs. ACBSP bases its accreditation on student outcomes, teaching approaches, and continued program improvement.

Financial Aid for Online Business Bachelor's Degree Programs

To help you afford your online business bachelor's degree, you can apply for federal financial aid and scholarships.

Federal Aid

It's critical that you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible in your college career. This application from the US Department of Education will allow you to access all the kinds of federal aid that you are eligible for.

Some examples of federal aid include:

  • Pell Grants
  • Work Study Programs
  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Scholarships

Generally, grants don't need to be repaid, while any type of loan must be repaid. Work study programs allow you to work and earn money as you complete your degree.

Scholarships from Universities

You can also check with your university's financial aid department to find out what kinds of scholarships you may be eligible for. Most schools offer a range of different scholarships that can be based on academic merit, financial need, or the type of academic program you are attending. Some universities even offer specific scholarships for online students.

Career Options with Business Bachelor's Degree

With a bachelor's degree in business, you can choose from a wide range of different business, marketing, and financial jobs.

Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists work within HR departments where they are tasked with a range of duties that center on employee relations, training, and management. Some specific job responsibilities include:

  • Interviewing employees
  • Completing background checks and reference checks on potential employees
  • Integrating new employees into the organization
  • Managing payroll or compensation programs

To advance to a higher-level human resources manager job, human resources specialists need work experience, and achieving optional, professional HR certifications can boost their job prospects.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts specialize in marketing and help their employers make important decisions about the development, promotion, and production of goods and services. Market research analysts collect data on consumer behavior and preference, study sales trends, and keep track of market conditions. They then put together reports that guide such business decisions as pricing, marketing strategy, and promotional methods.

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors help their clients make sound decisions about their finances, including offering guidance about investments, retirement, estate planning, insurance, college planning, and mortgages. They must meet with clients, explain financial products, and constantly stay on top of their client's financial situation. Personal financial advisor can also:

  • Invest funds for their clients
  • Offer tax advice
  • Help clients meet a specific financial goal

Personal financial advisors can advance their career to a management-level position by earning a master's degree in business, finance, or a related field.

Salary and Job Outlook Information

The chart below illustrates the salary and job outlook numbers for business-related careers.

Job Title Median Annual Salary (2018) Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028) Degree Requirement
Human Resources Specialist $60,880 5% Bachelor's degree
Market Research Analyst $63,120 20% Bachelor's degree
Personal Financial Advisor $88,890 7% Bachelor's degree

Salary information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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