Last Updated: January 31, 2022
Best Affordable Business Schools
Students who have completed their undergraduate education mostly turn to the field of business and management due to the different prospects and possibilities this field offers with respect to career and growth in the world. It is common, now, for students to seek prospects where they can fulfill entrepreneurial or managerial positions unless they are specializing in their field of study which can take at least 5 extra years of study. This is when programs like MBA and MBM become ideal options, especially in the US since the degree can even be obtained within a year if the student chooses the right university or business school.
The only factor that often discourages students from applying for business administration programs is the high tuition fee and other educational expenses that this field of study incurs. However, completing a course in business and management is considered to be an investment in itself which can eventually provide high returns based on the business school the student has gone to and their accomplishments during the duration of the course. Depending on the institution, students will also be able to take up different internships and part-time jobs which can add to their experience by the time they complete the course.
Cost of Cheapest Best Business Programs
The following table contains fee information for affordable MBA programs in the country.
|Business School||In-State Cost per year||Out-of-State Cost per year|
|Mariott School of Business||$29,000 for Latter-day Saint members and $57,000 for non-members|
|Wisconsin College of Business||$23,000 ||$47,000 |
|Eller - Arizona||$12,000 ||$32,000 |
|Krannert - Purdue University||$10,000 ||$20,000 |
|Terry - University of Georgia||$14,000 ||$33,000 |
|University of Buffalo||$10,500||$15,000|
|Haslam - UTK||$12,000 ||$30,000 |
|Kelly - Indiana University||$28,000||$53,000|
|Foster - University of Washington||$36,000||$53,000|
|Warrington - University of Florida||$13,000||$31,000|
|Jindal - University of Texas - Dallas||$15,000||$30,000|
|Ivy - Iowa State||$13,000||$28,000|
|Zicklin - CUNY||$17,000||$30,000|
|Katz - University of Pittsburgh||$24,000||$33,000|
|Isenberg - University of Massachusetts - Amherst||$15,000||$35,000|
|Smeal - Penn State||$27,000||$44,000|
|Poole - NCSU||$52,000||$88,600|
|Mays - Texas A&M||$50,000||$70,000|
Popular Programs Offered by Business Schools
The most popular programs that are offered by business schools come under the fields of business management and business administration with students being able to take Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in subjects like Economics, Business Administration, Management, International Business, etc. Students who turn to business-related fields often opt for MBA programs which is a professional degree like an MBM after which they will be able to move on to high-paying jobs based on their skills. While a Bachelor's or Master’s degree in a subject dealing with the subject alone is a specialization degree that will allow the student to even take a doctorate in the field, the most popular programs are the professional ones.
The two most popular professional programs are MBM and MBA. The difference between these two programs are as follows-
- MBM- An MBM is a graduate-level program that students who wish to take up managerial positions take up. The program deals mainly with managing people and projects and comes as a specialization under MBA in most institutions. Institutions that do not have an MBM program might offer MBA programs that specialize in management which is similar in nature.
- MBA- An MBA program is a graduate-level program that deals with all fields under business administration. Most universities offer different specializations like accounting, human resources, finance, data analyzing, etc. as part of the program. Students will also be able to take a general MBA which covers most subjects but does not specialize in any set subject. MBA is the more popular choice between the two degrees.
Top Affordable Business Schools
Out of the universities providing affordable business education to candidates, the following institutions offer the highest quality of education.
Marriott School of Business, BYU
This business school offers even MBA programs at half the tuition fee that most nationally accredited universities charge. At a graduate level, they offer MAcc, MBA, Executive MBA, MISM, MPA, and Executive MPA programs. Out of these, the MPA and MISM programs are not commonly offered by a lot of business schools. The most popular program offered by the business school is their MBA program which has a duration of 2 years in all. It focuses on subject areas like leadership, business finance, marketing management, business strategy, business analytics, etc. Students will be able to choose from one of the five electives offered. The electives/tracks offered are-
- Strategic Human Resources
- Global Supply Chain Management
Students will also be able to take up minors or certificates in other subject areas which will be an added benefit to their course. A few of the subjects offered are-
- Global Business
- Social Innovation
- Product Management
- International Business
The tuition fee for the program is different for Latter-day Saint and Non-Latter-day Saint where the former has to pay $28,400
and the latter has to pay $56,800
for the entire program. The additional expenses including books, room, transportation, etc. are estimated to be around $45,700 for the entire program.
The class size for the program is around 145 and the average GPA of candidates is around 3.52. Students have an average GMAT score of 678. The classroom has 26% of women and 74% of men along with 22% of international candidates on average.
Wisconsin School of Business
This business school is part of the University of Wisconsin in Madison and offers undergraduate programs, specialized master’s degrees, and MBA programs at affordable rates. The MBA program offered by this business school is extremely affordable and doesn’t compromise on the quality of education that is offered. Among MBA programs, they offer-
- Full-Time MBA-
Non-Resident tuition- $47,000 per year
Resident Tuition- $23,000 per year
- Professional MBA-
$74,800 for entire program
- Executive MBA-
$50,500 for entire program
The class size for the full-time MBA program is 83 with students having an average of 5 years of professional experience. 41% of the class are generally women and 31% are international students. The average GMAT score of candidates is 646 with most of them from humanities, engineering, and business backgrounds.
The specialized master’s programs they offer include-
- MS in Business Analytics- $45,000 for entire program
- MS in Supply Chain Management-
Non-Resident Tuition- $48,000 per year
Resident Tuition- $25,000 per year
- MS in Real Estate-
Non-Resident Tuition- $48,000 per year
Resident Tuition- $25,000 per year
- MS in Financial Economics- $2500 per credit
Eller College of Management-Arizona
This university offers full-time, evening, part-time, professional, executive, and online MBA for interested candidates. The full-time MBA program offers 5 different concentrations and students will be able to complete the course within 21 months of enrolling for the program. They will have to study 48 courses as part of the program out of which 16 will be electives. The subjects they will have to learn include finance, economics for managers, financial accounting, global business experience, operations management, business consulting projects, strategic management of information systems, etc. The concentrations that are offered are-
- Healthcare Management
- Management Information Systems
Candidates will require a GPA of 3.2 or above from a regionally or AACSB accredited institution. If the candidate has a GPA lower than 3.2, they will have to submit their GMAT or GRE score to the institution. Candidates who have an MD, JD, or Ph.D. are also not required to send in GMAT/GRE scores though it is recommended that students send in the scores to strengthen their application. International students will require proof of their English proficiency. Duolingo scores are not accepted as proof of English proficiency for graduate programs. The fee for the full-time MBA program is $12,000 per year for in-state students and $32,000 per year for out-of-state students
Krannert School of Management-Purdue University
The MS program in Human Resource Management is one of the best programs offered by this business school. The duration of the program ranges between 11 to 18 months and it contains 36 credits in all which can be completed within 2 or 3 semesters. The subjects that are dealt with as part of the course include change management, talent acquisition, negotiations, leadership, talent management, human resource strategy, etc. The average work experience of candidates who enroll is between 1 to 4 years. The fee for the program is $30,000 for in-state students and $40,000 for out-of-state students.
Terry College of Business-University of Georgia
This business school offers full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs. The full-time MBA program offers 9 concentrations that students can choose from which belong to the fields of strategy, FinTech, and Social Innovation. The duration of the program is 2 years in which students will focus on financial management, financial accounting, operations management, business, analytics, etc. The core courses include marketing, operations, economics, organizational behavior, statistics, strategic management, accounting, and finance. The fee for the program is $14,000 for in-state students and $33,000 for out-of-state students
Candidates who wish to enroll in the program will require a GPA above 3.44. They will have to submit their GMAT or GRE score which should be between 630-740 or 310 respectively. Applicants are also required to have work experience of 40 months on average.
School of Management, University of Buffalo
The MBA program offered by the University of Buffalo is one of the most affordable business programs. At the same time, they offer Master of Science programs in fields like Accounting, Business Analytics, Finance, Management Information Systems, etc. which are also affordable when compared to other business schools. They offer both Executive MBA and Full-Time MBA with the Full-Time MBA having concentrations like-
- International Management
- Management Consulting
- Marketing Management
The fee for the MBA program for in-state students is $10,200
whereas the fee for non-resident students is $14,900
The fees for MS programs are as follows-
|Program||Resident Fee||Non-Resident Fee|
|MS in Accounting||$7,700||$13,600|
|MS in Business Analytics||$7,600||$13,500|
|MS in Finance||$7,700||$13,700|
|MS in Management Information Systems||$7,700||$13,600|
College of Business, Missouri State University
This business school offers Master’s programs in subjects like accountancy, project management, information technology, etc. along with an MBA program. They also offer certificate programs in subjects like financial analytics, leadership, management accounting, marketing analytics, project management, tax accounting, international business, etc. The MBA program is offered different options from which the candidate can choose the schedule that suits them best. They offer a traditional program, accelerated program, online program, and an evening program for MBA.
The fee for the MBA program is-
|Fee Type||Fee Amount |
University of South Dakota
The Graduate Beacom School of Business which is part of the University of South Dakota offers master’s degrees like MBA, and MPA along with an MS in business analytics and other graduate certificate courses. The certificate courses are provided in subjects like marketing, business analytics, operations, and supply chain management. Students will also be able to take joint undergraduate and graduate degrees that combine BBA and MBA or BBA and MPA based on their interests. The specializations they offer include-
- Business Analytics
- Health Services and Administration
- Operations and Supply Chain Management
The tuition fee per credit hour for residents is $340 and for non-residents is $660.
Haslam College of Business-UTK
The full-time MBA they offer has a duration of 16 months. The key components in the program include business skills and experiential learning which are part of the core courses. Students will also be able to choose from the different concentration areas like business analytics, consulting, entrepreneurship & innovation, finance, supply chain management, etc. The fee for the program is $12,000 for in-state students and $30,000 for out-of-state students.
The classroom strength for the program is 51 with 65% of the class male and 53% female. Students who apply have an average GPA of 3.41 and an average GMAT score of 680. Applicants who provided GRE scores have an average GRE Verbal score of 157 and an average GRE Quant score of 158. Students also generally have an average work experience of 4.8 years.
Kelly School of Business-Indiana University
This business school offers full-time MBA students an opportunity to jump-start their learning in the field of business by sharpening their financial and statistical skills. This is a 2-week course that is conducted for students from other educational backgrounds. It is conducted before the semester begins. The fee for the program is $28,000 for in-state students and $53,000 for out-of-state students. For more information regarding the course and curriculum of a full-time MBA, candidates will have to sign up on the official website of the business school.
The candidates who have enrolled for the MBA program have an average GPA of 3.33. They have an average GMAT score of 679. The classroom will have a strength of 157 students in all out of which 31% of students are women as of now. Over 42% of the class are international students who have an average work experience of 6.4 years.
School of Business-University of Washington
The full-time MBA program offered by the Foster Business School has a 97% placement rate as of 2021. The curriculum for the program focuses on financial reporting, managerial finance, leadership development, statistics for business decisions, applied strategy, decision support models, operations & supply chain management, etc. The electives that are offered are within fields like accounting, business communications, business economics, entrepreneurship, finance, management, international business, marketing, etc. The fee for the program is $36,000 for in-state students and $53,000 for out-of-state students.
The class size for the MBA program is 126 with students who have an average work experience of 6 years. Their average GMAT score of 704 and average undergraduate GPA is 3.42. There are around 60% of men and 40% of women in the class on average.
Warrington-University of Florida
The full-time MBA in Warrington has three modes where one can study the program within 2 years, 1 year with all majors, and 1 year with only business majors. The 1 year and 2-year programs have the same syllabus and curriculum through the 2-year program will allow the candidate to immerse themselves deeply into the program. The class size for all programs is 52 and the average GPA that students have is 3.46. The average GMAT score that the candidates have is 686 and students generally have 4 years of average work experience. The fee for the program is $13,000 per year for in-state students and $31,000 per year for out-of-state students.
Naveen Jindal School of Management-University of Texas, Dallas
The full-time MBA program offered by this business school requires candidates to complete 32 credits in 18 months. Students will have the option of extending the program to 21 months if they wish to. The concentrations that the program offers include accounting, business analytics, energy management, finance, healthcare leadership & management, information technology management, innovation & entrepreneurship, marketing, real estate, supply chain management, etc. The fee for the program is $15,000 for in-state students and $30,000 for out-of-state students.
The class size for the full-time MBA program is 55 with the average age of students who are enrolled being 28. The average test score for GMAT is 681 and that of the GRE of 314. The class has 64% of men and 36% of women with most of the students coming from business, engineering, and social sciences backgrounds. The students have an average work experience of 5 years and an average GPA of 3.5.
Ivy College of Business-Iowa State University
The MBA program offered by this business requires students to complete 48 credits where 30 credits are for core courses and the rest are electives. The core courses include financial accounting, quantitative business analysis, managerial economics, financial valuation, organizational behavior, strategic management, management information systems, marketing, etc. The electives are provided in fields like accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems, etc. The fee for the program is $13,000 for in-state students and $28,000 for out-of-state students.
The class has a strength of 60 students, out of which 30% are women and 8% are international students, The average age of the students is 26 with an average GPA of 3.58. The average GMAT score of the candidates is 592. The students are generally from backgrounds like engineering, sciences, business, and social sciences.
Zicklin School of Business-CUNY
The full-time MBA offered by this business school has a duration of 20 months and candidates are required to have 5 years of work experience to apply for the program. Candidates are required to complete 48 credit hours as part of the program with a curriculum that is customizable to suit the candidate’s interests. The fee for the program is $17,000 for in-state students and $30,000 for out-of-state students.
The average GPA that students require is 3.44. The average GMAT score required is 641 whereas the average GRE score required is 156 for Verbal and 158 for Quant. Students who require proof of language proficiency will need a score of 120 in Duolingo, 100 in TOEFL, 7 in IELTS, or 70 in PTE.
Katz-University of Pittsburgh
This business school offers a signature MBA program, a part-time MBA, accelerated MBA, joint MBA, and dual degrees with MBA along with an MBA with Business Analytics. The signature MBA program has a duration of 18 months and focuses on areas like business analytics, finance, marketing, operations, and technology management. The fee for the program is $17,000 for in-state students and $30,000 for out-of-state students.
The class size for the MBA program ranges between 60-75 every year. Students are required to have a GPA of 3 or above. They are also required to submit GMAT/GRE scores while applying for the program.
Isenberg-University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The on-campus MBA program here focuses on areas like analytics, management & entrepreneurship, finance-asset management, healthcare administration, and marketing. Students will be able to complete the degree in 2 years or less by customizing their degree and taking up as many electives as they require. The electives offered range from project management to data mining. The fee for the program is $15,000 for in-state students and $35,000 for out-of-state students.
Candidates are required to have an average of 6.7 years of work experience. The class size of the program is 40 every year and unlike most business schools, they have a 50/50 female to male ratio in their classrooms.
Smeal College of Business-Penn State
The full-time or residential MBA offered by this institution has a duration of 2 years. The program focuses on areas like leadership communications, business ethics, negotiations, etc. and it concentrates on topics like finance, marketing, supply chain, investment, entrepreneurship, healthcare, etc. The fee for the program is $27,000 for in-state students and $44,000 for out-of-state students.
The class size for the program is 55 with students having an average work experience of 70 months. 37% of the class comprises women and around 30% are international candidates. The average GMAT score of candidates is 666 whereas the average GRE score is 314. Students also have an average GPA of 3.41.
Poole College of Management, North Carolina State University
The MBA program offered by the North Carolina State University are considered to be budget programs in the field due to the affordable tuition rates and quality education they provide. They offer a full-time MBA, professional Evening MBA, Professional Online MBA, and even dual degree programs in the field of business administration. They offer different concentrations for their MBA program in which students will be able to specialize based on their interest. The concentrations they offer include-
- Financial Management
- Innovation Management
- Marketing Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization
The fee for the programs offered is-
|Program||In-State Fee||Out-of-State Fee|
|Professional Main Campus||$60,000||-|
Mays Business School, Texas A&M University
They offer MBA programs along with other MS programs in subjects like Finance, Entrepreneurial Leadership, HR Management, Marketing, Real Estate, etc. The MBA programs that are offered focus on business knowledge and leadership qualities. The business college provides a full-time MBA program, a professional MBA program, and an executive MBA program. The full-time program has a duration of 18 months only with students learning subjects like business analytics, financial accounting, business behavior, marketing management, operations management, business communication, etc.
The estimated fee for the full-time program is $62,000 for in-state candidates.
Choosing an Affordable Business School
There are plenty of factors that a student must consider before they choose an affordable business school that fits their budget. This is because enrolling in an affordable program should not equate to completing a program that is not accredited or is not internationally recognized. The reputation of the business school, the in-state and out-of-state tuition they require, the cost of educational apparel including books, stationery, etc. must also be considered before one applies to the institution.
While affordable programs might not always be nationally accredited, students must opt for places that are at least regionally accredited. The common accreditation terms that students can look for include IACBE, ACBSP, and AACSB. Some institutions may be accredited by one of these organizations but some of them might be accredited by more than one organization which will be an added benefit while searching for jobs later.
Another option that students have, especially if they want the degree to seek promotions and other work benefits, is to apply for online programs. Online programs in business and management have been gaining a lot of traction, especially during the pandemic since it offers a flexible schedule with students being able to take even certification programs from the best of institutions at an affordable rate. This also cuts down on travel and living expenses which the student can invest in the tuition for a better institution.