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10 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs

Delece Smith-Barrow, Josh Moody

Find inexpensive MBA options

An online MBA doesn't have to cost a fortune. While a few schools ranked by U.S. News charge more than $2,000 per credit for out-of-state students, some online programs offer part-time students the chance to earn an MBA for only a few hundred dollars per credit. The average cost among the 10 most affordable online MBA options for out-of-state students is $315 per credit hour. Here are the 10 ranked online MBA programs that charged the least per credit for part-time, out-of-state students during the 2019-2020 school year.

Oklahoma State University (Spears)

Part-time, out-of-state tuition per credit: $360

Rank: 40 (tie)

Three-year graduation rate (2018-2019): 61%

Oklahoma State University was founded on Christmas Day in 1890 as Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. The school graduated its first student with an undergraduate degree in business -- at the time called commerce and marketing -- in 1916. The Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University draws its name from a generous alum, William S. Spears, who donated millions to the school.

More on Oklahoma State University.

William Woods University (MO)

Part-time, out-of-state tuition per credit: $360

Rank: 245-321

Three-year graduation rate (2018-2019): N/A

The story of William Woods University begins in 1870 with the founding of The Female Orphan School of the Christian Church of Missouri. In the years to come, the school took the name of an entrepreneur who paid off its debts and officially became a college in 1914. William Woods offered the nation's first baccalaureate degree in equestrian science, according to its website, and became a full-fledged university in the 1990s.

More on William Woods University.

Texas Tech University (Rawls)

Part-time, out-of-state tuition per credit: $333

Rank: 131 (tie)

Three-year graduation rate (2018-2019): N/A

Founded as Texas Technological College in 1923, the school opened in 1925 and was quick to add graduate programs with instruction beginning in 1927. The institution was renamed Texas Tech University in 1969. The Rawls College of Business, which houses the online MBA program, was named in honor of Jerry S. Rawls, a 1967 Texas Tech graduate who donated $25 million to the school in 2000.

More on Texas Tech University.

University of Central Arkansas

Part-time, out-of-state tuition per credit: $325

Rank: 245-321

Three-year graduation rate (2018-2019): N/A

The University of Central Arkansas began as a training ground for teachers. Over the years, the school has seen numerous name changes and an expansion of its educational mission. State lawmakers created the institution in 1907 as the Arkansas State Normal School; in 1925 it was rebranded as the Arkansas State Teachers College. Two more name changes were to come as the school adopted the State College of Arkansas moniker in 1967 and then the University of Central Arkansas in 1975.

More on the University of Central Arkansas.

Sam Houston State University (TX)

Part-time, out-of-state tuition per credit: $320

Rank: 95 (tie)

Three-year graduation rate (2018-2019): 50%

Sam Houston State University began with a mission of training teachers. Founded in 1879, the college opened as Sam Houston Normal Institute on the former campus of a Methodist school for boys. SHSU also carried the names Sam Houston State Teachers College and Sam Houston State College before adopting its current name in 1969. Sam Houston was a Virginia-born lawyer, politician and military leader who served as a U.S. senator, governor of Tennessee and later of Texas and was elected the first president of the Republic of Texas during the state's brief run as a sovereign nation.

More on Sam Houston State University.

Lamar University (TX)

Part-time, out-of-state tuition per credit: $318

Rank: 213 (tie)

Three-year graduation rate (2018-2019): 11%

Lamar University was founded in 1923 as South Park Junior College. Like other schools on this list, it underwent a series of name changes, transitioning to Lamar College then Lamar State College of Technology and finally Lamar University in 1971. Like Sam Houston State University, the college draws its name from a Republic of Texas president, Mirabeau B. Lamar.

More on Lamar University.

University of the Cumberlands (KY)

Part-time, out-of-state tuition per credit: $315

Rank: 245-321

Three-year graduation rate (2018-2019): N/A

The University of the Cumberlands was founded by Baptist ministers in 1888 as the Williamsburg Institute. The school's website notes that at the time of its founding in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, the region had few schools offering "as much as a high school education." It became Cumberland College in 1913 and eventually University of the Cumberlands in 2005.

More on the University of the Cumberlands.

Missouri State University

Part-time, out-of-state tuition per credit: $295

Rank: 179 (tie)

Three-year graduation rate (2018-2019): N/A

Founded as the Fourth District Normal School in 1905, Missouri State got its start as a training ground for teachers and went through a series of name changes, like others on this list. Over the years, the various names included Southwest Missouri State Teachers College, Southwest Missouri State College and Southwest Missouri State University. The name Missouri State University was adopted in 2005 to reflect current standards and programs.

More on Missouri State University.

Fitchburg State University (MA)

Part-time, out-of-state tuition per credit: $275

Rank: 245-321

Three-year graduation rate (2018-2019): 88%

Fitchburg State was established as the State Normal School in Fitchburg in an old high school in 1894 and began as a two-year program for training female teachers. It wasn't until 1930 that the first bachelor's degrees were offered and shortly thereafter, in 1932, the school became the State Teachers College at Fitchburg. The school would undergo more programmatic growth and two more name changes before becoming Fitchburg State University in 2010.

More on Fitchburg State University.

Northeastern State University (OK)

Part-time, out-of-state tuition per credit: $251

Rank: 223 (tie)

Three-year graduation rate (2018-2019): N/A

Founded in 1846 as the Cherokee National Female Seminary, Northeastern State claims to be Oklahoma's oldest institution of higher learning. The seminary was purchased by the state of Oklahoma in 1909 and reborn as Northeastern State Normal School and used to train teachers. Later incarnations were known as Northeastern State Teacher's College and Northeastern State College. The school has operated under its current name since 1978.

More on Northeastern State University.

More about online MBA programs

Find out what questions to ask when paying for an online degree and get our complete rankings of the 2020 Best Online MBA Programs. For more advice and information on how to finance an online education, connect with U.S. News Education on Twitter and Facebook.

Least expensive online MBA programs

-- Northeastern State University

-- Fitchburg State University

-- Missouri State University

-- University of the Cumberlands

-- Lamar University

-- Sam Houston State University

-- University of Central Arkansas

-- Texas Tech University

-- Oklahoma State University

-- William Woods University



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