Cheapest Online Business Degree Programs

Explore the most affordable online bachelor's in business degree programs. Earn your degree from a value-driven school to launch a successful business career.
By
portrait of Tessa Cooper
Tessa Cooper
Read Full Bio

Contributing Writer

Tessa Cooper is a freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to international and regional publications focused on education and lifestyle topics. She earned a bachelor’s in public relations from Missouri State University and is passionate...
Updated on April 30, 2024
Edited by
portrait of Valerie Black
Valerie Black
Read Full Bio

Editor, Business Education

Valerie Black has over 12 years of experience as a professor and 10 years in journalism. She empowers students to leverage the resources that are available but not easily accessible. Her focus is in online education, rich content, and digital storyte...
Reviewed by
portrait of Angélica S. Gutiérrez, Ph.D.
Angélica S. Gutiérrez, Ph.D.
Read Full Bio

Reviewer & Writer

Dr. Angélica S. Gutiérrez is an associate professor of management at Loyola Marymount University who has been recognized as one of the "World's Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professors" by Poets&Quants. Her research explores the impact of imposter...
Learn more about our editorial process

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.

From accounting and marketing to leadership and logistics, a business degree covers a vast scope of topics. People wanting to work in accounting, finance, or management at businesses and organizations may pursue this degree.

With this degree, you can apply for jobs as a business administrator, coordinator, or specialist, whether remote or in person. You can even pursue this degree to start your own businesses.

An online bachelor's in business may help you meet your career goals. During your studies, you can build your portfolio with class projects.

While the cost of a business degree varies, students at in-state public universities may pay less.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of a bachelor's degree was $14,690 for the 2022-2023 school year.

This guide highlights the career paths and curriculum for an undergraduate business degree. We also include a ranking of the top affordable online bachelor's in business degrees.

Featured Online Business Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Business Degree Programs

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

  • Browse programs
  • Discover matches
  • Request info
#1 Cheapest Online Business Degree Programs

University of Missouri-St Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $396
Out of State | $1,070

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

UMSL offers a bachelor's of business administration (BSBA) in general business or international business. The curriculum covers broad skills in financial and managerial accounting, business law, and information systems. The program culminates in a strategic management capstone.

UMSL's online bachelor's in business includes prerequisites in microeconomics, macroeconomics, college algebra, calculus, and probability and statistics. UMSL accepts undergraduate applications through the CommonApp. Students must submit official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$11,079
Out-of-state
$29,295
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$12,007
Out-of-state
$29,477
Retention Rate
77%
Acceptance Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
15,988
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#2 Cheapest Online Business Degree Programs

Indiana University-East

  • Richmond, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $239
Out of State | $347

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

IU East's online bachelor's in business emphasizes core skills in economics, management, finance, and marketing. The curriculum requires students to pass prerequisite milestones in general education and core business concepts.

Applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent and must submit official transcripts from previously attended schools. Students may transfer up to 60 credits from a regionally accredited two-year university and 90 credits from a regionally accredited four-year school.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,895
Out-of-state
$19,346
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,264
Out-of-state
$17,113
Retention Rate
63%
Acceptance Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
3,766
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#3 Cheapest Online Business Degree Programs

University of Houston-Clear Lake

  • Houston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $196
Out of State | $458

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

UHCL's online bachelor's in general business is a degree-completion program that develops practical problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. All faculty in this degree-completion program hold Ph.Ds. Students complete a variety of business and liberal-arts courses. The program culminates in a strategic management capstone.

Students can earn their BS in general business in two years of full-time study, including summer coursework. Applicants must submit official transcripts and meet with an enrollment counselor to evaluate transferable credits.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,740
Out-of-state
$19,176
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,920
Out-of-state
$17,568
Retention Rate
80%
Acceptance Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
9,082
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#4 Cheapest Online Business Degree Programs

Murray State University

  • Murray, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $386
Out of State | $386

Credits to Graduate
44

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Murray State offers this degree-completion program through a partnership with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). Students can choose from online bachelor's in business administration, computer information systems, or logistics and supply chain management.

Prospective students must hold an AA from KCTCS or meet transfer prerequisites for the online business bachelor's degree at Murray State. The transfer agreement requires students to complete a sequence of business core courses and upper-level electives at Murray State to earn this degree.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,974
Out-of-state
$23,592
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,214
Out-of-state
$13,500
Retention Rate
79%
Acceptance Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
9,556
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Cheapest Online Business Degree Programs

Missouri Southern State University

  • Joplin, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $310
Out of State | $310

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

MSSU offers its online BSBA in six emphasis areas: accounting, general business, HR management, international business, management, or marketing. The curriculum includes business core requirements, dynamic liberal arts electives, and institutional requirements.

First-time freshmen applicants under the age of 21 must have a high school GPA of at least 2.25, an ACT composite score of 21 or higher, or graduate in the top 50% of their high school class. Applicants over the age of 21 do not require ACT scores but must meet one of the other criteria above.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,289
Out-of-state
$14,578
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,300
Out-of-state
$6,300
Retention Rate
65%
Acceptance Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
5,604
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#6 Cheapest Online Business Degree Programs

Dickinson State University

  • Dickinson, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $249
Out of State | $319

Credits to Graduate
117 or 150

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | International Accreditation Council for Business Education

DSU offers online BBAs in accounting, administration, finance, and HR management. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.25 to graduate from the online bachelor's in business program. Accounting majors may pursue CPA licensure upon graduation.

Applicants must submit official high school or college transcripts and hold a minimum 2.0 GPA for admission consideration. Students must demonstrate proficiency in high school subjects, including English, math, science, and social studies.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,522
Out-of-state
$9,782
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,826
Out-of-state
$5,826
Retention Rate
68%
Acceptance Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
1,350
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#7 Cheapest Online Business Degree Programs

Columbus State University

  • Columbus, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $182
Out of State | $182

Credits to Graduate
123

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

CSU students can complete an online BBA in general business or choose an international business track. The curriculum blends business coursework in accounting, finance, and management with humanities, world culture, and wellness requirements. Students complete a strategic management capstone to conclude the degree.

Applicants for the online bachelor's in business must submit official high school transcripts and meet minimum SAT or ACT score requirements. They also need a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students with a GPA of 3.0 or above may waive the SAT/ACT score requirement.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,371
Out-of-state
$15,425
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,300
Out-of-state
$11,394
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
7,877
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#8 Cheapest Online Business Degree Programs

University of Maine at Presque Isle

  • Presque Isle, ME
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Session
In State | $1,400
Out of State | $1,400

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

UMPI's online bachelor's in business offers a choice of five concentrations: accounting, management and leadership, marketing, project management, or supply chain management. The competency-based program has eight-week sessions. Some concentrations may lead to certifications like the Project Management Professional.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate, some college or work experience, and a minimum 1.75 GPA. UMPI offers six start dates per year for the online BA in business administration. Students can complete the program in as few as 12 months.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,170
Out-of-state
$11,460
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
63%
Acceptance Rate
99%
Students Enrolled
1,445
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#9 Cheapest Online Business Degree Programs

SUNY Empire State College

  • Saratoga Springs, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online or Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $295
Out of State | $353

Credits to Graduate
124

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

ESC's bachelor's in business has the same course requirements as the business, management, and economics program. The degree culminates in a strategic management capstone requirement. Students may transfer up to 93 upper or lower-level credits from a previously attended accredited college or university.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. Students must also submit an application essay with their formal application. ESC admits students in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$16,980
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,310
Out-of-state
$23,100
Retention Rate
52%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,440
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

How We Rank Schools

Chevron Down

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

We use datasets from trusted sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools and our methodologies. This ranking is from 2021. To learn more, check out our full ranking methodologies.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor's in Business Degree Program Cost?

Affordable online bachelor's in business programs may help learners reduce college debt. Private colleges tend to cost more than state schools.

Additionally, in-state public programs cost less on average than private programs. The NCES reports that the average cost of an in-state bachelor's degree was $9,596 per year for the 2021-2022 school year. A four-year degree for out-of-state learners was $27,457 for that same year.

Online learners should also factor in fees when calculating the program's cost. In fact, online learners may pay extra technology fees compared to traditional students.

When creating a college budget, learners should consider living expenses, supplies, and textbooks. Students can typically use loans, grants, and scholarships to pay for all college-related costs, including living expenses.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Business Degree Program?

While earning a bachelor's in business, learners can expect to hone leadership and strategic-thinking skills. Students gain foundational knowledge on complex topics like macro- and micro-economics. They also learn the inner workings of the stock market and investing.

Most bachelor's degrees include 120 credits, totaling 40 classes. Many learners enroll in around 15 credits per semester. However, a student can enroll part time and take fewer classes per semester. Most full-time students complete this degree in four years.

Learners can choose between a bachelor's of science or a bachelor's of arts in business. A bachelor's of science emphasizes the technical aspects of business, math, and science. A bachelor's of arts requires electives that focus on arts and the humanities.

Many online bachelor's programs require a virtual or in-person internship component. This course allows students to gain hands-on experience at a business while earning college credit. Some internships offer a salary as well.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Business Degree Program?

  • Minus

    Leadership Ethics

    In this course, students learn about management theories and best practices. Students develop a framework for evaluating ethical dilemmas in the business field. Part of the course emphasizes laws that protect employees.
  • Minus

    Marketing for Business

    Students learn how to use marketing tactics to motivate customers to buy a service or product. The course discusses how to identify and communicate with target audiences.
  • Minus

    Economics

    An economics course discusses the basics of local economies and the global economy. Learners discover what factors specialists use to create market forecasts. This course also discusses the stock market.
  • Minus

    Accounting

    In an accounting class, students learn about the accounting cycle, payroll, and auditing basics. Course participants learn how to read profit and loss statements. They also learn about U.S. tax regulations.
  • Minus

    Human Resources

    This class focuses on how to attract and retain talent for businesses and organizations. Learners discover how to create a competitive benefits package for employees. The course also discusses conflict resolution skills. Students also learn how to facilitate a safe business environment.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Business Degree?

Career Outlook

Each year, many students begin studying business. Even though business is a popular major, there are often many business job openings each year.

According to the BLS, the business field employed nearly 13,000,000 people in the United States as of 2021. Many jobs in this field only require a bachelor's degree. In fact, 52% of people in this field possess only a bachelor's degree.

Learners should contact the school before enrolling in an online bachelor's in business. They can ask how many graduates earn a job in the field post graduation. However, keep in mind not every school tracks alumni data.

A bachelor's in business degree can help you pursue business careers in accounting, finance, human resources, and marketing. The exact salary and projected job outlook vary by specific position. We highlight a few specific business career paths in the following section.

Career Paths

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

These professionals work with writers, designers, and videographers to create impactful marketing materials. They delegate tasks and oversee campaigns. They also initiate market research studies.

These managers apply their findings to packaging design and general company messaging. Marketing managers often work at corporations. However, nonprofits often hire fundraising managers with this skill set.

Financial Managers

Financial managers coordinate short-term and long-term company profit growth plans. They study market trends and make recommendations to increase an organization's efficiency. These professionals typically oversee an accounting team.

They also help directors create departmental budgets. Some financial managers provide consultation for multiple businesses. Others work for one larger business.

Administrative Services and Facilities Managers

These managers ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly at a company. They supervise secretaries, receptionists, and administrators. They manage records for a company and ensure the facility remains safe and clean. These professionals also take inventory of products and supplies and place orders when needed.

Human Resources Managers

People in this role ensure employees feel safe and valued in the workplace. They coordinate safety training and drills. They also work with insurance companies to offer plans to employees and their families. Human resources managers often lead conflict resolution sessions when issues arise.

Top Executives

Top executives manage big-picture activities for an organization. These professionals typically focus on one aspect of the company like finances or logistics. They work to negotiate contracts and secure supplies and services at a price that allows for profit. They work with a board of advisors to make the best decisions for the company.

Continuing Education

The business field constantly changes. Learners can stay up-to-date on advancements by attending seminars or pursuing certification. Or, they can earn an advanced degree.

Professional organizations like the Project Management Institute and the American Management Association provide certifications. These organizations also host educational conferences and allow professionals to learn from their peers through networking.

People who want to pursue leadership or higher-paying roles may choose to advance their knowledge with an MBA. Students can earn general or specialized MBAs.

Full-time students usually complete this degree in two years. Part-time students may take around four years to finish. This degree may require a thesis or capstone.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Business Degree Program?

  • Check Circle

    Cost

    When choosing a program, pay attention to the cost. The price of a bachelor's in business varies depending on whether it's a private vs. public institution and in-state vs. out-of-state. Keep in mind online programs do not always cost less than in-person programs.

    The National Center for Education Statistics offers information on the average cost for an undergraduate degree, including how public institutions typically cost less than private ones.
  • Check Circle

    Program Format

    Students should consider which program format suits them best. For example, online learners who need accountability to succeed may prefer a synchronous program. Independent learners who thrive in fast-paced environments may prefer an asynchronous accelerated program. Learners can also enroll on a part-time or full-time status.
  • Check Circle

    Location

    Even aspiring online learners should factor in location when selecting a bachelor's in business. Some online programs require a few on-campus requirements. Virtual learners may also access campus resources, like the library or career services. Additionally, students may connect with internship opportunities at nearby businesses.
  • Check Circle

    Accreditation

    Students should consider a school's accreditation status as a top factor when making a selection. Schools and programs with accreditation receive a quality assessment from agencies and meet educational standards.

    The U.S. Department of Education oversees these third-party accrediting agencies. Completing a degree from an unaccredited school can impact a student's odds of graduate school acceptance or employment.
  • Check Circle

    Student Support

    Colleges offer varying levels of student support services. However, additional student support may help graduates succeed.

    For example, some colleges provide a free tutoring center. Other universities facilitate mentorship and internship programs. Certain schools even offer post-graduate support through a career center and alumni network. Online learners may benefit from extra support like a technical help desk.

How Do I Pay for an Online Bachelor's in Business Degree Program?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Learners can use government funds and apply for loans by filling out the FAFSA. Students filling out the application for the first time spend about an hour. The application saves student info, so renewal takes even less time. Learners who file their taxes as dependents must submit their guardian's tax information.

Loans

Students may use loans to pay for their tuition. Before accepting a student loan, learners should understand the interest rate. They should also remember that they must repay the funds about six months after graduation.

The FAFSA may award learners subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans do not collect interest while the recipient remains in school. These loans require financial needs. Unsubsidized loans begin collecting interest immediately.

Grants

This FAFSA determines whether learners qualify for the Pell Grant, the largest federal grant program. Unlike loans, these funds generally do not require repayment.

Some grants feature employment requirements post-graduation. If learners fail to meet the requirements, the grant turns into a loan. Unlike scholarships, grants usually do not require academic merit as a qualification.

Work-Study Programs

This financial aid type allows learners to complete job tasks for a university or participating businesses. Learners earn money that they can apply directly towards tuition. Federally funded work-study programs usually require financial need.

Scholarships

Colleges, foundations, and corporations all offer scholarships. Most scholarship committees grant funds based on academic merit, career goals, and financial need. However, not all scholarships require financial need. Scholarship applications usually require an essay.

Frequently Asked Questions About Business Degree Programs

Is a bachelor's in business worth it?

Chevron Down

Graduates may find that a bachelor's in business degree was worth the cost and effort depending on their career goals. For some people, earning a higher-than-average income may contribute to job fulfillment.

According to the BLS, the median salary for all business professionals was $79,050 in May 2023, higher than the $48,060 for all other occupations.

Online business degrees allow students to pursue their career goals without sacrificing their commitments. Learners wanting the most flexibility can pursue an asynchronous program. This format allows them to continue working to build their resumes.

What can I do with a bachelor's in business?

Chevron Down

After completing a bachelor's degree, many learners apply for jobs as coordinators or assistants in administrative departments. After gaining more experience or degrees, they may qualify for manager or director roles.

This multi-subject degree may open many doors to advanced roles. A bachelor's in business prepares learners to become managers, entrepreneurs, and financial analysts. Students gain foundational knowledge on several business subjects. They learn to collaborate with marketing directors, human resources professionals, and logistics managers.

A concentration may prepare graduates for niche business roles, like public relations jobs. Learners who choose to advance their education with a master's degree may work toward management or executive positions.

Are business majors in demand?

Chevron Down

The BLS projects the need for business and financial professionals to grow between 2022 and 2032. This figure is as high as the average projected growth rate of 4% for all other occupations.

As globalization and the economy grows, and tax relations become more complex, the BLS expects strong demand for financial professionals like auditors. The organization also projects the need for market research analysts to grow as companies rely more on data and market research.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in business?

Chevron Down

Earning potential for this field varies based on the position type, employer type, years of experience, and location. For example, the BLS reports a management analyst in California earns an average income of $119,370. The same professional in Florida earns a median income of $95,920.

April 2024 data from Payscale shows how years of experience influence salary. For example, management analysts with less than one year of experience earn an average salary of about $73,690. The same professionals with more than 20 years of experience earn an average of $87,000.

What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in business?

Chevron Down

The BLS provides salary information for many business occupations. Their findings show personal financial advisors earn the highest median salary at $99,580. Management analysts follow with a salary of $99,410.

Both of these positions only require a bachelor's degree. However, earning a master's degree may help professionals advance their careers. People who want to further their qualifications for raises can also earn business certifications. For example, an aspiring business leader can become a certified business analysis professional.

Business professionals can also negotiate their salary before accepting a job offer. These professionals can also use their credentials and past work experiences to request raises at job evaluations.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed April 26, 2024.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare Your School Options

View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home.