Most Affordable Online Business Administration Programs

Explore the most affordable online Bachelor's in Business Administration programs. Earn your degree through from a value-driven school.

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by Nalea Ko

Published on May 13, 2022 · Updated on May 20, 2022

Edited by Amelia Buckley
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Do you want to start a fulfilling career in accounting, finance, human resources, management, or marketing?

An online bachelors in business administration provides a well-rounded education in a flexible learning format. This flexibility lets working professionals and caregivers pursue advanced education while still managing their other responsibilities.

Online courses can also accelerate a degree path since programs often feature shortened semesters. For instance, online bachelors business administration programs may offer eight-week semesters, which allow students to take more courses per semester.

Online learners often pay less for a bachelor's in business administration degree, with tuition running from $129-$456 per credit for in-state residents. Graduates can become accountants, financial analysts, human resources managers, and marketing managers, earning median annual salaries upwards of $75,000. These careers also have projected job growth rates of 6% and above from 2020-2030, about as fast or faster than the average job growth rate for all careers of 7%.

Expect to spend four years earning an online bachelors in business administration, but that timeline could be shorter. Students can use prior college credits or even earn credits from work experience to graduate in 2-3 years.

Find out more in this guide to the most affordable online bachelors in business administration degrees. Learn about career outcomes for graduates.

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

Schools charge different tuition rates for online bachelors in business administration degrees. A students residency status influences what they pay. Private colleges and universities often cost more than public institutions. Colleges often set cheaper rates for online learners. In fact, many online programs do not charge out-of-state residents higher tuition than in-state residents.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in 2019-20, the average cost of tuition and fees at a four-year public institution was $9,400. Compare this to $36,700 at private nonprofit institutions.

When calculating the true cost of an online program, students should factor in other charges on top of tuition, such as technology, health, and campus fees.

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

A bachelors in business administration degree challenges the analytical thinker. Research has shown business majors share similar qualities, such as conscientiousness and assertiveness. While business majors share many commonalities, they can pursue diverse careers after graduation, especially if they complete a specialty. Common concentrations or specialties include:

Each school features different learning formats and curricula for online bachelors in business administration programs. These programs require an average of 120 credits. Traditionally, a bachelors in business administration takes four years. However, online courses sometimes accept up to 90 transfer credits and additional credits for work experience or military training, shortening the graduation timeline.

An online bachelors in business administration usually offers courses that incorporate problem-solving skills, business law, marketing strategies, managerial and financial accounting, and communication. Internships in the U.S. or abroad may be available for credit, but business schools typically do not require experiential learning for undergraduate studies.

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Popular Online Bachelor's in Business Administration Programs

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

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

Business Law

Students enrolled in a business law course study laws that govern contracts, employment discrimination, product liability, and sales. A business law course surveys the history of the American legal system as it relates to the operation of small and large businesses. Lessons may also cover business ethics. Degree-seekers specializing in human resources also study employment law.

Principles of Marketing

A course on marketing principles teaches students how to use marketing and consumer research to make informed decisions about launching products and services. Students learn about promotional campaigns, product planning, and pricing. The course also covers consumer behaviors, pricing strategies, and identifying target markets.

Public Speaking

Business professionals need strong interpersonal and professional communication skills. Degree-seekers pursuing an online bachelor's business administration often take public speaking courses, sometimes called oral communication, to learn about communication theories and practices. Students practice public speaking through oral presentations and learn informative and persuasive public speaking techniques.

Business Management

This course teaches students how to lead an organization and its team members. Materials cover how to apply management theories to a business environment. Topics covered include ethics, corporate structure, decision-making, organizational structure, and strategic management. Students also learn business management terminology and the role of a manager in an organization, particularly the decision-making process.

Principles of Finance

Business majors often take finance courses covering corporate and personal financial principles. Students learn how to apply financial theories to solve problems within companies and how to use financial managerial tools. Lessons also teach business analytics, international financial management, and entrepreneurial finance.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

Scholarships for Business Majors Your Guide to College Loans The Student's Guide to Financial Aid and the FAFSA

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Business Administration Program?

Do not expect any less rigorous admission standards for an online bachelors in business administration degree. Business schools often ask for standard application materials from students — whether they take online or on-campus courses. Candidates can apply as first-year students right out of high school or as transfer applicants with 12-60 transferable credits. Students often must earn a "C" minimum grade for prerequisite courses that include calculus, statistics, macroeconomics, and microeconomics

Application

Application requirements for an online bachelor's degree program depend on a candidates standing. Programs offer pathways for second bachelors applicants, transfer students, or first-year students applicants. Candidates submit their applications online with a fee of $40-$65. Some online programs do not charge application fees.

Test Scores

Admissions committees may request interviews or require incoming students to first take entrance exams to measure their language and math proficiency. The specific test required depends on the program and a student's status. First-year candidates may need to submit SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students who have prior college credits do not typically take an entrance exam.

International students may need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants commonly submit 1-3 letters of recommendation. Professors, supervisors, mentors, or school counselors write letters of recommendation attesting to a students abilities, accomplishments, and goals. When asking for a letter of recommendation, give the reference 1-2 months to provide the letter.

Essays

According to a 2018 survey by National Association for College Admission Counseling, some 33.2% of admissions counselors said the application essay plays moderate importance in decisions. Another 23.2% said it was considerably important. Business majors may need to submit a personal essay detailing their personal background and goals or a professional essay that outlines their work accomplishments and aspirations.

Official Transcripts

All colleges require students to submit official transcripts. Typically, transfer students from community colleges or recent high school graduates send transcripts directly to prospective colleges for a nominal fee of about $10-$20. When an online bachelors in business administration degree requires a minimum GPA, transcripts serve as academic proof. If candidates do not meet GPA requirements, schools may extend conditional admittance, granted applicants take an entrance exam.

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

Career Outlook

Business and financial occupations are projected to grow on pace with all other occupations at a rate of 8% from 2020-2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This competitive industry expects to see 750,800 new jobs added during that time.

Graduates with a bachelor's in business administration degrees can work as operations managers, human resource managers, financial analysts, and bank managers. The degree translates to careers at banks, healthcare organizations, hotels, insurance firms, and real estate brokerages. In fact, business ranks as the most popular major, according to the NCES.

Salaries for bachelors in business administration graduates vary by work setting. As of May 2021, human resource specialists earned a median annual salary of $62,290. Financial analysts earned a median annual salary of $81,410.

Discover what careers await you after earning a bachelors in business administration degree.

Read more about business careers

Career Paths

Financial Analyst

Employers typically hire financial analysts who have at least a bachelor’s degree, with many majoring in business. This business professional understands market trends which allows them to provide clients with investment advice. They can also perform operational tasks, such as generating financial statements, to evaluate a company’s value.

Financial analysts may gain certification through the Chartered Financial Analyst to become portfolio managers or fund managers.

Median Annual Salary: $81,410

Human Resources Manager

Bachelors in business administration degrees often feature concentrations in human resources. This degree can help graduates launch profitable careers managing staff in companies. Students may need to gain work experience in entry-level positions as staff recruiters or as staff training and development coordinators. They can also take on an internship.

Credentials from the Society for Human Resource Management and the HR Certification Institute can give human resource specialists the added recognition to advance as managers. Job duties often include checking potential hires references or conducting orientation for new employees.

Median Annual Salary: $62,290

Marketing Manager

Students earning a bachelors in business administration can take a concentration in marketing to become marketing managers, a position held by roughly 293,700 professionals. Marketing managers use budgets and target audiences to develop marketing plans for businesses and nonprofits.

Some 10% of marketing managers have positions at finance and insurance companies, while about a quarter of the workforce works in professional, scientific, and technical services.

Median Annual Salary: $135,030

Sales Manager

Sales managers work in wholesale trade, retail, professional and science services, manufacturing, and finance and insurance. It takes about 1-5 years of sales experience to advance from a sales associate to a sales manager, which requires a full-time schedule with possible evening and weekend hours.

Sales managers resolve customer complaints, prepare budgets, and set sales quotas. They also recruit and manage staff.

Median Annual Salary: $127,490

Accountant

Accountants have jobs in tax preparation, finance and insurance, government agencies, and management companies. An accountant maintains financial records for individuals, families, or companies. Accountants can advance in their careers after earning a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.

Median Annual Salary: $77,250

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Continuing Education

A bachelors in business administration is not a terminal degree. It can be a stepping stone to graduate school or certifications that can take a business professionals career from entry level to management in specific fields such as marketing, finance, or human resources.

Graduates often pursue a master of business administration (MBA) degree or a graduate degree in business, finance, or marketing. An advanced degree can lead to jobs as an investment banker, accounting manager, senior consultant, or human resources director.

Credentials from professional organizations also offer a chance to advance to a higher salary and gain more responsibilities. Graduates can earn credentials as CPAs, Certified Product Managers, and/or Certified Product Marketing Managers.

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

Cost

A number of factors influence college costs. Online programs may charge less than on-campus degrees, especially for out-of-state residents who may qualify for in-state fees. Colleges charge anywhere from $320-$890 per credit, with some adjusting prices for part-time students. Programs require about 120 credits, but many online bachelor's in business administration degrees offer generous transfer policies that lower overall costs.

Program Format

Business schools offer different formats for online bachelors in business administration degrees. What format a student chooses depends on their lifestyle needs and personal preferences. Synchronous courses offer live classes at set times, sometimes in the evenings or weekends, for working students. Asynchronous courses operate on a deadline system, where students submit assignments and engage in online discussions when it works for them.

Bachelors in business administration programs may offer part-time and full-time options, or even accelerated programs for students who have a bachelors degree in another major. Accelerated programs, unlike traditional degrees, can be completed in less than four years because the shortened semesters allow students to take more classes at a quicker pace than a traditional semester system.

Location

You do not need to live in the same city — or even the same state — to earn an online bachelors in business administration degree. Online learning offers flexibility for busy students who cannot commute weekly to campus. That said, business programs may have optional internships or other opportunities only available near the college campus. Online learners may miss out on other campus-related resources such as in-person career fairs, orientations, or social gatherings.

Accreditation

Independent accrediting agencies give institutional and programmatic accreditation. The institutional accreditation evaluation process verifies a university or colleges learning outcomes, facilities, and faculty. Accreditation matters to students who want quality education for their time and money.

Programmatic accreditation ensures that degrees meet quality standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits bachelor's in business administration programs.

Student Support

It matters how much student support a college offers, especially to online learners who often work independently.

The student services office can help online learners to access job boards, mentee and mentorship programs, resume help, and interview tips. Either an academic advisor or instructors can pair students with internship opportunities or recommend campus clubs to find networks of peers and employers.

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

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Students who need federal financial aid — either loans or grants — to help pay for college must first submit a free FAFSA form. This online form requires personal financial information from independent and dependent students to determine their eligibility for aid. Students must submit their FAFSA no later than June 30 of every year.

Loans

Students can take out federal and/or private loans. The federal government offers parent and student loans often with lower interest rates than private loans provided by banks, credit unions, and colleges. Federal loans also do not require co-signers if students have poor credit.

Undergraduate students who show a financial need can apply for federally subsidized loans, which do not accrue interest until after graduation. Parents of undergraduates can also apply for additional money through Direct PLUS loans.

Grants

College students can receive grants from the federal and state government to help pay for tuition. Grants differ from loans because they typically do not need to be repaid. However, grants may come with stipulations, such as work commitments. The federal government offers Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants to students who show an “exceptional financial need.”

Work-Study Programs

Another option to earn money for school is federal work-study programs. Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for work-study programs in which they get part-time jobs with a paycheck. If available, programs allow students to work in their field of study. Jobs offer hourly and salary pay, with accommodations on- and off-campus.

Scholarships

Scholarships, much like grants, do not require repayment. Students can find scholarships through their financial aid office or their local community foundation. Schools, state governments, nonprofits, companies, and individuals also establish trusts to award scholarships to students to meet eligibility requirements. Scholarships may only go to business majors or students who meet GPA and financial need requirements.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Business Administration Programs

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Most Affordable Online Business Administration Programs

  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $11313

    UF maintains its flagship campus in Gainesville, serving over 52,000 students annually. The university offers dozens of online undergraduate programs, including an online bachelor of arts and bachelor of science in business administration. Graduates are prepared to pursue an MBA or entry-level positions in accounting, labor relations, and human resources.

    The BS option offers a traditional degree plan that includes courses like marketing principles, technical communication, and business law. BA students augment foundational coursework with one of 10 specializations, choosing from options like mass communication, sports management, and travel and tourism management.

    UF provides spring, summer, and fall start dates. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.0 GPA and ACT or SAT scores. Online students can apply for financial aid opportunities like grants and scholarships.

  2. California State University, Fullerton
    Location

    Fullerton, CA

    Tuition

    $8274

    Cal State Fullerton enrolls about 40,000 students in over 200 programs, including an online BA in business administration program with a professional business concentration. This flexible program serves as a degree completion track and is suitable for business professionals pursuing career advancement and non-business professionals who want to break into the field.

    The curriculum includes core courses in managerial accounting, financial planning, and marketing fundamentals. Students can specialize in one of seven areas, including urban planning and research modeling. Program graduates have gone on to find successful careers as human resources coordinators, business modeling consultants, and entrepreneurs.

    Students interested in earning this affordable online bachelor's degree in business administration must have at least 51 transferable credits. Prospective students with associate degrees from a California community college also qualify.

  3. Appalachian State University
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $10491

    Appalachian offers over 40 online certificates and degrees through the Moodle platform. Distance learners can earn an online bachelor of science in business administration with a management major. Full-time students can finish this degree completion program in under two years, while distance learners who enroll part time can graduate in 4.5 years.

    The curriculum includes coursework like economic statistics, microeconomic principles, macroeconomic principles, and the legal environment of business. Students also learn to carry out data analytics using spreadsheets. Graduates can pursue careers as corporate investment bankers and financial analysts.

    Applicants interested in earning this affordable business administration degree need at least 70 transfer credits. Distance learners receive individualized support from an academic advisor, who helps them create a course schedule that fits their needs.

  4. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $9180

    Based in Miami, FIU powers distance education with the Canvas platform. FIU's programs include an online bachelor of business administration that allows students to customize their curriculum through seven majors. After completing this 120-credit program, graduates can solve problems and lead teams across diverse industries.

    Major options include finance, human resource management, international business, and marketing. Students can also enroll in a logistics and supply chain management track, learning how to streamline processes while reducing inventory, transportation, and warehouse costs. All learners can access one-on-one support from a success coach.

    Applicants who have 60 or more transferable credits need not submit ACT or SAT scores. This affordable online bachelor's degree in business administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  5. University of Illinois at Chicago
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $12248

    UIC is a public research institution that serves over 31,000 students each year. Distance learners can enroll in a fully online bachelor of business administration degree completion program. Once accepted, students take a prescribed sequence of eight-week courses with their cohort, graduating in under two years.

    The curriculum covers topics like advanced managerial communications and operations management. Students develop strategic decision-making skills by analyzing factors like industry structure, consumer and resource markets, and firm productions and costs. They work with an advisor to choose 19 credits of elective coursework that supports their academic interests and career goals.

    To pursue this affordable business administration degree, applicants need at least 60 transferable credits and a minimum 2.5 GPA. UIC's business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  6. San Diego State University
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    Tuition

    $14568

    SDSU offers over 50 online programs through its World Campus platform, including an online BS in business administration degree completion pathway. Through flexible course options, working professionals can keep their jobs and graduate in two years. The university powers distance learning with the Blackboard platform.

    This affordable online bachelor's degree in business administration includes required courses like organizational leadership and information systems analysis. Students learn to make ethical decisions with respect to government regulations, industry standards, and employee satisfaction. They may use electives to pursue specialized topics like cross-cultural perspectives of tourism.

    Prospective learners must have at least 60 transferable credits with a minimum 2.75 GPA to apply. SDSU's business administration program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

  7. Florida Atlantic University
    Location

    Boca Raton, FL

    Tuition

    $9486

    Located in Boca Raton, FAU offers a comprehensive array of programs across its 10 colleges, including an affordable online bachelor's degree in business administration. By enrolling in this two-year degree completion track, students gain the skills needed to work as digital marketing specialists, industrial buyers, and communication officers.

    Students take 60 credits of coursework, and specific classes vary based on which major they choose. Major options include accounting, management, hospitality and tourism management, and marketing.

    In addition to 60 transfer credits, applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on designated pre-business foundational courses. FAU accepts applications throughout the year. The university's business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  8. University of Illinois Springfield
    Location

    Springfield, IL

    Tuition

    $10733

    UIS serves over 4,000 students every year, many of whom enroll online. The university's distance learning programs include an online bachelor of business administration program that serves as a degree completion pathway. Participants can complete all online coursework asynchronously through Blackboard.

    Students choose from a comprehensive track and a management track. Learners in the comprehensive track complete a broad curriculum that covers core business areas like marketing and finance. Alternatively, the management track includes courses like organizational theory, leadership and motivation, and principles of information systems. This track culminates in a capstone seminar.

    Applicants need at least 45 transferable credits earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Business programs at UIS are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  9. Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Stillwater, OK

    Tuition

    $6707

    OSU offers over 60 flexible programs through the Canvas platform, including an affordable online bachelor's degree in business administration. Distance learners can complete all required coursework online or take some classes at OSU's Stillwater campus.

    The program offers majors in general business, finance, and management. Students may also pursue a marketing track, learning how to use analytics to gauge customer behavior and develop new products/services. OSU's School of Business boasts a high success rate, with 94% of students finding employment within three months of graduation.

    Most applicants who hold a minimum 3.0 GPA, rank in the top third of their high school class rank, and have solid ACT or SAT scores qualify for assured admission.

  10. University of Wyoming
    Location

    Laramie, WY

    Tuition

    $12999

    UW offers a variety of education options to distance learners, including programs at the certificate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Among these offerings is an online bachelor of science in business administration, which serves as a degree completion program.

    The curriculum of this program has a broad focus on all functional areas of business, preparing graduates for roles throughout government and business. Core courses cover topics like managerial accounting, human resource management, and financial markets and institutions. The program accepts new students in the spring, summer, and fall.

    To apply, students must hold at least 60 credits and a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must also have completed 10 prerequisite courses with a "C" grade or better. UW's College of Business holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Frequently Asked Questions About Business Administration Programs

Is a bachelor's in business administration worth it? true

Yes. Earning a bachelors in business administration degree provides diverse career and educational opportunities for people who want to pursue careers in corporate, nonprofit, or entrepreneurial settings. Students gain skills in accounting, finance, marketing, business law, and business ethics.

Online degrees offer greater flexibility and affordability. They can sometimes take less time than a traditional on-campus degree. Importantly, this degree can be a good financial investment. Graduates can pursue careers such as marketing managers and research analysts, with median annual wages over $60,000.

An online bachelor's in business administration degree also prepares graduates to pursue an MBA.

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

With a bachelor's in business administration, graduates can begin an entry-level career in any business sector: finance, accounting, marketing, supply chain management, or human resources. This degree also provides a foundation for a graduate degree.

An online bachelor's in business administration degree prepares students to work for companies or begin their own business. Common career sectors include advertising, consulting, finance and insurance, healthcare, real estate, or nonprofit management.

Are business administration majors in demand? true

Earning a business administration degree remains a popular major because students learn diverse skills that translate well to different industries.

Business has long been a popular major. According to the NCES, business schools have increased their enrollment numbers by 56.8% over the last three decades. Other popular majors include health-related degrees, social science, and history.

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

Graduates who hold bachelor's in business administration degrees can make upwards of six figures. What each graduate makes depends on their background, experience, training, and role.

Administrative services and facilities managers working in finance and insurance earned median annual salaries of $120,620 and $119,750 in professional, scientific, and technical services in 2021. Sales managers made between $61,090-$173,010.

Where you live and work also influences how much you earn. New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Colorado, and Virginia pay sales managers the most, with respective salaries between $161,990-$195,580.

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

It may take years of experience to get a top salary after graduating with a bachelor's in business administration, but some careers offer lucrative opportunities for entry-level workers. Professionals also increase their wages with experience, advanced degrees, and professional credentials.

A bachelor's in business administration degree is the minimum requirement for high-paying careers like management analyst, sales manager, personal financial advisor, and marketing manager.

The bottom 10% of management analysts earned less than $50,190, while the top 10% made more than $163,760, according to the BLS. Work settings also influence pay, with management analysis in professional, scientific, and technical services earning a median annual salary of $100,170 and those in management of companies earning a median wage of $96,940.

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