Cheapest Online Finance Programs
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Every company needs professionals who know how to manage money. Earning a bachelor's in finance can prepare you for a career in banking, business management, or entrepreneurship.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 8% growth in business and financial occupations from 2020-30. These professionals earned a median salary of $72,250 in May 2020. Career opportunities include accountants, loan officers, financial analysts, and personal financial advisors.
A bachelor's in finance requires at least four years to complete, with students completing courses in business, math, and statistical analysis. Students spent an average of $35,331 annually to attend college in 2020, including tuition, fees, books, and living expenses. Online degrees in finance can offer savings and the opportunity to balance work and school. The average student spends $51,091 to earn an online bachelor's in finance.
Find schools offering high-quality and affordable online bachelor's in finance and launch your finance career.
How Much Does an Online Bachelor's in Finance Cost?
Tuition and student fees account for most of the cost of pursuing a bachelor's in finance. The average cost of tuition for an online bachelor's in finance topped $51,000 in 2020, but the cost can vary significantly depending on the type of school you choose.
Students attending an in-state school paid an average of $38,496 for an online bachelor's degree. Out-of-state students paid an average of $54,183, while private colleges charged an average of $60,593.
Be sure to consider other costs when choosing an affordable online bachelor's in finance. Look at items like the cost of technology and books, impact on your income, and living expenses. If your program has required in-person sessions, you must also budget for travel expenses.
- What's on the low end of cost per credit? The high end?
- How do online programs compare to the average costs of on-campus programs?
- What other costs should someone consider for this type of online program aside from tuition?
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Finance Program?
An online bachelor's in finance will follow the same requirements as an on-campus bachelor's in finance. A university's school or college of business may offer a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) degree.
Most undergraduate degrees require 120 or more credits. About half of these credits fall under general education requirements, like English, history, and science. The balance of credits includes finance and business courses and electives.
While some schools offer a broad introduction to various career paths within finance, some schools allow students to concentrate in a specific area. These concentrations may include 3-4 courses related to the specialization. Common concentrations include:
- Financial Counseling
- Asset Management
- Business Analytics
- Corporate Finance
A full-time student can complete an undergraduate degree in four years, especially if they take classes during summer sessions or the school offers an accelerated class schedule. However, about 60% of students graduate within six years.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
Popular Online Bachelor's in Finance 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 Finance Program?
Principles of Management
This core business course covers planning, organizing, and leading enterprises. Students discuss company structure, employee motivation, and business ethics.
Finance students must understand financial reports and audits. This course covers accounting topics such as assets, liabilities, equity, income, and expenses.
Finance students use statistical methods to analyze risk, forecast market conditions, and make business decisions. This introductory course teaches students to use various software to identify relevant data, analyze data, and communicate findings.
Finance students must understand various investments and markets to advise clients or companies. Students evaluate asset allocations, bond and derivative pricing, and portfolio optimization.
Students use various methods to create spreadsheets that analyze key business performance indicators. These indicators can include budgeting, capital structure, and capital determination.
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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Finance Program?
Colleges and universities will review your academic and professional information before admitting you to the school. Some programs may require completing 1-2 years of undergraduate work before applying for admission to the college of business or the finance program. Schools may limit online enrollment to students with some college-level coursework.
Your college application should list your core information: name, address, and schools attended. You can list academic honors or awards, extracurricular or volunteer activities, and work history. You may also pay an application fee to the school. About 950 colleges and universities use the Common App, an online college application that eliminates the need to complete application forms repeatedly.
If your college requires an entrance exam, they likely take scores from the ACT and SAT college entrance exams. Students scored an average composite of 20.8 on the ACT in 2018 out of a possible 36. On the SAT, the average student scored 531 in reading and writing and 528 in math for a total of 1056 out of a possible 1600. Colleges often accept scores from exams taken in the past five years. Some schools waive test requirements for students older than 25. International students may also need to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language, TOEFL.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation can help your application stand out by offering a unique insight into your academic potential and professional goals. Ask for letters from former teachers, supervisors, coaches, or colleagues. Be sure to give your letter writers ample notice of the deadline and ensure they have all the necessary information to write a recommendation on your behalf.
The essay portion allows you to share your hopes and dreams and the challenges you have overcome with the admissions team. Schools may provide a specific essay prompt. Others may simply ask you to share your professional goals. Be sure to offer specific examples with an essay that tells a story from start to finish and goes beyond dates and stats from your application or resume. Have others look over your work to offer advice and check for any grammatical or spelling errors.
Your official transcripts detail your high school GPA and courses to ensure you meet the school's minimum academic requirements. If you have completed college-level credits at another institution, your transcript can document the course and grade. Many colleges accept transfer credit from accredited schools. Transfer credits keep you from repeating classes you have already taken and passed and reduce the number of credits required to graduate.
What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Finance Degree?
Everyone and every business can benefit from the expertise of a good money manager. Finance majors can find careers in almost every industry and in government. Depending on their interests, a graduate with an online bachelor's in finance may choose to work for a bank, for a company, or directly with clients. Some graduates may work in government, ensuring companies treat consumers fairly and follow complex financial laws and regulations.
U.S. colleges and universities awarded more than 390,600 undergraduate business degrees in 2018-19, more than any other major. Students may find stiff competition as they begin their careers, but the BLS projects steady growth across business and financial occupations. The agency projects an 8% growth in employment from 2020-30, about 750,800 new jobs, with a median salary of $72,750 in May 2020.
The careers listed below offer a sampling of common career paths and job titles. See where a bachelor's in finance can take you. Learn more about finance careers.
Financial analysts use current and historical data to recommend investments, determine company value, or study business and economic trends. They may specialize in areas of risk analysis, fund managers, or investment analysis. Many work with securities, commodities, or other financial investments. The BLS estimates about 41,000 job openings each year with a projected growth of 6% from 2020-30.
Median Annual Salary: $83,660
Financial examiners may specialize in risk assessment or consumer compliance. The first specialization ensures financial institutions like banks can meet their financial obligations and mitigate possible losses. In consumer compliance, these examiners ensure financial institutions treat customers fairly and in accordance with laws and banking regulations. The BLS projects an 18% growth in employment from 2020-30.
Median Annual Salary: $81,430
Loan officers work in banks or other lending institutions to ensure entities qualify for loans. They will verify application information, like income or revenue, past credit history, and current debt owed. Some loan officers specialize in commercial loans, consumer loans, or mortgages. The BLS projects little overall job growth from 2020-30, but estimates 25,000 openings each year.
Median Annual Salary: $63,960
Personal Financial Advisers
Personal financial advisers work directly with clients to help them meet financial goals. The adviser recommends investments, assists with budgeting, and offers advice on taxes. Advisers often work with clients over a span of many years, helping them adjust their finances for new goals, such as saving for retirement or paying college expenses for children. The BLS projects employment of personal financial advisers to grow by 5% from 2020-30, with about 21,500 openings each year.
Median Annual Salary: $89,330
Financial managers prepare financial reports, monitor compliance with financial laws and regulations, analyze market trends, and help business leaders make sound financial decisions. These financial experts work in all areas of business and industry, with most working in the finance and insurance field. The BLS projects a 17% growth in employment of financial managers from 2020-30, with about 64,200 openings each year.
Median Annual Salary: $134,180
Finance Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
While a bachelor's in finance can help launch your business career, you may find you need advanced study in business to advance your career or qualify for promotions. Your online bachelor's in finance serves as a prerequisite to a master's in finance, an MBA in finance, or a graduate certificate in finance.
You can also earn professional credentials, such as the certified financial planner designation. Awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the credential requires a bachelor's in finance, passing an exam, and adhering to a code of ethics. Once awarded, you must complete continuing education.
How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Finance Program?
Students paid an average of $51,091 in tuition to earn their online bachelor's in finance in 2020. Some schools offer online students discounts on student fees or waive out-of-state fees. However, about 60% of colleges charge more per credit hour for online students to cover the cost of course development or online learning platforms. In addition to tuition, you must also consider the cost of books, computers, internet access, and travel. Some schools offer online learning materials instead of requiring expensive textbooks.
Online learning requires a lot of self-determination and time management. Find a program that works best for your schedule and your learning style. Schools may offer part-time and full-time enrollment options. Classes may meet asynchronously or have scheduled meeting times. Some schools offer accelerated classes that last 6-8 weeks. These intensive courses allow students to focus on 2-3 courses at a time instead of 5-6 classes. Yet, the format allows you to make steady progress toward your degree.
Many students pursuing an online bachelor's in finance attend colleges and universities close to their homes. Online learning provider Wiley Education Services found 65% of online college students attend a school within 50 miles of their home. These schools may have articulation agreements with area community colleges, easing the transfer of credits, or boast a robust alumni network in your region. Attending a school nearby also makes it easier to visit the college to meet with professors, access student services, or participate in student activities.
Ensure your school holds institutional accreditation from a regional or national agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Only accredited schools can participate in federal student aid programs like grants and loans. Accreditation ensures schools meet specific criteria related to academic rigor, faculty qualifications, and student resources.
Consider the support student services a school offers its distance learners. Some schools provide dedicated librarians to assist with research, online tutoring to assist with classwork or access to career coaching. College mentors can help you navigate online services or offer insight into your degree path. The career services office often helps students with resume development, internship placement, and career recruitment.
How Do I Pay for an Online Bachelor's in Finance?
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Before you can qualify for student financial aid, you must demonstrate your financial need. The Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) details your income and sources of financial support. In addition to your financial information, you must also include your parent's financial data unless you meet specific requirements: age, military service, or married. Many schools use this form to determine student need for institutional scholarships as well as federal and state financial aid programs.
Student loans can help pay for your education, but you must pay the money back over time. Students attending a public university borrow an average of $30,030 for an undergraduate degree. Qualifying students can apply for federal subsidized student loans, which keeps interest from accruing until after you leave school or unsubsidized student loans. You can also consider private student loans.
Students with financial need may qualify for scholarship grants from the U.S. Department of Education, their state, or their school. You do not have to repay these funds. The Federal Pell Grant offers up to $6,495 for the 2021-22 award year. The amount you receive depends on your expected family contribution, cost of attendance, full-time or part-time enrollment, and plans to attend for a full academic year.
Schools may offer students a part-time job to help pay for education expenses. The federal work-study program supports on-campus or off-campus positions, with an emphasis on civic education and placements related to your course of study. The program offers at least the federal minimum wage, with students paid by the hour.
Scholarships can enhance your student aid package with funds that do not need to be repaid. You can find scholarship opportunities through your school, community organizations, companies, or national organizations. Scholarships may consider academic potential, student involvement, and financial need.
Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Finance Programs
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Finance Programs
Is a bachelor's in finance worth it?
A finance career often attracts individuals who enjoy working with numbers and have good deductive reasoning skills. Almost every industry needs financial managers. The BLS projects an 8% growth in employment of business and financial occupations from 2020-30.
Earning an online bachelor's in finance requires at least four years of study. Online students paid an average of $51,091 in tuition for their degrees, but they can earn well above the median wage for all workers after graduation. The BLS reports median salaries of $72,250 in May 2020.
What can I do with a bachelor's in finance?
Every business needs people who can take financial data and offer sound advice on business decisions. You can work in private companies, government agencies, or small businesses. You can specialize in helping companies or working directly with individual clients as a personal financial adviser.
Many graduates with a bachelor's in finance work in banking, insurance, or securities. Jobs can include investment banking, loan officer, financial manager, and financial examiner. Some people use their finance skills to launch their own business.
Are finance majors in demand?
A bachelor's in finance prepares you for several high-growth careers in various industries. Financial examiners are among the fastest-growing careers in finance, with a projected 18% growth from 2020-30. Much of this growth comes from the need to ensure compliance with complex finance laws and regulations.
Another fast-growing finance career is financial management, with a projected 17% growth in employment from 2020-30. While some careers may face competition from growing atomization and technology, global companies will still turn to skilled financial managers to manage their finances.
How much money can I make with a bachelor's in finance?
Potential earnings depend on several factors, including education, industry, professional experience, and geography.
Financial analysts earned a median salary of $83,660, though top earners reported salaries in excess of $159,560. Financial analysts working in securities earned an average of $125,040. New York, a center of finance, reported the highest average pay for financial analysts at $130,670.
What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in finance?
Financial managers report the highest median salaries among common finance careers. In May 2020, these individuals reported median earnings of $134,180. Managers in the highest 10th percentile earned more than $208,000.
Most financial managers work in the credit intermediation industry, where they earn an average of $124,040. Financial managers working in the securities industry report the highest average wages at $206,050. New York, which is home to numerous financial institutions and the New York Stock Exchange, reports the highest pay for financial managers at $215,640.
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