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The cost of online MBA programs varies greatly from school to school. Along with nursing programs, MBA programs are one of the most in-demand graduate programs, which drives up the cost per credit hour at many schools. Cost per credit hour is often significantly less at public universities than at private universities, although some private universities do offer competitive tuition costs and scholarships to help bring the “sticker price” down. Cost per credit hour also tends to be significantly greater for executive MBA programs when compared to standard online MBA programs.

Public Universities

We’ll use a few specific examples of online MBA programs to show the wide range of tuition costs at public universities. The Georgia Web MBA is offered by six different public, AACSB-accredited business schools in the University System of Georgia. The total cost of tuition for this program as of 2011 was $19,350, according to the Georgia Web MBA website. An online MBA offered at a Tier 1 public research university, however, typically costs more. For instance, Washington State University costs $30,000 for the entire program, according to the WSU website. WSU’s executive MBA program, which requires more credits, costs $50,000 for the entire program, the website shows. As you can see, the cost of online MBA programs at public universities can vary quite a bit.

Private Universities

Tuition costs vary a great deal at private universities as well. Western Governors University, a private nonprofit institution that boasts affordable tuition, charges a flat rate of $3,250 per six-month term. If you spread this out over four terms (two years), tuition costs $13,000, according to the website. Few private colleges charge a flat rate per term or semester, however, as most charge per credit hour. For example, Capella University’s online MBA in project management, which requires 48 credits at $658 per credit hour, costs $31,584 for tuition, according to the Capella website.

Factors to Consider When Researching Overall Cost

When factoring the cost of an online MBA, it’s important to see what all is included in tuition cost and what other fees and expenses you will need to take on. Almost all colleges assess application and technology fees and require you to pay for textbooks separately. Some colleges wrap up most fees and even the cost of textbooks and software in with tuition. Another thing to consider is that online MBA tuition costs tend to rise every year or so as schools try to stay on top of rising costs, particularly for public universities, as they are more vulnerable to cuts in state funding. You may, however, be able to lock in a certain tuition rate with some programs, which is worth looking into. Finally, the best way to find out the most up-to-date tuition costs is to contact the schools directly and request more information.