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How to Get an MBA Inexpensively

Updated on June 19, 2012

"The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance."

- Benjamin Franklin

The news reports that an MBA increases someones salary by 3-4 times over a lifetime. This means that, if you are currently making $40,000, with an MBA you could potentially be making $150,000 a year. This is not always the case, and money should not be the sole reason to go to school or pursue a particular degree. However, many people have recognized the value of an MBA and are interested in acquiring this degree. The only challenge is that it can be very pricey to obtain.

If you would like to further your education and are only stuck with the question, "How can I get an MBA for little money?" Then you have come to the right place. There are many opportunities that can assist someone in receiving an MBA for a relatively low cost.

Getting an education is great. Even if your girlfriend steals your cap.
Getting an education is great. Even if your girlfriend steals your cap. | Source

Options for Getting an MBA with Little Cost

There are many factors to consider when getting an MBA. Determining when to get an MBA can also help one know how to go about getting an MBA. Here are several ways to acquire an MBA inexpensively.

Maintain High Grades and Do Well on the GMAT

For those still in school, making sure to get good grades is essential. Additionally, a great GMAT score can make tuition close to nil. While a score of 700 is necessary for top universities, small universities will give you next to a free ride for scores that high.

I am going to get my MBA for about $7,000 at Andrews University because of a great scholarship opportunity that they have - providing anyone with a GMAT score of over 600 with a 50% tuition reduction (in addition to other scholarships). This MBA regularly costs close to $25,000.

Work for an Employer Who Values Your Advancement

Many companies will actually pay for their employees to further their education. Others that don't pay the full amount may give a percentage. Talk to your employer about the potential of them assisting you to further your education. Show how a more educated you will benefit their business.

Study Part-Time

If you would like to get an MBA, but can't afford to drop work and start studying, consider studying part-time. Taking one or two classes a semester may cost you relatively little and you will be able to have your MBA finished in a matter of several years.

Take it Online

Only colleges offer very inexpensive education for an MBA. Although the credibility will not be as high as from many other schools, an online education is becoming more and more respected - meaning that you will still benefit from an online MBA.

The most inexpensive online MBA that I have been able to find is from Amberton University in Texas. They have a quality program at a great cost.

Studying the MBA Abroad

While costs are incredibly high in the United States, it is possible to receive an accredited MBA from the Philippines, India, or elsewhere. Make sure you are know what you want to do with your degree, as a foreign degree will be a hindrance in some fields. However, a degree internationally would be an exciting experience, could be very inexpensive, and would provide you with international contacts able to assist you in your next business venture.

The Next Step to Getting Your Degree

An MBA is incredibly valuable. I would highly recommend pursuing this option if you have an interest in entering the arena of management. What you should do next if you are interested in getting a degree is:

  1. Set up a time to take the GMAT in several months and start studying.
  2. Research local universities, online universities, and locations you would be available to attend.
  3. Start saving - regardless of what you do, it will cost you money, so start preparing now.

Know of any inexpensive universities or other ideas about getting an MBA inexpensively? Share them below.


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    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

      I graduated from U. Wisconsin Madison, have professional designation from Wharton, completed the certified financial planning program, and have a certificate from UC Berkeley. The school I picked for an MBA, however, is not well-known but the school is regionally accredited and the tuition is hard to beat.

      I am also self-employed. I wanted an MBA for personal achievement and I could not see spending the $60 K Pepperdine wanted. (I live in CA.)

      I hemmed and hawed and decided if I wasn't willing to pay for AACSB accreditation I would find a regionally accredited private school with reasonable tuition.

      I am happy to say I am one-third of the way through the MBA at the University of the Southwest, a TINY private brick and mortar school and I could not be happier.

      Our texts are written by profs at AACSB schools and the videos are by those authors. My goal is to pass the CPA test and that to me is the leveler.

      I was concerned that the work at a lesser known school would not prepare me for my goal. At this time those fears are allayed. I will get the MBA for around $15,000 because the school credited me for two courses already from my professional designations.

      Many famous people attended lessor known schools and did well in was Ronald Reagan. And as you know, Abe Lincoln went to no law school at all. What they both had was perseverance. At the age of 59 I have learned it really is true half of life is "showing up". The other half is perseverance. IMHO!

    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

      After lots of thinking and weighing AACSB etcetera I am enrolled at the University of the Southwest, a regionally accredited brick and mortar in their online program.

      Cost is about $540 a credit. They gave me credit for two classes from my professional designations. Books are online and they give you a computer loaded with the books. Instruction format is awesome, instructors are responsive and it is just as high quality as my undergrad at a famous big U.

      Also, don't forget the tax credits available! I think it is 20% of tuition paid per year!

      After that if you do take out loans you can amortize them over 25 years so the payment is smaller. Yes, you do pay more years of interest, but remember (finance major here)

      the "time value of money". So the payment seems smaller over time due to inflation.

    • msmmba profile image

      msmkhana 4 years ago from New Delhi

      You get many colleges in your surrounding like Metropolitan School of Management offers quality programs in affordable price.

    • profile image

      Rahul 5 years ago

      Thanks ! Now I know well what's the first step for get MBA. But my problem is that I live in Myanmar(Daw Aung San Su Kyi's Native). There's no good Local University for get MBA. All of Myanmar University Teaching Method are so worse. And also no one recognized the certificate of Myanmar University.And I can't afford to attend abroad study.So What should I do ?

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thanks Simone! I appreciate the comment. I have enjoyed working with you this last month immensely!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Of all the tips you've shared, I think I most appreciate the one on working for someone who will foot the bill! Excellent general advice, though. Getting an MBA can put a big dent in one's savings (or through one into a hefty hole of debt), so anything that reduces expenses is a good thing indeed!

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thanks leah! I appreciate your great tips once again. And I love how big of a fan of the MBA you are.

      And Brooke, well, you'll have to talk to my girlfriend about that. Personally, I think she likes them. ;)

    • Brooke Jimenez profile image

      Brooke Jimenez 5 years ago from Daytona Beach

      You're such an insightful and talented writer, but you are not good at picking out great pictures of your girlfriend!

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      These are excellent tips, Robert! Some employers will sponsor a student's MBA as well, provided they are on a career track that is leading to a position that requires an MBA. We paid for my husband's MBA out of pocket (he went to SUNY Buffalo), but the pay increase he obtained was well worth the tuition fees.