Most Affordable Online Business Degrees

Earning an online business degree can lead to a variety of new career opportunities. Here, we list this year's most affordable online business degree programs.

Most Affordable Online Business Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

Students pursuing an online business degree can choose from many specializations, such as accounting, business management, and marketing. This choice helps learners align their education with their career goals. Regardless of their specialization, all degree-seekers take core classes. These may include principles of management, concepts in marketing, and managing in a global business environment.

Typical admission requirements include a high school or GED diploma. Graduates can use their affordable business degree to explore different career paths, such as sales manager, hospital CEO, or human resources officer. These and other jobs may require additional education or training.

This page lists some of the most affordable business degrees. Read on to learn about costs, common classes, and potential specializations for business students.

View Our Rankings List Here

Questions About Business Degrees

Can I get an online degree in business?

Many top colleges and universities offer online business degrees. Learners complete coursework 100% online. An online format lets degree-seekers attend the most affordable program in any state.

What do business majors study?

Business majors study many topics, including accounting, marketing, and business law and ethics. Some degree-seekers supplement their online education with an in-person internship.

What is the most popular business major?

Business specializations that may lead to in-demand and well-paying careers include project management, entrepreneurship, and finance. These and other options require many upper-division electives.

Featured Online Programs

Why Get a Degree in Business?

Business degrees' online programs provide students with academic flexibility and the ability to explore many careers. Bachelor's degree-holders can apply for entry-level jobs or an MBA program. MBA graduates can explore leadership jobs. Some graduates work toward becoming certified public accountants.

Online business degrees help students living worldwide advance their education. Learners do not relocate to attend class. Many programs run asynchronously, letting enrollees complete assignments when convenient. However, students must still meet their professors' deadlines and finish classes by their end date.

How Much Does a Business Degree Cost?

Bachelor's degrees costs an average of $35,330 annually in tuition, fees, and related expenses, according to EducationData.org. However, many factors impact how much students pay for one of the best online business degrees. Learners attending public, in-state schools usually pay the most affordable tuition.

Students can make their degree more affordable by applying for financial aid. Many colleges with online business degrees award automatic scholarships to incoming first-year and transfer students. Some institutional awards may require a separate application. Learners with financial need should apply annually for the FAFSA. The federal government offers these degree-seekers grants and low-interest loans.

Additional Online Student Fees

An online format lets degree-seekers explore many affordable business degrees. However, online programs may charge fees on-campus learners do not pay, such as technology fees. Schools use these fees to pay for the software and support staff needed for online learning. Degree-seekers in a hybrid program should also budget for commuting costs to campus or an internship site.

Some graduates with a business degree pay for a professional certification. Many organizations awarding certifications offer member discounts. Members may receive additional benefits, like career-planning resources.

How Much Do Business Majors Make?

Some business careers requiring a bachelor's degree pay well. For example, advertising, promotions, and marketing managers earn a median $133,380 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure exceeds the national median salary by about 300%. Professionals in the information industry make even more. Managers in New York, New Jersey, and California earn the nation's highest salaries.

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers need a bachelor's to enter the profession. They may earn a higher starting salary by completing an internship while earning an online business degree. Some experienced professionals return to school to earn an MBA. This graduate degree qualifies them for more jobs.

Courses in Business

Online business degrees may offer specializations. However, each requires the same core curriculum. Core classes may include financial accounting, the principles of finance, and applied marketing strategies. These and other classes convey the skills all workers need for professional success. Some programs feature academic flexibility, such as the ability to minor in another subject.

See below for a sample curriculum for online business degrees. Please note that graduation requirements vary by college. Two schools offering the same class may use different textbooks and assignments. As a result, learners should compare prospective programs' curricula and learning outcomes closely.

  • Financial Accounting

    This introductory class emphasizes the accounting cycle's many steps. Students learn how to prepare financial statements while following relevant laws and regulations. Degree-seekers also develop in-demand financial skills, like communicating with stakeholders and following proper procedures in a rapidly changing work environment.
  • The Principles of Finance

    Business professionals need an advanced understanding of the principles of finance. Degree-seekers analyze how a company or organization maintains financial discipline, makes good investments, and pays dividends. Students learn how to inform senior managers of the latest investment opportunities. These skills help graduates promote their employer's long-term growth.
  • Applied Marketing Strategies

    Enrollees develop the skills necessary to analyze prices, create new products, and design promotions. Marketing professionals use these skills to manage marketing campaigns. Other learning outcomes include interpreting the latest consumer research, collaborating with team members, and selecting the correct distribution channels.

Specializations for Business

Specializations let students customize their degree and prepare for a specific career. Some schools call them concentrations or tracks. Degree-seekers can select a specialization by working with their academic and career advisors. Typical requirements include taking many upper-division electives. Some specializations let learners choose classes from a list of electives.

See below for three common specializations for business degree-seekers. Schools with more specializations may appeal to students undecided about their career path. These learners may switch if their interests change.

  • Healthcare Administration

    Students learn how to manage a healthcare provider's staff and finances. Aspiring healthcare administrators take classes in healthcare economics, healthcare strategic management, and organizational behavior. These and other classes prepare them to work as medical services administrators or health promotion specialists. Other popular jobs include community health manager and health policy analyst.
  • International Business

    Many companies run offices in different nations, sell products to diverse groups, and employ an international workforce. These companies need international business experts' expertise. Coursework covers global financial systems, multinational marketing, and international strategic management. Programs with this class may offer a specialized study-abroad opportunity.
  • Nonprofit Management

    Nonprofits work differently than for-profit businesses. As a result, they need business professionals with specialized skills. Degree-seekers working toward a nonprofit career may take classes in human resource management, the social environment of business, and organizational behavior. Graduates may work as public relations specialists, grant writers, or human resources managers.

Career and Salary Outlook for Business

An affordable business degree lets students explore careers like those below. These and other jobs require learners to apply the business, leadership, and management fundamentals they learned in school. However, these careers may require significant on-the-job training in addition to a degree. Some applicants improve their resume by earning a master's.

Please note that these descriptions provide only a few details about each job. Use the embedded links to learn more about entering these and other business careers.

  • Top Executives

    These professionals may work as chief executive officers, general managers, or government officials. Typical tasks include directing a company's mission, collaborating with other executives, and appointing less-senior managers. They help their company succeed by cutting costs and rewarding good performance. Top executives need at least a bachelor's and many years of work experience.
  • Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

    These managers use their education and experience to create promotional campaigns, negotiate contracts, and attract new clients. Marketing professionals research which products and services consumers want. Other tasks include determining what price consumers will pay for something. Nearly a quarter of marketing managers work in the professional and technical services industry.
  • Operations Research Analysts

    These analysts need a bachelor's or master's degree, depending on their job. They apply their analytical and mathematical skills to identify problems their employer faces. Their research helps senior managers make informed decisions. Nearly half of operations research analysts work for the finance, insurance, or professional services industry.
Salary Potential and Growth Rate
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030)
Top Executives $98,980 8%
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers $133,380 10%
Operations Research Analysts $82,360 25%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Most Affordable Online Business Degrees

#1 Online College in Virginia

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Automotive dealership management; communications; data analytics; digital marketing and advertising; economics; entrepreneurship; finance; financial planning; green and sustainable management; healthcare management; human resource management; international business; leadership; marketing analytics; marketing: sales management and professional selling; music business; project management; public administration; real estate; strategic marketing management

Accredited By: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Liberty, located in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers an online bachelor of science in business administration that requires 120 credit hours and an average of 3.5 years to complete. Students can focus on a general track or select from 20 specializations in topics, such as automotive dealership management, green and sustainable management, and music business.

The entirely online format features eight-week sessions of asynchronous coursework with no required on-campus intensives. All enrollees take core courses that include business law, financial and managerial accounting, and financial statement analysis. Applicants must submit transcripts showing a 2.0 GPA and a high school certification form. Liberty allows transfer of up to 75% of the total credits. 

Available Scholarships: Liberty Academic Scholarship; Middle America Scholarship

#2 Online College in New York

Excelsior College

School Information
Location Albany, New York
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Finance; general accounting; general business; logistics management; management of human resources; marketing

Accredited By: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Distance learners can earn their bachelor's in business at Albany, New York's Excelsior. The 120-credit program applies military experience and up to 113 transfer credits toward the bachelor of science degree. 

Designed for working adults, the fully online curriculum delivers eight-week business courses and offers independent study with credit by examination options. Core course topics include business law, communication, computers, finance, international business, and marketing. Students select a concentration area and complete a strategic management capstone.

Admission requires an application and official transcripts. Online students can access academic advising, bookstore and library materials, a writing lab, technology support, and tutoring.

Available Scholarships: Carole M. Thomas Scholarship Fund for Students in Business; David W. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund; Entrepreneur: Business and Technology Fund; Murray and Estelle Block Scholarship Endowment Fund

#3 Online College in Kentucky

University of the Cumberlands

School Information
Location Williamsburg, Kentucky
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Business administration; finance; strategic marketing

Accredited By: International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

UC's online business degree students can pursue several program options, including a bachelor of science with a major in business administration or concentrations in business administration, finance, or strategic marketing. Williamsburg, Kentucky-based UC also offers a bachelor of arts in business administration with the requirements for a bachelor of science, plus a world language.

All tracks require 120 credits, and coursework delivery follows an asynchronous format. Major course topics cover business accounting, analytics, economics, finance, and statistics, along with business ethics, law, and policy and strategy. Concentrations may include special projects in business and related subjects.

Applicants must submit official transcripts demonstrating a 2.0 GPA.

Available Scholarships: Presidential Scholarship; Transfer Scholarship

#4 Online College in Missouri

University of Missouri-St Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 52%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Business administration

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

St. Louis, Missouri-based UMSL lists an online business degree among its bachelor of science options that focuses on business administration. The curriculum emphasizes functional business knowledge and global and ethical orientation, along with skills in business communication, decision-making, technology, and interpersonal collaboration. 

At least 48 credit hours of the 120-credit degree total explore business topics, such as accounting, analytics and statistics, information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Students also undergo business assessment testing.

Distance learners can access academic advising online and apply for business scholarships in areas like accounting, information systems and technology, international business, supply chain and analytics, and marketing. 

Available Scholarships: Adult Learner Scholarships; Business Awards and Scholarships

#5 Online College in Missouri

University of Missouri-Columbia

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Information technology; management; marketing; supply chain management

Accredited By: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

The Columbia campus, known as Mizzou, awards a bachelor of science in business administration that students can complete entirely online. The 120-credit program allows transfer of up to 66 credits and requires no campus visits. Full-time students typically finish in two years.

Instruction focuses on tools needed to run businesses, departments, or projects, including managing customers, connecting consumers and goods, and understanding financial markets. Most courses are asynchronous, enabling students to work while studying. The program culminates with a senior capstone. 

Freshman applicants need ACT/SAT scores and prerequisite coursework. Transfers must have completed 24 applicable college credits with a 2.5 GPA.

Available Scholarships: Mizzou Scholarships

#6 Online College in Missouri

Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies

School Information
Location Fayette, Missouri
Admission Rate 100%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Agribusiness; banking and finance; business administration; entrepreneurship; international business; management; marketing and advertising 

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

The online business programs at CMU in Fayette, Missouri, include a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science. Both tracks require 120 credits with core courses in accounting, contracts law, intro to business, management, and marketing, along with a senior capstone and available concentrations. Bachelor of arts students complete a minimum of six additional credit hours in a foreign language.

Candidates apply for admission through the CMU College of Graduate & Extended Studies. First-time undergraduates submit official transcripts and ACT/SAT scores. Transfer students with 24 hours of college credit submit transcripts showing a 2.0 GPA in their transferable courses. 

Available Scholarships: Gulstad Achievement Scholarship

#7 Online College in Indiana

Indiana University-East

School Information
Location Richmond, Indiana
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 40%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Accounting; economics; entrepreneurship; finance; financial forensic investigations; informatics; marketing; sports marketing and management

Accredited By: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Based in Richmond, Indiana, IU East's online bachelor of science in business administration offers flexible remote learning and credit transfer counseling for working adults. Students progress through three milestones before moving onto higher-level courses: 1) passing a mathematics proficiency; 2) earning a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a "C" grade in reading, writing, and inquiry; and 3) completing social/behavioral science and nine foundations courses.

Students complete 120 credits of general education, business foundations, business core, and elective courses.

Admission requires official transcripts. The program may allow up to 60 transferable credits from regionally accredited two-year colleges and 90 credits from four-year institutions with regional accreditation. 

Available Scholarships: Community College Transfer Scholarship; Scholarships for Incoming Freshman

#8 Online College in Missouri

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Accounting; cybersecurity; financial services: marketing; management information systems

Accredited By: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Maryville, located in St. Louis, Missouri, offers an online bachelor's in business administration developed with input from leading employers. The curriculum emphasizes best practices and cutting-edge skills, featuring coursework accessible entirely online. Incoming students with enough transferable credits can finish in two years. 

Core courses provide a foundation in business law, economics, financial accounting, and statistics. Major courses explore the links between business administration and finance, law, and management.

Undergraduate transfers need official transcripts and a 2.0 GPA. Maryville only accepts transfer credits earned at regionally accredited schools. First-time college students must submit high school transcripts evidencing a 2.5 GPA.

Available Scholarships: Get Educated Online College Scholarship Program

#9 Online College in Colorado

University of Denver

School Information
Location Denver, Colorado
Admission Rate 59%
Graduation Rate 77%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Leadership and organization

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

At DU in Denver, Colorado, distance learners can complete their undergraduate education and earn a bachelor of arts in leadership and organization studies. Designed for adults with at least 16 semester college credits and three years of professional employment, the program permits transfer of up to three years of credit.

Asynchronous coursework builds business skills and knowledge in communication, project management, and training and development. Core courses include organizational behavior, ethical decision-making, and 21st-century global issues. 

Major topics cover financial management, entrepreneurship, and cross-cultural leadership, along with integrative project design that prepares learners to solve a professional problem.

Available Scholarships: University College Bachelor of Arts Completion Program Scholarships

#10 Online College in Georgia

College of Coastal Georgia

School Information
Location Brunswick, Georgia
Admission Rate 87%
Graduation Rate 27%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: General business

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Online programs at CCGA in Brunswick, Georgia, include a bachelor of business administration. The flexible curriculum provides a strong foundation in business that can be applied in students' current workplaces. 

Students work with an advisor to design a course schedule that works with their jobs and other obligations. Distance learners can access supplemental instruction, tutoring, and CCGA's writing center, along with virtual health center services and career advising

Transfer applicants submit transcripts showing 30 transferable semester hours or 45 quarter hours and a 2.0 GPA. Those with less than 30-semester or 45-quarter credits should submit high school transcripts. 

Available Scholarships: HOPE Scholarship

Recommended Reading

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.

Discover a program that is right for you.

Search schools to find the program that is right for you.