By Jennifer W. Eisenberg
Let’s say you have started on a career in business and you are looking to take the next step. Education can be a good investment in your earning potential down the road. We compiled this ranking of the ten best deals in online bachelor’s in business administration degree programs to help you make an informed decision. We will begin with an FAQ to answer any concerns or questions you might have before narrowing your search down to individual schools. As your focus starts to sharpen, you will find the ranking listed below to be a helpful tool. It provides information on the institutions that offer some of the most affordable online programs in business administration at the bachelor’s degree level.
What does a bachelor’s in business administration do?
A 100% online bachelor’s degree in business administration provides the skills necessary for a wide range of management positions. Among other skills acquired through coursework, you will be prepared to evaluate factors affecting businesses in today’s world–such daily challenges as expenses, personnel, patterns in commerce, risks, and hazards. With the knowledge acquired in earning an online bachelor’s degree in business administration, you can expect to lead a business or a segment of a business or organization: everything from overseeing the human elements to the ins and outs of marketing to final inspection of the company’s products themselves as they roll off the assembly line–and everything else in between.
An online bachelor’s degree in business administration will enable you to work for a Fortune 500 company, a small start-up, or–fulfilling the entrepreneurial dream of many–your own business. As a manager in a business or segment of a business, you will be prepared to create a business plan, research and assess your likely options, troubleshoot all facets of operations, lead employees in generating and achieving goals, and supervise a wide variety of projects within your area of expertise.
Perhaps most critically of all, an online bachelor’s degree in business administration will teach you how to think like a leader in business: creatively, analytically, and managerially.
What does it cover?
An online bachelor’s degree in business administration gives students a sound foundation in business. Students explore strategies, marketing, management, statistics, accounting, operations, all the practical factors in operating a business, and styles of leadership. Your coursework will cover business law, ethics, the basics of communication, economics, management of finances, and leadership.
What jobs are available for degree holders?
With a degree in business administration achieved entirely online, you will be qualified for a diverse range of entry-level positions in managing the human resources, advertising, sales, and public relations for businesses, banking institutions, and civic or governmental organizations. Position titles you might expect to apply for include managers of the following specialties: offices, retail stores, financial, operations, sales, commercial loans, accounting, public relations, cities, marketing research analysis, and chief executive.
What is the salary range?
Starting yearly salaries vary widely, but salaries for holders of a bachelor’s degree in business administration can range from $38,000 to $158,000.
Here are a few examples, for comparison, rounded up to the nearest thousand, and, of course, dependent on experience and skill:
Accounting–$42,000 to $74,000
City Manager–$56,000 to $107,000
Commercial Loan Officer–$62,000 to $70,000
Financial Officer–$60,000 to $114,000
Human Resources Manager–$54,000 to $93,000
Loan Officer–$41,000 to $158,000
Marketing Research Analyst–$62,000–$76,000
Public Relations Specialist–$38,000 to $115,000
Retail Store Manager–$42,000 to $76,000
Sales Manager–$48,000 to $122,000
Why should I study online instead of at a traditional face to face college?
There are numerous advantages to studying online, especially if you have already commenced your professional life or have personal responsibilities. Online education allows you to learn on your own schedule and live your life in the meantime. Many schools offer a reduced rate of tuition for online classes, and you will also save on gas and parking fees. Some schools offer accelerated courses of study that allow you to finish your degree more quickly, resulting in even more savings.
What is the difference between an online degree program and an online degree completion program?
An online bachelor’s degree program is a full four-year program that grants an undergraduate degree at the end. Bachelor’s degree completion programs are open only to people with 60+ hours of college credit or an associate’s degree from an accredited institution and will result in a four-year degree in about two years.
How do I find the online bachelor’s program that is right for me?
Online colleges can be evaluated in ways that are similar to brick and mortar colleges, minus–of course–the need to be physically present at the institution. Any viable institution of higher education offers accreditation, an attractive faculty to student ratio, desired courses, and affordable tuition–all factors which may be verified electronically.
Certain areas of student satisfaction are harder to gauge and may include the flexibility of the course offerings and his or her own needs. Materials and presentation of the coursework will affect student satisfaction with an academic program. Feedback policies are essential elements of a successful college experience, and this is definitely the case with online programs, where a student’s completion of an assignment may depend on timely notification about previous work. Other driving forces behind a successful fit with an online college involve technology support and post-graduation career resources. Tech support centers should be within reach 24/7. Because job markets continue to be competitive, colleges should offer assistance in finding employment after graduation.
Does getting an online degree get me a different diploma than people who go to a brick and mortar college?
Getting a bachelor’s degree in business administration online from an accredited institution results in the same degree that traditional students receive. You can even attend the same graduation ceremony if you wish. There is no “online” descriptor on the diploma.
How will I pay for a bachelor’s degree in business administration online?
Some online schools offer the same course per hour rate to out-of-state students as to residents. For an online bachelor’s degree in business administration, expect a requirement of 120-124 semester-based credit hours and 180 quarter-based credit hours. A typical online program may last from 18 months to four years and could cost between $60,000 and $85,000. Federal student aid and scholarships are available in the same manner as for traditional college students.
What kind of skills does online college require?
Online studies require particular organizational skills and awareness of one’s responsibilities. Most schools have a brief online quiz you can take to see where you stand on the possession of these skills. Online education also requires a technical component, but if you have accessed this article without too much help, you likely have the acumen necessary to complete an online bachelor’s degree in business administration.
How did you arrive at these rankings?
A number of factors entered into this ranking of the ten best deals on an online bachelor’s degree in business administration. A wide range of information is analyzed, and many sites are investigated. Particular attention is paid to the following categories:
Tuition value (10 points)
Under $10,000 – 10 points
$10,000-$12,000 – 9 points
$13,000-$18,000 – 8 points
$19,000-$25,000 – 7 points
Above $26,000 – 6 points
Faculty to student ratio (10 points)
Under 10 – 10 points
10-12 – 9 points
13-18 – 8 points
19-25 – 7 points
Above 26 – 6 points
Curriculum relevancy (10 points)
Offering courses on contemporary issues in the field – 10 points
Offering standard courses across other schools in the field – 8 points
Offering a degree in the program at an accredited school – 5 points
National recognition (5 points)
Online tuition rate with no out of state surcharge (5 points)
Tuition figures for the year are the out of state numbers reported to the National Center for Education Statistics, a service of the US government. Enrollment and student to faculty ratios are also from this source. Any per credit hour tuition rate included in the school review paragraph is courtesy of that school’s website and may reflect a discount from the government reported rate.
#10 – University of Florida
The University of Florida’s undergraduate business program was ranked #17 in the nation by US News and World Report. With a student to faculty ratio of 20:1, their bachelor of science in business administration online is a program that focuses on business disciplines. Their online bachelor of arts in business administration includes one of eight specializations: anthropology, business and economic geography, educational studies, general business, geology, mass communication, sociology, and sports management. The online program is ranked #1 in the world for program delivery by Financial Times (2016 and 2017). Online students at the University of Florida have full access to the career resource center, which can help with career choice, a job search, and interview prep. Also on offer is access to the Gator Nation, a network of alumni who can help with both mentoring and the job search. The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
#9 – Ball State University
Ball State University was ranked #36 in the national online bachelor’s list by US News and World Report. With a student to faculty ratio of 14 to 1, their online bachelor of business administration is a 120 credit hour degree program that includes coursework in consumer behavior and professional selling. Ball State University offers an online undergraduate non-resident tuition rate of $501 per credit hour for this program. Ball State University’s Miller College of Business focuses on five Assurance of Learning Goals to ensure some key competencies. Knowledge of the basic business disciplines of finance, accounting, management, and operations; effective communication skills; ethical awareness; ability to be a valuable team member; and integration of business knowledge and skills to solve business problems. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
#8 – Arizona State University
Arizona State University ranked #4 nationally in US News and World Report’s list of the best online bachelor’s programs. With a student to faculty ratio of 23 to 1, their bachelor of arts in business online is a 120 credit hour degree program that includes coursework in business statistics and global supply operations. Business skills developed through coursework include forecasting demand, conducting negotiations, purchasing services, strategy building, management and personnel, and finances and risk. Student Support services offer class tutors, success coaches, and career service personnel. Students will receive help in finding school resources and time management throughout their entire academic experience. Access is provided to Smartthinking.com for online tutoring services and help with writing assignments. Arizona State University charges an online undergraduate tuition rate of $610 per credit hour for this program, regardless of residency. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
#7 – West Texas A&M University
West Texas A&M University was ranked #6 nationally in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by US News and World Report. With a student to faculty ratio of 21:1, their bachelor of business administration online with a major in general business includes four areas of study to select from: general business, entrepreneurship, healthcare management, and international business. The office of career services at West Texas A&M University offers career selection and job search services to students and alumni. Also, the Student Support Office provides Online Interview Workshops, Online Resume Writing Workshops, and Online Internship Orientation that focuses on finding internships and making them successful. Advising Resources offers academic catalogs, degree checklists, curriculum guides, transfer student resources, and veterans services. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
#6 – University of Massachusetts, Lowell
The University of Massachusetts, Lowell was ranked #54 in Online Bachelor’s degrees by US News and World Report. They offer a student to faculty ratio of 17:1. Their online bachelor of science in business administration is a 120-122 credit hour degree program that includes coursework in the following: statistics for business and economics, business ethics, accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain and logistics management. UMass online students take classes from the same world-class faculty as students at campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, and Worcester. The University of Massachusetts, Lowell offers an online, undergraduate tuition rate of $375 per credit hour, regardless of residency. Students become members of a 300,000+ strong alumni network. They are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
#5 – Oregon State University
Oregon State University’s online bachelor’s program was ranked in the top ten in the nation by US News and World Report in 2017. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, they offer both an online bachelor of arts and an online bachelor of science in business administration. Both degree programs require 180 quarter credit hours and offer four specializations: digital marketing, general business, retail management, and supply chain and logistics management. The curriculum developed by Oregon State University professors focuses on leadership, finance, legal and business practices, and experience-based learning. Well-chosen minors will enhance a business administration degree, and 27 minors are offered. Academic advisers oversee course selection and help students stay on track for graduation. Oregon State University does not charge out of state tuition to online students. Their tuition for this program is $228 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
#4 – Temple University
Temple University was ranked second in the nation for online bachelor’s programs by US News and World Report. With a student to faculty ratio of 15 to 1, their online bachelor of business administration with a business management major is a 123-125 credit hour degree program that includes coursework in macroeconomics and marketing management. Degrees are available in accounting, business management, human resources management, legal studies in business, marketing, and supply chain management. The Center for Student Professional Development utilizes a three-point model focusing on impression management, personal development, and career and industry awareness. Temple University charges an online undergraduate tuition rate of $595 per credit hour for this program, regardless of residency. They are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
#3 – University of Illinois, Chicago
The University of Illinois, Chicago was ranked #8 (tie) in the category of Online Bachelor’s Programs by US News and World Report. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, their online bachelor of business administration is a 61 credit hour degree completion program. It includes coursework in problem-solving and leadership, with an emphasis on developing the top competencies that employers seek in new hires: verbal communication, effective teamwork, initiative, problem-solving and decision making, and building and maintaining relationships. The University of Illinois, Chicago offers a tuition rate of $406 per credit hour for this online undergraduate program, regardless of residency. The Business Career Center provides one-on-one career advising and resume and cover letter reviews. Employment placement rate for business graduates was 95% (2014). They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
#2 – University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas was ranked #36 in Online Bachelor’s Programs by US News and World Report. With a student to faculty ratio of 18 to 1, their online bachelor of science in business administration with a focus in general business is a 120 credit hour degree program that includes coursework in accounting and public speaking. The University of Arkansas charges an online undergraduate tuition rate of $319.96 per credit hour for this program, regardless of residency. The Career Development Center offers help with resume and cover letter writing. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
#1 – Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State University was ranked #8 (tie) nationally in Online Bachelor’s Degrees in US News and World Report. With an impressive student to faculty ratio of 13:1, their online bachelor of science in business is a 120 credit hour degree program that offers six options for specialization: accounting, entrepreneurship, financial services, health services, management and marketing, and an individualized option. A number of online business programs exist that are affiliated with schools at PSU, such as agribusiness management, labor and employment relations, economics, and organization leadership. Pennsylvania State University charges a tuition rate of $555-596 per credit hour, regardless of residency. Student Services include academic advising and career counseling resources. Students may use the Student Support System for help with the application process and use university systems such as libraries and tutoring in writing and math-related fields. Transition is a college and career prep course offered to those students who need help in easing into the learning environment. They are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.