The need for healthcare professionals is well-known, but did you know that this demand doesn’t just apply to hands-on care providers? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that from 2020 to 2030, the demand for medical and health services managers will rise 32%—in comparison, the growth rate for all other occupations will be 8%. But to fill these potentially lucrative and in-demand roles, you need special training, such as a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. This guide will explain how to find an affordable bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration as well as what program traits to look for and what online learning options are available.
3 Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Programs
For most students, the biggest factor in deciding which bachelor’s in healthcare administration program to apply to is the cost of attendance. With that in mind, we identify and feature three schools offering bachelor’s degrees in healthcare administration at an affordable price. But besides looking at the tuition and fees, we take into account the overall quality of the program, the availability of student services and support, and the percentage of students who receive financial aid.
Want to know more about how we chose these schools? Click the “About the ranking” button below.
Capella University’s bachelor of science in healthcare administration is ideal for future healthcare managers who need maximum flexibility in pursuing their degree. Students can choose from two areas of specialty: healthcare administration leadership and health information management.
Students choose from two learning formats. The first is Guided Path, which allows students to do their classes at a time and place that’s convenient for them but includes weekly deadlines to keep them on track. The second is FlexPath, which allows students to pay a flat tuition rate for each 12-week term but take as many classes as they want during that time. Students set their own class deadlines with FlexPath.
Students at Capella University can take advantage of the Accelerated Master’s Pathway, in which they take master’s level courses that apply to both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The Capella Progress Reward scholarship gives students $15,000 to help pay for their tuition for eligible programs.
University of Houston—Clear Lake
The bachelor of science in healthcare administration from the University of Houston—Clear Lake is unique because, in addition to having school accreditation, it also has program accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). As a result much of the curriculum focuses on business concepts and theories, such as accounting, finance, and information systems. But it’s not all business. There’s plenty of healthcare-related coursework too, including classes in healthcare planning, foundations of healthcare leadership, and healthcare marketing.
Students interested in in-person learning take classes at the University of Houston—Clear Lake Texas Medical Center. Those who want a more flexible learning format can enroll in the hybrid program, which includes classes both online and in person. Students have easy access to real-world learning given the proximity to internship and co-op opportunities at the Texas Medical Center.
Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management
Cost: $3,789 per 12-credit semester (in-state); $10,437 per 12-credit semester (out-of-state)
Mode: Partially online
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (school); AACSB (program)
University of West Florida
Students looking to balance the convenience of flexible online learning with in-person training should strongly consider the bachelor of science—healthcare administration program from the University of West Florida. The academic convenience comes in several forms. Many of the program’s classes can be completed online, and up to 90 of the required 120 credits can be completed through transfer credits. Most classes last just eight weeks. As for in-person training, students are required to complete an internship in which they obtain practical, real-world healthcare experience.
Another advantage of attending the University of West Florida is the student support. Even though healthcare administration students complete most of their credits online, they still have full access to online library services and databases, as well as tutoring and writing lab assistance and technical support. To enroll in the online healthcare administration bachelor’s degree program, students must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA in prior college work, at least a 2.0 GPA in all prerequisite classes, and at least sophomore standing.
Bachelor of Science—Healthcare Administration
Length: Four years
Cost: $218.98/credit (in-state); $648.37/credit (out-of-state)
Mode: Partially online
Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
What Makes an Online Healthcare Administration Program Affordable?
Tuition is the single biggest part of a program’s cost, but it’s not the only thing that determines the price of attendance. Below are some other important considerations that impact the bottom-line cost of your healthcare administration bachelor’s degree.
Financial aid, grants, and scholarships available to you.
Most students receive some form of financial aid to help pay for their healthcare administration degree. But not all forms of financial aid are equal. For example, loans need to be paid back but grants and scholarships don’t. The makes them the most sought after (and the hardest to get).
Location, location, location.
If you want to attend a public college or university, where the school is located determines if you receive in-state tuition. Location is also important if your curriculum has in-person classes or training requirements. One required on-campus visit can add significant costs if you have to fly to the school and pay for a hotel.
Private or public school?
Generally, private schools are more expensive than public schools. But there’s a potential exception: if you attend a public school as a nonresident student, you might pay a higher tuition rate. Depending on the school, this higher tuition could be roughly the same as tuition at a private school.
How much coursework is offered online vs. in-person?
This can affect cost of attendance in several ways. The more classes you need to take in person, the more time and money you’ll have to spend traveling to class. More in-person classes usually make it harder to work while in school (and to use this income to help pay for school). Online classes provide the flexibility that makes it easier to accelerate or slow down the pace of earning your degree so you can work while taking classes.
What software and other equipment will you need to purchase?
You don’t need cutting-edge or exotic equipment to earn a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. Usually, a laptop that’s not more than a few years old and a broadband internet connection will suffice. However, if you don’t have a relatively modern laptop, then the cost of purchasing one is something you’ll need to consider.
How quickly can you finish the program?
In most situations, the faster you earn your degree, the less money you’ll spend on your education. Many schools and programs allow students to accelerate their learning with generous transfer credit policies and let students load their schedule each semester with an extra class or two. That said, if a school charges tuition by the credit hour, whether you take three credits per semester or 18 you will pay the same amount in tuition (though you may see some savings on fees and incidental costs).
Part-time or full-time?
Depending on how a program’s curriculum and tuition is set up, attending class as a part-time student usually saves money in the short-term. This is because you’re taking fewer classes at once. But because it takes longer to graduate, you might end up spending more in the long term. Many students still choose the part-time option because it allows them to continue working while in school, earning income to pay tuition and other costs of living.
How Can You Lower the Cost of Your Online Healthcare Administration Degree?
Most prospective healthcare administration students can’t afford to pay the full cost of their education out of pocket. Even those who can afford to will still benefit from finding ways to lower the cost of their bachelor’s degree. Below are three major ways you can save money when earning your healthcare administration degree.
1. Look into scholarships, grants, and other financial aid designed specifically for healthcare administration students.
The most popular way to reduce the cost of your degree is to use financial aid. Ideally, you can apply for grants and scholarships, which don’t need to be paid back. But most of these are highly competitive. To increase your chances of success, look for grants and scholarships that are only open to healthcare administration students. To learn more about financial aid options for healthcare administration students, please see our EduMed financial aid guide and healthcare administration degree scholarships and resource guide.
2. Investigate employer tuition reimbursement programs.
Some employers offer these workplace benefits to help employees go back to school. The terms vary among employers but usually consist of the employer paying an employee’s tuition up to a certain amount each year. In return, the employee agrees to continue working for the employer for a set amount of time after graduating.
3. Ask about work-study or assistantships.
The availability of this financial aid depends on the school, as these options won’t be available in all healthcare administration programs. If available, they provide part-time jobs to students to earn money to help pay for their degree. These jobs usually are in areas related to their field of study and/or with professors in their department. Keep in mind that you’ll need to have the time available to complete these jobs and be able to travel to and from campus.
FAQs About Affordable Online MHA Programs
What is the ROI on an online healthcare administration degree?
One of the biggest benefits of earning an online bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration is the potential pay it offers. Medical and health services managers have a median annual income of $101,340—meaning the return on investment for this undergraduate degree is very good.
One thing to keep in mind is that while a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration is the minimum degree needed, many of these healthcare professionals have a master’s degree. However, even the lowest 10% median income for health services and medical managers is still a respectable $60,780 per year.
How can I ensure that an affordable bachelor’s in healthcare administration is high-quality?
When choosing which program to apply to or attend, make sure the school is accredited. This ensures the education you receive meets certain standards.
You’ll also want to look at program statistics, such as graduation rate and employment after graduation. Not all programs publish this information, but if they don’t you can always contact them to ask for it. If they don’t have the information or won’t give it to you, that could be very telling in regard to the quality of the program.
Finally, see what kind of student services the school offers. This might include 24/7 access to tech support, academic tutoring, easy access to professors, and an active career services department.
Is an online bachelor’s in healthcare administration more affordable than an in-person degree?
That depends on several factors, such as whether the school offers online students a tuition rate that’s lower than what on-campus students pay and the format of the online classes. For example, online courses might make it easier to accelerate your degree and graduate quickly. On the other hand, the remote learning format might make it possible to attend class as part-time so you can still work full-time. The ability to earn income while in school makes a program more affordable than it would be if you had to quit your job and be a full-time student.
Can job experience count toward my bachelor’s degree and help cut costs?
That will depend on the specific program. Every school has different policies on what kind of credit they provide for prior learning experiences. Many programs give credit for classes taken at an accredited college or university, but it’s less common to offer college credits for professional experiences. However, there are schools that provide this benefit, like Capella University’s Credit for Prior Learning program.
How can I know if an affordable bachelor’s in healthcare administration program is right for me?
To help decide if a particular healthcare administration bachelor’s degree program is for you, you need to first decide what your needs are. You can do this by creating a list of what you’re looking for in a program.
For example, do you need to earn a degree as quickly as possible? You’ll want a program that lets you accelerate your degree or has generous policies that make it easier to use prior learning or professional experience to satisfy some of your program’s degree requirements.
Maybe you want to be able to work full-time while taking classes. If that’s the case, look for a program that allows you to take classes in the evenings or online as a part-time student. Want to work for a particular employer? If so, look for a program that lists many alumni as employees at that desired employer.