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Discover Affordable Online MBAs in Healthcare Management

You already have some healthcare management experience under your belt, but you’re ready to do more — a low-cost MBA can help. Explore top programs and more below.

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A female medical professional, possibly a doctor, intently views her laptop screen in a bright office setting.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “It pays to stay in school,” but with the cost of tuition, materials, and fees skyrocketing in traditional programs, it can sometimes feel like the only thing that pays is you. Fortunately, affordable online MBAs in healthcare management and the opportunities they open the door to lend some weight to that old adage.

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the level of education you achieve correlates directly with your earnings. A 2022 study found that workers who obtained their master’s degree earn $1,661 per week — $229 more than those with only a bachelor’s degree.

BLS data also finds that additional education correlates with a lower incidence of unemployment. All of which is to say that your initial investment in continuing your education is all but guaranteed to pay dividends down the road, especially as the demand for healthcare managers and administrators grows.

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to top affordable online MBA in healthcare management programs, break down the biggest expenses you’ll encounter, and set you up with a list of scholarships specific to the field.

A Look at Affordable Healthcare Management MBA Programs

Pursuing a graduate degree is a long-term investment that you shouldn’t take lightly. Choose the wrong program and soaring costs can easily burn a hole in your wallet. Luckily, enrolling in an online program can significantly cut tuition costs and other fees that are typically associated with traditional programs.

To help jumpstart your search, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top low-cost MBA programs in healthcare management that will help you spend your time and money wisely.

Southern New Hampshire University

Students enrolled at Southern New Hampshire University can earn their MBA in healthcare management within one year for an estimated tuition rate of just over $19,000.

The 10-course program helps prepare students to work in leadership roles in hospitals, clinics, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and other healthcare corporations. Students receive hands-on experience through scenario-based learning in addition to their didactic coursework in subjects like data analysis and interpretation; culture, ethical, and legal standards; and more.

Students can transfer up to 12 credits from past certificate and degree programs and even receive college credit for past work experience — all of which helps cut the cost of tuition.

To apply, you’ll need to fill out a free graduate application, submit transcripts and work with an admission counselor who can help you obtain financial aid. Neither the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are required for admission.

The school is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

West Liberty University

West Liberty University provides one of the most affordable online MBA programs available — U.S. students pay only $495 per credit. In addition to financial counseling to help students obtain scholarships, grants, loans, and campus employment, West Liberty offers payment plans.

Prospective MBA students can choose from three concentration areas: management, forensic accounting, and healthcare management, the latter of which focuses on the business of healthcare. In this track, students acquire an academic and real-world foundation in healthcare issues, trends, and practices. Those enrolled in the accelerated program can earn their MBA in as few as 12 months.

To apply, you’ll need to fill out an online application and take an inbound assessment exam. However, you don’t need a GRE or GMAT to be admitted to the program.

Western Governors University

The MBA Healthcare Management program at Western Governors University (WGU) consists of 11 courses, however students can move quickly through material based on their existing knowledge and competencies or receive transfer credit if they’ve completed comparable coursework or earned certifications in the field.

Over the course of the program, students work with a mentor to create a study plan based on their past education and work experience, as well as their desired timeline. Mentors also help students set weekly study goals, recommend learning materials, and outline what students can expect in their courses. Students may also receive transfer credit if they’ve already completed coursework or earned certifications in the field.

To advance through the program, students must demonstrate mastery by completing performance assessments such as reports, papers, presentations and projects.

The cost of tuition includes online learning resources such as online textbooks, modules, study guides, simulations, virtual labs, and tutorials. The program is accredited by the ACBSP.

Budget Breakdown: Cost of Attendance

Whether you enroll in an affordable online or hybrid, on-campus degree program, you’ll still need to pay a sizable amount of money in tuition costs and course materials. But there’s often more to your graduate school price tag than meets the eye, which is why you need to be financially prepared to pay the sticker price of your online MBA in healthcare management degree program, and then some. That said, online programs cut cost significantly. Keep reading for a closer look at where you expect to save and spend.

Books and Course Materials

Depending on the type of degree program you enroll in, you may be able to save money on books and course materials—particularly if the program can be completed entirely online.

Most online programs offer students access to virtual libraries and digital reading material. This could lower the program’s overhead costs because they don’t require physical access to on-campus facilities such as classrooms or libraries.

You can also save on used books or by checking out reading material from college or public libraries.

Technology Fees

Even if you enroll in an affordable online MBA in healthcare management program, you still need to account for technology fees. Most programs charge for IT services and support, which may or may not be included in the overall cost of tuition.

Additionally, you’ll need a reliable laptop or desktop computer that can handle video conferencing, as well as any specific programs or software required for your course study. Purchasing a computer can cost anywhere from $1,000 to over $2,000.

You should also consider the cost of computer accessories, such as headphones, microphones, webcams, printers, or scanners. Let’s not forget, you’ll also need access to high-speed internet, which could cost you anywhere from $50 to over $100 a month.

Tuition Fees

Your tuition will likely be the largest line item on your budget, but how much you pay will be determined by factors such as the type of institution you attend (private or public); the type of degree you pursue; and how long it takes you to complete.

Additionally, out-of-state students generally pay more than those with residency in the state in which the school is located.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of earning a master’s degree was $38,000 for private nonprofit institutions and $17,800 for private for-profit schools. Those enrolled in a public college or university paid an average of $9,700 in tuition costs.

This typically covers the cost of instruction, course materials, and access to campus facilities such as libraries, computer labs, and recreational centers.

Funding & Scholarships

Although there are plenty of affordable online MBA healthcare management programs, tuition can still cost you thousands. And thanks to inflation, rising costs of everyday items might impact your ability to pay for a graduate degree program. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of scholarships specifically for students interested in a career in healthcare management.

ACMPE Annual Scholarships

The ACMPE Annual Scholarship is meant for students who are enrolled in either an undergraduate or graduate degree program related to medical practice management. This includes public health, business administration, healthcare administration and other related fields. To apply, you must be a member of MGMA. You’ll also need to submit a professional resume; an unofficial academic transcript; two letters of recommendation; and a 500-word essay explaining how you plan to contribute to medical practice management.

Application Deadline: May 2024

Amount: $2,500 to $5,000

AHIMA Foundation’s Merit & Veteran’s Scholarship

Scholarships are awarded annually to student members of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) who are pursuing a degree in health information management or health informatics. Recipients are chosen in early August each year and the awards are distributed later that same month.

Applicants must be enrolled in a health information program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Applicants also need a 3.5 GPA, and must have at least one full-time semester remaining to complete their degree program.

Application Deadline: May 31, 2024

Amount: $2,000 to $5,000

Charlotte Stockton Memorial Scholarship

Applicants must be currently enrolled in an AHIMA or CAHIIM-approved coding certificate program to become a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) or a Certified Coding Specialist – Physician Based (CCS-P). They should also have an active membership in AHIMA or the Florida Health Information Management Association (FHIMA), which offers this scholarship. Students also need a resume, two reference letters, official transcripts, and a copy of a current AHIMA membership card. You’ll also be required to include a 300 to 500-word essay on your career goals and how you plan to achieve them.

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024

Amount: $500

Cooke Graduate Scholarship

To be eligible for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship, applicants must be current Cooke Scholars or recent alumni (within the last three years). Applicants must demonstrate high academic achievement and should plan to attend their first graduate degree program on a full-time basis in person at a nonprofit institution. Additionally, they must demonstrate a need for financial aid.

Application Deadline: May 9, 2024

Amount: $75,000

New England HIMSS Dvora Brodie Scholarship

The HIMSS Foundation offers scholarships, grants, internships, and externships to help support those interested in pursuing careers as leaders in health information and technology. The award is given to student members who have achieved academic excellence. Recipients are also given access to the HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition.

Application Deadline: Oct. 24, 2024

Amount: $1,250

Career & Salary Outlook with an MBA in Healthcare Management

Now that you know more about the cost of earning your MBA in healthcare management, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth it. The short answer? Yes, it is.

According to Projections Central, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs in healthcare management are expected to grow by an impressive 32.5 percent through 2030. Currently, the average annual number of job openings within the field is 51,800.

Additionally, those who obtain a degree in medical and health services earn between $60,780 and $205,620 a year, with a median annual wage of $102,340, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In other words, earning your MBA in healthcare management would likely lead to both more job opportunities and significantly better pay.

Area Occupation BaseProjectionChangePercent ChangeAverage Annual Openings
United StatesMedical and Health Services Managers429,800569,400139,60032.551,800

Source: Projections Central

AreaOccupation10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
U.S.Medical and Health Services Managers$60,780$101,340$205,620

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Answering Your FAQs About Low-Cost Programs

Investing in your future educational endeavors can be daunting, which is why it’s important to do your research before applying to any degree program. If you’ve gotten this far, you’re already on the right track but you may still have questions.

Luckily, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of answers to commonly asked questions that can help guide your research for the most cost-effect MBA in healthcare management out there. Keep reading for more information on how accelerated programs, credit transfers, and federal student aid, and other factors, can help you save on tuition costs.

Are there accelerated MBA programs and how do their tuition prices compare?

There are several accelerated MBA programs that can be completed within a year, saving you time and money. Generally, tuition costs for an online accelerated MBA degree program ranges anywhere from $13,000 to $46,000.

Some schools, however, offer flat tuition rates per term, meaning students save by enrolling in more classes. For example, WGU lists tuition at $4,755 per six-month term for its 12-month MBA Healthcare Management program.

Can I transfer credits from my undergraduate degree to reduce the cost and time of my program?

Most programs will give you credit for the work you’ve already done, saving you money on tuition. For example, students pursuing their online MBA in healthcare management at Capella University can transfer up to 12 credit hours from another accredited institution.

Additionally, some programs are competency-based, meaning you may receive credit for any prior work experience.

Can I work while pursuing my MBA in healthcare management?

Most online degree programs are designed for working professionals and often allow students to customize their own schedules.

For instance, Gwynedd Mercy University offers a 30-credit accelerated MBA program with a concentration in healthcare administration. The program can be completed entirely asynchronously online, meaning you can log in to your courses at any time.

Do MBA programs in healthcare management offer payment plans?

Schools such as Liberty University offer several payment plans, including an interest-free monthly payment plan that is automatically withdrawn from your bank account.

However, most institutions that offer affordable online MBA healthcare management programs expect students to pay the entire tuition cost upon enrollment, particularly if tuition is already set at a low-cost rate.

Is it possible to participate in work-study or part-time job placements at the university or affiliated healthcare organizations to help offset costs?

Some schools offer students access to the Federal Work-Study program, which funds part-time employment for those who have a financial need.

Johns Hopkins University, for instance, offers employment through the Federal Work-Study Program and through its own program. Those working through the Hopkins Work-Study program can find employment on or off campus.

What features does my program need for me to be eligible for financial aid?

Schools approved by the U.S. Department of Education may provide students with federal financial aid. One such school is Western Governors University, which provides financial aid to students in all degree programs.

However, to be eligible for federal financial aid, you’ll need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).