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.
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.
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.
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.
Source: Projections Central
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).