Are you looking for an online MBA with a great return on investment (ROI)? Our 2020 ranking of the Best Value Online MBA Programs reveals the top 25 online MBA degrees with the lowest costs and highest returns. If you value reputation more than affordability, check out our consensus ranking of the Best Online MBA Programs for 2020.
Online MBA Return on Investment
Graduate students interested in an online MBA should consider each degree’s return on investment (ROI). Each MBA degree’s ROI is based upon the tuition cost of the program coupled with the salary that students report after graduation. The old saying of “you get what you pay for” can translate well when choosing an online MBA. The most affordable tuition rate, and the most expensive, does not always translate into the best option for a student.
In today’s highly competitive realm of higher education, distance learners can find a ten-course degree with zero campus visits for just over $5,000. Some programs are offered for tuition rates of well above the $100,000 mark. While affordability is a great option to consider, students get a much better picture of the value of a degree when combining affordability and graduate salaries.
In the business world, the Return on Investment (ROI) calculation equals (Current Value of Investment – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment. To find the Best Value Online MBA programs, and the ranking order of this list, we calculated the
(business school average base salary – online MBA base tuition cost) / online MBA base tuition cost
The business school average base salary used in our calculation was recorded by US News and World Report. The online MBA base tuition cost was collected from each online MBA website.
Each school is listed with an Affordability Score and an ROI Score.
Affordability Score – the base tuition is inverted and is placed on a 100-point scale.
ROI Score – the calculated ROI placed on a 100-point scale.
West Texas A&M UniversityPaul and Virginia Engler College of Business
West Texas A&M University delivers the best value online MBA through the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business. The online MBA degree offers five specializations and is presented with 100% online asynchronous classes to meet the degree requirements. Graduate students that do not want to complete all program requirements online are welcome to register for some courses on campus in addition to distance learning. The online MBA program is designed for full time working professionals and allows up to six years for completion to complement the work-life balance. Most enrolled students complete the program in just two years. Students can customize their course load each term within five semesters each calendar year. Candidates seeking an online MBA degree must first show proficiency in Statistics, Finance, and Accounting. This proficiency may be proven by courses taken in a bachelor’s program, completing advanced standing exams in these areas, or taking leveling courses.
Louisiana Tech UniversityCollege of Business
Louisiana Tech University delivers an online MBA one of the best ROIs through the College of Business. This excellent Master of Business Administration’s purpose is to offer an educational experience in management and business at the graduate level. The 100% online program is designed to offer breadth in exposure to basic business principles and facilitate the application and integration of understanding of the various disciplines to the management of innovation. It has been constructed as an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary degree program provided by the Graduate Division and Tech’s academic departments of the College of Business. International issues and ethical concerns are stressed throughout the curriculum. Outcomes and objectives of the online MBA program include a graduate student becoming proficient in critically evaluating, analyzing, and interpreting information to solve problems and make effective business decisions. Graduates will also be able to use communication skills to lead effectively. The tuition rate of just between $5,000 and $10,000 makes this the most affordable degree plan within this ranking.
North Carolina A&T State UniversityWillie A. Deese College of Business and Economics
The College of Business and Economics at North Carolina A&T State University offers a best value online MBA. Provided as a 100% online program, the MBA at North Carolina A&T State has been designed to develop a class of students who can collaborate effectively as a community of learners towards excellence in research, community engagement, scholarship, and creative expression. The business school is proud of its students’ accomplishments. It remains committed to offering an online professional graduate business degree that equips them with a thorough knowledge of the fundamental business essentials of economics, marketing, accounting, finance, and management. These sections of the degree are followed by intensive study in one of four business specializations of Accounting, Supply Chain Management, General Management, or Human Resource Management. The curriculum is offered both in-class and online. The program’s goal is to graduate students who are competent in using technology and know-how to impact business directly.
Boston UniversityQuestrom School of Business
A best value online MBA is featured at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. Online MBA students at Questrom School of Business are a part of a learning community that’s completely global. The outstanding staff and faculty at Boston University and an international network of over 50,000 talented Questrom alumni and over 330,000 Boston University alumni make it easy for graduate students to know they are never alone in business. While online MBA students living worldwide are enrolled in this program, working professionals enjoy an amazing opportunity to grow a professional and social network. All online students have access to a student success specialist, the school’s online career development coursework, the Boston University online job board, and a plethora of other university resources like the BU Library. At the conclusion of the program, the Questrom School of Business invites graduates to meet in Boston to receive their degrees and attend the Boston University/Questrom commencement ceremonies.
University of Massachusetts DartmouthCharlton College of Business
The Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth provides an online MBA with an excellent ROI. Charlton’s priority is to advance a professional’s career with a high-quality and attractively priced online MBA. Program architects believe that the key is finding an online program that is flexible, convenient, exceptional, and affordable to fit a distance learner’s goals, budget, and timeline. Business school leaders make an online form available to program candidates to begin the conversation and see if UMass Dartmouth’s 30-credit online MBA is the right choice. A GMAT waiver is currently available to qualified applicants with the proper academic credentials. The AACSB accredits the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Charlton School of Business. This 30-39 credit hour degree features a tuition rate of far below $20,000 and a potential average base salary of over $65,000. All courses within the Charlton College of Business program are delivered 100% online.
Mississippi State UniversityCollege of Business
A best value online MBA is available through the College of Business at Mississippi State University. This 30-hour online MBA degree offers graduate students an attractively priced and flexible opportunity to enroll in useful, well-designed courses that emphasize accounting, finance, management, and marketing. New curriculum recently introduced includes courses in Business Decision Analysis, Supply Chain & Operations Management, and Strategic Management in a Competitive Environment. Depending on an incoming student’s previous academic experience, this degree can be completed as a 30 or 36-credit hour distance degree. Mississippi State University’s tuition rate is one of the best in the biz with a cost of under $15,000. U.S. News reports a potential base salary of between $55,000 and $60,000 after graduation. The AACSB-International accredits this program, and there are no residency requirements for graduate students. Incoming students are welcome to enroll at the beginning of any semester throughout the calendar year.
University of North TexasG. Brint Ryan College of Business
An online MBA with a high ROI is offered at the University of North Texas College of Business. Wherever business professionals are in life, the University of North Texas provides a path that can help them achieve their academic and career goals. As one of the largest purveyors of online credit courses among public universities in Texas, UNT offers over 80 online program options – including undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. Most online programs also include flexible learning options at the Frisco and Denton campuses. UNT’s 36-hour online MBA program contains classes administered in a convenient, easy-to-manage, 8-week format in the Fall and Spring and a 5-week format in the Summer. Distance learners can pursue their MBA in Supply Chain Management, Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Organizational Behavior, Supply Chain Analytics, Human Resource Management, and Strategic Management in as few as 14 months. Tuition for UNT’s online MBA is just over $15,000.
University of Central ArkansasCollege of Business
A best value online MBA is currently available at the College of Business at the University of Central Arkansas. The primary focus of the UCA MBA degree is in helping distance learners succeed. College of Business representatives believe that a business leader’s education is more than just attending classes and completing assignments. It is the relationships students build with other classmates and staff. It is appreciating the intricacies of making complex decisions. It involves rising to the occasion with challenges in and out of the classroom. Ultimately, it has more to deal with learning more about oneself and one’s potential. The UCA MBA Program consists of 30-credit hours, which can be taken in a variety of format options to better meet each student’s needs. Graduate students benefit from the College of Business faculty that consists of leaders in their field and who are committed to distance learners’ success. With a tuition rate of less than $15,000, this program is one of the most affordable within this ranking.
University of South DakotaBeacom School of Business
The Beacom School of Business at the University of South Dakota offers one of the best ROI online MBA programs. Beacom was founded in 1927, has been continuously accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business since the late 40s. AACSB has accredited the MBA program at USD since the mid-60s. AACSB International Accreditation is the hallmark of quality in management education. Graduate students can be confident that the University of South Dakota’s online MBA is a high-quality degree that is highly respected by the business community. The online MBA program’s purpose is to develop leaders for business, government, and industry and encourage students who desire to teach and an interest in an academic career to continue at the doctoral level. Featuring 33-51 credit hours, the program emphasizes problem-solving, decision-making, understanding the role of business in society. Graduates of the program will be well-versed in leadership ability and social responsibility.
Oklahoma State UniversitySpears School of Business
Oklahoma State University offers a high-quality online MBA with an excellent ROI at the Spears School of Business. The business school offers online degrees as an alternative way to earn a traditional degree. Program architects believe that graduate students should have access to affordable, high-quality education regardless of their location and schedule. All online courses are accessible 24/7 and include virtual activities and multimedia content to promote student collaboration. The part-time online MBA is a 33-credit-hour program that can be completed in as few as 12 months. In addition to the general MBA, program concentrations are available. Students can add a concentration to their degree from the list of Business Sustainability, Nonprofit Management, Data Science, Energy Business, Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, Information Assurance, and Marketing Analytics. The tuition rate of well below $20,000 shows a lot of bang for the academic buck. U.S. News reports a potential average base salary of over $55,000 among program graduates.
University of Massachusetts AmherstIsenberg School of Management
The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides a best value online MBA. A tuition rate of just over $30,000 is paired with a potential average base salary of over $105,000, revealing an excellent ROI. The program is highly adaptable to graduate students’ needs and schedules by allowing them to earn their degree without putting their lives on hold. Isenberg School of Management leaders even offer distance learners the chance to take up to two six-credit courses before applying to the MBA or while they work to complete their applications. The business school provides an unparalleled educational experience with superior leadership from expert instructors and an innovative, convenient learning format. The university understands what today’s complex business environment needs from its graduates. Online students complete the same rigorous and innovative curriculum as on-campus students. The curriculum gives students the cutting-edge skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
Clemson UniversityCollege of Business
The College of Business at Clemson University currently features an online MBA with a favorable ROI. Program designers allow students to accelerate their careers with Clemson University’s part-time online MBA. Professionals with two or more years of work experience who are wishing to earn more in their current position or change careers will find that this program has been customized for them. As leaders in academia, business school representatives have adapted the same Corporate MBA curriculum and staff to an online platform. Working professionals pursuing a leap forward can seek flexible online MBA courses on their timetable. Unlike traditional programs, this flexible online MBA program allows distance learners to select the class format that best suits their schedule and learning style – and adjust it anytime during the semester. Students can sit in on a live class through video conferencing. This allows them to participate fully and feel free to ask questions at any time.
University of North Carolina at GreensboroBryan School of Business and Economics
The Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro provides an online MBA with one of the best ROIs. The program features a tuition rate of just over $20,000 and an average base salary potential of over $55,000. Program architects have designed the online degree specifically to prepare students to solve issues ethically, innovatively, globally, and sustainably to make a direct impact within their current organizations – even before graduating. The 42-credit hour program can be taken 100% online as a part-time program. Eligible students are those with 3-5 years of professional experience. There are no prerequisite courses required, but there is a capstone consulting project overseen by experienced executive mentors. Enrolled students are matched with a dedicated personal career coach. Students within this program define their vision, set career goals, and design their network and personal brand. Graduate students can customize the program with a focus on Business Analytics, Supply Chain Management, Cyber Security, Finance, Information Technology, International Business, and Marketing.
University of Colorado DenverBusiness School
The University of Colorado Denver’s Business School provides a best value online MBA. One size does not fit all. Business school leaders have made it a priority to allow students to tailor their MBA to fit their lifestyles. With more concentration options than any other full-time or part-time MBA program in Colorado, the working professional’s degree can match her lifestyle and career goals. Graduate students enrolled in this 45-credit hour program choose to take classes in the classroom or online. Distance learners can also complete the degree 100% online without ever visiting the campus in Denver. Fifteen concentrations accentuate this program. Students can work to satisfy all program requirements in just 16 months, while graduate students with more personal and professional needs can take up to six years to graduate. All online courses are led by the same instructors and lecturers that present content on campus. All core MBA courses are delivered online. The business school also offers hybrid courses in the evening.
SUNY OswegoSchool of Business
SUNY Oswego’s School of Business provides an online MBA with excellent ROI. The business school’s wide range of degrees offers graduate students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to lead in today’s diverse, global industries. SUNY Oswego’s programs are backed by a respected and award-winning staff who stress practical decision-making scenarios through the coursework that continually adjusts to the latest business trends. In a recent career survey of its MBA students, over 30% were promoted while enrolled in the MBA program. Another 20% of the School of Business students were promoted after earning their MBA, either with their current employer or within a new position. The flexible curriculum, which includes an elective specialization, allows graduate students to combine the foundational coursework with their passions. This built-in adaptability permits the focus to remain on what students need to succeed, based on their scheduling and background demands.
Morgan State UniversityEarl G. Graves School of Business and Management
The Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University provides a best value online MBA. Core courses within this MBA include Accounting for Decision Making, Organizational Leadership and Ethics, Corporate Finance, International Business Environment & Sustainability, Information Technology & Supply Chain Management System, Strategic Marketing & Business Intelligence, Human Capability Management, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Specialized courses in Accounting, Marketing, Information Systems, Finance, and Business Administration are included in this degree’s curriculum to better round out a graduate student’s skills and experience. The $30,000 tuition rate is an excellent value for the high level of education one receives from the business school. U.S. News reports an average base salary of $70,000 based on graduate responses from the business school. The 100% online format means students never have to travel to the school’s campus in Baltimore, Maryland. Graduate students of the Graves School acquire advanced sets of business skills based on a strong liberal arts experience, which enables them to be adaptable to different domestic and global business settings.
Florida Southern CollegeBarney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise
The Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College provides an online MBA with a high ROI. This excellent program is backed by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB International is the mark of excellence in business learning earned by less than five percent of business schools worldwide. Florida Southern’s flexible 12 to 24-month degree allows graduate students to complete their MBA and start their careers sooner. Over 60% of Florida Southern MBA students have the chance to participate in an international field experience. Online MBA students provide real-world consulting for clients facing strategic issues and opportunities. The school’s Executive Mentor program pairs distance learners with an experienced executive to help them along the way. All coursework for this stellar program is completed online. Students have access to virtual advising. This feature is ideal for working professionals who travel or require the flexibility of online delivery. All coursework is 100% online.
La Salle UniversitySchool of Business
A best value online MBA is currently available at the School of Business at La Salle University. This stellar degree prepares graduate students for a wide range of management positions across the evolving business platform. Students will develop knowledge and skills in strategic thinking through integrating discipline-specific leadership knowledge, teamwork, and business-related written and verbal communication skills. The program’s curriculum includes content related to how the business environment directs decision-making, financial analysis, global and regional markets, and operational reporting. La Salle programs are focused on the application of business theory and application to real-world scenarios. Courses are delivered in a convenient and flexible format that meets the needs of professionals balancing family and professional obligations. Students can develop lasting networking relationships with faculty and colleagues, which is the hallmark of the Lasallian Business experience. The tuition rate for this program sits right under $25,000.
University of Texas at DallasNaveen Jindal School of Management
The University of Texas at Dallas offers a best value online MBA at the Naveen Jindal School of Management. Program architects have designed this online MBA program around graduate students’ fast-paced lives with no on-campus requirements. The complete curriculum can be accessed online with tests administered in various ways – embedded in the coursework, uploaded via email, or proctored through the business school’s testing center – with the understanding that students may reside anywhere in the world. U.S. News and World Report has recently listed this program as one of the top ten in the nation. The business school provides distance learners with 15 specializations to choose from. Graduate students seeking a double degree will find over 10 MS/MBA combinations and six STEM designations. The online Master of Business Administration is a 53 credit-hours that prepares students to think, plan, and develop business solutions by developing strong analytical problem-solving skills, strategic planning, and team-oriented approaches.
Lehigh UniversityCollege of Business
The College of Business at Lehigh University provides a best ROI online MBA. Lehigh’s FLEX MBA is a hybrid MBA for active professionals wanting to enhance their skills. The part-time pace of the degree is tailored to working professionals who wish to earn their advanced degrees at their own pace. This excellent degree provides an unparalleled level of convenience and flexibility for the active professional. Students can opt to participate online or on-campus each day through the business school’s unique ClassroomLIVE experience, depending on what their daily schedules dictate. Graduate students who prefer the networking opportunities of being on campus but need to travel for a two-week work assignment can attend classes in person. While on the trip, they can join classes online Live during their time away. It’s the ultimate flexible hybrid learning environment. Guiding principles of the FLEX MBA program include developing a structured/unstructured decision-maker, ethical and social responsibility, leadership, comprehensive understanding of domestic and global business, and extensive and inclusive thinking/communication.
University of FloridaWarrington College of Business
The University of Florida provides a best value online MBA at the Warrington College of Business. Business school leaders understand how balancing life, work, and school commitments are vital for working professional students. The UF MBA equips distance learners with the tools they need to succeed in all areas of their lives while they earn their diplomas. Students don’t have to be on campus every day to work through a well-rounded, rich MBA program. Warrington offers two completion time options. The 12-month option is an accelerated format for those who have a bachelor’s degree in business and graduated in the past seven years. This path is one of the quickest ways to complete the online MBA at UF. Graduate students enrolled in the Outreach Engineering Management program are eligible for this option. The two-year option uses course materials developed by the same reputable faculty responsible for UF MBA’s rise to national prominence. This degree format is recommended to students needing maximum flexibility.
Tennessee Technological UniversityCollege of Business
A best value online MBA is featured at Tennessee Technological University’s College of Business. Program architects have designed the degree to prepare students with diverse backgrounds for satisfying careers across all industries. The core area of business coursework is broad in scope for training in general managerial competence through extensive use of many pedagogies such as research projects, case methods, and simulations. Elective courses are used to develop distinctive competencies of interest to the graduate student. The 100% online MBA is specifically designed to allow students to pursue a distance education for maximum flexibility and convenience. Academic experts in the College of Business have almost two decades of experience teaching online courses. While all content is delivered online, a student’s diploma is identical to the one a traditional in-class student receives. Part-time and full-time programs are available for students to complete their degree at their own pace. Graduate students can finish the 30-hour program in as few as twelve months.
North Carolina State UniversityPoole College of Management
An online MBA, offering a best value experience, is currently available at North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management. Online students have access to the same award-winning instructors as the university’s on-site classes through the top-ranked Professional Online MBA degree. Built on optimal flexibility, the online MBA equips students with one of the best values in management education around. Graduate students are free to choose from a Flexible or Accelerated program structure to earn their credentials in as few as 21 months or up to six years. Each year, two start times mean graduate students in the online program start courses in either the fall or spring semester. While most of the coursework is completed through online learning, students are required to complete two three-day residencies on NC State’s campus in Raleigh, NC. Active duty U.S. military personnel may waive this residency requirement and complete other elective courses in its place.
University of KansasSchool of Business
The School of Business at the University of Kansas provides a best value online MBA. Featuring a curriculum that explores the growing challenges and opportunities of being a global leader, the University of Kansas online MBA can help distance learners succeed in today’s evolving marketplace. Graduate students taking online classes learn from the same respected and renowned faculty as the school’s on-campus programs and discover solutions to today’s economic and social business challenges. The KU School of Business online MBA has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the 31st Best Online MBA Program in the nation. Graduate students wanting to gain momentum in their current careers, interested in becoming forward-thinking business leaders, or wanting to enter the business world with a higher education credential that enables greater mobility, will discover the online MBA from the University of Kansas School of Business is an incredible asset. The tuition rate for this online MBA degree is just over $35,000.
Mercer UniversityEugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics
The online MBA currently available at the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics at Mercer University is one of the country’s best ROI MBA degrees. This online degree offers distance learners a rich academic experience that utilizes interactive technologies to facilitate a dynamic educational environment. This 100% online program is tailored to meet the needs of today’s active working professionals who are already employed in the business sector. They wish to develop leadership management skills further. Distance learners can stay connected to their academic network through in-person and online access to faculty and campus resources. Courses are moderated by the same highly credentialed staff as the business school’s in-class MBA programs. The program’s flexible, self-paced structure allows graduate students to study and work around their active schedules. Students who complete assignments through the program at the recommended pace can complete the MBA degree in as few as 18 months. Distance learners may also want to attend some classes in a traditional classroom setting.
Marketing experts have developed ways over the years to influence consumers to buy into one product over another. Emotional advertising, celebrity endorsements, and humorous commercials that go on to become ingrained in pop-culture have all been proven and time-tested to get people to purchase services and products. But when considering a degree like the online MBA, the stakes are high. Graduate students researching different programs need to focus on the components that make a program better than the competition. An online MBA student needs to know the facts surrounding a program before choosing a program that offers the best value.
Does an online MBA opens many career doors?
Over the years, the MBA has become the degree program of choice for all business leaders interested in developing critical thinking, problem-solving, elite decision-making, and communication in multiple business leadership sectors. The Master’s of Business Administration is a practical and natural next step for business undergraduate students interested in advancing their credibility and raising their stock within institutions they currently work. MBA students can also take advantage of an excellent curriculum that will train them for a new direction of business leadership. Most importantly, there continues to be a trend among the nation’s top business schools of developing and offering online MBA programs. The Financial Times reports that the vast majority of the nation’s most reputable online MBAs are supported by accreditation through the AACSB International.
A graduate degree like the online MBA can make opportunities available in all types of organizations, from for-profit and nonprofit organizations to healthcare firms and government positions and beyond. Entrepreneurs, professionals working as specialized consultants, and real estate agents can benefit from this trusted and time-tested graduate program. Students enrolled in an online MBA program benefit from being able to keep their jobs without moving to the city where their university or college campus exists. They also have the luxury of applying theories and instructions covered in the coursework daily within the organizations that they currently work in.
Some very satisfying, inspiring, and lucrative careers are made available to working professionals who have completed an online MBA. The list of occupations held by MBA graduates is long and includes product managers, human resource managers, advertising executives, CEOs, and financial analysts. Many of these roles demand salaries of up to $100,000 and beyond. An advanced degree has proven to give professionals the chance to get promoted within their organizations or move on to more significant roles of responsibilities with new corporations. Now is the perfect time to consider a best value online MBA for successful career development.
Do some Online MBA concentrations have a history of resulting in higher paying salaries?
Business schools all over the nation take different approaches when considering emphases related to their online MBA degrees. Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business offers almost a dozen ways a graduate student can pursue its online MBA degree with specializations from Nonprofit Management to Business Sustainability. Boston University provides an award-winning general online MBA. So, what is the top choice for concentrations when researching an online MBA? The best answer to that critical question comes from having a good idea of what the result will be after graduation. If a graduate student wants to accelerate her experience, she may be better off by choosing an MBA that requires fewer courses to complete. Some outstanding programs consist of only ten core and elective courses. If a distance learner wants to specialize in a business leadership sector because he is interested in working in an institution’s accounting department or becoming an independent CPA, he may want to consider choosing an emphasis in accounting.
One of the greatest influencers for professionals when choosing a concentration is what emphasis will result in the most lucrative career choices. Online MBA graduates looking for the biggest “bang for their buck” will want to consider an executive online MBA. They will typically train students to be prepared for roles as COOs, CEOs, CFOs, and organizational vice presidents. Executive positions in institutions of all sizes and types are usually some of the highest paying jobs to be found in the business world.
What is the cost of an Online MBA?
An online MBA’s tuition cost can be as unique as the number of different types of degrees currently available across the country. While researching these programs, one must first look at the type of school where the program is offered. Large public and state schools offer online MBA degrees just as small private colleges do. Tuition rates can be as low as $200 and less per credit hour and as much as $2,000 a credit hour or more. Many schools will consider online students the same as in-state students by delivering the same tuition rates. As the main cost of an online MBA is determined by the tuition rate advertised on the university’s website, other factors will affect a program’s overall value, including a program’s reputation and potential ROI after graduation.
A less expensive online MBA can save a graduate student thousands of dollars in tuition. Still, if the business school she chooses suffers from a lackluster accreditation rating, the degree might not be as much of an asset to the online MBA student’s resume than a better performing program would. A student cannot go wrong by looking for accreditations by respected entities like the IACBE, AACSB-International, and ACBSP.
Another vital factor to consider when evaluating a degree’s value is how much flexibility and convenience the program is advertised as having. Online MBA students with an active schedule will need a degree that allows them to take courses at a pace that works for them and perhaps enjoy regular access to course instructors and business school advisors. These are just a few factors to consider when researching an online MBA’s cost and value to the distance learner.