An online MBA for the price of a jeep

MOOCs are all the rage in the academy. These days, you can take online MBA courses from Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, from the same faculty that teaches them on campus. And a student has even discovered how to complete basic MBA courses for less than $ 1000. Unfortunately, you do not build a lifelong business network with MOOCs. And just try to sell your MOOC title to a recruiter!

But what if you could complete your MBA for only $ 28,000? For the price of a jeep, you can get an online MBA from a prominent institution that has Apple's Tim Cook among its alumni. At the same time, you will enjoy the same faculty, conferences, projects and support as your classmates on campus. With many MBA degrees at a price of $ 100,000 (or more), this program will keep your debt low, while providing the basic MBA courses students receive on campus.


That is the value proposition at Auburn University, a public university that is among the 50 best public universities. Known for his iconic oaks and American football and baseball All-Star Bo Jackson, Auburn's online MBA program has deciphered the code when it comes to merging quality with value. With $ 775 per credit of 36 credits, the price of $ 27,900 from Auburn is the lowest for an online MBA program from one of the top 100 "name" business schools.

In contrast, the Tepper School of Carnegie Mellon, the best ranked business school in the US. UU Who offers an online MBA, has valued his offer at $ 116,160. The UNC online MBA, called MBA @ UNC, costs $ 93,500, while the KelleyDirect Online MBA from Indiana University is priced at $ 59,925.

However, that old adage that you get what you pay for is appropriate here. The Auburn program is a no-frills affair, where the cost does not even include textbooks. The Tepper program, for example, includes a four-day orientation on campus along with three-day sessions on campus every two months during a program that lasts for 32 full months. UNC's online experience includes two global immersion trips and three-day sessions every three months, while the Kelley program includes two full weeks on campus. Auburn's online students only meet in person once, when they arrive on campus for a final three-day project in the last semester, and can graduate in just 21 months.

Even so, it is difficult to overcome the value that Auburn is delivering by a fraction of the cost of the best qualified online MBAs, or, in fact, the value against schools is even lower than Auburn, such as Howard University, Pepperdine University and the Hofstra University. In New York. Auburn currently has 121 students enrolled in the program from 27 states and Canada. About 23% are women, although none are from outside North America.

Since its founding in 1990, the program has 1,500 graduates, including the first American fighter pilot and senior AFLAC and PricewaterhouseCoopers executives. Within the online program, students can search for concentrations such as marketing or analysis and college degrees in areas ranging from MIS to finance. With more than 75% of the students completing the program online within four years, it has become a resounding success.

While Dean Bill Hardgrave refers to the mission of the program as providing "a program of very high quality and making it accessible to the masses," an anonymous graduate offers a more concise slogan: "Price, flexibility, prestige."


So, what is the secret behind Auburn's low-cost proposal? According to Dr. Stan Harris, associate dean for graduate and international programs at the Harbert College of Business at Auburn, this begins with a commitment to administration costs. "We've always been relatively cheap, by design," says Harris. In fact, this mentality covers the entire business program. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Auburn's business program at number 2 for "Best Financial Value", with students graduating with an average debt of $ 8,500.

However, do not associate the economic with the easy. Auburn maintains the college requirement that students must maintain a B average to remain in the program. "If you make a C, it's better that you get an A somewhere else," says Harris. If you get a D, you're taking the class again. "

Low cost is just one of the ways that Auburn's online MBA program is designed for working professionals. Recently, he eliminated the courses from the prerequisites, replacing them with self-learning materials to make them more student-friendly. However, most students already come to the program with strong academic credentials.

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