10 Surprising Facts About Online MBA Programs

TUITION BREAKS AND SCHOLARSHIPS

Speaking of cost to invest, you may be surprised to know that scholarship opportunities aren’t just for undergraduates. Indeed, there are scholarships available for students who are pursuing their MBA online. There are merit scholarships plus assistance for military personnel, veterans, and more.

To complete Florida International University’s Corporate MBA online will cost students a total of $42,000, but applicants should be aware of scholarship opportunities the institution offers to discount that fee by as much as $10,000. The first is a $10,000 merit scholarship available to applicants with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and four years of professional work experience. The second is an affiliate partner scholarship wherein applicants should contact the school to find out if their employer is an affiliate partner, making them eligible to receive assistance. The final is a military scholarship for not only veterans and active members of the military, but military family members are included as well.

For Penn State’s $57,000 Online MBA program, small yet helpful financial assistance is available to students when they apply by the school’s early bird deadline. Scholarship amounts usually fall between $2,000 and $5,000 and are awarded to about a half dozen students in each incoming class. These scholarships are merit-based and go to students who have demonstrated extraordinary personal, professional, or academic achievements, or the ability to contribute a unique perspective to the program.

The online MBA program Arizona State’s W.P. Carey School of Business offers a Double Devil scholarship for those who already have an ASU degree

Another opportunity to be on the lookout for when applying to schools: alumni perks. If the school you’re interested in is also your undergraduate alma mater, there may be financial assistance or tuition breaks available to you.

Pam Delaney, director of graduate admission and recruitment at Arizona’s W. P. Carey School of Business, says, “For our online program we have about nine scholarship designations and a ‘Double Devil’ scholarship for those who have received a previous ASU degree.”

Likewise, Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business offers a Double Husky Scholarship where alum can obtain a tuition scholarship of 25%.

TAKE ALL THE TIME YOU NEED … IN SIX YEARS OR LESS

Marketing and ad copy for online MBA programs will often boast the short time frame in which you can obtain your MBA. Phrases like “less than two years,” or in “just four semesters” are the usual talking points. But this is only the case if you attend classes nonstop, uninterrupted for the duration of the program — and it usually means two or more classes must be taken at a time. For working professionals, this may not be feasible.

To accommodate, most online MBA programs have built-in flexibility that will allow you to scale back on classes when you need to or even miss a semester and start back up again. In these cases, you can take your time getting through these programs, but be cautious of the maximum time limits that schools will often have. Generally, they’ll give you five or six years, but some — like Mississippi State — are as high as eight years.

This is also important information for students who are funding their education with help from their employer. If the employer has a yearly cap on the amount of tuition they’re willing to pay, this could impact how quickly a student can move through a program. So, knowing the maximum amount of time a school allows becomes a critical detail to have.

THE SAME MBA, JUST ONLINE

A common perception — or misperception perhaps — is that online MBA programs are diluted, hand-me-down versions of their on-campus counterparts. Not so. If you enroll in the online MBA program at Hofstra’s Zarb School, for instance, you’re going to be taught by the same faculty members who teach in the face-to-face program and you’re going to receive the same curriculum. The only differences are that you’ll see and interact with professors and classmates virtually and the course content will be condensed. The same can be said for most of the other top online MBA programs which use all of the same on-campus faculty.