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Are there any affordable no-GMAT online MBA programs?

Many professionals are interested in pursuing an online Master of Business Administration degree but may feel intimidated by business schools' requiring applicants to submit Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores before being accepted into their programs. There are several reasons business-school candidates can feel insecure about taking the GMAT; whether there has been a large gap of time since they have completed their undergraduate degree, they are nervous about the time and expense it takes to prepare for the exam, or they question their abilities when it comes to standardized tests. Applicants needing to take the GMAT should expect to pay $250 for the test itself and an additional several hundred for resources like test-prep software, manuals, and tutoring.

Fortunately, today many affordable MBA programs are available that either have GMAT-waiving options listed for qualifying students or simply do not require GMAT scores for admission at all. This is partly due to many administrators in higher education rightfully questioning the effectiveness of standardized tests for placement. Ronald Yeaple of Forbes recently wrote, "The GMAT is designed to help admissions offices choose those students who will do well in business school. But our research has found that the GMAT has shown no validity in identifying who will be the most successful managers after graduation." He further presses to "recognize that the GMAT doesn't measure individual leadership, drive, and creativity."

The GMAT was designed to measure "higher-order reasoning skills. All sections of the test, including the AWA and Integrated Reasoning sections, involve reasoning. ‘Higher-order' reasoning skills involve complex judgments and include critical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving." As many business schools are now realizing, there are many other factors involved that will help insure a MBA student's success within their programs. With this in mind, many schools are taking the pressure off the GMAT score and taking a closer look at other factors that will predict a student's success while pursuing an MBA.

Online MBA Programs

Fitchburg State University currently offers an online MBA and a Human Resources Management MBA with no GMAT scores needed for admission. The Business Administration Department at Fitchburg prioritizes a student's undergraduate academic performance and professional work experience by requiring official transcripts and a professional resume. This 17-month program features an incredibly low tuition rate of just $5,310.

Another stellar program to consider when pursuing a top affordable online MBA is one offered by Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Priced at just $5,380, this 30-credit hour online MBA program offers the flexible convenience of distance learning with the prestige of a top-tier university within the Texas A&M University System. While students can pair this program with a certificate in Energy Finance and Logistics, Health Services Administration, and Managing People in the Global Enterprise, the College of Business Administration makes it possible for students to waive the GMAT if they have completed an advanced degree from an accredited university or "hold a bachelor degree from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and have obtained a minimum GPA of 3.5 for undergraduate course work."

While some programs can offer affordable tuition rates at the cost of quality accreditation, online MBA programs like the one offered at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin offer the best of both worlds. With an attractive per-credit hour cost of just $261, this 48-credit hour online MBA degree features an attractive tuition rate of just $9,312 but still allows students to waive GMAT requirements if they managed a 3.25 GPA at the undergraduate level. As a bonus to this degree is the College of Business and Engineering's business accreditation through the prestigious AACSB-International.