Do affordable Online MBA programs offer a good ROI?

While most would agree that a resume including an Ivy League graduate business education from a university like Cornell or Dartmouth would be attractive to potential employers, it begs the question if such an expensive MBA would yield a high enough return on the investment (ROI) to make it worth it. Pricey elite business schools offer quality programs backed by exemplary accreditation credentials and reputations to match but many of these same degrees can set working professionals back financially. "Bloomberg Businessweek has published a study which may make people stop and think before making this kind of investment in the future. New analysis suggests that it can take a Harvard or Stanford MBA graduate more than 10 years to fully recoup his or her investment in the degree."

At the same time, does an attractively-priced MBA offered at a lesser-known business school guaranteed to offer enough substance to give a graduate the confidence to know she will be competitive in today's business market? While a lower tuition and fee scale may initially attract graduate students to a program, it is important to know what real results they can expect in the marketplace after graduating. With that in mind, here are some business schools offering top affordable online Master of Business Administration degrees that have been reported to result in a high ROI.

Online MBA Programs

Receiving its regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, Louisiana Tech University offers an elite professional online MBA through its AACSB-International-accredited College of Business. This 30-credit hour program is priced at an incredibly accessible $7,740 in total tuition fees. Coupling the College of Business' affordable tuition rates with an early career salary of $55,000 reported by some students upon graduation, makes this a program worth considering. The College of Business also reports a 94% placement rate within six months of graduating for its students.

Situated in the small Texas town of Denton, but just 50 miles northwest of Dallas, lies the University of North Texas, which features online MBAs with specializations in Marketing and Finance and with accelerated programs in Strategic Management and Organizational Behavior. Each of these online degrees include 36-hours of credits and are priced at just $8,200 in total tuition fees. For an idea on the ROI of the degree, we found an early career salary of $59,900 has been reported by some students upon graduating with an MBA from the College of Business revealing a solid return on the investment of education. This degree has also shown to generate an average mid-career pay scale of $113,000. A mid-career salary is one reported by alumni with 10+ years of experience.

The final online MBA with a high ROI is found at Texas Woman's University's School of Management. This hybrid Master of Business Administration combines distance learning with some Saturday courses taken on site in Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, Houston, or Plano, Texas. The School of Management's hybrid MBA is intentional about increased accessibility with their flexible format and very affordable tuition. Resident students can finish this 36-45-credit hour program with base tuition costs just over $9,000. An average early career salary of $69,600 and a mid-career salary of $82,100 has been reported by some students after completing a graduate degree at TWU. Graduates also report a 92% satisfaction rate based on a sense their work is substantial to a high level of meaning in the workplace.