To find the Top Online MBA programs, a list of over 500 online MBA programs was collected, scrutinously examined, and ranked on the following four factors:
Estimated Tuition Cost (25%): Each online MBA was evaluated to find the estimated total base tuition cost. All data was gathered from the most recent financial information given on each program or school website. The base tuition was calculated for the whole degree program but does not include fees, books, or room and board; except for degrees that use all-inclusive figures. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
Based on this base tuition data, each program is given an Affordability Score:
Very Expensive = $100,000+
Expensive = $50,000-$99,999
Above Average = $30,000-$49,999
Average = $20,000-$29,999
Affordable = $15,000-$19,999
Very Affordable = $0-$14,999
Accreditation (25%): Accreditation plays an important and unique role in education. It certifies which school has attained high national and global standards in its research and delivered education. Each online MBA program in this ranking is assessed on whether it holds regional accreditation from one of the six institutions that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Additional business accreditations affect an MBA’s prestige and brand name, which can thus affect a graduate’s competitive advantage in the marketplace. Each school is ranked on if their online MBA program holds accreditation from one of the top business accrediting institutions: ACBSP, IACBE, or AACSB. AACSB is widely regarded as the highest standard of business accreditation in the world, and thus schools that hold this accreditation are given the highest scores. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
Average Base Salary (25%): The average base salary data is highlighted in this top online MBA ranking list because it allows prospective students to discern the affect an online MBA degree can have on a graduate’s salary. The average base salary is collected from the 2018 Best Business School Ranking by US News and World Report. Programs without a recorded average base salary from this list was calculated at zero because of no available third-party data. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
Prestige (25%): The prestige of each program is calculated by evaluating lists from some of the most prestigious educational rankings systems for online MBA programs: US News and World Report’s Online MBA Ranking, the Princeton Review’s Online MBA Ranking, the Financial Times’ Global Online MBA Ranking, and Quacquarelli Symonds’ Distance Online MBA Ranking. Each online MBA is ranked on how many lists include their program. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
All of this criteria was weighted equally, averaged, and then calculated on a 100-point scale. This score is the OMBAT Ranking Score, which provides the ranking order for this list. By evaluating the tuition cost, accreditation, average base salary, and prestige, this ranking helps prospective students find the highest quality online MBA programs in the nation.