The Disruptors: An Online MBA For Under $ 10,000?

Rasmussen University entered the online MBA market last year with a simple proposition: get an affordable, skills-based MBA in as little as 18 months. Courtesy

While browsing his phone, Jeffrey Booth did not believe in the title of the ad. An online MBA for $ 10,000? It must be a mistake, he thought. Maybe a scam.

Booth, responsible for environmental facilities and services at a large Minnesota health care system, had had the idea of ​​getting an MBA for some time. But at 44, with fewer years in the workforce than, say, a 26-year-old, he wasn’t sure he had time to recoup the investment, and most of the programs he did. saw them charging $ 40,000, $ 50,000 or more. Plus, two decades into her undergraduate degree, the idea of ​​a traditional classroom just wasn’t appealing.

“So when I heard $ 10,000 it was a no-brainer. As a father, professional, husband, person with incredible time demands, I needed something super flexible and something which gives me the ability to manage my own learning, ”he says. Poets and Quants.

He discovered this at Rasmussen University.


In the fall of 2020, Rasmussen University entered the online MBA market with a simple proposition: get an affordable, skills-based MBA in as little as 18 months. The diploma costs just under $ 10,000. Its first cohort of students, including Booth, will graduate this spring, although some have already graduated by taking three courses per term instead of two.

Jennifer Moorhead, Dean of the Rasmussen School of Business Department

As the costs of an MBA continue to rise, more and more potential students are putting a pencil on paper to calculate whether the high price is worth the investment. The expected salary, time left in the job market, time to complete, and the cost of the degree all come into play. Even in the online space, MBA costs at top schools can reach six figures, and many are climbing, according to Poets & Quants’ look at the Most and cheapest online MBA programs for 2021. For example, the online MBA program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business cost $ 141,320, up from $ 132,000 in 2018.

Rasmussen is not the only player in the low-cost niche. Rogers Oklahoma State University 18-month online MBA costs just $ 10,880, in North Dakota Nistler College of Business is $ 18,391 and University of Massachusetts-Lowell is $ 19,650. While there may still be a stigma around a cheaper online master’s degree, it seems to be dissipating. Students who are not seeking careers in consulting, investment banking, or other high-wage industries may not see the value of expensive programs from top-ranked business schools. Online programs are often better suited to their local markets as they are developed with the workforce and employers in mind.

“Unfortunately, people often have a negative connotation with a cheaper program, but we didn’t develop it to be a Light MBA,” says Jennifer Moorhead, Department Dean at Rasmussen’s School of Business and General Education. “Rasmussen follows a standardized curriculum and curriculum development process independent of market price. The course is built with as much rigor and attention to quality whatever the price.

Rasmussen is a private, for-profit university with 23 campuses in six states. Its total enrollment is around 17,000, but does not publish numbers for individual programs, Moorhead says. It is accredited by The Higher Education Commission.

The university is welcoming more non-traditional students who are older or from under-represented groups, who are already participating in the labor market and who are looking for skills and / or degrees to help them find better jobs or advance. in their career. This is also who this online MBA is for. It does not require GRE or GMAT and offers four start dates per year. The school works closely with local industry to develop programs that are in demand in their markets, says Moorhead.

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