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Q&A: Earning Your Bachelor's in Business Administration Online


Earn your bachelor's in business administration online

A bachelor's degree is a great way to increase your knowledge, skills, confidence and income. Majoring in business is one of the most popular and marketable options, and a business degree can lead to a wide range of job opportunities. If you're interested in a versatile degree, or you're interested in business from an analytic perspective, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration might be a good fit.

There's a lot to figure out as you research degree programs, especially if you're interested in online options. Whether you're entering college for the first time or returning to your studies, an online degree program is flexible and affordable. Earning your bachelor's online allows you to maintain your job, work at your own pace and set your own schedule.

Follow the links below if you're curious about a bachelor's degree in business, the jobs and salaries you can expect, policies for transferring credits, and the ins and outs of studying online.

Learn more about our BSBA online program

How Do Salaries Break Down by State?

Many students in the online BSBA program at A-State live in Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee. Since salaries change by state or fluctuate due to cost of living, it's a good idea to look into average incomes for your area.

Burning Glass Technologies returned the following pay data based on February 2018 to March 2019 job postings for bachelor's degree holders in the field of business management and operations.

State Median Annual Salary
Mississippi $49,000
Arkansas $60,000
Tennessee $66,000
Missouri $66,000

What Is the Career Outlook for Business Majors?

The career outlook for business grads is highly positive

The career outlook for business grads is highly positive. The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that 80.3 percent of new college hires in 2018 were bachelor's grads, and 81.7 percent of this group were business majors. In fact, business majors topped the list of new hires, beating out all other majors, including engineering, computer sciences, accounting and economics. It's no wonder that bachelor's degrees with a business major have been the most popular degree field since 1980!

According to the BLS, jobs in business and financial operations are expected to grow at a rate of 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than average (the average rate of growth is 5 to 9 percent). An estimated 773,800 new jobs created from 2016 and 2026 will be the result of sector growth due to globalization, a complicated regulatory environment and new applications for data collection. Based on these factors, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a particularly high rate of growth for market research analysts: 23 percent over the same period.

Chron, a division of the Houston Chronicle, scoured the BLS to compile a list of seven jobs for business administration majors, their median salaries, and their projected growth through 2026:

Job Title Projected Rate of Growth Median Annual Salary
Human Resource Specialists 7% $60,350
Sales Managers 7% $121,060
Accountants and Auditors 10% $69,350
Financial Analysts 11% $84,300
Management Analysts 14% $82,450
Personal Finance Advisors 15% $90,640
Market Research Analysts 23% $63,230

If you'd like to explore 35 individual jobs and their salaries across multiple sectors, along with corresponding career outlooks through 2024, the BLS has done the work for you here.

Is Career Counseling Available to Online Students?

That depends on the school and program. While many campuses include a student services office, not all online programs offer the same level of support. A-State, however, has a dedicated Online Services Team, and career counseling resources are available to online students.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor's in Business Cost?

It's important to shop around when searching for an online BSBA program, as prices can vary widely.

First, you'll want to select a nonprofit university instead of a for-profit university. Universities that operate as for-profit businesses, such as DeVry and the University of Phoenix, are often more expensive than nonprofit schools, and degrees from for-profit programs are typically less prestigious. It's also difficult to transfer credits from for-profit schools. That means you're paying more to get less. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, attending a for-profit program (when compared to a nonprofit) results in worse job and career outcomes, increased student loan debt and a higher risk of loan default.

degrees from for-profit programs are risky

Next, you'll want to look at tuition and determine the number of credit hours required for your degree. Many universities charge by the credit hour, so if you have approved transfer credits, you'll subtract that number from the degree requirements to get a more accurate sense of your expenses. Bachelor's degrees are federally required to meet a minimum of 120 credit hours, but Maryville University requires 128 for its online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. At $500 per credit hour, that comes to $64,000 (assuming you don't have transfer credits). The online BSBA at Drexel is $521 per credit hour, which would be $62,520 for 120 credits. Missouri State charges $295 for each undergraduate online credit hour; if you need the full 120 credits to graduate, that'd be a tuition of $35,400 not including fees.

Make sure to watch out for added fees as you compare programs. Auburn University, for instance, charges $501 per credit hour for its online BSBA, but it also charges a $38 "professional fee" per credit hour. That comes to $64,680 for all 120 credits. Arizona State University has in-state and out-of-state tuition rates for online business administration students. Arizona State's per credit hour tuition for non-residents in the online business program is $707, which totals $84,840 for 120 credit hours.

A-State is a nonprofit university, and its online BSBA program costs $258 per credit hour, including required fees. The entire 120-credit degree is $30,960, and you can pay tuition as you go.

Per Credit Hour Tuition

Arkansas State $258
Missouri State $295
Southern New Hampshire University $320
Capella University $336
University of Phoenix $398
Maryville University $500
Drexel University $521
Arizona State University (out-of-state) $707

*Tuition rates taken from school websites

Is Tuition the Same for In-state and Out-of-state Students?

Many on-campus programs charge a higher tuition rate for out-of-state students, though this is less common with online degrees. Be sure to check with your chosen university nevertheless, as some online programs still follow this practice.

A-State charges the same tuition rate for all U.S. residents, no matter what state they live in.

Are Online Students Eligible for Financial Aid?

Online students can complete the FAFSA online for financial aid information

As long as you attend an accredited university, you're eligible for financial aid, whether you study on-campus or online. Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your chosen program will need this form to determine your loans and awards package. Keep in mind that, online or on campus, undergraduate students must enroll in six credit hours per semester to remain eligible for federal financial aid. Students who maintain this minimum are also eligible for loan deferment, which will come in handy if you already have student loans from a previous course of study.

Online students can complete the FAFSA online for financial aid information

Grants and scholarships are another funding option worth exploring, as these don't need to be repaid. You may receive federal and state grants based on your FAFSA, but you can also find funding on your own. Many employers, volunteer organizations, Fortune 500 companies and philanthropic institutions, among others, offer scholarships and grants. Click here to learn more about these funding sources.

Online students are also eligible to apply to privately funded scholarships administered by Arkansas State University and the ASU Foundation. For more information, see A-State's Financial Aid & Scholarships. You can also contact the financial aid office via phone or email: 870-972-2310 or finaid@astate.edu.

Can I Apply Military Tuition Assistance or the GI Bill Toward My Online Degree Program?

Use GI Bill benefits for an online bachelor's degree

For the most part, yes! Online or on-campus, degree programs must meet the VA's Principles of Excellence criteria to accept military education benefits, and many accredited universities will fall under this rubric. If you want to find out whether your chosen program is eligible for military benefits, the VA has a helpful search tool.

A-State is approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits, the Montgomery GI Bill and tuition reimbursement. It's also worth noting that the Post-9/11 GI Bill allows for the transfer of education benefits to dependents and/or spouses. To learn how to apply or transfer your benefits, you can reach a military enrollment specialist at 1-800-342-9647.

Will an Online Degree Work for Active Duty and Military Spouses?

Military assistance available

The flexibility of online degree programs suits active duty and military spouses. The format works around your schedule, and many universities offer online courses and course materials on a 24/7 basis. That way, you can work toward your degree in any time zone. Several online programs also offer multiple start dates each year, which means you don't have to wait for a new academic year to get started on your degree.

A-State understands the needs of military families. The university's online programs offer multiple start dates and 24/7 course availability. A-State also allows you to pause your studies without penalty during deployments.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Bachelor's in Business Administration Online?

Earn a bachelor's in business degree quickly online

That depends on how many courses you take each semester. It also depends on your transfer credits. Online programs are often accelerated, however, so an online BSBA may take less time to complete than an on-campus degree.

A-State's accelerated online BSBA divides semesters in half, which means courses take only 7 weeks to complete. Traditional semesters and courses typically take 15 weeks to complete.

How Many Hours a Week Do I Need to Study?

Plan to study for at least 9 hours a week

You should plan to spend around nine hours per week for every three-credit course you take. Thus, if you're taking two three-credit courses at a time, it's a good idea to dedicate about 18 hours each week to studying, viewing lectures, participating in class forums and completing your coursework. Some students may need more time and some may need less, and that can vary between courses. If you find the course topic to be challenging, for instance, you might need more time to study. But if the course topic aligns with your talents, you'll probably need less time.

Can I Keep Working While I Earn My Degree?

You can continue working while earning your bachelor's degree online

You can definitely keep working while you earn your degree, and this is a major benefit of the online format. An online degree program works around your schedule, but it also allows you to set your own pace. Because semesters are split in two, you can focus on one course at a time while meeting federal aid and loan deferment requirements. That means you only need about nine hours a week to devote to studies, which comes in handy if you have a full-time job or a family, or both. Working while you study also makes it easy to pay for tuition as you go, which alleviates your student debt.

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Business Administration?

Each university and degree program has its own unique requirements, but most admissions boards will require some combination of high school and/or college transcripts with a set minimum GPA. Many online bachelor's programs will require SAT or ACT scores for students who haven't attended college previously, and some will require students who only attended college for a short time to submit SAT or ACT scores as well.

Online Bachelor's in Business Administration admissions requirements

A-State's admission criteria for the online BSBA follow this rubric, and the online application allows you to specify your status as a transfer student or as a freshman who has never attended college (the application form is customized accordingly). A detailed list of requirements is as follows:

  • An official high school transcript with at least a 2.75 GPA or GED score of 500 (if taken prior to 2002) or 525 (if taken in or since 2002). The above requirement is waived for students who've successfully completed 13 or more transferrable college credit hours.
  • Official test scores (ACT, SAT, ASSET or COMPASS):
    • ACT composite score of 21 or greater, and a minimum sub-score of 19 for Math, Reading and English
    • SAT test score of 1,070 or greater
    • Minimum ASSET scores of 46 for Writing, 44 for Math and 45 for Reading
    • Minimum COMPASS scores of 89 for Writing, 45 for Math and 88 for Reading
    • Scores are valid for a period of five years from the date of exam. If your scores are more than five years old, and you don't meet the waiver requirements that follow, you'll need to retake one of the aforementioned standardized tests.
SAT scores not always required
  • The test score requirement is waived for students who've successfully completed 24 or more transferrable college credit hours.
  • A minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.0 on previous college coursework is required, if applicable.
  • Students may be considered eligible for admission based on the completion of English Composition I, English Composition II or Writing Fundamentals with a grade of C or better.
  • Students may also be considered eligible for admission based on the completion of College Algebra or Intermediate Algebra with a grade of D or better.
  • International students may need to provide proof of English proficiency.
  • International students are also required to provide English-language copies of attested or notarized transcripts. Additionally, transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators or another independent agency.

Learn more about our BSBA online program

Will My College Credits Transfer?

Many universities accept transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions. Beyond that, policies vary, so be sure to check with your chosen program. Some universities, for instance, place a cap on eligible transfer credits. The lower the cap, the more courses you'll be required to retake and pay for again.

Transfer up to 90 credit hours with Arkansas State

A-State accepts up to 90 credit hours for transfer. If you meet this limit, the cost of completing your bachelor's degree is only $7,740. In addition to previous credits from a regionally accredited institution, A-State will also consider credits from Advanced Placement (AP) courses, the College Level Examination program (CLEP), military service education and experience, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) and formal non-collegiate courses. For non-collegiate courses, credit must be recommended by the Directory of National Program on Non Collegiate Sponsored Instruction, and in the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs.

We've spent a lot of time designing the curriculum specifically to make it very flexible, because we understand students are going to bring in transfer credits and we want to make sure those tap into their degree. We know it's important for our students to get out in that career field or advance where they're at, and we want to make sure that they get there as quick as possible.

Can I Find Out Which Credits Will Transfer Before I Enroll?

Once you've applied and submitted your transcripts, many universities will inform you of your transfer eligibility before enrollment. A-State also follows this practice, and an academic advisor will be assigned to you once your application is complete. If you decide to enroll, your advisor will help you design a customized degree plan. They'll provide academic support from your first semester all the way through to graduation.



 
I'll be helping you set up your course schedule and map out your entire degree plan up front.

Are the Faculty and Curriculum the Same Online As On Campus?

It depends on your institution and program. A-State, however, generally uses the same faculty and curricula. That means you can expect the same level of education no matter your degree format.



We use our same instructors whether we're face-to-face or online. We do have a couple of adjunct professors, but we've selected those faculty because they're in the industry and we've found that our students really like to dialogue with people who are out there working in similar professions. But for the most part, all of our faculty teach face-to-face and online classes for us.
Dr. Jill Simons, Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Studies at A-State

Is an Online Degree Program Easy?

You're more likely to graduate when you can set your own pace

If your online degree comes from a regionally accredited university, the academic rigor will be the same online as it is on campus. However, online degree programs are formatted to fit around your life, and that can make the degree program easier to manage. Ultimately, A-State's online BSBA and its flexibility and customization revolve around the goal of graduation. You're more likely to graduate when you can set your own pace, pay as you go and work around your schedule.

Why Is Accreditation Important?

A regionally accredited institution meets or exceeds academic standards, which ensures the value of your education and the value of your degree in the labor market. Accreditation also affects your ability to transfer credits. It's necessary for federal financial aid and military benefits as well.

While it sounds counterintuitive, regional accreditation is more important and more rigorous than national accreditation at the institution level. A-State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, A-State's Neil Griffin College of Business holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

What Kind of Tech Will I Need for an Online Degree?

Web-based learning

If you have a computer and an internet connection, you'll likely have everything you need to complete an online degree program. You can access some course materials and discussions through your phone or tablet as well. That's because many universities administer courses, both online and on campus, through a web-based learning management system (LMS). The LMS is a virtual classroom where you can find the syllabus, video lectures, course materials, class announcements and class forums. If you know how to navigate a website, you can navigate an LMS.

Some universities, like A-State, supplement the LMS with an electronic portfolio service. This service allows you to manage your assignments, build a project portfolio for future employers, and interact with classmates and professors.

A-State uses Blackboard Learn as its LMS and LiveText as an electronic portfolio manager. The cost of the former is included in your tuition, while LiveText requires a one-time fee of $98. Technical assistance is available for online students 24/7:

How Do I Participate in Online Coursework?

When you visit your LMS home page, you'll find a link for every course you're taking. Click into a specific course, and you'll find the syllabus, assignment deadlines and class policies. You can download and print posted documents and course materials if you prefer to read off screen.

You'll also find video lectures, course modules and class forums on the LMS. It's a good idea to briefly log into each course on a daily basis. That way, you can keep abreast of any class announcements and stay involved in class discussion.

Is Tutoring Available for Online Students?

Some degree programs offer online tutoring for online students and some don't. A-State offers online tutoring for:

  • Biology
  • Business Calculus
  • Chemistry I and II
  • College Algebra
  • Calculus I, II, III
  • Developmental Math
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Intro to Psychology
  • Intro to Financial Accounting
  • Intermediate Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting

Tutoring is offered Monday through Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; noon to 3:00 p.m. on Fridays; and 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sundays. Email Learning Support at asulearningss@gmail.com

Do Online Students Have Access to the Library?

Students have access to digital library resources and library services

Online students often have access to digital library resources and library services. Most research databases live online, so you can complete your studies 24/7. A-State additionally offers 24/7 online research assistance via the Ask a Librarian chat. Links to video tutorials with effective research tips and strategies are available from the same site. You can schedule an individual consultation with a librarian via email or Skype as well.

Unlike some universities, A-State additionally extends Interlibrary Loan privileges to online students. Interlibrary Loan allows you to access research materials from participating libraries across the country.

Students can reach the library at 870-972-3077 or refdesk@astate.edu.

Can I Attend Graduation?

Attend graduation even as an online student

Many universities invite online students to attend graduation. A-State strongly encourages those who are able to participate in graduation. There, you'll have a chance to meet and network with your classmates.

How Do I Communicate With My Professors?

Professors for online courses are available via email and LMS. Many professors are also available via phone, text and video chat. Some instructors also maintain virtual office hours and set periods of time when they're available to meet virtually or over the phone. Either way, many professors at A-State will respond to online students within 24 hours. The remainder will respond within 48 hours.



 
At Arkansas State, we have faculty who enjoy conversing with the students and talking about the instructional materials.

How Can I Network With My Fellow Students?

Between group projects and class discussion boards, you'll have multiple opportunities to network with your fellow students. Log into your courses for a few minutes each day to stay involved with your classmates, and try to attend graduation on campus if you can. This will allow you to meet your fellow students in person, and you'll be able to celebrate your accomplishment together.

Why A-State?

While on-campus students can access student services, online programs come with varying levels of support. A-State, however, has a dedicated online services team to assist with online orientation, financial aid, tutoring and academic advising. A-State also maintains a generous transfer policy and comparatively low cost of tuition. Above all, the university promotes a practical learning environment, which means the curriculum is designed with real-world applications in mind.

When Can I Enroll?

Online degree programs are often more flexible than the on-campus format. The accelerated online courses at A-State are seven weeks long, and students have six opportunities to apply and enroll each year.

Learn more about our BSBA online program!

Sources:

Forbes: 20,000 More Reasons to Never Go to a For-Profit School

Arkansas State University:
Ask a Librarian
BSBA Calendar
BSBA Course List and Descriptions
Financial Aid & Scholarships

The Balance Careers:
Best-Paying Majors for a Career
Top Ten Jobs for Business Majors

Chron: The Average Salary of a Business Administration Major

PayScale: Bachelor of Science (BS/BSc), Business Administration Degree

National Center for Education Statistics: Bachelor's Degrees Conferred by Postsecondary Institutions, by Field Of Study

Blackboard: Blackboard Learn

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Business and Financial Occupations

Career Outlook: Business Careers With High Pay
Job Outlook
Unemployment Rates and Earnings by Educational Attainment

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International: Business Standards

Higher Learning Commission: Criteria for Accreditation

Student Loan Hero: Experts Reveal 19 Best Places to Find Free Money for College

LiveText: LiveText by Watermark

National Association of Colleges and Employers:
Demand Greatest for Bachelor's Grads, Business Majors
The Top-Paid Business Majors From the Class of 2018

National Bureau of Economic Research:
Evaluating Student Outcomes at For-Profit Colleges
How Does For-profit College Attendance Affect Student Loans, Defaults and Labor Market Outcomes?

U.S. Department of Education:
Am I Eligible for Deferment?
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Structure of the U.S. Education System: Credit Systems [DOWNLOAD]

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:
GI Bill Comparison Tool
Principles of Excellence Program
WEAMS Institution Search