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Arkansas State University

Affordable Online Master’s Degree in Media Management

When Brittney Francois decided to go back to school for a master’s degree in media management, she had a full-time job. She knew an online format would allow her to continue working while earning her advanced degree.

Arkansas State University (A-State) was one of the top schools that came up in Francois’ search for an online program with a media management focus. After narrowing her options to two or three schools, Francois chose A-State. One reason? “The price was astronomically different,” she said.

In addition to being affordable, A-State is one of the highest ranked public universities, per 2018 Best Colleges Rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

Where Do the Savings Begin?

There is more that makes A-State’s MSMM a good value than the affordable tuition. But tuition is a good place to start. For U.S. residents, tuition for the MSMM program is a low $331 per credit hour. For MSMM students, that translates to $993 per course, or $9,930 total tuition. Plus, the “pay-as-you-go” option can help students reduce or eliminate the need for student loans.

Peterson’s reports an average, annual tuition of nearly $30,000 for public colleges and universities. That price goes up another $10,000 for private schools. At the low end, this represents a savings of $20,490 in tuition alone for students in A-State’s MSMM program.

What Other Savings Can Students Expect?

Going with an online master’s program can result in additional savings. Online programs eliminate relocation costs for a campus-based program that is not within commuting distance. They also eliminate transportation costs such as gas and parking when students commute to campus.

Another potential cost savings relates to income. Like Francois, students enrolled in A-State’s MSMM program can earn their degree while working full time. On a related note, Peterson’s points out the importance of considering opportunity costs. Investopedia defines opportunity cost as “a benefit that a person could have received, but gave up, to take another course of action.”

Putting a career on hold to earn a graduate degree can have long-term financial impact. In addition to forgoing base pay, students may:

  • Accumulate more student loan and credit card debt to pay school and living expenses.
  • Lose benefits associated with a job, such as health insurance, dental and vision insurance, and disability insurance.
  • Give up contributions to a 401(k) or other retirement plan.

In addition, students who can balance work with earning a degree continue to gain valuable workplace experience. This may help them stand out when they add that MSMM to their resume and take the next steps in their careers. For A-State’s MSMM students, a reasonably-priced program from a reputable school may just add up to a greater return on investment.

Learn more about the A-State online Master of Science in Media Management program.


Peterson’s: Advantages of Earning a Graduate Degree

Investopedia: Opportunity Cost

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