This guide covers completion time, the cost of tuition and books, and funding options for Baylor’s online MBA program. It also offers tips to help with some of the challenges you may face as an online student.
Why Earn an MBA?
As you list your own reasons for pursuing an MBA, consider these findings from a 2017 GMAC survey of MBA grads:
- 86 percent said the degree “prepared them for leadership positions.”
- 82 percent said it “increased their earnings power.”
- 75 percent said it “provided opportunities for quicker career advancement.”
Earning an MBA offers other benefits including the opportunity to gain transferable skills and build a lifelong network.
With a program like Baylor’s Master of Business Administration Online, you can fit studies alongside your other commitments. You’ll earn the degree without the career gap or income loss a full-time program would entail.
How Long Does the Baylor Online MBA Take?
You can finish the coursework in 12-16 months. If you need to take a break for some reason, Baylor allows up to five years for completion.
The program offers six entry points each year, so you can choose one that best fits your life and schedule: Spring Term 1, Spring Term 2, Summer Term 1, Summer Term 2, Fall Term 1, and Fall Term 2.
If you have an undergraduate degree in business from an AACSB-accredited school, you can complete the degree in 12 months by taking two courses per term.
Students whose undergraduate degree is not in business or not from an AACSB-accredited school are required to take five additional business foundation courses (ACC 5301, QBA 5302, FIN 5203, BL 5104, and ECO 5305). If you fall in this category, you can enter the program in Spring Term 2, Summer Term 1, Fall Term 1, or Fall Term 2 only. Have a look at a Degree Plan Worksheet to see how the program could unfold for a Summer Term 1 entry.
What Is the Weekly Time Commitment for Coursework and Assignments?
Students taking business foundation courses report spending 15-20 hours per week on each course they take. Your interest level and familiarity with each subject could mean fewer or more hours for you.
If you’ll add studies to an already full work and/or family life, you can make Baylor’s asynchronous program work for you. Take the case of 2016 grad Quincy Jenkins. He attended school online while working full-time in commercial sales with Sherwin-Williams in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
“Having the flexibility to make those 20-30 hours a week available at any free moment definitely helped,” Jenkins said.
Another recent graduate, Kurt Fournier, also said it takes about 20 hours per week, but that it varies.
“Make sure to allocate a good 20 hours a week to it. I had some classes that took less time and some that took even more,” Fournier said.
What Does the Degree Cost?
Below is information on tuition and textbook costs for the MBA program. Please keep in mind that this information is as of March 2017, and pricing could change over time.
|Tuition||With AACSB Bachelor’s Degree (48 hrs)||Without AACSB Bachelor’s (60 hrs)|
You’ll also pay a one-time application fee of $50 and an administrative fee of $100 per term.
Book prices range from $30 to $200, depending on if you rent or buy them (used or new).
You’ll have the opportunity to buy digital versions of designated chapters instead of the whole book for one of the courses. For another, a special print version of the textbook that includes only the chapters required is available at the Baylor Bookstore.
To get a sense of books designated by term, visit Books for Online MBA.
Expect to pay additional fees for courses that use an exam proctoring service or that require paid access to an additional course component such as stats lab.
How Would I Pay for the Degree?
You have a few options:
Keep working while you earn your degree.
You may be able to afford all or part of the program costs if you decide to continue working. By choosing this option, you can lower your debt if you end up taking out a loan to fund part of the degree.
Get full or partial tuition assistance.
More than half (59 percent) of employers offer graduate education assistance, according to a 2013 report from the Society for Human Resource Management. If your company offers this perk, it can help offset all or part of your tuition costs.
Check with your HR department and become familiar with the terms that accompany tuition assistance. Some employers have conditional requirements such as a minimum GPA you’ll need to maintain or obligated service once you graduate.
Take out a loan.
You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), with the Baylor federal school code (003545). For more information, contact the Student Financial Aid Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 254-710-2611 to speak to a financial aid counselor.
While federal loans typically offer lower interest rates and more lenient repayment terms, a private loan is an option if you have excellent credit and a steady income.
The average Baylor MBA student debt is $21,480, says U.S. News and World Report in MBA Programs Where Grads Can Afford Their Student Loans.
Qualify for a scholarship.
The Dean’s Scholarship, International Fellows Scholarship, and Military Scholarship all award $500 tuition credit per course. Check the details on each to identify a fit with your academic record and career history.
A fourth option is the Affiliate Partner Scholarship. Baylor partners with companies to offer a $6,000 scholarship exclusively to online MBA students. To find out if your employer is a participating partner, call 855-804-7191 or fill out the form to the right.
How Long Before I Recoup My Investment?
Graduates average 2.5 years to recoup their investment in an online MBA, compared to 3.5 years for full-time (2-year) programs, according to a 2016 GMAC report.
If a salary increase is one of your motivations for pursuing an MBA, here’s compensation data for MBA grads: GMAC reports a total compensation package ranging from $75,513 for an entry-level position to $440,122 for a C-suite executive. These are median figures from GMAC’s 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report. The survey polled more than 14,000 alumni from 1,100+ countries worldwide.
How Can I Overcome the Challenges I’ll Face?
If you’re like most online degree seekers, you’ll add studies to personal commitments and full-time work. You’ll pack more into your day, adapt to the absence of an on-campus structure, and be expected to achieve the same learning outcomes as on-campus students. Consider these tips for overcoming the challenges you may face:
1. Become a time-management pro.
If you think an online MBA program will be much easier than its on-campus equivalent, 2016 Baylor grad Jenna Jackson has some advice: “If anything, online programs take up more time and require more discipline. You have to watch the lectures and probably read more. It’s a lot more intense.”
“Be prepared to do a lot of reading,” says 2016 grad Milt Flinn. “Sometimes you’d be in a course and they would tell you, ‘Here, you’ve got to read this by Thursday,’ and it is 120 pages of textbook material.”
Beyond the large blocks of time you’ll devote to studying, Baylor’s asynchronous program enables you to make the most of small chunks, too. When you’re waiting for an oil change or at the doctor’s office, for instance, you can do a quick check-in or catch up on required reading.
2. Create your own structure.
With no campus to go to and no scheduled classes to attend, when and where you learn will be up to you. You’ll need to allocate time for lecture videos and assigned reading so you can complete projects and exams on schedule. It helps to have a distraction-free study area where you can focus.
Becoming familiar with the requirements for each course can help you plan ahead. Keep track of due dates using mobile apps like Google Calendar (Android and iPhone) and create custom reminders. You can merge your calendar with your to-do list using Timeful (iOS), which also syncs with Google Calendar.
3. Engage with your cohort.
The curriculum will challenge you to connect online with people you may never meet in person. Kurt Fournier, 2016 grad, says: “In a regular MBA class, you can sit at the back of the room, show up and do whatever. But here you’re forced to participate. … Since everyone was forced to speak and interact, you had such a diverse amount of interactions and experience.”
Through interactions with others in your cohort, you’ll sharpen your online collaboration skills, which can help you stand out to employers who value these skills.
The lifelong benefits of earning an MBA include transferable skills you’ll acquire, opportunities you’ll qualify for, and increased earnings you can potentially net. Professional and financial rewards aside, 93 percent of MBA grads say the degree is personally rewarding, according to GMAC’s 2017 survey. This data likely validates what you already know: When you earn an MBA, you invest not only in your career but also in yourself.
Learn more about the Baylor online MBA program.
This article is second in a 3-part series on the Baylor Online MBA. The first article covers the academic aspects of the degree: gain insight into some of the courses, learn about the support system available to program candidates, and discover what makes Baylor unique.
The third article will cover career prospects, including job outlook and salary information. Stay tuned!
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