Most underrated and most overrated MBA programs offered online?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by NorCal, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    So I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts regarding the most underrated and most overrated MBA programs offered online based on cost and quality?
  2. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    I will only speak about underrated and overrated in terms of this board.

    In terms of being underrated. people rarely mention the University of Louisiana at Monroe. IIRC, it is a little over $200 per credit hours, and the AACSB accredited. For the life of me, I cannot see why more people are not talking about this program. It is a 30 credit hour MBA, so your final bill will come out to be a little over $6,000 for an RA, AACSB accredited MBA. To top it off. While they have prerequisite undergraduate business courses (like all AACSB accredited programs do), you can test out of all of them.

    In terms of being overrated, a few years ago Aspen's MBA program what being praised on here for being so cheap ($3,600 at the time). Now, looking at their web page, the cheapest price listed is $11,250. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 5 or 6 RA programs that are cheaper than that. No way would I spend $11K at Aspen when I could spend $6K at ULM.
  3. dlcurious

    dlcurious Member

    Amen to what McJon stated.

    Underrated - any AACSB accredited programs from not-for-profit, state schools offering in-state tuition rates to online students.

    Overrated - NA programs charging more than any RA programs as well as the usual for-profit suspects, UOP, Capella, etc.
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Over-rated = Duke exec MBA. No mba could be worth that money.
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I know someone on here completed the program (then a grad certificate in finance from West Carolina University or someplace like that)...Fortunato I think it is. He said it was well worth it, but then again his employer paid for it. He did the cross continental program at like $100K.
  6. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    His finance cert was at ECU. The Duke program and those with similar pedigrees can charge that much because typically the employer is picking up the tab, not the student.
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

  8. edwardlynch

    edwardlynch New Member

    Jacksonville State University.
  9. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    I'm a big fan of the low tuition costs pretty much across the board in New Mexico. My underrated online MBA goes to Eastern New Mexico University. Online Master of Business Administrati Out of State students attend at in State rates so long as they stay under 6 credits/semester. 10 courses, ACBSP accredited. (they do seem a little heavy on the pre-reqs though).

    I like how they oddly compared themselves to Harvard in this press release: ENMU College of Business Receives Accreditation for MBA Online Program Just some jibberish where they seemed to try and get ENMU and Harvard into the same paragraph.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I think it's ironic that a person trained in business (cost v. benefit) would force his company to pay so much for a degree where the same courses could be had for so much less.
  11. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    I couldn't agree more with your opinion!

  12. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

  13. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    It's not a matter of forcing the company. The company must have a clear interest in sending the employee to such an expensive program. All in all, the companies who pay for such a thing just to have the employee take courses. It's about the experience in an elite program, connections, top-tier faculty, etc. Those things cannot be replicated in the less expensive programs.
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    To me it just smells like CEOs and others giving themselves huge bonuses while the company stocks fall in price.
  15. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    As I've always said, it's not about the courses, it's the network. Anyone could teach themselves the same things they are taught in an MBA program by simply getting a library card. You get what you pay for. I'd put my money on the Duke MBA earning more over a lifetime (by a margin large enough to compensate for the drastic price difference) than the holder of an MBA from XYZ state university. Just my opinion.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    In some ways you could be right but I'm betting that person who works for a company rich enough to pay that Duke tuition is already making more than most MBA grads. If you're an exec in a company and you're high enough up the ladder that they're going to pay Duke tuition, then I'd guess that you've already got enough connections. I think it's just a status grab and a waste of money. Just my opinion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2012
  17. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Pack your bags everyone, we're going off on a tangent.
  18. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    Average age of Duke Cross Continent MBA students is 30, hardly old enough to be top level managers in their respective field. Likely just top performers the company has deemed worth investing in and are looking to groom for high level management. If an employer was going to pay your way to one of the top 10 b-schools in the country would you say no?
  19. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    I guess since the thread has devolved into a conversation about me, that I should at least show up and tell things from my perspective.

    First off, I don't think Duke shows up on anyone's "Best Buy" lists for any of its degrees, let alone its executive MBA. It's an expensive private school that is extremely selective because it can be - there are many more people hoping to earn degrees from Duke than there are seats to fill. When I was at Fuqua, the admit rate for the daytime program was about 20% (with a ~50% yield), and for EMBA programs, it was about 70% (with a yield rate of near 100%), even though the admissions folks managed the applicant pool carefully - you couldn't even apply without some level of company sponsorship. You guys all know that if demand outstrips supply, the price goes up. That's why Duke can raise its EMBA tuition every year and still fill all the seats it makes available.

    As for me, I wasn't looking to go to an executive program. Towards the end of my time studying online through the University of Wyoming, I decided I was going to do an MBA, and my plan was to go full-time on-campus. I busted out a 750 on the GMAT, and combining that with a 3.94 undergrad GPA, figured I had a pretty decent shot at getting into a decent school with a significant aid award. I applied to six schools, got into three, and of the three got a half-tuition scholarship at one school, and full rides plus a monthly stipend from the other two. I was all set to attend the University of Florida (and by all set, I mean my wife and I got an apartment, my wife had moved to Gainesville and gotten a job, and I had been to campus for orientation), and was serving out the six-week notice I'd given my employer when the owner of my company asked what he could do to keep me there. After consulting with my wife, I told him that I'd be willing to stay, but given that I was giving up a full ride to a top-tier MBA, I expected my company to provide me with same. Duke's program was the perfect fit, because it was relatively close, meaning low travel costs, and the residencies were every nine weeks, minimizing my time out of the office. In return for the company paying my way, my boss asked I sign an agreement to remain with the company for four years, the two years of the program plus an additional two. I agreed, and actually ended up staying six more years before leaving for my current role.

    Was I making more than most MBA grads before b-school? I was certainly comfortable, in the $80-85K range including bonuses, but most people can walk out of a top-tier MBA and land a six-figure gig fairly easily. By the time I was done at Duke, my salary and bonus had grown to match what my peers were landing when they changed jobs. Would I have gotten there without the MBA? Maybe, maybe not.

    Was my MBA just a fat-cat perk? Hardly. Before me, my company had sent exactly one employee to b-school - the son of the founder. And they sent him to East Carolina University - a good school, but not anyone's idea of a top tier program. I was able to get my employer to send me to Duke because I had a very strong bargaining position - I was already in a top 50 school with a full ride and stipend, and I was going to have to spend at least a year away from my family in order to remain in NC and stay with the company. Spread out over the four-year commitment, it cost them ~$22K/year to keep me.

    Did my employer get their money back? I was able to use the principles from one class to revamp the way we developed custom credit scoring models. That change cut our turnaround time on custom models from two weeks to one day, and improved accuracy as well, while saving us nearly $200K annually on credit scores. Even though I left the company in December, they'll be using that technique for years to come. I'd say it was worth it to them.

    Could I have gotten a decent MBA education at a lower-cost college? Sure, but to say that Duke's MBA is overrated because it's expensive is to miss the point entirely. Some people think a 5-series BMW is a horrible excess because you can get everywhere you need to go in a 2002 Toyota Echo much cheaper. But if you can afford a 5-series, it sure is nice to have the heated seats and the 10-speaker sound system. The same is true with MBA programs. I am sure people going to Jacksonville State learned from a lot of the same textbooks as I did. I am also sure that none of them rubbed elbows with future McKinsey & Co. consultants, Carlyle Group fund managers, and venture-backed startup founders. Whether Kizmet wants to believe it or not, the network you come out of school with is a large part of why people earn an MBA degree.

    I understand that most people on this board are seeking to find degree programs that are accessible and affordable. Hell, that's how I ended up at the University of Wyoming - I had already determined that I couldn't succeed in an on-campus degree program while working full time, and UW had the most affordable distance program I could find (before I learned about degreeinfo and the Big 3, obviously!). But I believe very strongly that when it comes to graduate programs, you go to the best school that you can get into and that you can afford. For me, that turned out to be Duke. I came out of school with a fantastic network, a respected degree, and zero debt. I achieved what I set out to achieve when I decided to go to b-school, and it continues to pay dividends - my MBA was a large part of the reason I landed my current job. If you think it's overrated, honestly, that's your problem, not mine.
  20. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    Seems that saying any expensive MBA program is overkill may be a generalization, and like other generalizations its validity varies depending on who's involved.

    There's a little bit of a "rebel" streak that runs through this and a few other education-related forums I visit-- the notion of "why should we shell out for fat cat education when a small school will do". I like the rebel streak and am happy to do what I can for "the cause", but I also realize not everyone fits that mold or the appropriate circumstances.

    As has been noted before in other threads, expensive MBA programs are notable for their networking potential. An MBA candidate in a top-tier program will meet people and make connections they wouldn't have otherwise-- it's just what it is. Not everyone can afford those kinds of programs, though, and not everyone will benefit from them equally. For example, I would think it a hard sell to say that a small business owner in the Midwest with no plans to relocate would benefit from a costly online MBA on the West Coast. IMO, it just wouldn't seem worthwhile.

    Plenty of folks here have done well with low- or mid-tier MBA programs, and there will continue to be success stories along those lines just as there will be success stories from the more expensive MBAs. It's just something that depends highly on individual circumstances (and to a certain degree, luck).

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