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2023 Most Affordable Colleges for an Online MHA

By the OnlineU team | Updated 12/21/2022
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Healthcare administrators oversee the complexities of an organization's day-to-day operations, lead teams, and plan appropriate services. An online master's in healthcare administration can help mid-career professionals gain the advanced expertise needed for job growth in this fast-paced industry. This online master's-level curriculum builds on the foundational skills obtained through a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration

Alternatively, we've also identified the top online master's degrees in healthcare management as a similar degree option to explore. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for inspiration. Our lists include the most affordable options so you can receive a quality education that meets your goals while staying within your budget. View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Fort Hays State University Hays (KS) $4,478
# 2 #2 Wichita State University Wichita (KS) $4,620
# 3 #3 Athens State University Athens (AL) $4,875
# 4 #4 Northeastern State University Tahlequah (OK) $5,095
# 5 #5 Union College - KY Barbourville (KY) $5,100
# 6 #6 Youngstown State University Youngstown (OH) $5,577
# 7 #7 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg (MO) $5,910
# 8 #8 Bowling Green State University - Main Campus Bowling Green (OH) $6,142
# 9 (tie) #9 (tie) Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville Edwardsville (IL) $6,300
# 9 (tie) #9 (tie) University of Arkansas Grantham Kansas City (KS) $6,300
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $4,478
Annual Tuition: $4,478
Annual Tuition: $4,478

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a public institution offering an online Master of Science in Nursing Administration for RNs interested in career advancement into healthcare administration. Graduation requires completing 36 credit hours, which may take two years of full-time enrollment.

FHSU delivers its online curriculum via Blackboard, a popular learning management system (LMS). Distance learners in the online nursing administration program enroll in courses such as Advanced Foundations for Nursing Practice, Complexity in Healthcare Organizations, Administrative Management in Health Care Organizations, and Research in Nursing. To graduate, students must also complete an apprenticeship and a final project.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,411
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,453
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $4,620
Annual Tuition: $4,620
Annual Tuition: $4,620

Wichita State University (WSU) is a public institution offering a Master of Health Administration for healthcare professionals seeking career advancement. This online degree program requires 42 credit hours, which full-time students may complete in two years if they maintain that pace.

The Blackboard LMS hosts WSU's online curriculum. Distance learners in the online health administration program participate in helpful courses, such as Healthcare Finance, Health Law and Ethics, Issues and Trends in Health Professions, and Strategic Planning and Performance Analytics. Completing a practicum is also a graduation requirement. Coursework can help prepare students for roles such as directing a health system, managing a hospital, or coordinating an ambulatory clinic after graduation.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1270
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,272
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 632
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $4,875
Annual Tuition: $4,875
Annual Tuition: $4,875

Athens State University is a public institution offering an online Master of Science in Strategic Healthcare Management and Administration. This 30-credit program may take full-time students as little as one year to complete, though two and three-year plans are also available.

Athens State students use Blackboard to access this online program curriculum, which includes courses such as Human Capital Leadership, Influential Leadership, Accounting and Financial Analysis, and Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement. Completing a capstone experience is also required to graduate. Alumni often pursue leadership roles in pharmaceutical companies, long-term care facilities, public health agencies, and medical equipment sales.

  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,833
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 163
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $5,095
Annual Tuition: $5,095
Annual Tuition: $5,095

Northeastern State University (NSU) is a public, Native American, and non-tribal institution offering an online Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Administration. Graduating from this online MBA program requires completing 36 credit hours of coursework — 18 in the concentration — which takes full-time students about two years. Students can also earn an embedded certificate in an area, such as Data Analytics, Health Informatics, or Operations Leadership.

NSU's online students access courses and instruction via the Blackboard LMS. Classes within the online Healthcare Administration curriculum include Critical Issues in Healthcare Administration, Integrated Medical Practice Management, Health Services Technology and Application, and Healthcare Policy and Ethical Leadership.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Average SATs: 896 -1100
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,241
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 412
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#5
#5

Union College - KY

Barbourville (KY)
Annual Tuition: $5,100
Annual Tuition: $5,100
Annual Tuition: $5,100

Union College - Kentucky is a private, nonprofit, Methodist institution that offers an online Master of Science in Healthcare Administration to healthcare professionals who are seeking to expand their education and career opportunities. Terms are eight weeks long, and there are six starting points throughout the year. Students must complete 30 credit hours to graduate, which may take two years if attending full time.

Union College provides access to the program's online curriculum via the LMS uLearn. Students take a wide range of related courses, such as Evidence-Based Healthcare, Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, Organizational Behavior and Teamwork, and Emerging and Persistent Healthcare issues.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 153
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 133
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

How Much Does an Online Master's in Healthcare Administration Cost?


The cost of an MHA degree can vary greatly depending on several factors:

  • Type of program (online vs. in-person)
  • Type of institution (private, public, or for-profit)
  • Student’s location, which determines whether they pay the in-state or out-of-state tuition rate

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the average graduate school tuition across programs for 2018-2019 was lowest for public schools at $12,171, then private schools at $25,929, and highest for for-profit schools at $27,776. In comparison, our list of the most affordable schools for online MHA programs shows tuition rates that are significantly lower, ranging from $4,480-$10,890 per year, which translates to $8,960- $21,780 for the total cost of a two-year program. However, the degree completion time can vary between two and four years depending on the student’s number of transfer credits and whether they are enrolled part- or full-time in the program.

Students can often save money by pursuing an MHA degree online since on-campus fees are not included in the tuition rate; however, online students may be charged technology or distance learning fees. Some schools offer an exclusive per-credit rate for online students or the same per-credit rate regardless of their location, allowing out-of-state online students to pay the same rate as in-state students. Additionally, many online programs are designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, so students can still earn an income while pursuing their degrees.


Funding an Online MHA Degree


MHA students should first submit a FAFSA application for federal financial aid and determine whether they are eligible for institutional aid in the form of grants or scholarships by contacting their school’s financial aid office. If you are currently working, you may consider asking your employer if they offer tuition reimbursement programs to help offset the cost of a graduate degree.

You can also lower the overall cost of an MHA program by applying to schools where you qualify for the reduced, in-state per-credit tuition rate or exclusive per-credit rate for online students. Several schools on our list provide rates specific to online students. Oklahoma State University offers online programs to non-residents at a rate of $360 per credit hour as compared to $876.40 per credit hour for non-resident students taking on-campus classes.

MHA students may be eligible for several scholarships or programs offered by outside organizations, such as the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPH). They sponsor several scholarships, including:


Is It Worth Getting an Online Master's in Healthcare Administration?


Deciding whether to pursue a graduate degree is a personal decision that involves many factors, such as your current financial circumstances. You might also weigh your future job satisfaction and the potential return on investment (ROI). ROI is calculated by weighing the total cost of education against the long-term financial benefits of earning your degree. Considering ROI as a metric, earning an online MHA degree is often worth it because graduates can significantly increase their salary potential and career advancement opportunities compared to those with just a bachelor’s degree in the field.

According to the BLS, MHA graduates are qualified for higher-paying positions in the field, with the top 10% of healthcare managers earning $189,900 in 2019. The federal agency also notes that a master’s degree is prevalent among healthcare management professionals and that employers may prefer to hire candidates with more advanced credentials.

Graduates are prepared to enter a job market that is estimated to grow by 32% in the next decade, which is much faster than the average growth rate of 4% for all occupations. Individuals with a healthcare administration degree can work in various facets of hospital administration that may interest them, ranging from human resources to marketing and finance.

Hospital administrators report high levels of job satisfaction, receiving a 4.6/5 satisfaction rating according to a Payscale survey of 186 participants. Hospital administrators were ranked among the best jobs in the nation in 2017, receiving a high score for the value they provide to society by improving the patient experience and ensuring that medical facilities run smoothly.

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