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hings to Know Before Getting a VA Loan

Home loans guaranteed by the Veterans Administration are a popular benefit of military service. Here are seven things you may not know about them but definitely should.

You can’t use it for every type of real estate. You must use it to build or purchase a home for your own personal occupancy, and that home must be a house, condo or manufactured home.

There’s no PMI. Most people who purchase a home and put less than 20% down have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI), which protects lenders from the risk that you’ll default on your loan. Since the VA guarantees your loan, there’s no need for PMI.

You’ll pay a funding fee. This fee varies from 1.25% to 3.3% of the amount you’re borrowing. Your exact fee will depend on the size of your down payment, whether you served in the regular military or the Guard and Reserve and whether you’ve used your VA entitlement before.

You can pay the fee at closing or add it to the amount you’re borrowing. Some people are exempt, including those getting VA compensation for a service-connected disability.

There are rules regarding co-borrowers. Generally speaking, your co-borrower must be your spouse or another veteran who will live in the house. If not, you can try to pursue a joint VA loan, but many lenders don’t offer this kind of loan. With a joint VA loan, your VA guarantee amount will be reduced and the application process is longer and more complicated.

There’s no prepayment penalty. Some lenders charge you for the privilege of making extra payments toward your principal, but that’s not the case with a VA loan. By making extra payments, you can slash the total interest you pay — perhaps by even tens of thousands of dollars.

You can refinance. When you have a VA loan, it’s easy to take advantage of lower interest rates through a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan. You can also replace your adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) with a fixed one. It’s a streamlined process, with no need for an appraisal or income and asset verification.

It’s a perk you can use over and over. You’re free to keep taking out new VA-guaranteed loans over your lifetime. Under certain circumstances, it’s even possible to have two VA-guaranteed loans at one time, or to take out a new VA loan after you’ve been foreclosed on a previous one.

auto insurance rate quotes

Car Insurance Comparison Sites with Real Quotes

The following comparison sites offer real-time, accurate insurance quotes.

Insurify

Insurify is a free insurance comparison website that provides real-time, accurate quotes from top insurance companies in the U.S. It is rated 4.8 out of 5 on ShopperApproved, where it has 735 user reviews.

The site offers a wide variety of carriers to choose from, an easy-to-use interface, and can effectively service drivers in all segments of the market. To-date it has delivered over 4 million insurance quotes from top providers such as The General, MetLife, and Liberty Mutual.

Insurify has been featured on Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and CNET and is considered one of the top auto insurance comparison sites.

How it works: Insurify asks shoppers to answer a series of questions that it uses to produce real-time, accurate quotes. In addition to its mobile and desktop sites, the site also offers the ability to receive quotes and buy insurance via Facebook Messenger.

The questions were easy to answer and the process was straightforward—I was able to submit my information and get personalized quotes in under five minutes.

Results: Insurify produced nine quotes, starting at $78/month, each with the option to contact the insurance company immediately or schedule a phone call for a later time. Some of the quotes included helpful information about the policy or the insurance company offering it. The site allowed me to change the coverage from the left hand sidebar, and it was easy to click on the different coverages and see the prices change in real time.

Clicking on the button to the right of each quote brought up a pop-up window with more details about the policy, payment information, and options to buy a policy via phone or Internet.

The site also included ads for certain insurance companies, and clicking the “check rate” button for the ad connected me directly to the insurance provider’s website. It’s easy to tell the ads from the quotes; the ads all say “ad” next to the company name and the button says “check rates” rather than “view deal.”

Insurify’s quote comparison tool was a great help in shopping for car insurance. I particularly liked how easy it was to compare rates based on a custom coverage level; with a few clicks, I could alter the parameters (say, by changing the liability coverage maximum or adding roadside assistance) and get a whole new basket of quotes instantly. Every year, Insurify also publishes a Best Car Insurance Companies list.

Compare

Compare.com is another online car insurance comparison tool that generates real-time quotes from multiple insurance providers. In addition to car insurance, Compare provides quotes for home, health, and small business insurance, as well as tools to help you choose car loans and mobile phone plans. The site is rated 4.5 out of 5 on eKomi, based 640 user reviews.

How it works: Compare’s shopping process asked me to enter the same general information that other auto comparison websites did. Entering the information was fairly straightforward. Most of the fields were drop-down menus or pre-filled based on information I had submitted on previous pages. The questions were detailed, including some about my current policy limits that required retrieving my insurance documents to answer. I did like that Compare asked if I was willing to accept paperless documents and/or e-signing

Results: Compare produced seven quotes ranging from $148 per month to $329 per month. The quotes were all from fairly obscure companies; I didn’t see any of the big-name providers. The site allowed me to customize coverage, but only by going back to the coverage selection part of the process—meaning that I had to wait for the quotes to re-load each time. It also didn’t allow as many customization options as Insurify. Only one of the quotes permitted online checkout; all the others required speaking on the phone with an agent. I did like that the quotes all let you choose between a pay-as-you-go policy (with a down payment) or a pay upfront policy (at a slight discount).

Car Insurance Comparison Sites with Estimated Quotes

Unlike Insurify and Compare, some comparison sites only provide estimated quotes, based on aggregate information from your local division of insurance. Rates from these websites are based on what other drivers in your zip code with similar histories are paying for insurance, rather than real-time quotes from insurance companies.

The following sites fall into the estimated quotes category.

NerdWallet

Nerdwallet.com is a well-known personal finance website that offers free comparison tools for car, health, and life insurance quotes. The site also has reviews of different insurance providers and numerous tips for picking the best policy. It is rated 4.5 out of 5, with 1,601 user reviews on ShopperApproved.

How it works: To get quotes, you’re required to sign up for a free Nerdwallet account. This includes signing a disclaimer giving Nerdwallet permission to pull reports from the credit reporting agencies and share your credit score and other information with its partner companies.

During the quoting process, Nerdwallet asked questions about my vehicle, driving, and insurance history. One question that stood out was the one asking how much I currently paid for auto insurance; I couldn’t see how that helped Nerdwallet come up with rates (although it no doubt helped the company with its future marketing efforts).

Results: Nerdwallet returned three quotes ranging from $154 per month to $315 per month and six “estimated rates” ranging from $153 per month to $330 per month, from mostly name-brand insurance carriers. Each quote/rate included a little information about the company, a company rating, and a summary of Nerdwallet’s review (accessed by clicking on the “view details” link). The quotes had a button to click in order to buy the policy over the phone, but only one quote offering the option to purchase online. The estimated rates included a button to click to access the company’s website and get an actual quote from them.

Nowhere in the process did Nerdwallet allow me to customize coverage options—I could only choose one of four pre-assembled packages. The selection process also made no mention of discounts—either how to qualify for them or which companies offered them.

The Zebra

The Zebra is another free auto insurance comparison website. The site’s name refers to its founders’ goal of presenting “insurance in black and white.” The Zebra has a few articles about choosing car insurance, a car insurance calculator, and some basic information about other types of insurance in addition to its quoting tool. It is rated 4.7 out of 5, and has 565 user reviews on ShopperApproved.

How it works: The quoting process was similar to that of other comparison websites, although it offered me the option of connecting my Google or Facebook account to speed up the process. After I entered the requested information, the Zebra announced that it had matched me up with nine possible discounts, although it warned that not every insurance company offered all of these discounts.

Results: The final page offered five quotes ranging from $141 per month to $215 per month, and three links to other websites that I could use to get additional quotes. Unlike the other comparison websites, the quotes weren’t in any order (the others sorted their results from smallest to largest). Each quote included a company rating, policy features and a button that would either take you to the company’s website or allow you to compare it with another company. A list of options on the left side of the page allowed me to check off the features that I wanted to include, and eliminated companies not offering those features.

The Zebra didn’t allow me to customize coverage preferences, forcing me to choose one of four pre-assembled packages. It also didn’t list which companies allowed which discounts, making their earlier list of pre-qualified discounts less useful. On the right side of the page, the site provided an “Insurability Score” listing the factors that insurance companies use to set rates and grading the information I’d provided during the quoting process, which could help drivers looking to improve their rates in the future.

Lead Generation Sites

Unlike quote comparison sites, lead generation sites are paid when they send customers’ personal information to external agencies.

These sites often attract your interest with competitive rates, but then transfer you to a different site to continue shopping and complete your transaction, often at a far less attractive rate. This is because lead generations sites are paid to sell your information to an agency or insurance company, not to present you with the rates on car insurance.

flow chart of how lead generation sites sell your information in exchange for fake quotes

 

You can sometimes get auto insurance quotes on lead generation sites, but expect them to be far less reliable than quotes from comparison sites. Using lead generation sites most likely means that you’ll end up wandering from one auto insurance website to another in pursuit of the best rate, which rather defeats the purpose of using a quote-generating site at all.

DMV.org

DMV.org is a privately-owned site that helps drivers interact with their local Department of Motor Vehicles. This site is not an official government agency, but acts as a middleman between you and your local DMV; for example, a visitor may renew their vehicle registration or driver’s license on the site for an additional fee. The website is rated 4 out of 5, and has 5,830 user reviews on Trustpilot.

How it works: Each state page on the site offers information on required coverage, optional coverage, proof of insurance, vehicle registration, insurance plans, rates, and discounts. They also have an insurance quoting engine that works similarly to those on other lead generation sites.

Results: After working my way through the DMV.org quoting process, I discovered that they don’t actually provide car insurance quotes. Instead, they just provide you with links to other websites where you can get a quote. In my case, it gave me exactly two links: to Esurance and Allstate. Clicking a link to go to one of these websites required me to start all over with the quoting process, leaving me wondering why I’d bothered with DMV.org in the first place.

InsuranceQuotes

InsuranceQuotes is a free, online comparison tool that offers quoting processes for auto, life, health, homeowners, and other types of insurance. The site also has articles on insurance-related subjects and provides information on auto insurance by state, including average rates. It is is rated 1 out of 10, and has 9 user reviews on Resellerratings.

How it works: The quoting process asked me for the usual information, however. clicking the “get quotes” button required me to consent to a somewhat unnerving declaration that I would be called by up to eight insurance or partner companies, potentially including robocalls.

Results: I was led to a “quotes page” informing me that I had been matched with three insurance agents who would be contacting me shortly. The page listed the three companies (Nationwide, Allstate and Apliant) but provided no information about them, not even contact information.

NetQuote

NetQuote is a free, online insurance comparison tool that provides leads to insurance agents.

In addition to auto insurance, Netquote also offers quotes for health, home, renters, business, and life insurance. The site is rated 1 out of 5, and has 38 user reviews on ConsumerAffairs.

How it works: Once I entered my zip code the site launched its quoting process, which was completely identical to InsuranceQuote’s – leading me to suspect that the two sites belong to the same company.

NetQuote even asked me to agree to the same fine print agreement as InsuranceQuotes, which allowed eight or more insurance companies to contact me with offers and information.

Results: I was delivered to a results page that also looked identical to InsuranceQuote’s, although the agents who would be calling this time were from Nationwide, Allstate and Esurance.

QuoteWizard

QuoteWizard is another insurance lead generation site that sells leads to insurance agents and carriers. In addition to auto insurance, they also offer quotes for home, renters, health, and life insurance. The site also has a blog with articles about various insurance-related topics. QuoteWizard is rated 3.68 out of 5, and has 36 user reviews on BBB.org.

How it works: The auto insurance quote process opened by advertising “Cheapest rates from only $19/mo!” After answering the usual questions, I clicked the “Get My Quotes” button, thereby consenting to telemarketing calls, emails and other sales contacts, both human and robot.

Results: QuoteWizard dropped me on a page with a link to Geico’s website, announcing that it was my best match for an online quote. The link led to the start of Geico’s own quote generation tool. Needless to say, using QuoteWizard is a waste of time.

SmartFinancial

SmartFinancial’s home page boasts that it can get you rates from top-rated carriers in less than 3 minutes. The quote processing tool provides quotes for auto, home, health, and life insurance, among others. The site is rated 5 out of 5, with 1 user review on BBB.org

How it works: The quoting process did indeed move very quickly with the help of drop-down menus. After asking the usual questions, the tool asked for my email address while claiming, “no spam, ever.”

But before I clicked to view my quotes I noticed the fine print asking me to agree to allow, “marketing partners to contact you for marketing/telemarketing purposes at the number and address provided above…” So much for no spam.

Results: After a short wait, the quoting tool produced two quotes, for $299 per month and $971 per month, plus links to two other insurance sites. SmartFinancial allows you to narrow down the results further by selecting desired features such as local agents and low down payment, but given how limited the results were in the first place, that particular option isn’t much help.

ValuePenguin

Like Nerdwallet, ValuePenguin is a personal finance site dedicated to helping consumers make informed decisions about their credit cards, banking, investments, and insurance. The site offers quoting tools, in-depth financial product reviews, and analyses of industry trends.

How it works: ValuePenguin’s quoting tool is essentially nonexistent. The only thing it asked me for was my zip code.

Results: Once I typed in the requested zip code I was immediately taken to a page with links to four actual insurance quote comparison websites. Rather than create a quoting tool of its own, ValuePenguin has apparently chosen to guide visitors to other comparison websites. All in all, you’d be better off just skipping ValuePenguin and going straight to a site that will produce quotes for you.

Everquote

Everquote  actually has two websites. One is a typical lead generation insurance site with quoting tools for auto, home and life insurance. The other, Everquote Pro, is for insurance agents—it provides a way for agents to sign up to receive information about visitors to the site who use the quoting tools. Everquote is rated 1.5 out of 5, and has 80 user reviews on BBB.org.

How it works: Once I launched the quoting tool for auto insurance, I was greeted by a large-print brag that “Drivers Pay As Low As $29.32/Month for Car Insurance.” When I began filling in my vehicle information, the site offered to save me time by looking up the information for me—a frightening reminder of how much of our personal information is available online. The contact information fields were accompanied by text stating that “we respect your privacy” and “NO SPAM, privacy guaranteed.”

Everquote also provided checkboxes to opt out of receiving calls and emails from agents. However, under the “Show My Quotes” button, the usual legal boilerplate informed me that by clicking the above button I was providing express written consent to be contacted by Everquote and a whole laundry list of insurance companies and partners, whether or not my phone number was on the Do Not Call list.

Results: Once I submitted my information, the site produced one quote, along with six links to other insurance companies. “View my quote” buttons next to each quote took me to the beginning of the insurance website’s own quoting tool, making it clear that these were strictly hypothetical rates. Everquote provided a blurb of marketing text about two of the companies and no helpful information whatsoever to guide my decision.

Conclusion

Insurance experts suggest that you compare car insurance policies every time your current policy is up for renewal (typically every six months to a year). Before you launch your quote hunt, review your existing policy and see if your needs have changed. For example, many auto lenders will require you to have no more than a $500 deductible in comprehensive/collision coverage—but once you pay off your car loan, you can increase this deductible and save a considerable amount on your insurance premiums.

When you’ve worked out just what coverage you need, an auto insurance comparison site can be helpful in finding the best price for your desired policy. However, you’d be advised to stick to reputable comparison sites that give you real quotes rather than lead generation sites that will throw you on the mercy of cold-calling insurance agents.

online mba programs no gmat

#1 NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY POOLE COLLEGE OF MANAGEMENT – RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA


The Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University features an online Master’s of Business Administration. This remarkable program features an excellent program and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

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North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management delivers an online Master’s of Business Administration with depth areas in BioSciences Management, Financial Management, Innovation Management, Marketing Management, Supply Chain Management, and Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization. Besides being named the 14th best online MBA in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, this program has recently been recognized as the 12th best in the U.S. by the Princeton Review, 17th best on the planet by Financial Times and the 40th best in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds. The business school, which receives its stellar business accreditation through the AACSB, has designed this 100% online MBA to not only offer students sound business theory, but also practical, real-world application. This 40-credit hour program is classified as above average in affordability with a total tuition price between $30,000 and $49,999. U.S. News and World Report Best Business Schools Ranking shows that some graduates from the business school report an average base salary of $80,368 after graduation revealing a strong potential for return on investment of education. Applicants interested in waiving the GMAT requirement are encouraged to apply online. Students with the US degree equivalent of a J.D., Ph.D, Pharm.D, or MD are automatically waived.

Receiving its regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, North Carolina State University delivers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to the 34,432 students currently enrolled there. Featuring the official school colors of red and white, NCSU was established in 1887 as the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, then the North Carolina State College before receiving its university status in 1962. This four-year, public institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Raleigh, North Carolina features “Think and Do” as its official school motto. The NCSU’s athletic department supports men’s and women’s varsity sports teams as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Affordability Score: Above Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 100.00

#2 NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY D’AMORE-MCKIM SCHOOL OF BUSINESS – BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS


Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business features an online Master’s of Business Administration. This 50-credit hour program is an excellent value for the distance learner as it is bolstered by the business school’s accreditation through the AACSB.

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An online Master’s of Business Administration with concentrations in Finance, International Management, Healthcare Management, High Technology Management, Innovation Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and Sustainability is offered at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Although a GMAT/GRE score is not required for acceptance into this program, official scores can be submitted to strengthen the student’s application. This extraordinary degree is classified as expensive with a total tuition price between $50,000 and $99,999. According to the U.S. News and World Report Best Business Schools Ranking, D’Amore-McKim graduates report an average base salary of $87,773 after graduation, which gives great potential for a healthy ROI. Receiving its excellent business accreditation through the AACSB, the School of Business has recently been recognized for offering the 24th best online MBA in the country by the Princeton Review and the 76th best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Quacquarelli Symonds has recognized the D’Amore-McKim School of Business as offering the 17th best online MBA program on the planet, while Financial Times has deemed it the 12th best in the world.

Operating under the official school motto of Lux, Veritas, Virtus “Light, Truth, Courage,” Northeastern University is a four-year, private not-for-profit university currently offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to a student body of 21,489. Receiving its regional accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, Northeastern is home to the Huskies. The university was established as the Evening Institute for Younger Men in 1898. While classes were first held in the Huntington Avenue YMCA, the school changed its name to Northeastern College in 1916 after the passing of a bill in the Massachusetts Legislature; NU kept ties with the YMCA until 1948. With the main campus situated in the Fenway Cultural District of Boston, the school maintains centers of learning in several other states and Canada. The university’s official colors are Northeastern Red, warm gray, and black.

Affordability Score: Expensive
OMBAT Ranking Score: 93.23

#3 FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF BUSINESS – MIAMI, FLORIDA


An online Master’s of Business Administration is delivered by the College of Business at Florida International University. This unique 42-credit hour program shines with recognition as one of the best in the world by Financial Times and Quacquarelli Symonds.

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The College of Business at Florida International University features an online Master’s of Business Administration with specializations in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Finance, International Business, Marketing Channel Strategy, Strategic Negotiations, Business Analytics, and Healthcare. Admission requirements for this program include a GMAT waiver for candidates holding an undergraduate with 3.0 GPA and four years’ work experience or two years’ work experience with 500 GMAT or equivalent GRE. The business school has designed this degree to aid students “effectively evaluate the financial position of organizations by analyzing balance sheets, cash flow statements and budgets, develop and lead teams, promote collaboration and build teams, and identify ethical problems and choose appropriate resolutions, analyze complex business issues and recommend sound solutions in local and global governments.” This 42-credit hour program is classified as above average in affordability with a total tuition price of between $30,000 and $49,999. According to the U.S. News and World Report Best Business Schools Ranking, graduates from the business school report an average base salary of $55,000 after graduation, which gives great potential for a healthy return on investment of education. The College of Business receives its excellent business accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. While the business school has recently been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as offering the 54th best online MBA in the nation and by the Financial Times as providing the 18th best online MBA in the world, Quacquarelli Symonds has awarded the College of Business with the 26th best online MBA on the planet.

Donning the official colors of blue and gold, Florida International University is home of the Panthers and the mascot Roary the Panther. This four-year, public institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Miami was founded in 1965 and was built on an abandoned property which used to house the Tamiami Airport. Operating under the school motto of “Hope, Knowledge, Opportunity,” the university receives its regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Florida International delivers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral and levels to the student body of 56,718 currently enrolled. The athletic department at FIU supports men’s and women’s varsity sports teams as members of the Conference USA.

Affordability Score: Above Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 86.91

#4 COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF BUSINESS – FORT COLLINS, COLORADO


Colorado State University’s College of Business delivers an online Master’s of Business Administration. This prestigious program shines with excellent accreditation and recognition from U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.

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The College of Business at Colorado State University features an online Master’s of Business Administration with concentrations in Finance, Marketing, Computer Information Systems, and Professional Enrichment. While the business school does not require GMAT or GRE scores for admission, it states “prospective students have several years of work experience and their success in the industry speaks to their ability to perform in this program. We’ve found that standardized tests do not accurately measure prospective students’ ability to complete the complex real-world projects that are addressed in the MBA curriculum.” This program is classified as above average with a total tuition range between $30,000 and $49,999. According to the U.S. News and World Report Best Business Schools Ranking, graduates from the business school report an average base salary of $49,942 after graduation, showing great potential for a solid return on investment of education. Financial Times currently ranks the CSU College of Business as offering the 15th best online MBA in the world and by Quacquarelli Symonds for providing the 12th best online MBA program on the planet. U.S. News & World Report has also deemed this degree the 42nd best in the country. Students in this online MBA program can finish their degree in less than two years, or take as long as five years if a student’s professional or personal schedules require a slower pace, this 42-credit hour program is divided between core courses and Financial Principles and Practice and six elective credits. Core courses include Financial Reporting and Analysis, Business Systems and Processes, Quantitative Business Analysis, Accounting Concepts, Managerial Accounting, Business Economics for the World Market. The business school its exceptional business accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Receiving its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, Colorado State University is Colorado’s land-grant university and is known as the flagship school of the Colorado State University System. Home of the mascot CAM the Ram, the athletic department at CSU is comprised of 11 women’s and six men’s varsity sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division I level as members of the Mountain West Conference. This four-year, public research university features the main campus in Fort Collins, Colorado and the official school colors of green, gold, and white. The university was founded in 1870 as Colorado Agricultural College and today currently oversees 33,083 students pursuing degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Affordability Score: Above Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 85.94

#5 DREXEL UNIVERSITY BENNETT S. LEBOW COLLEGE OF BUSINESS – PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA


Drexel University features an online Master’s of Business Administration at the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business. This top-notch 49-credit hour MBA is a must for the prospective student seeking a top-tier distance education.

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An online Master’s of Business Administration with specializations in Accounting, Healthcare Management, Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship/Innovation Management, Finance, Marketing, and Supply Chain and Logistics is offered at the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business at Drexel University. The Bennett S. Lebow College of Business is currently ranked by national and worldwide online MBA rankings. U.S. News & World Report ranks their program as the 61st best in the nation, and Financial Times and Quacquarelli Symonds ranks them among the top in the world, 16th and 31st respectively. While this 100% online part-time cohort-based program can be completed in as few as two years, the admissions requirements do include a GMAT score of at least 570, yet this requirement is waived by applicants who hold terminal degrees such as a JD, MD, PhD, or DDS. This 49-credit MBA is comparatively expensive, with a total tuition range between $50,000 and $99,999. According to the Best Business Schools Ranking by U.S. News and World Report, graduates from the business school report an average base salary of $65,625 after graduation, which gives the potential for a healthy ROI. Courses within this program include Legal Options in Decision Making, Managerial Economics, Managing & Leading the Total Enterprise, Introduction to Statistics for Business Analytics, Strategy Analysis, Leading High-Performance Teams, and Essentials of Financial Reporting. This program also includes one capstone course and four specialization-intensive electives. The business school receives its excellent business accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Founded in 1891 by businessman and philanthropist, Anthony J. Drexel, who possessed a vision for a university that would provide quality education in the “practical arts and sciences” to men and women of all backgrounds, Drexel University features the main campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The school was first known as Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry. Today, this four-year private not-for-profit university oversees 24,190 students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees and receives its regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Home of the Dragons, Drexel features the official school colors of blue and gold.

Affordability Score: Expensive
OMBAT Ranking Score: 84.12

#6 UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN COLLEGE OF BUSINESS – LINCOLN, NEBRASKA


An online Master’s of Business Administration is featured at the College of Business at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This 48-credit hour program offers an incredible value for distance learners looking for a robust curriculum and cutting-edge business training.

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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Business delivers an online Master’s of Business Administration with concentrations in Business Analytics, Supply Chain Management, International Business, Finance, and Marketing. Core courses within this MBA include Managerial Economics, Financial Accounting, Managerial Finance, Managerial Marketing, Applied Organizational Behavior, Supply Chain Management, Human Resource Management, Business Analytics, and Strategic Management and Business Policy. This program is classified as above average in affordability with a total tuition price between $30,000 and $49,999. Featuring a remarkable curriculum, this online program has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the 42nd best in the nation and 18th in the country by the Princeton Review. It has also been listed as 13th on the planet by Financial Times and 45th in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds. The business school receives its top-notch business accreditation through the AACSB. As most students complete this degree in three years, students seeking an accelerated program can finish their degree in as few as 1.5 years. GMAT/GRE scores are required during the application process, but waivers are available for some. Applicants who have seven or more years of progressive professional experience combined with a high GPA, or students that have a Pharm D, MD, JD, or PhD are not required to submit scores.

Operating under the official school motto of Literis Dedicata et Omnibus Artibus “Dedicated to Letters and All the Arts,” the University of Nebraska-Lincoln delivers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to the 26,079 students currently enrolled there. Established in 1869, the school stands today as the state’s public flagship university holding a land grant. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s athletic department supports men’s and women’s varsity sports teams as powerhouse members of the Big Ten Conference. Wearing the school colors of scarlet and cream, the Cornhuskers have won more than 25 national championships across five sports. The football team in particular has gained national notoriety with five national championships between 1970 and 1997 and three Heisman Trophy winners. Nebraska receives its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.

Affordability Score: Above Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 83.97

#7 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA BEACOM SCHOOL OF BUSINESS – VERMILLION, SOUTH DAKOTA


The Beacom School of Business at the University of South Dakota offers an online Master’s of Business Administration. This 33-credit hour program provides incredible value with a prestigious accreditation and very affordable tuition rate.

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The University of South Dakota’s Beacom School of Business features an online Master’s of Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing, Business Analytics, Health Services Administration, and Operations and Supply Chain Management. While admission requirements include an official copy of GMAT scores, there is a GMAT waiver for qualifying applicants which can be found on the school’s website. This 33-credit hour, 100% online MBA is very affordable with total base tuition less than $14,999. According to U.S. News and World Report, graduates from the Beacom School report an average base salary of $45,550, which gives great potential for a healthy ROI. The Beacom School of Business’s rich program curriculum emphasizes leadership, decision-making, and social responsibility. It holds stellar accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, placing it among the best business schools in the world. U.S. News & World Report has recognized this degree as the 93rd best online MBA in the nation while the Princeton Review has identified it as the 19th best in the country.

Hailed as the oldest public university in the state of South Dakota, the University of South Dakota was established in 1862 as the University of Vermillion. Receiving its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, USD exists today as a four-year, public school located in Vermillion, South Dakota. Home of the Toros, the school’s motto is Veritas “Truth.” USD degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels are offered to the student body of 10,261. The USD athletic department supports both men’s and women’s varsity sports teams as members of the Summit League.

Affordability Score: Very Affordable
OMBAT Ranking Score: 83.63

#8 AUBURN UNIVERSITY RAYMOND J. HARBERT COLLEGE OF BUSINESS – AUBURN, ALABAMA


Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business features an online Master’s of Business Administration. This program stands out with a well-balanced curriculum focusing on strong business theory and relevant real-world application.

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An online Master’s of Business Administration is delivered at Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. Online MBA applicants need to submit the following items to the business school – an online application with an application fee, a personal statement, resume, two letters of recommendation, official GMAT results, and all transcripts from previous colleges and universities. The GMAT or GRE is required for all applicants except those with a terminal degree (e.g., PhD, JD, etc.). Courses within this program include Financial Analysis, Quantitative Analysis, Strategic Analysis & The Competitive Environment, and Operations Excellence. The business school, which has been recognized by the Princeton Review as offering the 13th best online MBA in the nation and by U.S. News & World Report for providing the 11th best online MBA in the country, receives its excellent business accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This 39-credit hour degree is classified as above average with a total cost of tuition between $30,000 and $49,999. According to the U.S. News and World Report Best Business Schools Ranking, graduates from the business school report an average base salary of $61,675 after graduation, which gives great potential for a healthy return on investment of education.

Auburn University is a four-year, public institution of higher learning with a main campus in Auburn, Alabama. They have a student body of almost 30,000 and currently offers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level. The school was initially founded in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College with an affiliation with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which then later became the state’s first public land-grant institution after the Morrill Act of 1872, the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. Established as the very first co-educational school in the state of Alabama, Auburn achieved university status in 1960. The University receives its regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Affordability Score: Above Average
OMBAT Ranking Score: 82.86

#9 BABSON COLLEGE F.W. OLIN GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS – WELLESLEY, MASSACHUSETTS


Babson College features a Blended Learning Master’s of Business Administration at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business. This 46-credit hour online program offers a highly respected curriculum and the opportunity for students to work at their own pace.

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Blended Learning Master’s of Business Administration with concentrations in Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Management, and Marketing is offered at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. Core courses for this degree include Entrepreneurship and Opportunity, Creating and Leading Effective Organizations, Financial Reporting, Managing Talent: Your Own and Others, Strategy, Data, Models. Receiving its top-notch business accreditation through the AACSB, the business school has recently been recognized as offering the 6th best online MBA program on the planet by Financial Times, the 10th best by Princeton Review, and 100th best by U.S. News & World Report. While admission requirements for this degree do not include GMAT or GRE scores for most Blended Learning program applicants, a GMAT or GRE score may be requested if the admissions committee deems it necessary. Classified as expensive, this excellent program features a total tuition price between $50,000 and $99,999. Olin Graduates, according to the U.S. News and World Report Best Business Schools Ranking, report an average base salary of $78,123 after graduation, which gives great potential for a healthy ROI.

Operating as a four-year, private not-for-profit college offering undergraduate and graduate degrees to the 3,329 students currently enrolled there, Babson College receives its regional accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Founded in 1919 by Roger and Grace Babson, the couple had a shared desire to educate students, and specifically cover the topics of finance, production, and distribution, over a one-year period as opposed to the typical four-year schedule most schools had constructed. Babson’s initial enrollment was 27 students, and the first classes met in the couple’s home in Wellesley Hills in Wellesley, Pennsylvania. Home of the Beavers, the athletic department at Babson College is comprised of 22 men’s and women’s varsity teams which compete at the NCAA Division III level as members of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.

Affordability Score: Expensive
OMBAT Ranking Score: 80.91

#10 PENN STATE-WORLD CAMPUS SMEAL COLLEGE OF BUSINESS – UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA


Penn State-World Campus delivers an online Master’s of Business Administration. This 100% online program has been recognized as one of the best MBAs in the nation with an excellent curriculum.

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The Smeal College of Business at Penn State-World Campus delivers an online MBA with concentrations in Project Management, Accounting Foundations, Finance, General Management, Human Resource Management, Advanced Accounting, Business Analytics, Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Marketing Analytics, and Supply Chain Management. The Smeal College of Business, which receives its excellent business accreditation through the AACSB, is currently ranked as the 10th best online MBA program by U.S. News & World Report. This 48-credit hour program is classified as expensive in affordability with a total tuition price between $50,000 and $99,999. According to the U.S. News and World Report Best Business Schools Ranking, graduates from the business school report an average base salary of $105,462 after graduation, which gives great potential for a healthy return on investment of education. Admission requirements for this program include all official transcripts from colleges and universities attended, GPA and tests scores, two references, a current resume, essay responses, an application portfolio evaluation, and an online interview. Waivers for the GMAT/GRE requirement are given to online MBA applicants that hold an MD, PhD, or DO degree, but waivers may also be considered for applicants with other advanced degrees or work and leadership experience.

Penn State World Campus was found in 1998 and currently delivers over 150 online degrees to a student body of 14,301 seeking degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. This four-year, public institution of higher learning with a main campus in University Park, Pennsylvania has developed over twenty years as one the nation’s best virtual campuses out of the school’s deep-seated history of prioritizing distance education that dates all the way back to 1892. Penn State World Campus receives its regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Affordability Score: Expensive
OMBAT Ranking Score: 80.36

how long is a full time mba program

One of the key things to be aware of when pursuing graduate-level education in business is understanding how long it takes to complete an MBA degree. After all, some employers require their new hires to complete this course of study in a limited amount of time, while other students are simply in a hurry to finish their education, use it to advance their careers, and begin paying back any student loans that they might have taken out in order to finance the endeavor. Luckily, MBAs have the potential to be earned relatively quickly depending on the student’s commitment to full-time coursework or part-time, nontraditional scheduling practices.

The Full-Time MBA

Typically, today’s Master’s of Business Administration programs require students to complete 36 credits in fields like strategic management, communication, managerial accounting, and other key areas. Unlike graduate-level business programs, full-time students are not expected to take 15 credits each semester. Instead, the typical full-time MBA student takes nine credits, or three courses, per semester. Most full-time programs feature two semesters per academic year, which means students can expect to complete their degree two full years after they began the program.

The only real exception to this rule is if newly admitted applicants require some form of remedial education prior to beginning MBA courses in earnest. Students who haven’t taken the required undergraduate coursework in finance, accounting, economics, and management, might have to add up to a full extra semester to their estimated program length. Most schools will require between three and nine credits of this coursework before students can be moved into degree candidacy and take the course needed to graduate with the MBA degree.

Part-Time Students Could Still Finish in Two Years

Generally speaking, most students who embark on a part-time MBA will take longer to finish than their full-time counterparts. Schools that only offer two semesters of coursework per year will typically allow students to graduate three years after they began the program. As mentioned earlier, most students who require remedial courses will have to add at least one semester to this duration so that they can be moved into full degree candidacy.

One of the most exciting developments for graduate-level management students, however, is the adoption of a trimester format for part-time degree candidates, according to an article in Business Week. This allows students to essentially add an extra semester of part-time study to each of their academic years, and they may be able to complete their program in two years as a result. Some fine print does apply, however, including the expense of extra tuition, limited breaks between intensive graduate classes, and the potential for such a high work load to become overwhelming alongside career obligations. Even so, this is a promising way to complete a part-time program in a span of time typically reserved only for full-time students.

 

Part-Time or Full-Time, MBA Completion is Still Pretty Quick

At its longest, a Master’s in Business Administration will take about three years to fully complete. Though that may sound like a long time, students should remember that undergraduate work takes at least a year longer. In addition, programs in medicine, law, counseling, nursing, and numerous other areas can take anywhere from three to five years to complete on either a full-time or part-time basis. For this reason, students should focus less on how long to complete an MBA degree and instead enjoy their relatively quick completion date.

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