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Affordable Finance MBA in Wisconsin

Business professionals considering a Master of Business Administration program might naturally wonder about the return on investment. With base salaries for MBAs at an all-time high, now may be the perfect time to get started on earning this in-demand degree.

Salaries in the finance/accounting industries are among the highest, making an MBA in finance a smart choice. Choosing an affordable program, such as the online MBA with a Concentration in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, can mean an even better return on investment.

Why Choose an Online MBA?

A 2019 Corporate Recruiters Survey shows that U.S. employers plan to offer recent MBA graduates a median starting salary of $115,000 per year — more than double the wage for new hires with a bachelor's degree. For MBA hires in finance and accounting, that number jumps to $125,000.

With the decision to earn an MBA made, the next question may be whether to go on campus or online. For working professionals, an online format can have advantages:

  • Online MBA programs such as UW-Parkside's can be completed in 12 months. A traditional full-time MBA program may take twice as long.
  • The flexibility of an online format means students can continue gaining the work experience employers prefer — no need to put a career on pause or lose out on income.
  • Online programs are typically more affordable than traditional full-time programs. Compare Parkside's total tuition of $18,000 to $70,000 or more for full-time campus-based programs.
  • Online MBAs offer multiple start dates, which can reduce the wait time.
  • With online courses, students schedule coursework at whatever time works best for them. An online format also eliminates commuting costs.

Compare Costs

UW-Parkside, part of the University of Wisconsin system of schools, ranks favorably against a sampling of other online MBA programs.

MBA Program/School

Finance Concentration?

Credit Hours Required

Tuition Per Credit Hour

Student Fees

 Time to Complete





 All fees included

 As few as 12 months

University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium

 No (finance electives offered)



 $56 application fee

 21-36 months

Marquette University (MU)




 $50 application fee (waived if attend online info session)

 24 months average, 18 months full time

St. Mary's University of Minnesota (SMUMN)

 Yes (Financial Services/Banking)



 $25 application fee

 As few as 12 months

Walden University (for-profit school)

 Yes (Corporate Finance)



 $210 tech fee per semester

12-30 months (based on three options for completion)


As the chart shows, MBA students at UW-Parkside come out ahead on tuition. Nearby Marquette is more than double UW-Parkside's $18,000. The University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium is over $5,000 more than UW-Parkside.                     

In neighboring Minnesota, tuition at SMUMN is only slightly higher than at UW-Parkside. However, SMUMN does not hold the same accreditation. Additional cost-related factors:

  • In-state vs. out-of-state tuition: Expenses at some schools can be higher for out-of-state students. However, UW-Parkside's affordable MBA tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students.
  • Nonprofit vs. for-profit status: Most universities and colleges are nonprofit entities, but plenty of for-profit MBA programs are out there as well. For-profit programs are often more expensive than nonprofit, or public, schools. Based on the chart above, tuition at UW-Parkside, a public institution, beats the for-profit Walden by more than $10,000.

The costs above were sourced from university websites (December 2019).

Why Keep Accreditation in Mind?

Accreditation is a significant way to judge the quality of a school. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) is recognized as the highest standard in a business school education. UW-Parkside is one of only 856 business schools worldwide that has AACSB accreditation. 

A career in financial management may not require an MBA. But as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points out, many employers prefer to hire candidates with a master's in business administration. And they are willing to pay much more for this degree. In fact, BLS reports that financial occupations have some of the highest wage premiums for workers with a master's degree.

UW-Parkside's online MBA with a finance concentration prepares business professionals with the advanced analytical abilities employers value. And with its affordable tuition, UW-Parkside's online MBA makes it possible for students to earn the degree they need to advance their careers without piling on unreasonable debt.

As a general note, salaries included here are meant to be a guideline and are not guaranteed. Actual salaries will depend on location, company, experience and more.

Learn more about UW-Parkside's online MBA program with a Concentration in Finance.


GMAC: MBA Salaries in the US Highest on Record

Graduate Management Admission Council: Business School Hiring Report: Corporate Recruiters Survey 2019

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Financial Managers - How to Become a Financial Manager 

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Should I Get a Master's Degree? Business

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