By BVS Staff
Welcome to our ranking of the 30 best small schools for business majors on a budget.
Each of these top schools offers at least three programs (or three concentrations within a program) for students seeking a bachelor's degree in business administration (which also includes but is not limited to programs in international business, business and public policy, and business management). In addition, they each maintain an overall undergraduate graduation rate of at least 50%. Of course, to be a best value, these top-ranked schools also have to demonstrate a genuine commitment to affordable education – which means meeting our net price requirements. All of the programs on this ranking have estimated annual costs (as reported on College Navigator) of less than $27,000 a year. But which of these is the most affordable small college for business administration? Scroll down to #1 to find out!
For more information on the methodology, click here.
30. Oakland City University
Oakland City, IN
Oakland City University supports an impressive undergraduate business degree program that is comprehensive, expansive, and competitively priced. With degree specializations in relevant areas of study (including Accounting, Human Resource Management, and Sports Administration), Oakland's School of Business opens the door to promising – not to mention lucrative – career opportunities in almost any conceivable field. Of course, these qualities alone aren't enough to guarantee the quality of a school's academics. But Oakland City has gone one step further, earning programmatic accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), one of the leading accrediting organizations for university business programs.
Net Price: $26,112/yr
29. Augsburg College
Augsburg College's Business Administration program may not be as diverse as that of OCU, but it is no less robust. Within the major itself, Augsburg provides students with the opportunity to choose between two unique specialization options: Music Business and Economics. In conjunction with one of these concentrations, Augsburg business students complete a core curriculum that casts a wide net across the field; coursework stretches from accounting and finance to marketing, statistics, and macro/microeconomics. This affordable small school for business majors also hosts the Augsburg Business Organization, an interdisciplinary coalition of business-minded students, faculty, and alumni that works to bring exposure and opportunity to its membership.
Net Price: $25,760/yr
28. Albright College
Undergraduate research may not be the strongest selling point for a top small college for business administration, but it nonetheless exemplifies the wealth of opportunities for extracurricular engagement at Albright College. In the classroom, business administration majors at Albright undertake fascinating investigations of wealth disparity, brand positioning, and the international effects of unionization. But they might be even busier between classes, partaking in prestigious internships and joining student organizations like the Dearden Honor Society or Enactus, an international entrepreneurial organization that has a chapter on campus. And as an added bonus, Albright has coordinated a job-shadowing program to provide firsthand exposure to the business world for underclassmen.
Net Price: $24,971/yr
27. Florida Southern College
With a top 20 business administration degree ranking from Business Research Guide, Florida Southern College is already one of the most prized institutions for business education in the Southeast. FSU's AACSB-accredited Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise has earned this reputation through a combination of personalized degree programs, Fortune 500-pedigreed faculty, and guaranteed internship opportunities for all students. But it doesn't end there; a wealth of additional initiatives – including "CEO leadership programs, business symposia, field trips, simulations, [and] business competitions" – help ensure that business administration majors at FSU never stop learning.
Net Price: $24,589/yr
26. Andrews University
Berrien Springs, MI
Andrews University's polyvalent bachelor of business administration (BBA) degree program breaks as much ground as it covers. Degree specializations in Accounting, Finance, Information Systems, International Business, Management, and Marketing build upon a formidable core curriculum, making Andrews part of an ideal pathway to some of the most promising job opportunities in business. But beyond the potential to kick off a successful career, the program also attracts attention for its dedication to fundamentals. One way this dedication manifests is through a required three-course sequence in biblical studies and theology. In fact, Andrews' overall emphasis on religion makes it a top small school for business majors of the Christian faith.
Net Price: $23,491/yr
25. Illinois Institute of Technology
At the Illinois Institute of Technology, undergraduates can acquire technical business acumen that extends far beyond the purview of a more traditional degree. Thanks to its proximity to some of the foremost technology and science programs in the Midwest, IIT's Stuart School of Business is uniquely equipped to respond to the needs of architects, engineers, and other high-tech practitioners. To that point, the business administration major includes specializations in a wide array of fields, from the conventional (Entrepreneurship and Marketing) to the unorthodox (Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Construction Management, and Life Sciences). This top small college for business administration also offers dual degree programs for students who want to more thoroughly integrate their business and technical educations.
Net Price: $23,371/yr
24. LeTourneau University
LeTourneau University combines the best of both worlds, offering a comprehensive and demanding business education with the flexibility and low price point to match. From courses like "Business Ethics" and "Organizational Behavior" to "Strategic Management" and "Business Research Methods," LETU challenges students to think holistically and granularly about the needs of modern businesses. The program also features concentrations in key topics like accounting and management to hone undergraduates' focus on what they might like to pursue after graduation. To that end, internships are another essential component of the LETU experience, and most students who choose this top college for a business administration degree complete one in their senior year.
Net Price: $23,024/yr
23. Augustana College
Rock Island, IL
As one of Augustana College's most popular programs, the BBA at this top small college for business majors is undoubtedly among the strongest on this list. Augustana's BBA features small classes led by distinguished faculty members (over 80% of whom hold a PhD); study abroad programs in Australia, London, and Russia; and an impressive number (four in total) of active student organizations devoted to achievement in business, including an investor's club. This program also leads the US in business internships, with a full 90% of all BBA majors finding placement every year (compared to 75% nationally).
Net Price: $22,715/yr
22. Millsaps College
Millsaps College may be one of the smallest schools on our business administration degrees ranking, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in heart. While so many large universities struggle with bureaucratic administrations and corporate agendas, small schools like Millsaps are able to cultivate a much more inviting atmosphere. Undergrads can connect directly to professors, build strong interpersonal relationships with their peers, and enjoy tailored guidance on both academic and personal affairs. For BBA majors in particular, the college offers an attractive degree program with all the standard specialization options, including Financial Services and Entrepreneurship. However, it is the Global Business Studies Concentration that truly stands out as an exceptional opportunity for ambitious students.
Net Price: $22,512/yr
21. Anderson University
Like Millsaps, Anderson University is one of the few affordable small schools for business majors that offers an accredited bachelor's program in Global Business. The Global Business major at Anderson prepares students for the manifold responsibilities of modern executives with an array of targeted coursework in leadership, statistics, accounting, and much more. Students in this program can also customize their degree program by choosing from specializations in Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management, and Marketing. What's more, those who wish to pursue a more cosmopolitan career path can receive additional certification from Anderson's International Business Institute (IBI).
Net Price: $21,945/yr
20. Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University's William's School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics is home to one of the top undergraduate business degrees in the country. Expert faculty members in this department take individualized education to the next level with small class sizes, an "open door" policy for office hours, and an exhaustive range of electives that span the best practices in contemporary business (e.g., corporate finance, management information systems, cross-cultural communications, and entrepreneurship). Washington and Lee also takes the edge off of an already low tuition with a number of merit scholarships available specifically to business administration majors.
Net Price: $21,379/yr
19. Spring Hill College
With specialization options available in Computer Information Systems, Healthcare Management, and International Business, it's probably fair to say that Spring Hill College's Division of Business makes it one of the best colleges for a business administration degree. But Spring Hill is not just out to create specialists; following in the Jesuit tradition, business majors are required to study a full suite of topics in the liberal arts. Upper-level business courses at Spring Hill also feature an intensive writing component and regular class presentations to ensure competency in oral as well as written communications.
Net Price: $20,376/yr
18. Bridgewater College
At Bridgewater College, business administration majors can expect a comprehensive overview of general business topics that includes economics, statistics, entrepreneurship, and strategic management. But Bridgewater doesn't qualify as one of the top small schools for business administration just because of its discussion topics in the classroom. Outside of the more conventional requirements of the BBA degree, students also have access to a wealth of extracurricular opportunities that will encourage their professional growth. Examples include the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization, the Society for Human Resource Management, and a chapter of Sigma Beta Delta, the honor society for economics and business administration.
Net Price: $20,058/yr
17. North Park University
What makes North Park University a top college for a business administration degree? As they say, the proof is in the pudding. And at NPU, that "pudding" is its laudable track record of student success: graduates of this program have gone on to careers at prestigious organizations like IBM, JP Morgan, Groupon, and even the Chicago Board of Trade. Thanks to committed faculty members and an expansive curriculum that features six distinct concentration options, business students graduate NPU with the knowledge and skills they need to compete for the best jobs on day one.
Net Price: $19,158/yr
16. Montreat College
Many people take a critical view of business as a strictly competitive, zero-sum enterprise. At Montreat College, however, ethics and sustainability are as central to the field of business as are accounting and finance. Owing to Montreat's faith-based educational mission, all business majors must take ethics-based coursework (such as "Servant Leadership") to enhance their appreciation of the social responsibilities that face modern executives today. This affordable small school for business majors also features a number of unique concentration options, including Sports Management, Cybersecurity, and International Business. And if the existing choices aren't satisfying, program participants are free to design their own concentration to fit their goals.
Net Price: $18,721/yr
15. Concordia University-Chicago
River Forest, IL
Recently recognized by Crain's as one of the most diverse colleges for a business administration degree in the Chicagoland area, Concordia University-Chicago is undoubtedly one of the leading educational institutions for minorities in the Midwest—if not the country. Concordia boasts strong diversity in its degree offerings, as well; business administration majors can choose from up to nine specialization options (depending on whether they are working towards a BA or a BA), including unique focuses like Not-for-profit/Church Management, Visual Arts, and even Theater. Among other things, this makes a BBA from Concordia a great option for those who are not necessarily interested in working in a typical office environment.
Net Price: $18,557/yr
14. Mount Saint Joseph University
Mount Saint Joseph University's targeted bachelor of business administration programs make for an easy transition to a lucrative career right out of college. With degrees available in high-demand sectors like Financial Economics, Marketing, and Management, MSJ is able to condense the best practices of entire industries into a convenient and affordable four-year degree. This top small college for business administration is also notable for its co-operative education and Talent Opportunity Program (TOP), both of which aim to provide undergraduates with real-world experience in their field through internships, work-study, and career planning services.
Net Price: $18,140/yr
13. Converse College
At Converse College, students can choose between a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts in business administration. The differences between these affordable undergraduate business degree programs are substantial; where the former is a more technically-oriented program that prioritizes topics like accounting, statistics, and finance, the latter is more communications-intensive. These differences are also reflected in the concentration options for each: students pursuing a BA can choose from Human Resource Management, International Business, Sports Management, and Marketing, whereas the focus areas available to BS majors are limited to Economics and Finance.
Net Price: $17,322/yr
12. The Sage Colleges
Like Converse, the Sage Colleges offer two pathways for business administration majors: a BS and a BBA. In this case, however, the distinctions are not so cut and dry. Both programs at this top small school for business majors require the same core curriculum of business fundamentals and provide a strong foundation for pursuing an MBA (which is also available to Sage graduates via a 4+1 program). But strictly speaking, the BS is the more rigorous and intensive program, requiring more credits as well as a concentration in one of the following: Marketing, Organizational Studies, or Sports Management.
Net Price: $16,890/yr
11. Coker College
It's been said that business is not just about what you know, but who know. At Coker College, business majors have the opportunity to get to know their classmates and professors very closely through a "round-table" approach to education. While this practice of engagement and discussion is essential to all of Coker's majors and classes, it has just as large of an impact on the growth, maturity, and, above all, comprehension of Coker's business majors. Thanks to this approach, students at this top small college for business administration take ownership of their learning in many ways, including internships at local organizations like Duke Energy and Sonoco Products Company.
Net Price: $16,805/yr
10. Young Harris College
Young Harris, GA
Young Harris College may not offer a bachelor in business administration per se, but that's not enough to keep it off of our business administration degree ranking. In fact, what YHC has to offer instead may be even better! The school's Business and Public Policy degree program is the perfect amalgamation of qualitative and quantitative analyses of organizations, preparing students for a wide range of roles in the public and private sectors alike. For aspiring executives and/or politicians, coursework in leadership, law, ethics, and management make for the ideal counterpart to more technical topics like statistics, finance, and economics.
Net Price: $16,193/yr
9. Bryan College-Dayton
For students of faith who are looking to enter the corporate world, there are few better places to earn an affordable undergraduate business degree than Bryan College at Dayton. Bryan's BS in Business Administration integrates Christian values with principles of economics, management, finance, and more to provide a truly well-rounded education at a fair price. Classes like "Advertising and Promotion," "Managerial Economics," and "Principles of Investing" are just a few of the opportunities undergraduates at Bryan will have to examine the principles of the free market through a Biblical lens.
Net Price: $16,153/yr
8. Christian Brothers University
With a 97% graduate placement rate, it's hard to argue that Christian Brothers University is anything but a top college for a business administration degree. Part of CBU graduate's success is undoubtedly due to the low student-teacher ratio that the school maintains; at 14:1, undergraduates are able to receive plenty of personalized attention from their professors, enabling them to build relationships and establish connections that last throughout their college career – and even beyond. But for such a small school, CBU is also notable for the sheer size and versatility of its business administration major. The program's extensive set of concentration options include Hospitality and Tourism Management, Management Information Systems, and International Business, among others.
Net Price: $15,556/yr
7. William Carey University
At William Carey University, Christian values are present in every aspect of the business curriculum. From spiritually active faculty members to a strict service-learning requirement for all business majors, WCU nurtures undergraduates' hearts and souls as well as their minds. This mentality even extends to student organizations like the Society for the Advancement of Management, which is devoted to coordinating service projects for the local community. Outside of traditional advantages (i.e. degree specializations and career resources), this emphasis on charity and service helps elevate WCU to its status as a top college for a business administration degree.
Net Price: $15,026/yr
6. Goldey-Beacom College
With just over 600 enrolled undergraduates, Goldey-Beacom College is the smallest school on our list by a margin of almost 200 students. Yet to say that GBC's range of concentration options within its business administration major belie its size would be an understatement. Ranging from Entrepreneurial Studies to Organizational Psychology, the GBC business program's impressive 11 unique specializations dwarf those of just about any other affordable small college for business administration. The comprehensive curriculum is also notable for its emphasis on international business in that it requires all majors to take at least one course on the subject.
Net Price: $14,677/yr
5. Newman University
Newman University distinguishes itself from other top small schools for business majors with a "value-based" curriculum that places equal emphasis on ethics and performance. This holistic approach to education also manifests in Newman's liberal arts core classes, which reinforce more technical business training with the general skills and knowledge that make for a sophisticated individual. But a Newman education isn't overly general, either; in fact, business administration majors have no shortage of opportunities to specialize their skillsets. Program members might opt for a concentration in Management or a double-major in Accounting or Sports Communication – or whatever other combination of classes will help them end up on top in their chosen career field.
Net Price: $14,407/yr
4. Madonna University
Madonna University's bachelor of business administration program places students on the path to success with a combination of diverse specialization options, real-world experiences (via a mandatory semester-long internship), and robust networking opportunities. Concentrations like Merchandising and Retail Management and Healthcare Management offer an apt illustration of the unique educational experiences available to undergrads at this top small school for business majors. And yet, these examples barely scratch the surface of what Madonna University has to offer. One particularly exciting feature of the program is its CEO Lecture Series, which brings successful international businesspeople to campus to provide their firsthand insights to aspiring young executives.
Net Price: $13,710/yr
3. College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO
The business program at the College of the Ozarks may not have as many bells and whistles as its competitors, but at just over $13,000, students can easily get much more than their money's worth. In fact, for the price, COFO's concentration options are quite robust, featuring tracks in Marketing, Management, and General Business within the business administration program itself. This affordable small college for business administration is also home to several relevant student groups, including a chapter of Phi Beta Lambda, the largest and oldest business honor society in the country.
Net Price: $13,567/yr
2. Brigham Young University-Hawaii
Brigham Young University in Hawaii is not only one of the most affordable colleges for a business administration degree; it's also one of the best. In fact, those interested in pursuing a career in logistics will be pleased to know that BYU is the only school on this list to feature a specialization option in Operations and Supply Chain Management. Outside of the classroom, BYU is notable for its preponderance of business-affiliated student clubs, which range from honor societies to a marketing club and even a logistics club called Scope.
Net Price: $10,695/yr
1. Berea College
Berea College is perhaps best known as the "no tuition" school, where every student receives a full four-year scholarship to attend. And while the college's low cost is the primary reason it earned our #1 business administration degree ranking, it's just one of several features that will appeal to applicants. Even its ample selection of business degree concentrations, which is comparable to many of the more expensive programs on this list, can't capture the full breadth of opportunities available on campus. In fact, undergrads will get the best bang for their buck outside the classroom through the school's Business Internship Program, which funds student employment at local, national, and even international organizations during the school year and summer semester.
Net Price: $3,125/yr
Want to find out exactly how much it will cost for you to attend one of these affordable colleges for a business administration degree? Check out the U.S. Department of Education's Net Price Calculator Center.