Top 100 Affordable Entrepreneurship Schools

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There is nothing quite as satisfying as developing an idea, executing it, and reaping the benefits. For those whose minds are full of brilliant, creative ideas, it's hard to think of working for someone else. Since there is such a demand from these independent minded businesspeople, academia has responded with entrepreneurship programs as part of their business schools. This may possibly be fueled by the rise of television shows that highlight the success of entrepreneurs and otherwise glamorize the process of creating a new venture.

On the other hand, the economy is in constant need of fresh ideas and entrepreneurs who have the moxie to solve old problems. Even if they're not reinventing the wheel or designing the better mousetrap, entrepreneurial activity serves to generate new economic activity which benefits everyone. This page is dedicated to educating up and coming entrepreneurs as to the nature of these degrees and what to look for in the best, most affordable entrepreneurship programs in the nation.

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Top 100 Affordable Entrepreneurship College Rankings

Some of the factors we consider in our college and university rankings include:

  • Loan Default Rate:
    When this number is low, that indicates that graduates are able to meet their financial obligations. Entrepreneurial students need to avoid default in order to secure business loans.
  • Online Programs:
    We favor programs that offer online classes, if not wholly online programs. That's because so many entrepreneurship students are busy launching small and large ventures. Entrepreneurs need flexible academic schedules to help them meet their business obligations.
  • Cost of Tuition:
    Every student needs to know the financial impact of their degree programs. Keep in mind that the gross price of tuition often diverges significantly from the actual net cost. However, when students are able to launch their own venture, this cost will soon be a faded memory.
  • Retention Rate:
    This statistic shows how many first-time, first-year students return for a second year. When a large percent return to a campus, researchers assume that students and their families are happy with the curriculum, faculty, and overall campus resources.
  • Graduation Rate:
    When a school has a low rate of attrition and a high graduation rate, that school is held in high esteem. After all, who wants to attend a school where few students ever receive a diploma?

California State University-Los Angeles

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,781
    • Out-of-state: $18,661
  • Net Price: $3,859
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Total Enrollment: 26,671
  • Undergrad Students: 22,797
  • Graduate Students: 3,874
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • California State University-Los Angeles

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,462
    • Out-of-state: $15,412
  • Net Price: $3,897
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 18,679
  • Undergrad Students: 15,482
  • Graduate Students: 3,197
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 58
  • CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,917
    • Out-of-state: $18,733
  • Net Price: $4,419
  • Retention Rate: 76%
  • Total Enrollment: 29,113
  • Undergrad Students: 24,965
  • Graduate Students: 4,148
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 8
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Franklin University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,577
    • Out-of-state: $9,577
  • Net Price: $7,658
  • Retention Rate: 47%
  • Total Enrollment: 6,031
  • Undergrad Students: 4,261
  • Graduate Students: 1,770
  • Graduation Rate: 28%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 1
  • Franklin University

Utah Valley University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,906
    • Out-of-state: $16,806
  • Net Price: $8,184
  • Retention Rate: 65%
  • Total Enrollment: 41,728
  • Undergrad Students: 41,186
  • Graduate Students: 542
  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 12
  • Utah Valley University

University of Maine at Machias

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,252
    • Out-of-state: $15,602
  • Net Price: $8,824
  • Retention Rate: 49%
  • Total Enrollment: 659
  • Undergrad Students: 659
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 30%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 8
  • University of Maine at Machias

Green River College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,233
    • Out-of-state: $4,694
  • Net Price: $9,245
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Total Enrollment: 8,435
  • Undergrad Students: 8,435
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 26
  • Green River College

University of Washington

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,745
    • Out-of-state: $39,114
  • Net Price: $9,661
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Total Enrollment: 47,576
  • Undergrad Students: 32,046
  • Graduate Students: 15,530
  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 39
  • University of Washington

Northern Kentucky University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,296
    • Out-of-state: $20,256
  • Net Price: $9,664
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Total Enrollment: 15,664
  • Undergrad Students: 11,868
  • Graduate Students: 3,796
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • Northern Kentucky University

Northeastern State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,915
    • Out-of-state: $15,315
  • Net Price: $9,790
  • Retention Rate: 60%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,517
  • Undergrad Students: 6,289
  • Graduate Students: 1,228
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Diplomas Awarded: N/A
  • Northeastern State University
Full Ranking Report

Why a Degree from an Affordable Entrepreneurship School?

Every student wants to find the best educational value for their dollar. Students of entrepreneurship are perhaps especially eager to save money on the best possible education. After all, they are aiming to launch a career built on buying low and selling high. They want to invest the least amount of money and see astounding returns.

In fact, a degree in entrepreneurship offers tremendous value. These degrees are inherently flexible, and graduates with these degrees are highly valued as employees. This is because they have been trained to take smart risks, think independently, and bring in a healthy bottom line. However, they also have the skills, knowledge, and ability to launch their own firms. After all, every student of entrepreneurship surely wishes to take their own ideas to market and reap 100% of the rewards.

Thus, when you graduate with a degree in entrepreneurship, you can evaluate the overall economy and your specific market sector and make your best move at the right time. That is, the time might not yet be right for your ground-breaking app. Or, you might not yet have the start-up capital necessary to launch your business. Banks may want to see a proven track record in your field before they are ready to invest in your hot idea. After all, a hot idea alone does not guarantee that you'll be able to manage cash, expenses, marketing, human resources, and other business matters. Thus, an entrepreneurship degree will allow you to gain the skills and knowledge you need to work as an employee for a few years or launch your hot idea moments after you toss your mortar in the air.

Choosing an Affordable Entrepreneurship College

When searching for an affordable entrepreneurship program, students should weigh more factors than just the gross price of tuition. After all, as any good entrepreneur will know, education is an investment. With that in mind, students and their families should seek out programs that ideally will have affordable net prices but also are likely to yield a great return on that investment. For instance, a business degree from Harvard might be very expensive at the outset, but that investment will pay dividends for a lifetime.

Factors that can point to whether an entrepreneurship program will yield a positive return on the investment include the program's accreditation, tuition, the availability of online classes, and their educational statistics. The accreditation should be a chief factor in any search for a top program. Business schools that hold accreditation from either AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE should go to the top of one's list.

This is because those accreditation agencies have national standing and are highly respected in the business community. They will also help pave the way to a terrific MBA program. On the other hand, there are many terrific business degree programs which offer a concentration in entrepreneurship which hold regional accreditation. When it comes to regional accreditations, make sure that the agency is approved by CHEA.

Once you've found the best, accredited business program, take a look at the cost of tuition. This number is likely to give some a case of sticker-shock. However, chances are that the gross price is not what most students actually pay. Most colleges and universities have terrific financial aid offices that are able to help find assistance for their students. In fact, some expensive private schools offer financial aid packages that bring the net price down to a level on par with in-state tuition.

Another factor is the availability of online classes, if not a fully online degree program. This feature not only indicates a greater educational value but the flexibility inherent in online education is valuable. This is because, those students who can't wait to start a venture can do so while still taking their online courses. This presents a terrific value proposition in that entrepreneurship students can gain experience as independent businesspeople while continuing to work towards a degree that will serve them for a lifetime.

Online Options

Online education is still relatively new. However, our recent experience during the COVID pandemic turned most, if not all, students into online learners, if only for a brief time. Now that everyone is seasoned with online education, the option is all the more attractive. It's perhaps even more attractive to budding entrepreneurs.

This is because online degrees allow eager entrepreneurial students to launch ventures while still taking classes. In the absence of rigid class times and assignment deadlines, entrepreneurs can pursue their dreams while learning at the same time. In fact, this approach may be far superior to traditional classes. Students can share their entrepreneurial experience with their fellow students, receive input and advice from professors, and still gain new skills every day that will inform their current work as well as provide knowledge and experience for the future.

Even a hybrid online program offers students amazing opportunities. Since not all of their classes follow rigid meeting times, students can find flexibility to work part-time, launch a small business, or pursue internships under entrepreneurial mentors. In fact, these blended online degree programs may be optimal for business students, and especially students of entrepreneurship. A hybrid model delivers both top notch academic outcomes and the opportunity to network with future business leaders, which is vital to long-term business success.

Finally, fully online and hybrid business degree programs provide students with the opportunity to complete an undergraduate or master’s degree from anywhere. Entrepreneurial students can launch ventures in their ideal geographies while attending school across the country. Hybrid students may have to travel to campus for periodic meetings, as some only require a visit once per academic term.

Are Entrepreneurship Programs in High Demand?

Business degree programs are always in high demand. While loads of students work on degrees in liberal arts or science, most of them will eventually enter the world of business. Thus, the smart money is on a business degree, including a business degree that concentrates on entrepreneurship.

Students who study entrepreneurship must necessarily learn about most every aspect of the business world. They need to understand how to manage debt, market products, hire the best people, and finance future ventures. These skills are all in demand. Thus, if a student is unable to launch their dream company upon graduation, they will be able to land a job with an existing company.

That experience will lend them greater insights into how business operates in the real world. They'll be able to see how debt impacts a company, how taxation works out in the real world, and even how to best market a product or service. Furthermore, if they remain entrepreneurial minded, they will surely build an invaluable network of talented people.

Thus, since entrepreneurship programs are so flexible, it's easy to see why they are in such high demand. They teach students all of the fundamental skills involved in business while also providing them with insights into launching their own firm. Entrepreneurship students even have exercises where they simulate launching a company, from writing a business plan, through securing a business loan, and eventually launching their products to the market. In fact, many entrepreneurial students launch small businesses before they even graduate.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Entrepreneurship?

The possible outcomes for a degree in entrepreneurship are nearly endless. Entrepreneurship degree programs teach students all about the world of business. They learn to develop a business plan, assemble a team, secure a business loan or grant, and launch their product. They also learn how to research their market and test for consumer demand within their sector. All of these skills are vital to any career in business.

In fact, many business leaders like to hire entrepreneurial-minded students, especially those with an academic background in this area. They love to have employees who thrive on creative ideas, who are less afraid of great risk, and who also have fundamental business knowledge in multiple areas. Thus, entrepreneurial students not only have the skills and knowledge to launch their own firms, but they are tremendous assets to their employers, should they decide to work for someone else.

Working for someone as an employee is not the focus of entrepreneurial dreams, however. Rather, working for an existing concern can provide terrific opportunities to learn and grow as a businessperson. This opportunity grows even larger when entrepreneurs join smaller start-up organizations. Those start-ups can show a budding entrepreneur how to pursue venture capital, develop a product, and launch that product to the specific market for which it is designed.

Since these days there are so many tech startups, a non-technically minded entrepreneurship student may feel somewhat left out. However, their business knowledge will certainly apply even if they don't know Javascript from C++. They can still work as financial wizards, marketing geniuses, or human resources experts. As they ride the tides of start-up volatility, entrepreneurial minded professionals will gain the sort of strength they will later need when they launch their own small companies.

Entrepreneurship Graduates Earn More After College

While it's hard to track how much an entrepreneurship graduate can earn if they launch a successful venture, when these students work for others, they tend to do very well indeed. In fact, these business school graduates are known to earn an average salary of over $61,000. This number is gleaned from salaries for account managers, who earn an average of around $55,000 to marketing directors who earn around $88,000 on average.

In fact, those entrepreneurship students who focus on marketing see an average salary of over $70,000. This is a great payday, and it doesn’t even account for any possible bonuses, benefits, or other non-salary compensation. Thus, a very successful entrepreneurship graduate who leads their marketing team to new highs could see their salary jump over $100,000 after they cash their bonus check.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurship graduates who focus on leadership are known to have their salaries climb even higher. This specific degree is known to help professionals earn over $136,000, on average, as marketing directors. They also excel as business development managers, account coordinators, and operations analysts, among other career options.

However, if an entrepreneurship student decides to launch their own business, the sky is the limit. Upon starting their firm, they will be the chief executive officer by default. Their salary will likely be on the small side, especially at the launch of their firm. However, savvy entrepreneurs will save their business some payroll taxes by paying themselves primarily with bonuses. This will boost their earnings and they can still report a lower salary. Thus, they help their company thrive while receiving the pay they deserve.


  • What are the requirements for a degree in entrepreneurship?
    This will differ from program to program. However, most entrepreneurship students will need to understand how to create an expert business plan, market their business, and attain financing for the whole venture. Prior to enrollment, many business schools require a high GPA, letter(s) of recommendation, and perhaps a strong record of extra-curricular leadership experience.
  • Do entrepreneurship programs require a GRE or GMAT?
    While many master’s degree programs are deprecating these admissions examinations, they still may be required. At the undergraduate level, university students may need to submit applications to the business school. These applications will need to reflect the school's GPA and other requirements.
  • Will earning a master’s help you move up in entrepreneurship?
    While the whole point of a degree in entrepreneurship is to be your own boss, graduate work in entrepreneurship will certainly help your firm thrive. That is, there are many brilliant inventors or other creative people who may be able to conceive marketable ideas, they need these entrepreneurship degrees to learn how to administrate a company that will actually develop and sell their groundbreaking product or service.
  • How long does it take to get a degree in entrepreneurship?
    Most undergraduate degrees in entrepreneurship are designed to take four years, though some may spill over by a semester or two. Master's degree programs for entrepreneurship, on the other hand, take around two years. Those undergraduate students who are certain that they want to go directly into a master’s program can find accelerated MBA programs whereby they undergo a rigorous five-year program in which they complete both their undergraduate and master’s degrees.

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