Top 100 Affordable Hospitality Management Schools

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Some future college students may be certain they want a career in hospitality management, while others aren’t even sure what career this term covers. While this major can go by different names, such as hospitality and tourism management or hotel, restaurants, and tourism management, each degree program tends to contain similar goals for students - to learn about how to manage a location that offers hospitality services to a variety of customers, often from all over the world. whether you are looking to run a world-class resort or find your way into the cruise ship industry, this major is definitely one prospective students should consider, no matter where the future hospitality manager finds a job.

Degree programs in hospitality management are available at all levels, from an associate degree up to a master’s degree. Each degree program educates students who want to help clients find fun places to vacation or tour a different country. Some students may plan to open a bed-and-breakfast or to buy and operate a hotel.

As students consider their options, there is no doubt they are likely to give more serious consideration to hospitality management degree programs offered by schools with more affordable tuition and fees. After all, cost is a major factor in the decision of which school to attend for nearly all students.

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Top 100 Affordable Hospitality Management College Rankings

Organizations that rank colleges and universities offer a service that can help students to make good choices as they decide which school they will attend. Statistics and percentages change rapidly, so we work to stay as current as possible in our rankings. Using sticker prices that were accurate five years ago results in students paying more for tuition, room and board, books, and other fees than they anticipated. Students need to know which schools offer the best value for their money, and rankings is one of the best ways to do that.

Our rankings use statistics such as retention rates, graduation rates, and graduate salaries so that future students are able to accurately choose which schools to apply to, based on their career plans. Choosing a school with a low admission rate and a high graduation rate gives assurance to the student and their parents that the exclusivity the university touts actually leads to positive outcomes for students who may be paying top dollar for their education.

University Headquarters draws data from government resources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and College Scorecard. We also use one of the best-known job search sites: PayScale. The data is up-to-date and offers knowledge about occupational pay rates and the return on investment a student can expect depending on where they attend school and what job they hope to enter afterwards.

Not only do we provide up to date information so that students can gain an objective view of the colleges they are considering, but we also take into account the number of programs available in case students end up switching to a new major. It’s always easier to stay within the same school, even if you choose to complete a different degree. And we include in our calculations the availability of online options. This may not be important for every student but having the option can provide flexibility even for students who attend on campus.


CUNY New York City College of Technology

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,320
    • Out-of-state: $15,270
  • Net Price: $5,097
  • Retention Rate: 68%
  • Total Enrollment: 17,036
  • Undergrad Students: 17,036
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 18%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 157
  • CUNY New York City College of Technology

College of the Ozarks

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $19,960
    • Out-of-state: $19,960
  • Net Price: $7,505
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,546
  • Undergrad Students: 1,546
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 9
  • College of the Ozarks

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: 40
  • Utah Valley University

University of North Texas at Dallas

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,143
    • Out-of-state: $21,787
  • Net Price: $8,491
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,209
  • Undergrad Students: 3,419
  • Graduate Students: 790
  • Graduation Rate: 37%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 4
  • University of North Texas at Dallas

Kent State University at Ashtabula

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,229
    • Out-of-state: $15,105
  • Net Price: $8,912
  • Retention Rate: 57%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,064
  • Undergrad Students: 2,064
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 26%
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Kent State University at Ashtabula

Florida International University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,565
    • Out-of-state: $18,963
  • Net Price: $8,988
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 58,711
  • Undergrad Students: 49,326
  • Graduate Students: 9,385
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 641
  • Florida International University

South Seattle College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,214
    • Out-of-state: $4,214
  • Net Price: $9,159
  • Retention Rate: NA
  • Total Enrollment: 6,141
  • Undergrad Students: 6,141
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 14
  • South Seattle College

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: 36%
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Northeastern State University

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,403
    • Out-of-state: $22,562
  • Net Price: $9,853
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 20,196
  • Undergrad Students: 16,581
  • Graduate Students: 3,615
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 16
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of South Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,410
    • Out-of-state: $17,324
  • Net Price: $10,004
  • Retention Rate: 91%
  • Total Enrollment: 44,246
  • Undergrad Students: 32,684
  • Graduate Students: 11,562
  • Graduation Rate: 74%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 38
  • University of South Florida
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Why a Degree from an Affordable Hospitality Management School?

Students who plan to become a professional in hospitality management tend to achieve their goal in one of three ways.

Their first avenue into this field is to earn their high school diploma and then begin working at a hotel in one of several positions. They may start out working in housekeeping and then move up to the front desk. After working for several years at this hotel, or at different hotels, they may have accumulated enough knowledge and experience to be offered an opportunity to manage the entire hotel or a department within the hotel.

Another way into the field is to earn an associate degree in hospitality management. If students also earn certificates pertinent to the field, they give themselves a better chance to move up.

A third way to begin working in the field is to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree in either hospitality or hotel management. Most chain hotels prefer to hire candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management so that, when they graduate, they may begin working competently and with existing knowledge of the challenges they may face.

Hospitality managers work for an industry that has learned how to market the enjoyment that guests may experience while they are on a vacation or business trip. As students, managers may earn their degrees while enrolled in their school’s college of business. It’s best to enter this field if you know that you will enjoy helping people and working out problems as they arise without much assistance from a higher-level manager. Eventually, those who find success in this field may even begin their own hospitality businesses.

Choosing an Affordable Hospitality Management College

As students complete high school, graduate, and begin making plans for college, they may only just be realizing the huge range of options open to them: Should they choose a “big-name” college or a state university? What is accreditation and is it really that important? What do they want to major in? What can they do about the high cost of school? Will they really qualify for financial aid? They worry about finding a high-quality online degree program if they can’t leave home for college and whether or not those programs will give them a valuable degree in the same way their on-campus counterparts do.

For those students who already have an idea or three about what industry they want to work within in their adult years, they can more easily research the colleges and universities with the degrees they are interested in. One of the most important parts of finding a college or university to attend is making sure that they will provide you with the degree you need. If you aren’t sure what you want to major in, you should consider attending a larger school that offers more variety in their available degree programs.

Next, you’ll want to consider the current sticker prices of the schools on your list. Tuition may be adjusted upward every year or so and you should have a discussion with your family about what is affordable and what is out of reach. This may lead to the removal of some of those big-name universities from your list, but don’t do this precipitously. You may also want to consider the “net price”, a statistic that many schools track as their financial aid departments are able to help students find scholarships, grants, and federal student loans to offset the cost of their schooling.

One of the biggest factors for students to consider is accreditation. Due to federal financial aid requirements, schools must have regional accreditation. Schools without accreditation don’t tend to offer high-quality degree programs, students attending these programs are not able to qualify for federal financial assistance, and students who transfer from an unaccredited school may not have their earned credits accepted at other institutions.

The programs students are interested in should hold regional or national accreditation. Students may also look for programmatic accreditation if they know what major they are looking to declare; professional associations offer accreditation to degree programs at universities and colleges if the curriculum and faculty are both high quality.

Additionally, it’s important to note that, while not always available, online degree programs are not inferior to on-campus programs. Students who can’t attend in person because they live too far away often benefit greatly from the offering of online programs. These students may have work or may have family obligations that make in-person attendance impossible, but the online degrees students earn today are just as highly regarded as the on-campus degrees earned at any time in history, as long as accreditation is taken into account.

Online Options

Universities may offer a mix of on-campus, online, and hybrid (both on-campus and online) degree programs. Many schools have successfully taken degree programs offered on-campus and adjusted the curricula to fit an online or hybrid format for students who choose online learning. There are online hospitality management programs that have been created specifically for current professionals in the hospitality workspace.

These programs have also been able to develop a network of connections within the hospitality profession. Such networks include Compass Group, Marriott, and others. Understanding that industry professionals want to boost their careers through education, these schools don’t force students to make the choice of school or work. Online degree programs require a minimum of a two-year commitment from students who enroll.

Online hospitality management degrees are most often housed within the university or college’s school of business, which gives students the exposure to business topics that they need to succeed once they are in the work force. These topics include law, HR, ethics, marketing, leadership, revenue management, and strategic planning, as well as other classes.

Just as an on-campus hospitality management degree program encourages industry networking, online degree programs do their best to offer this perk as well. Students are able to interact with fellow students from other countries and add them to their professional networks. They are also able to learn at their own pace, keeping in mind work and family commitments.

Are Hospitality Management Programs in High Demand?

Jobs in the hotel and tourism sector are growing rapidly. Graduates of degrees such as a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management know how fast the industry changes. Students who enroll in these types of programs learn not only hospitality and tourism, but they also learn about data analysis, marketing, human resources, operations management and finance, as each of these relates to careers in hospitality management.

Students who are currently in a hospitality management degree program may be able to find positions in destination management, food service, hotels, restaurants, and event management. In 2017 the annual revenue for U.S. hotels was $185 billion. During this time period, people paid $18 billion into the cruise industry. Graduates of an MBA in Hospitality management should be able to find positions as hotel directors, global development managers, directors of sales and marketing, tourism coordinators, and director of financial planning.

Because of changes in the hospitality management field, new positions are appearing that offer remote work through online portals. This includes jobs in positions with online travel booking, travel blogging, and more. These changes have also made partnerships between short-term rentals and businesses possible. The projected growth for graduates of MBA-hospitality management degree programs is 33%. Tracking with this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also says that, as of 2018, at least 1,139,000 job openings in the travel and hospitality sector were waiting to be filled.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Hospitality Management?

Hospitality management is a wide field that allows graduates to choose the area in which they see themselves working. Event planning, food and beverage service, tourism, travel, hotel management, casino oversight and management, are all options.

Graduates will have learned all about administration, daily business operations, human resources, marketing, financial management, budgeting, revenue forecasting, communication, and law and best practices surrounding food service. The degree they earn is just the beginning of their career, where they may choose whichever avenue most interests them and still achieve success.

If students are passionate about creating high-quality meals, they may want to enter this field as an executive chef. In this role, they may work in hotels, restaurants, and cruise ships. If they choose event planning, graduates may work in convention centers, wedding planning companies, event planning agencies, or hotels. The positions in this field include fundraiser, meeting or convention planner, and event planner.

In the travel sector, hospitality management professionals may work as travel agents or they may find their niche as a destination marketing manager. Working in food and beverage management, graduates may find themselves in lodging, sports venue management, or conference and event planning management. There are a huge variety of options, though graduates will have to be prepared for the reality of managing large groups of workers, making do when there are issues, and doing everything in their power to make their customers happy.

Hospitality Management Graduates Earn More After College

Graduates with bachelor’s degrees in hospitality management begin their careers earning around $34,000 on average, though this depends on their specific position. At the mid-point of their careers, they earn annual salaries of $57,000. And in their late careers, their annual salary may rise to $132,000.

Earning a degree that is more liberal arts-related, such as a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality, may mean that graduates will earn a little less, even if they work as hospitality managers. Early career salary for these graduates is $30,000 and mid-career wages rise to $59,000. However, their late-career salary takes a significant leap up to $96,000. Earning certificates could boost these numbers higher, it will just take a bit more time.

Earning a Bachelor of Business Administration may allow graduates to earn a slightly higher annual salary. Their mid-career salary goes up to $58,000, with their late career salary increasing closer to $159,000.

Earning a certificate in school is another way into the hospitality management field. The hospitality management professional who has earned their certificate in this field may earn $52,000 annually.

By earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Hospitality Management, a hospitality professional can start their career with an average salary of $36,000. Their late-career salary increases to an average of $177,000.


  • Can a degree in hospitality management allow you to get a job in another country?
    Yes, it can. Depending on the student’s career choice, they may be able to find a position overseas. After working in a hospitality management position in the U.S., they may spot a position in Europe or Asia. However, students who are interested in these opportunities specifically will probably do well to consider adding a new language to their study program.
  • Are there online degrees in hospitality management?
    Students in every state may need to choose an online degree program in hospitality management. State universities and even Ivy League colleges may have hospitality management degree programs in online formats, as well as hybrid and on-campus options.
  • What is the top potential salary you might expect with a degree in hospitality management?
    While a graduate in hospitality management may have a median annual salary of $51,000, they may be able to expect their salary to increase to $75,000 later in their career. This also doesn’t take into account bonuses or profit-sharing options.
  • Do you need to earn a master’s degree or MBA in hospitality management?
    While earning a Master of Management in Hospitality may give students a stronger edge in the hospitality job market, it isn’t a mandatory requirement. Graduates who earn their bachelor’s degrees in hospitality management often go on to have lucrative, satisfying careers in this field. However, students who are making a career change or who want to add to their credentials should consider a master’s.
  • What type of hospitality management degree should you get: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, MBA, etc.?

    Students wanting a career in hotel management may want to choose the degree level they feel would best meet their career aspirations. A two-year associate degree may lead them into a position as a lodging manager. A bachelor’s degree in hospitality and event management teaches students many more business topics than an associate degree might have time for. Taking a course in ethics may also give them more tools they need to manage hotels, restaurants, or country clubs.

    Earning an MBA in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management may result in a graduate landing a position as an event coordinator or another high-level position, such as managing a region for a large hotel chain.

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