Best Online Bachelor’s in Finance / Economics: Students Before Profits Award

The Students Before Profits Awards were created to recognize nonprofit colleges and universities offering degrees that put students before profits and education before the bottom-line.  For our ranking of the 2017 Online Bachelor’s in Finance & Economics winners, we chose online Finance & Economics degree programs from nonprofit colleges and universities, accredited by independent and trusted accreditation boards, with lower than average tuition costs, and have ranked them by affordability.

When picking a degree program to enroll in, students are faced with a litany of factors to consider.  Deciding what school, what program, and what delivery format to choose can sometimes be overwhelming.  As more and more students are looking for ways to save money on their education and find educational experiences that can work around work obligations, students have begun turning to online degree programs.  Online degree programs tend to be much cheaper than on-campus experiences.  By trimming out all of the overhead associated with an on-campus degree program, colleges are able to save money and pass those savings on to the students.  Students also like online degree programs because they allow students to create their own schedules.  If a student is already committed to a job or an internship, this degree of flexibility is sometimes what allows the student to even attempt to gain a degree.  Online degree programs tend to also follow the same curriculum as their on-campus counterparts which means students can get the same education at a fraction of the price under much more flexible circumstances.

A Bachelor’s of Finance / Economics prepares students to begin down the career path of either finance or business.  Students in a Finance / Economics program will learn principles of financial planning, cost control, investing, economic principles, trade and much more.  These degrees can lead to entry-level positions in organizations including banking, investments, and financial services.  Students can end up working for banks, brokers, insurance companies, government agencies, and much more.  While the Bachelor’s of Finance / Economics is a great way to get a foot in the door in an entry-level position, students may decide to continue their studies and gain a Master’s in Finance in order to increase their employability as well as their starting salaries.  The starting salary for someone with a Bachelor’s of Finance / Economics is just shy of $58,000/year.

Note that tuition rates listed below are based on cost per credit and individual programs may have additional fees.

 #1. Southern New Hampshire University

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The Manchester/Hooksett campus of Southern New Hampshire is home to over 3,000 students with an additional 60,000 student attending courses at the school online.  Since the 1930s, Southern New Hampshire University has been a proud part of New Hampshires’s higher-education program.  Founded by Harry A. B. Shapiro and Gertrude Crockett Shapiro in downtown Manchester in 1932, the school was originally known as the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science.   Operating under this name for three decades, the school was later renamed to the New Hampshire College of Accounting and Commerce, and then Southern New Hampshire University.  Eventually outgrowing its original campus along the Merrimack River, the school moved to the border of Manchester and Hooksett.  Southern New Hampshire University is a private institution.

Program Overview

Students at Southern New Hampshire University are able to enroll in the school’s Bachelor of Science in Finance degree.  This program will have students learn about the art and science of money.  They will gain an understanding of investment vehicles, capital budgeting, firm valuation, risk assessment, and more.  Southern New Hampshire University offers this program entirely online and does not require any of its students to visit their main campus to complete this course of study.  Transfer credits are welcome but not required for completion of this program. A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Southern New Hampshire University’s Bachelor of Science in Finance degree is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Tuition: $38,400

#2. University of Alabama

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Accepting its first students in the year 1820, the University of Alabama is the oldest public university in the state of Alabama.  Established by the General Assembly of Alabama, the University of Alabama began accepting students right after being accepted into the Union.  Built in Tuscaloosa, the original capital of Alabama, the University of Alabama’s campus design was influenced heavily by Thomas Jefferson’s designs for the University of Virginia.  The campus features a massive library at its center and the University is organized into a system of colleges.  Over the years, the school has grown immensely and now the University of Alabama sits at the center of the state’s public higher education system.  Currently, the school enrolls almost 37,000 students.  The University of Alabama is a public institution.

Program Overview

At the University of Alabama, students are able to enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration degree.  Students in this program will study topics including Business Finance, Fraud Risk Management, Principles of Macroeconomics, Business Calculus, and much more.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the University of Alabama campus. Transfer credits are accepted into this program but are not required. A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: University of Alabama’s Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $41,250

#3. Liberty University

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Jerry Falwell, the Senior Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, founded the Lynchburg Baptist College – what would eventually become Liberty University – in 1971.  Developed to provide a Christian-based option for higher learning for students in the area, the school was located in the town of Lynchburg, Virginia.  After about four years, the school was renamed from Lynchburg Baptist College to Liberty Baptist College in 1976.  Almost a decade later in 1985, the school’s name was changed to its current name of Liberty University.  Now, the school enrolls a student body of 15,000 students at its Lynchburg campus with an additional 100,000 students enrolled through courses online. Liberty University is a public institution.

Program Overview

Students at Liberty University are able to enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Economics degree.  This program of study has students gaining a mastery of micro and macroeconomics.  By completing this course of study students will have an understanding of general business, accounting, finance, and marketing.  Liberty University offers this program entirely online and does not require students to visit the Liberty University campus to complete their studies.  Transfer credits are accepted into this program but are not required for completion.  A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Liberty University’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Economics degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $46,800

#4. Regent University

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The Christian Broadcast Network University was established in Virginia Beach, Virginia by Pat Robertson in 1977.  This school was the precursor to Regent University.  Operating under the name Christian Broadcast Network University for nearly a decade, the school changed its name to Regent University in 1990.  The school operated closely with the Christian Church, making sure to integrate many Christian values into the school.  Despite its Christian heritage, the school is welcoming of all people.  In 1997, the school began offering its Master of Arts in Business and Leadership degree entirely online, making it one of the first school’s to offer full degrees online.  Now, Regent University offers seventy different courses and enrolls 6,100 students, many of which study online.  Regent University is a private institution.  

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Business with a Concentration in Economics degree is offered to students enrolled at Regent University.  Students in this course of study will gain an understanding of topics including microeconomics, macroeconomics, entrepreneurship, economic development, and ethics.  This program is available to students entirely online.  Students are not required to visit the Regent University campus to compete their studies.  Transfer credits are accepted into this program but are not required.  A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Regent University’s Bachelor of Science in Business with a Concentration in Economics degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $47,400

#5. Oregon State University

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One of the largest public research universities in the northwest United States, Oregon State University has the distinction of the “highest research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.  Originally a community school established in 1856, shortly after the school became Corvallis College.  Soon after that, the school became a recipient of the a land grant through the Morill Act, the school was renamed to Corvallis State Agricultural College and began offering degrees.  By 1961, the school’s name was changed to Oregon State University.  Enrolling a student body of nearly 26,000 students, Oregon State University is located in Corvallis, Oregon.  Students are able to choose from over 200 different degree programs offered by the school.  Oregon State University is a public institution. 

Program Overview

Students are able to enroll in a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science in Economics degree at Oregon State University.  This program of study has students studying public policy, economics, law, and business.  Students will be prepared to enter into roles in both the public and private sector by working to develop their quantitative and analytical skills.  This program of study is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Oregon State University campus.  Transfer credits are welcome into this program but are not required.  A minimum of 180 quarter units are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Oregon State University’s Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science in Economics degree is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Tuition: $47,400

#6. Limestone College

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Father and son, Thomas and William Curtis, established Limestone College in the year 1845. The two scholars, Thomas and William, traveled from England to the United States wanting to provide women with an opportunity to gain a higher education.  The duo settled in South Carolina and shortly thereafter opened Limestone College, the first women’s college.  Now one of the oldest schools in the state of South Carolina, Limestone College is named due to its location being close to a nearby limestone quarry.  Established and still located in Gaffney, South Carolina, Limestone College still retains many of the original building from the school’s original construction.  Remaining an all-female college until the 1960s, Limestone College then began accepting male students.  Currently, Limestone College enrolls 1,000 students at its Gaffney campus and additional 2,500 students online.  Limestone College is a private institution.

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance degree is offered to students at Limestone College.  This program of study has students learning how firms make financial decisions, acquire and allocate funds, how financial markets operate, and the way the free market interacts with economic welfare.  This program of study is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Limestone College campus.  Transfer credits are accepted into this program but are not required for completion.  A minimum of 123 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Limestone College’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $51,660

#7. Franklin University

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Home to 8,000 students, Franklin University began as the YMCA School of Commerce.  Even dating back to its humble origins, Franklin University had a strong tradition and history of providing higher education to adults, young and old.  Established in 1902, the YMCA School of Commerce offered opportunities for higher education to locals for the next thirty years.  Eventually, the school had become to popular that the YMCA no longer was able to house the program.  In 1933, the school moved out of the YMCA and dissolved its relationship with the organization.  After moving, the school changed its name from the YMCA School of Commerce to Franklin University.  To accommodate continued growth, Franklin University has added an additional campus in Indianapolis in the year 2009.  Franklin University is a private institution.

Program Overview

Students at Franklin University are able to enroll in the school’s Bachelor of Business Economics degree. This program of study has students focusing on topics including economic modeling and forecasting, managerial economics, sustainable economic development, global and emerging markets, and economic reporting and analysis.  Students in this program are able to gain their degree entirely online and are not required to visit the Franklin University campus to complete their studies.  Transfer credits are accepted into this program but are not required.  A minimum of 124 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Franklin University’s Bachelor of Business Economics degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $61,256

#8. Pennsylvania State University

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Most often referred to as Penn State, Pennsylvania State University opened to students in 1855.  Originally, the school was opened as the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania.  Soon after the school received a donation of two-hundred acres of land, allowing the school to grow and expand its curriculum.  The school was renamed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania to account for this change in scope.  A few years later, the school became a recipient of federal funding through the Morill Land-Grant Act, allowing the school to continue to expand.  By 1874, the school was ready to change its name once more to Pennsylvania State College. Eighty years later, the school was renamed to Pennsylvania State University after receiving university status.  Now, the school enrolls over 100,000 students.  Pennsylvania State University is a public institution.

Program Overview

At Pennsylvania State University, students are able to enroll in a Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree.  Through this course of study, students will learn how to examine trends, carry out quantitative analysis, learn strategic leadership techniques, and how to design policy and make recommendations. This program is available entirely online and does not require students to visit the Pennsylvania State University campus to complete their studies.  Transfer credits are welcome but not required to complete their degree.  A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Pennsylvania State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Tuition: $70,080

#9. National University

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From its date of establishment, National University has focused heavily on providing students with the ability to gain an education on their own terms.  Through this commitment to flexibility, National University has offered programs for working professionals from the beginning that allow students to take their courses at night, on the weekend, and eventually online.  Former Lieutenant Commander of the United States Navy, David Chigos, founded National University to serve working professionals in 1972.  Established in San Diego, California, the school soon moved locations to La Jolla, California.  Afterwards, National University began adding satellite campuses in Virginia, Nevada, Georgia, and Florida.  Now, National University has grown to become the second-largest non-profit university in the state of California, and the twelfth-largest in the United States.  National University is a private institution.

Program Overview

Students at National University are able to enroll in the school’s Bachelor of Science in Financial Management degree.  By taking this course of study, students will learn how to explain the financial objectives of an organization, identify ethics issues, understand the practical aspects of corporate finance, and much more.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the National University campus to complete their studies.  Transfer credits are accepted into this program but are not required.  A minimum of 180 quarter units are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: National University’s Bachelor of Science in Financial Management degree is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Tuition: $74,880

#10. Marist College

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An institute of Catholic Brothers dedicated to the education of teachers, the Marist Brothers established Marist College in the year 1929.  The Marist Brothers broke ground on their new school in 1905 just outside of Poughkeepsie, New York.  The school would first be called Saint Ann’s Hermitage and eventually renamed to Marist Normal Training School in 1929. Continuing its growth, in 1946 the State of New York granted the Marist Normal Training School a charter as an official four-year college.  The school was renamed to Marian College, and then, two years later, the school was renamed to Marist College.  Now, the school enrolls almost 6,500 students and offers forty different bachelor’s programs and twelve different master’s programs.  Marist College is a private institution.

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree is offered to students at Marist College.  Students will gain a understanding of market economy behavior, while learning the analytical and practical skills needed to understand and analyze economic activity.  This program is available entirely online.  Students are not required to to visit the Marist College campus to complete their studies.  Transfer credits are accepted into the program but are not required.  A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Marist College’s Bachelor of Arts in Economics is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Tuition: $78,000