Careers in finance are diverse and several are expected to have job growth between 2014 and 2024 of 7-30%, with financial analysts and especially personal financial advisors expected to be in great demand in this time frame.
This article supplements previous college rankings lists of bachelor’s degrees in finance — online or otherwise. Where previous lists ranked colleges on the basis of average yearly net price, this ranking also considers several institutional factors to arrive at 25 “top value affordable” online bachelor’s degrees in finance and closely-related topics. If you are looking for such an online bachelor’s degree and considering more than just net cost, this ranking may benefit your college search. The ranking factors are described in the Ranking Methodology section at the bottom of this article.
College Ranking Dashboard Information
Each entry for the 25 colleges ranked below provides a summary of online undergrad finance degrees at the bachelor’s level. In addition to the summary for each entry, there is a “data dashboard.” In these dashboards, you can find charts and data points. The latter either come from NCES (http://nces.ed.gov/) data or are calculated. A legend for each dashboard data point list is shown below, followed by the 25 ranked colleges. The ranking methodology is at the end of this article.
- Year established: when this campus (or sometimes the parent) was founded.
- Location: location of campus, or headquarters for all-distance colleges
- In-state tuition + fees: listed average undergrad tuition plus mandatory fees for in-state students.
- Out-of-state tuition +fees: listed average undergrad tuition plus mandatory fees for out-of-state students.
- Net price: the yearly average total cost for all students (tuition, fees, books, etc.)
- %fulltime retention: % of full-time 1st-year undergrads who return
- %allDistEdu: % of undergrads who are taking all distance education courses, online delivery or otherwise.
- %someDistEdu: % of undergrads who are taking some distance education courses, online or otherwise.
- # students: total number of students at all study levels, on-campus and online.
- # undergrads: total number of undergraduate students.
- # grads: total number of graduate students.
- Graduation rate: % of undergrads who eventually graduate, based on first-time, full-time undergrads. Might be zero, if the college has no such students in a given year.
- Transfer-out rate: % of undergrads who transfer out of this college.
- Campus setting: community type and size.
- Campus housing: yes/no – are there on-campus student residence units.
- Affiliation/ governance: religious affiliation, system affiliation, or external board of regents.
- Institutional accreditation: : accrediting body for the college.
- Program accreditation: accrediting body for the degree program or parent department, if applicable.
Rankings: Top Value Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance
25: Hiram College
Student union center, Hiram College (source)
Hiram College offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Financial Management. The program prepares graduates for entry-level careers in finance and accounting in business (including banking), government and non-profit sectors.
This online degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Courses for the Major category fill 55-57 credits, Electives 15-26 credits, and General Education courses take 39-48 credits. Hiram’s collection of degree programs have earned it multiple listings in college rankings published by U.S. News and World Report (2017 Best Colleges), Princeton Review (2017 top midwest colleges), Forbes (2016 top midwest colleges), and Washington Monthly (2016 Best Bang for the Buck).
Sample courses: Financial Accounting; Corporate Finance; Cost Management; Financial Statement Analysis and Securities Valuation; Financial Decision Making.
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine (source)
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine (SJCM) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a Major in Banking. The program prepares graduates for management careers in finance and banking by combining studies in business administration with that of finance topics.
Total credit requirements for this is 128. This includes 74 credits of Business courses and 29 credits of Major Core courses. The latter must be taken through CFTEA (Center for Financial Training & Education Alliance), and as such, this program requires that students are employed a banking institution that CFTEA serves.
Sample courses: Financial Accounting; Money and Banking; Principles of Banking; Law and Banking Applications; Analyzing Financial Statements.
Immaculata University (source)
Immaculata University (IU) Business and Accounting Department offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science in Finance. Students learn the principles of finance both through curriculum courses and by participating in teamwork. Networking and entrepreneurial opportunities are part of the experience (provided through participation in Enactus.org). Career opportunities for graduates of the program include: financial analyst, financial manager, financial planner/ personal financial advisor, financial specialist, investment advisor, portfolio manager.
Completion of this online degree requires 128 credits. Students will take both an internship and a practicum. Online classes are offered in a 7-week format. Additionally, courses in accounting, business administration, economics, etc., can be added — such as through a double major or minor — to customize the degree. Graduates of the program might pursue advanced degrees and/or training in order to earn professional certifications such as CFP (Certified Financial Planner), ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant), or CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst).
Sample courses: International Finance; Money and Banking; Investments; Financial Planning; Non Profit Finance.
22: Regis University
Regis University (Regis) College of Business and Economics offers two online Finance degrees: (1) Bachelor of Science in Finance (BSF); (2) BSBA with Specialization in Finance. The university has appeared in U.S. News and World Report’s (USNWR) “Best Regional Universities West” college rankings list for 19 straight years, and has additional USNWR rankings for online education. It is also designated a military-friendly school by GI Jobs.
Both online finance programs require 128 credits for completion. The BSF curriculum includes 45 credits of Core and 30 credits of Foundational courses. Students can take 11cr of Electives and an optional Minor, or 23cr of Electives. The BSBA allows for a double specialization. (See site for details.) Regis also offers a combined BS/ Master’s program (152 credits) and a combined BS/ MBA program (158 credits).
Sample courses: Business Finance; Money and Banking; Fundamentals of Investments; Financial Analysis, Forecasting and Planning; Sources of Capital/Capital Markets.
Buena Vista University (source)
Buena Vista University (BVU) Harold Walter Siebens School of Business offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Finance degree completion program. Graduates of the program might seek employment as any of the following: auditor, financial analyst, loan officer, personal financial advisor.
This online degree is designed for students who hold a suitable associate’s degree or equivalent. Courses in the Major category total 58 credits and will be upper-division selections. This and other offered programs qualified BVU for ranking on U.S. News and World Report’s list of Top 20 Midwestern Comprehensive Colleges.
Sample courses: Managerial Finance; Corporate Finance; Analysis of Financial Statement; Financial Planning; Money and Credit Institutions.
Andres Center for Business and Education, Upper Iowa University (source)
Upper Iowa University (UIU) School of Business offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a Major in Financial Management. Possible career choices for graduates of this BSBA include: financial manager, financial analyst, personal financial advisor, financial services sales agent, financial operations manager.
The major for this online degree takes up 18 credits, while 36 credits of Business Core courses are required as well. Remaining credits are filled with General Education, Elective and other courses as necessary. It is amongst UIU’s collection of programs for which U.S. News and World Report listed the university on their 2016 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs college rankings.
Sample courses: Money and Capital Markets; Investments; Intermediate Financial Management; Strategic Management; International Finance.
College of Online and Continuing Education, Southern New Hampshire University (source)
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) College of Online and Continuing Education (COCE) offers several online Finance degree options: (1) Bachelor of Science in Finance (BSF) with optional concentration option in Financial Planning; (2) BS Accounting Finance (BSAF); (3) BS in Business Studies (BSBS) with a major in Business Finance. The Financial Planning concentration of the BSF program specifically prepares graduates for work in financial advising of client assets, etc. Potential careers for graduates of these programs, collectively, include: account manager, budget analyst, financial analyst, financial consultant, personal banker, risk analyst.
Each of these online finance programs requires 120 credits for completion, and combines courses in the categories of General Education, Business Core, Major, Free Electives. See site for specific requirement details for each degree program.
Sample courses: Corporate Finance; Multinational Corporate Finance; Fundamentals of Investment; Financial Regulations and Ethics; Wealth Management.
Webber International University (source)
Webber International University (WIU) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science in Finance. The program prepares graduates with an understanding of finance concepts, including how private and public sector finance interact, as well as their relationship to the economy. Possible careers including financial management roles.
This online BS Finance requires 30 credits for courses for the Major, which includes an optional internship. WIU has an “Adult Program” track which allows students to take courses online or on-campus (including a Saturday morning option).
Sample courses: Corporate Finance; Managing Financial Institutions; Finance Seminar; Investments; International Trade and Finance.
Dallas Baptist University (source)
Dallas Baptist University (DBU) College of Professional Studies (CPS) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS) with a major in Finance. The program combines a a finance education with Christian values and prepares graduates for careers in financial planning or management.
Students will complete 120 credits for graduation. Credit breakdown consists of 30cr for the Finance Major, 41-51cr for Electives, 39-49cr for General Studies. Additional elective courses can be selected to customize the program for students who are interested in related career areas such as insurance or real estate.
Sample courses: Securities Analysis; Money and Financial Institutions; Personal Financial Planning; Introduction to Risk Management and Insurance; Real Estate Finance and Investments .
Administration building, Northwood University (source)
Northwood University (NU) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with Finance major. The program prepares students for careers in financial services roles, including banking, securities, insurance, taxes, financial advising and others.
Students need to complete 123 credits for graduation. Besides general education, curriculum courses combine topics in management, economics, marketing, accounting, law, etc. Online courses can be combined with in-class courses, if a student chooses. An option for a 4-year combined BBA/ MBA is also available for qualified students.
Sample courses: Introduction to Finance; Financial Institutions and Simulation; Financial Management; Capital Markets and Analysis; Real Estate Finance and Analysis.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Goodell Hall, originally built as the UML library (source)
University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMA) Department of Finance (part of the Isenberg School of Management) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with Finance major. Isenberg emphasizes that students learn not just about money but also its interaction with risk and time.
This online finance degree requires 120 credits for completion. Courses in the Finance Major Core requirement are a mix of business and finance and take up a total of 15 credits, while Finance Major Electives take 15 credits. Isenberg Core (business) courses fulfil another 34 credits, while Breadth and General Education courses (both non-business) make up the remaining credits. The program has the same curriculum as the on-campus BBA Finance, and is taught by the same faculty.
Sample courses: Principles of Financial Accounting; Corporate Finance; Financial Modeling; Investments; Bank Management.
Penn State Erie, Behrend College (source)
Penn State Behrend (PSB) is one of three Pennsylvania State University campuses that ranked highly in the candidate colleges for this list. The other two are Penn State Harrisburg (Middletown, Pennsylvania) and the highly-regarded main PSU campus (University Park, Pennsylvania). All Penn State online programs are actually offered through the World Campus division, which has ranked either #1 or #3 by U.S. News four straight years (2014-2017) for online bachelor’s degrees. In the case of the online finance program, the curriculum was produced by the Behrend finance department’s faculty (part of the Black School of Business) and is also taught by them. Black is also ranked as a top business school by U.S. News and Princeton Review, amongst others.
PBS offers their online finance program as a Bachelor of Science in Finance, which prepares students for a range of careers in academic institutions, business, finance, government, labor, etc. The program, which requires 120 credits for completion, boasts a financial services lab with technology providing financial data comparable to that used by Wall Street investors. Students interested in other topics can take the Finance major concurrently with another major: Accounting, Business Economics, Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies.
Sample courses: Financial and Managerial Accounting; Corporate Finance; Money and Banking; International Finance; Financial Statement Analysis.
Johnson Center, Cleary University (source)
Cleary University (Cleary) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Business Administration with Major in Accounting and Finance (CMA Track). Students gain skills in both accounting and finance, including auditing, taxation, managing cash resources, investing, etc., and are prepared for the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) professional designation exam. Graduates can seek management careers in accounting or finance, which includes financial analysis, financial management, investment banking, real estate, entrepreneurship and more.
This is a 120-credit program that combines finance topics with a broad range of business/ business administration topics. Case studies are integrated into the curriculum, and courses are taught by faculty with professional experience.
Sample courses: Introduction to Business Finance; Corporate Finance; Investment and Portfolio Management; Financial Markets and Institution; Advanced Corporate Finance.
Davenport University, Livonia Campus (source)
Davenport University (DU) Donald W. Maine College of Business offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Finance Major. Graduates of the program are prepared for a variety of career opportunities including: auditor, CFP – Certified Financial Planner, CFO – Chief Financial Officer, controller, financial analyst, risk analyst, treasurer. Some of these roles require advanced studies and/or professional certification.
Students will complete 120 credits for graduation. Of this, 39cr are for Foundations of Excellence courses (various topics), 32cr for Foundations of Business courses, 43-49cr for Finance Major courses. There is a choice between a 15cr Financial Planning Specialty OR three finance/ accounting Electives (9-10 credits). Finally, 0-6cr is for Open Electives, and 3cr for either a capstone or internship. The university itself has a Veteran-Friendly Gold Level award from Military Times.
Sample courses: Corporate Finance; Investment Planning; Money and Banking: Treasury Management Focus; Financial Analysis for Business Managers; International Finance.
Perry Library, Old Dominion University (source)
Old Dominion University (ODU) Department of Finance (part of the Strome College of Business) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with Finance major. An online minor in Financial Management is an alternative. (An additional on-campus-only option is the minor in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.) Career opportunities for graduates include: account executive, capital budgeting manager, credit manager, financial analyst, lending officer, portfolio manager/ analyst, securities analyst.
This online degree requires 120 credits. However, it is available either as a full four-year program or as a degree completion program (for students with a suitable associate’s degree or equivalent). Fourteen courses in the Common Body of Knowledge (business-related) category take up 42 credits. Another 11 courses (33cr) are part of the Finance Major Coursework category, which includes business and finance electives.
Sample courses: Principles of Finance; Legal Environments of Business; Risk Management; International Financial Management; Financial Decision Making.
National University (source)
National University (NU) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management (BSFM). The program prepares graduates for careers in corporate financial management.
This is a quarter-credit (qc) system, with at least 180qc required to obtain the online BFSM degree. Major Prep consists of six courses (27qc), Core Business requires five courses (22.5qc), Core Finance requires 11 courses (49.5qc). Overall, the Major has 16 courses (72qc), including the five for Core Business.
Sample courses: Business Finance; Financial Institutions; Investments; Working Capital Management; Risk Management and Insurance.
Metropolitan State University (source)
Metropolitan State University (MSU) College of Management offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science ( BS) Finance. Students enhance their existing quantitative skills and understanding of economics, math and statistics with the principles of finance business. This plus additional skills will lead graduates of the program to numerous career opportunities including: financial officer, fund manager, investment analyst, investment broker, personal financial advisor, research analyst.
Students need to complete 120 credits for graduation. Foundation courses take up 22cr, Business Core courses take 20cr, Finance Major 8cr, Finance Electives 16cr. Courses may be taken entirely online or combined with on-campus sessions. A double-major option exists as well. See site for details.
Sample courses: Corporate Finance; Investments and Portfolio Analysis; Financial Derivatives; International Finance; Financial Markets and Institutions.
Sargeant Student Center, University of Minnesota Crookston (source)
University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance, which also has a 28-credit Minor option. The program prepares students for a range of career opportunities including: actuary, asset manager, capital markets analyst, financial analyst (various), financial manager, investment banker, money market analyst, personal financial planner.
Total credit requirements for graduation is 120. This includes 65cr for courses in the Finance Major, and 22cr for Business Core courses. This online program has a compulsory summer term, with tuition the same for all students, out-of-state or in-state. This is part of UMC’s offering that has earned it a spot on U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs college rankings list, as well as on USNWR’s Veteran’s Bachelor’s ranking list.
Sample courses: Managerial Finance; Corporate Finance; Estate Planning; Insurance and Risk Management; Money, Banking and Financial Institutions.
Park University, Mackay Hall (source)
Park University (Park) School of Business (part of the College of Management) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance (choice of Financial Management or Financial Planning tracks). Students learn from a program that combines business administration with finance principles, to prepare for careers in private or public organizations. Other paths include advanced degrees in either area of study, to increase higher-level career opportunities.
This online degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Business Core courses fill 36 credits, concentration/ track courses fill another 24 credits, and Liberal Education fills 37 credits. The remaining credits are filled by various other degree requirements.
Sample courses: Personal Financial Mgmt; Financial Management; Problems in Corporate Finance; Financial Institutions and Markets; Risk and Insurance.
Miller Campus Center, SUNY Canton (source)
SUNY College of Technology at Canton (SUNY Canton) School of Business and Liberal Arts offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a major in Finance. Graduates of the program are prepared for financial careers with banks, brokerage firms, credit unions, insurance, financial planning firms.
Students need to complete 123-124 credits to earn this online BBA degree. An internship and/or senior project is part of the curriculum. Students work on projects using real financial in select courses.
Sample courses: Introduction to Finance; Global Investments; Global Finance; Financial Derivatives; Financial Compliance and Regulations.
Missouri State, Meyer Carillon and Library with Hammons Fountain (source)
Missouri State University (MSU) Department of Finance and General Business (part of the College of Business) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science in Finance. Career opportunities for graduates of this program include roles in banking, corporate finance, public finance, credit management, financial analysis, investment management, insurance, real estate and several more areas.
Graduation requirements include completion of 128 credits. Of this, 32-33 credits are filled by courses in the Finance Major category. No minor is required for this program, which prepares students for the CFA (Certified Financial Advisor) professional licensing exam.
Sample courses: Financial Management; Personal Financial Planning; Financial Decision Making; International Financial Management; Management of Financial Institutions.
Northern State University (source)
Northern State University (NSU) Banking and Financial Services Department (part of the School of Business) offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science in Banking and Financial, which is also available as a Minor option (18 credits). Students are prepared for careers in various finance roles, including in banking, credit unions, government regulatory agencies, insurance, etc.
Completion of this online finance degree requires 46 credits of Business Core courses and 25 credits of Program requirements (banking and financial services). Additional credits are filled by general education, elective and other required courses.
Sample courses: Survey of Business; Business Statistics; Business Communications; Business Finance; Legal Environment of Business.
Dickinson State University (source)
Dickinson State University (DSU) Department of Business and Management offers one online Finance degree: a Bachelor of Science in Finance. Students will gain fundamental skills related to finance, including understanding financial statement analysis, budgeting, capital structure, cost of capital, and more. With a curriculum that combines business-related topics, graduates of the program can pursue finance-related careers in various sectors.
To obtain this online degree, students need to complete 120 credits. This includes 27cr for Finance Core courses and 34cr for Business Core courses. Remaining credits are filled by General Education, Pre-Major and Electives courses.
Sample courses: Managerial Finance; Financial Statement Analysis; Financial Institutions and Markets; Investments; Corporate Finance.
Florida International University (FIU) Department of Finance (part of the R. Kirk Landon Undergraduate School of Business) offers one online Finance program: a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with Finance Major. Graduates of the program can move on to an advanced degree and/or pursue a entry-level roles in business, banking, finance, investing and other areas.
Students will complete 120 credits for graduation. Of this, Pre-Core courses (business-related) take 21 credits and are recommended to be completed first before taking upper-division courses. Business core courses fill 27 credits, Major courses take 21 credits. Electives and general education courses make up the remainder of credits. Each online student in this program will have access to a success coach for guidance.
Sample courses: Intermediate Finance; Commercial Bank Management; Financial Markets and Institutions; Securities Analysis; International Financial Management.
Downtown Columbia, MO (source)
Columbia College (CC) School of Business Administration offers two online Finance programs: (1) Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a Finance Major; (2) Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Finance Major. (An online Minor in Finance is also available.) Graduates of these programs can pursue entry-level roles in finance across several sectors.
Students taking either online Finance major (BABA or BSBA) need to complete nine credits of Required Major courses and nine credits of Elective courses (accounting and finance choices). General Education Requirements for both take 39-41 credits. The BABA has a foreign language requirement (three credits) while both have a multicultural requirement (three credits). Other requirement details vary by program. See site for details.
Sample courses: Investments; Financial Markets and Institutions; Comprehensive Financial Planning; Risk and Insurance; Corporate Finance.
This ranking system combines affordability (60%) with a number of institutional “value” metrics (total of 40%) that together give an overall sense of a college’s reputation (or potential) with undergrad students, based on available statistics. These factors are consistently applied against all colleges listed in the NCES database (http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/) as having a bachelor’s program in Finance-related topics. E.g., the “candidate cohort.” Because of this approach, there may be some colleges here that have already been listed in our various other bachelor’s of finance rankings, as well as some newly listed.
The affordability metrics are calculated using a relative scale based on the cost values for all the initial candidate colleges. E.g., based on the minimum and maximum values for each cost metric across the candidate cohort. Where any given college’s value for that cost metric falls in the overall range determines the score in that metric for that college. For example, assume that there are about 300 colleges listed in NCES as offering a bachelor’s program in accounting. If the in-state tuition values for all 300 colleges range from $1,200 per year to $60,000 per year, points are awarded to each college based on where their in-state tuition falls in that range. The lower the relative cost value, the more points a college is awarded. This approach is applied to all three cost metrics.
Non-price metrics, on the other hand, are typically already a percentage from 0-100. So their scores are determined by applying a multiple. So if Retention (see below) is worth 10% of the overall score, each college’s full-time undergrad retention score is multiplied by 0.10, to get the value of this ranking factor’s score.
Missing values are handled differently based on what they represent. Incomplete info for a college is not penalized in most cases. However, an unreported graduation rate means a college is filtered out. Otherwise, that ranking factor is set to zero, giving colleges a chance to get ranked if enough other, more important, factors support it.
The ranking factors used in this article, in approximately declining order of weight, are as follows:
- In-state tuition — Covers relative affordability for the bulk of students.
- Out-of-state tuition — Covers relative affordability for non-resident students taking one of these online programs.
- GradRate — Score based on percentage of first-time, full-time undergrads who graduate their program. Colleges without such students may have a zero score here. However, if other ranking factors support it, the college may still appear in the 25 ranked colleges on that basis.
- Net price — Covers relative affordability for all undergrads based on average yearly net prices
- Retention — Covers the percentage of full-time undergrads continuing in degree programs after freshman year.
- OnlyDE — Score based on percentage of undergrads taking all Distance Education courses (including online) for their degree program.
- SomeDE — Score based on percentage of undergrads taking some DistEd courses for their degree program.
Note that ranking factors and their weighting may vary slightly from article to article in the “Top Value Affordable” series. In this specific list, we also filtered out colleges with below 20% graduation rate.