AACSB vs Regional Accreditation

  • Last Post 29 May 2014
Defiant posted this 15 February 2014 - Last edited 14 March 2016

Hello all, I have a choice between two online MBA programs. The first one is through an NCA-HLC accredited liberal arts college, that operates a brick and mortar campus about 30 miles from my home. The second one is through an AACSB accredited public university, that operates a brick and mortar campus about 375 miles away, also in my home state. I plan on staying in my home area for the foreseeable future, to pursue career opportunities. In this case, would one scenario trump the other? I realize AACSB accreditation is the "gold standard", but is there an advantage to attending an online program that is closer to home? Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

jbrynsvold posted this 18 February 2014 - Last edited 06 August 2015

I think if you are taking everything 100% online, it doesn't really matter where the school you are taking classes from is located. If you want to take a mix of online and on-campus evening classes or plan on doing something like that in the future, I'd go with the one closer to you. Otherwise, go to the one with the higher accreditation.

Kayleigh posted this 19 February 2014 - Last edited 26 October 2015

Hi Defiant,

Of the hundreds of online business schools tracked by GetEducated’s National Survey of Online MBAs, 42% hold AACSB accreditation while the other 58% do not.

There are 5 main factors that determine business school prestige. Consider these when deciding between an AACSB or a regionally / nationally accredited school for your MBA.

Here is a summary of what to ask yourself:

  • GRE / GMAT Requirement — Have you taken the test? If not, are you comfortable taking it and confident you can score above average?
  • Academic Prestige — How important is it to you that your degree be the most prestigious?

  • Career Sector — Will you be applying for jobs in a very competitive environment where an AACSB MBA could give you an edge over the competition?
  • Career Goals — Do you intend to teach at a business school in the future? If so, you should definitely consider the AACSB MBA.
  • Cost — Are you hoping to save money on your education or are you willing to pay more for an AACSB MBA?

Click through for more information on how to choose an online mba

Another factor to consider is how important a sense of community is to you in terms of your education? If you foresee yourself making regular trips to campus for community events, extra-curricular activities, or any other reason you may be happier with the school closer to home just for the sake of convenience.

If you're open to looking at other MBA options make sure to check out GetEducated's exclusive regionally accredited online MBA rankings and AACSB online MBA rankings.

These two lists will show you which prestigious business schools offer affordable MBA programs.

Best of luck!




roy_abhi posted this 29 May 2014 - Last edited 06 August 2015

Thank for providing the useful information. Although I am not in favor of doing online MBA but depends on the situation and current position. After the internet facility this type of courses are now in demand as students just need a pc and high speed internet connect.That's it.