Deciding whether to complete your business degree often depends on the financial commitment and potential return on investment (ROI). As you weigh your options, it’s important to answer these questions: How much does a business degree cost? What are the benefits of finishing my degree? Is there any financial assistance available to me?

For professionals wanting to advance to leadership roles or entrepreneurship, the advantages of a business degree often outweigh the cost of returning to school. The knowledge and skills you gain, along with numerous networking opportunities, can lead to better job prospects and earning potential, ultimately justifying the initial investment.

If you’re still unsure about returning to school to complete your business degree, here’s a breakdown of what financial factors you should consider before enrolling.

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The Cost of Returning to School

Before you enroll in a degree completion program, it’s important to take the time to understand the full cost of returning to school. The more you financially prepare, the easier it’ll be to focus on your studies and get the most value from your education.

Here are the most common expenses to consider as you develop a financial strategy for completing your business degree.

Tuition and Fees

While tuition typically makes up the biggest portion of your expenses, considering the cost breakdown can help you choose the most beneficial option.

For example, public state universities often have mandatory fees per course in addition to cost per credit. By comparison, the Sloane School of Business and Communication at Regis College has a straightforward cost-per-credit model without added fees that may increase annually. This means a credit costs $399—meaning a typical three-credit course is $1,197.

“When you factor in tuition and mandatory fees, Regis is actually less expensive than schools like University of Massachusetts Lowell, Boston, Dartmouth, or Amherst, and more on par with community colleges in the area,” says William Koehler, dean of Regis’s Sloane School of Business and Communication. ”So our program is very price competitive, which puts us at a price point far below other non-traditional bachelor’s programs like Harvard Extension School or Metropolitan College at Boston University.”

In addition, students are able to transfer credits from past education, reducing the upfront cost of enrolling. For instance, at Regis, the cost per bachelor’s completion course is about one-third the cost of the full-time, on-campus program according to Koehler.

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and other course material are another degree-related expense that’s often overlooked. Even if a program offers online courses, students are still required to purchase textbooks and other supporting materials.

Some ways you can lower the cost of these materials include:

  • Buying used textbooks
  • Renting materials from the school bookstore
  • Downloading digital versions of textbooks

Not all courses will have mandatory textbooks though. In fact, some institutions have transitioned away from using paid course materials to make attendance more affordable.

“A lot of our courses have switched to what we call ‘open educational resources,’” Koehler explains. “Which is little to no cost to the student.”

Hidden Costs

Remember to factor in indirect costs that may be necessary to complete your coursework (e.g., a dedicated workspace). Online students typically need a quiet and comfortable area to study, routine access to a computer, and a high-speed internet connection. Depending on your circumstances, you might have other hidden costs as well (e.g., tutoring, supplies, or software).

One resource Regis offers to assist students with unexpected expenses is the Good Neighbor Fund, a multipurpose, donation-driven grant.

“If your computer breaks and you need one to do your coursework, you can apply to the Good Neighbor Fund and get a grant to get a new computer,” says Koehler. “Last year we awarded almost $40,000 in small grants to students for these kinds of ancillary, but vital expenses.”

Five Benefits of Finishing Your Business Degree

While these cost considerations might be initially disheartening, there are several advantages to completing your education. Here are five benefits you can expect from a business degree.

1. Increases career opportunities.

Completing a degree in business is often the best way to advance your career. While a business degree isn’t the only path to business success, it can open doors to high-level positions and other professional opportunities.

Accredited degree programs have clear, accessible standards for the training and knowledge they provide, which offers a simple way for employers to compare minimum qualifications. The most reputable business degree programs—like Regis College—also have a strong track record of producing leaders and entrepreneurs, making graduates more appealing to prospective employers.

By obtaining more education, you can gain the skills, expertise, and qualifications to earn a promotion or apply for more competitive positions.

2. Boosts potential for higher earnings.

A business degree can boost employability and earning potential. This is largely because employers increasingly value the practical knowledge, discipline, and problem-solving skills graduates gain from business education.

As a result, many employers base their salary brackets on education and experience, which directly benefits degree holders when it comes to earning higher starting salaries and raises. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professionals with a bachelor’s degree earn approximately 53 percent more than those who haven’t earned a degree.

3. Provides networking opportunities.

Networking is an important component of a business degree program. Through faculty connections and projects with peers, you’re able to build a strong network that broadens your experience and understanding of the business world. For many graduates, it’s a core part of how they gain confidence in their abilities and learn to navigate complex professional environments.

“You're making connections in the professional world that are going to be very valuable down the road in a business degree program,” Koehler adds. “Whether it’s your professors, fellow students, guest speakers from class, or even your boss where you intern, these are the people who inform your worldview and give you a taste of how certain professionals navigate in today’s world.”

4. Enhances skills development.

A business program with a well-rounded curriculum should develop various business competencies in areas like finance, economics, and market analysis. However, these degree programs can also develop skills that are transferable to various professional environments.

Some of these highly valuable skills include:

  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving

“You're learning how to think, how to learn, and how to incorporate new knowledge into your existing schema in understanding the world,” Koehler says. “You'll even learn how to evaluate information and how to come up with logical decisions in the face of information—as limited as it often may be.”

Exposure to real-world business challenges sharpens decision-making acumen, requiring professionals to draw upon layers of knowledge to tackle new situations. These transferable skills empower graduates to thrive in diverse industries, ensuring they can excel in any role.

5. Fosters personal growth and achievement.

Returning to school to complete an education is an exciting accomplishment and a source of personal growth. Throughout this educational journey, graduates gain countless opportunities to explore new ideas, broaden their perspectives, and challenge themselves intellectually.

“For many of my students, finishing their degree gives them the confidence to be a professional,” Koehler says.

This is especially true for professionals who had limited exposure to enterprise environments outside of school. As they enter the business world, graduates can feel empowered knowing they have the insight and experience to thrive in a variety of roles and scenarios.

How to Pay for Your Degree

The cost of pursuing an education requires careful consideration, but it doesn’t have to be a hardship. Here’s an overview of how you can afford a business degree.

Financial Aid and Grants

Determining your financial aid eligibility can help you discover ways to lower out-of-pocket costs.
Financial aid is available in various forms, including:

  • Federal and state grants
  • Low-interest loans
  • Institutional scholarships
  • Work-study opportunities

Filing forms like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS) can give you a comprehensive breakdown of the aid you qualify for. The information pulled from these documents are used to calculate the portion of educational costs students and their families are expected to contribute.

While financial aid determination typically involves parental income, adults can file based on their personal income. So for those enrolling in a degree completion program, it’s beneficial to apply for undergraduate financial aid to see if you have options to subsidize your educational costs.


Scholarships are widely available from federal agencies, academic institutions, private organizations, small businesses, and nonprofits. While nearly all of these scholarships have some kind of criteria, each has their own based on factors such as financial need, academic achievement, social demographics, location, or area of study.

Scholarship databases can help you perform a broad search, but if you already have an academic program in mind, your prospective institution is also a great resource. Many institutional scholarships become available upon admission and require enrollment requirements to stay eligible.

For instance, undergraduate students planning to attend Regis’s Sloane School of Business and Communication may qualify for the Sloane Scholarship, a merit-based award that covers full tuition. Another option is the Flatley Scholars Program, a need-based stipend for students with unpaid, off-campus internships.

To find a solution that aligns with your needs and goals, consult the financial aid office at your institution.

Student Loans

After researching other options, students may still need federal or private student loans to cover any gaps in funding. Student loans involve borrowing money and repaying it with interest, so it’s important to review the long-term cost of this financial investment before committing to it.

Traditionally, federal loans come with lower interest rates and better repayment terms designed to make education more affordable, while private loans have less flexible terms and higher interest rates.

Be sure to take the time to research what loan options work best for you and your educational goals.

Invest in Your Future

Whether you’re just starting out in the business world or have experience under your belt, a business education can help you build essential skills, expand your professional network, and deepen your understanding of core concepts. Therefore the initial cost of advancing your education is more of a long-term investment in your career.

“Furthering your education and finishing your education is, above all else, an investment,” Koehler concludes.

If you’re interested in taking the next steps to further your career, Regis’ Business Management degree completion program is tailored to students who want to get their education back on track. With flexible enrollment options, the program is designed to meet the needs of working individuals. Prospective students can transfer credits from past coursework and continue to expand their business management and leadership skills through Regis’s dynamic curriculum.

For more information about the benefits of completing your degree, contact an admissions counselor to find out if the Regis learning experience aligns with your career goals.

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