Professionals who are interested in accelerated online Master’s in Higher Education Administration degrees are among the most passionate about postsecondary education in the field. These individuals have dedicated themselves to providing incoming graduate students with the resources and education they need in order to move into the workforce and make a positive difference. And while the demand is rising for campus students with graduate assistantship degrees in the field, many working professionals haven’t been able to narrow down their choice of programs yet.
The 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Higher Education Administration are:
- Appalachian State University
- Texas Tech University
- University of Nebraska at Kearney
- Georgia Southern University
- University of Nebraska – Lincoln
- University of North Dakota
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- University of Houston
- University of Southern Mississippi
- University of Mississippi
Read on for the full ranking!
This may be because working adults have different needs that make attending a traditional program more difficult. For one, they can’t take on-campus courses that take place during normal business hours. They also don’t have the luxury of completing a degree in three or four years. They need a program that is flexible, online, affordable and accelerated in order to be a viable option for them, which is exactly what this ranking aims to showcase.
Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Accelerated Online Master’s in Higher Education Administration
For the Fast Online Master’s ranking of the most affordable, accelerated master’s in higher education administration program, FOM editors focused on accredited, nationally recognized higher education institutions and universities. Programs are ranked in order of tuition rate, using current IPEDS data.
1. Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University offers an MA in Higher Education. This online, part-time program presents a multifaceted view of higher education. Students get to see many perspectives. The program works well for those who want an online master’s in higher education administration, but it also works for future college teachers. Either way, students get to see how higher education institutions and universities work while also learning how to help full and part time students thrive.
Appalachian State University helps full and part time students find their purpose. Students learn how to build better lives for themselves and others. They build knowledge and grow as a whole person, not just as an academic person. Appalachian State is a large school, but it has a small student to faculty ratio, so students get the best of two worlds — the resources of a big graduate school and the intimate feel of a smaller one. App State helps students rise to the challenge so they can succeed both inside and outside the classroom.
Highlight: US News and World Report ranks Appalachian State #6 among the best regional universities in the south.
2. Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University offers a higher education administration master’s online. This program is an MEd in Higher Education Administration. It’s deeply grounded in theory and research. Students learn how to use this research for problem-solving in higher education. This program is only available online for those who already have a bachelor’s degree. Which is why many adult learners choose this program. They enjoy the flexibility that lets them keep up with their lives and careers as they learn.
Texas Tech University helps students connect to possibilities, even possibilities that may seem out of reach. This growing university has several excellent online programs, many of which have earned awards and high rankings. Texas Tech holds high standards for teaching, academic affairs, educational leadership, research, and academic achievement. This way, students can take their knowledge and personal growth to new heights.
Highlight: The higher ed administration program from Texas Tech was ranked among the best online master’s degree programs.
3. University of Nebraska at Kearney
The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers a master’s in higher education administration program online. It’s an MEd in Higher Education Student Affairs. This program doesn’t just teach what college students need; It also teaches why they need those things. As a result, people in this program become equipped to help students succeed as they earn their graduate degree. The program covers many areas of higher education and administration. Learners become coordinators, advisors, recruiters, and more.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney has a history of helping students succeed and reach their goals. It’s committed to providing excellent education, educational leadership, and public service. Founded in the 1900s, this school has been educating students for a long time. Though it uses new technology and resources, it keeps the same commitment to excellence that it’s always had from the start. This school is consistently growing and changing, leading to new opportunities.
Highlight: US News and World Report ranked UNK #6 on its list of the best colleges in the Midwest.
4. Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University’s online master’s in higher education is also available as a hybrid program. Students can take all of their classes online or take some classes on campus. The program is also available in both full time and part-time options. No matter the format, this program teaches what goes into the administrative work that students don’t always see. It prepares learners for a broad range of career possibilities in a steadily-growing field.
Georgia Southern University educates students who want to make a difference. At this school, students find success in their own lives and use that success to help others. Georgia Southern is a military-friendly school that comes with a lot of options for flexibility. It has challenging academics. It also focuses on research, educational leadership, and academic affairs that positively impacts the community.
Highlight: Learn.org ranked GSU the #1 best online college in Georgia.
5. University of Nebraska – Lincoln
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a higher education administration master’s online. This MEd degree offers several options for specialization. The higher education concentration is only available through the school’s online learning platform for those who already have a bachelor’s degree. In this program, students learn how the administration works in colleges and universities. They also learn the skills they’ll need to thrive in these environments and help other students thrive as well.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows students how to push their limits and think big. Students take advantage of their strengths for a successful career. They also learn how to take those strengths to new levels. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a land grant university that does vital research to benefit the community. It combines ambition with resources to help students make the most of their learning experience and educational leadership.
Highlight: The Princeton Review has put UNL on its list of Best Value Schools.
6. University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota has an online master’s in higher education administration. This program shows learners how to help students from the administrative side of things. Participants also learn how to serve students from all different backgrounds. The program goes over how to research and deliver the best education programs, so students can get the most out of their educational experience. This degree uses both theory and practice, so graduates get a solid foundation of knowledge and skill.
At the University of North Dakota, students find their own pathways to successful careers and lives. As the oldest and largest university in the state, UND provides students with the options that they need. This school encourages students to focus intently on their goals. It has been ranked highly for quality, value, educational leadership, and affordability, so students don’t have to compromise.
Highlight: UND has a Carnegie Research classification for high research activity.
7. University of Alabama at Birmingham
With the MS in Higher Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, participants learn to help future students find success in their lives and careers. This online master’s in higher education administration program has a lot to offer. Learners are equipped to help students who come from a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds. They gain the leadership skills they need to put academic programs in place. The program comes in a thesis track and a non-thesis track, which lets learners customize their experience based on their own goals.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham doesn’t just prepare for the future; It actively shapes the future. UAB empowers students to reach their goals, even if those students may have been discouraged elsewhere. UAB is a community of discovery and knowledge. It combines solid academics with practical career knowledge. Armed with this knowledge, students find a sense of independence, educational leadership, and forge their own pathways to success.
Highlight: 14 of UAB’s graduate programs rank among the top 25, according to US News and World Report.
8. University of Houston
The University of Houston offers its higher education administration master’s online. The program prepares students to take on administrative and leadership positions at colleges and universities. It comes from an understanding that a college education can have a lasting impact. Courses teach learners how to become a part of that impact. This administration program is taught in a cohort model that lets students earn their degree in two years.
The University of Houston values learning, educational leadership, curiosity, and discovery in a supportive environment. It has excellent courses, both on campus and online. It’s an innovative school that produces impactful research. It also impacts its students through strong academics. The University of Houston helps students springboard into successful careers.
Highlight: US News and World Report ranks the University of Houston among the best universities for 2021.
9. University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi offers its master’s in higher education administration program online. It provides a level of flexibility that many nontraditional students need from their degree. Plus, it doesn’t require a GRE score to apply. The program covers many areas of administration, like admissions, residential life, recruitment, and much more. Participants learn how to help students make the most of college life.
The University of Southern Mississippi is a large community of learners, with two campuses and an online learning platform. In all of these locations, students learn what they need to transform their lives and pursue their goals. This school puts students first, empowering them in their lives, educational leadership, careers, and academics. Students participate in all levels of learning, including research. USM’s respected academic programs help students get ahead.
Highlight: The University of Southern Mississippi is home to 27 Goldwater Scholars.
10. University of Mississippi
The University of Mississippi has a master’s in higher education administration programn online. It’s designed both for those who have started their careers and those who have not. Either way, the program teaches skills that administrators need to support students at all levels. Those skills include leadership and excellent communication. After graduation, participants take on all sorts of administrative roles, educational leadership, and they find themselves at home in schools of all sizes.
The University of Mississippi is the flagship university of the state. It’s known for its transformative research. It also boasts great academics and career training. This school is growing fast, and so are its resources. Over the years, the University of Mississippi has become a thriving, well-respected learning community. Students get a lot out of their education here and support thru student services.
Highlight: The University of Mississippi ranks among the top 100 colleges for veterans.
11. University of Missouri
The University of Missouri has an MEd in Higher Education. It’s a good choice for students who want an online master’s in higher education administration. This program provides an in-depth look at how colleges and universities work. It prepares students to work for different types of colleges and universities. Students discover how to serve learners from all backgrounds by providing what they need most from the educational experience. By graduation, students are prepared for all levels of administrative careers in all kinds of settings.
With the University of Missouri Online, students can get a University of Missouri education without any of the roadblocks that can come from on-campus learning. The school has great educational resources for adult learners and other nontraditional students. It encourages learners to look beyond what they think their limits are. It also provides the support and flexibility they need to do just that with student services. Missouri students get an education with the power to transform their lives.
Highlight: The University of Missouri is ranked among the top 100 best colleges for veterans, according to US News and World Report.
12. North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University offers an MEd in Adult and Community College Education. It’s a good choice for students who want to earn a higher education administration master’s online, especially for those who want to focus on helping adult learners. The program covers what adult learners need from the educational experience. Graduates can teach adult learners or lead on an administrative level. The program covers college settings, but it also covers other learning scenarios like personal development and professional training.
North Carolina State is a land grant university with a reputation for excellence. It excels in STEM, business, educational leadership, education, and much more. The school is student-centered and uses experience-based learning. It values entrepreneurship, forward momentum, and thinking outside the box. NCSU graduates routinely get hired by major enterprises.
Highlight: NCSU is the #1 public university in the state of North Carolina.
13. University of Alabama
The MA in Higher Education from the University of Alabama appeals to students who want a master’s in higher education online. The program covers what it takes to be a leader in colleges and universities. Students learn practical skills for career advancement. They also learn a broad range of relevant topics, so they get a full understanding of how higher education works. After earning this degree, students can work at all levels of college administration in a variety of settings.
The University of Alabama is “dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and service.” It does high-caliber work on all of those levels. Students here learn from accomplished faculty members. They find out how to make the most of their potential and their talents. The University of Alabama has a big impact. Not only does it impact its students, but it also has a positive effect on Alabama as a whole.
Highlight: US News and World Report ranked UA among the best online colleges for master’s degrees and for veterans.
14. University at Albany
The University at Albany offers its master’s in higher education administration program online. It’s an MS in higher education, and it teaches administrative skills for educational settings, businesses, and government positions. The program is designed for students at all career levels, from those who are just getting started to advanced-level professionals. It covers history, theory, and practical skills for higher education.
The University at Albany is a SUNY school that blends academics and research. It’s committed to helping students find their sense of greatness. This school has a low student-to-faculty ratio, so it often appeals to students who prefer smaller class sizes. The University at Albany also has a great online learning platform, which adds convenience and flexibility to the educational experience.
Highlight: Forbes ranked the University at Albany as one of America’s top colleges.
15. Mississippi College
Mississippi College has an online master’s in higher education administration. It’s designed to help students make the most of administrative careers. It takes a broad look at administrative positions and responsibilities, and it teaches students how to fulfill those duties. Online students take courses in cycles, making the program manageable. Students can also complete a practicum project near their own homes.
Mississippi College is a Christian university grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. It offers a quality education from a Baptist standpoint. Students develop essential skills and educational leadership for their lives and careers. Since this school also values service, students learn how to use their talents to create a positive impact on the world.
Highlight: The Best Schools ranked Mississippi College as the #1 best online Christian college.
16. Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global has an MS in Higher Education. Since prospective students can choose a concentration in administration, it appeals to those who want an online master’s in higher education administration. It covers daily administrative skills, plus communication, leadership, and other important qualities. Instructors bring their own experience into their courses. The program includes an internship for practical experience. Along the way, students learn about the different factors that can impact a person’s college experience.
Purdue University is one of the most well-known names in online education. The school values innovation and hands-on learning, and its online platform provides the flexibility and support that adult learners need. Purdue makes high-quality education more accessible. Purdue has also been noted for its affordability, with many students graduating debt-free.
Highlight: Purdue is one of the top ten most innovative universities in America.
17. Oregon State University
Oregon State University offers its higher education administration degree online. The program recognizes that knowledge is important and that more and more adult learners are going back to school. It fosters the skills that students and international students will need to meet these learners where they are. Students learn how to analyze, improve, and design education programs. This degree is flexible and 100% online.
Oregon State University comes from the belief that everyone should have access to a great education. That’s why it removes many of the barriers that can stand between learners and their degrees. This large university offers lots of support for student success. Its online programs in particular have gained recognition. They let students access a great education from virtually anywhere in the world.
Highlight: Oregon State is a land, sea, space, and sun grant institution. It’s one of only three colleges in the US with this distinction.
18. Florida International University
Florida International University has an MS in Higher Education Administration online. The learning experience includes hands-on opportunities. It’s a highly diverse program, with students who come from many different backgrounds. The program can be finished in 12 months, so it’s a solid choice for those who want an accelerated degree. The program requires no GRE for admittance.
Florida International University is one of the top public research universities in the United States. It uses innovation to move students forward. Students benefit from this innovation in the classroom, and the school’s online learning platform brings that innovation from a distance. Florida International University is a practical and career-centered school that helps students get where they want to go.
Highlight: Best Value Schools ranked FIU’s higher ed administration program as one of the best one-year online master’s in education programs.
19. Central Washington University
Central Washington University’s online master’s in higher education administration is a well-rounded program. Students learn skills to work in colleges and universities as well as government entities, nonprofits, and more. The program starts with a solid foundation of core knowledge. Then, it lets students personalize their degree with electives. The program also includes an internship or practicum for hands-on experience in the field.
Central Washington University provides great academics and small class sizes. It’s a welcoming and inclusive school that makes sure students feel heard and respected. CWU is a growing university with several great online programs. These programs deliver the same great academics that students get on campus, and they add flexibility into the mix.
Highlight: CWU ranks among the top online schools for affordability.
20. Michigan State University
Michigan State University offers an MA in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education. Through this master’s in higher education administration online, students develop key professional skills. They learn about policy, budget, and the other factors that go into college and university programs. The program also teaches how adults access learning opportunities and the challenges they may face along the way.
Michigan State University is an inclusive, respected school. It has many highly-ranked programs and plenty of resources, including flexible online courses. At Michigan State, faculty members and administrators are committed to helping students succeed. Students gain the support they need to make the most of the educational experience.
Highlight: MSU is one of the top 100 best global universities, according to US News and World Report.
21. Georgetown University
With Georgetown University’s online master’s in higher education administration, students learn the ins and outs of school leadership. The program goes over the most current issues in higher education. It also teaches students how they can play a part in addressing these issues. This way, students get the most up-to-date education possible. Students also do their own research to get to know the educational landscape.
Georgetown University is a Jesuit Catholic school in Washington DC. Its students are engaged citizens with a passion for social justice, and they want to use their skills to help the world. Georgetown offers challenging academics, and it encourages students to serve others so they can make the world a better place. Georgetown also offers relevant career training alongside its core academic courses, so students get a well-rounded experience. Studies in higher education administration prepares students for human development.
Highlight: Georgetown University is the oldest Jesuit Catholic university in the United States
22. Duquesne University
Duquesne University offers its higher education administration master’s online. In this program, students learn how to make worthwhile and effective contributions. The program covers several levels of administration. It helps students hone their knowledge and skills so that they can thrive in any number of administrative positions. It’s a highly flexible program that allows students to balance school with other responsibilities.
Duquesne University encourages students to set big goals, and it gives them the support they need to reach those goals. This Catholic University is known for excellence in learning. It takes a spiritual approach to education that also includes service to others, so it’s a good choice for students who want a faith-based education. Duquesne offers an education with a personal touch. Students get a lot of support from faculty. Studies in higher education administration prepares students for human development.
Highlight: US News and World Report ranks Duquesne as the #4 Best Value School in Pennsylvania.
23. Northeastern University
Northeastern University has a master’s in higher education administration online. It’s available both full time and part-time, so students can finish the program in one or two years, depending on their schedules. It covers leadership skills and other important knowledge that administrators need to work effectively in a university setting. It also covers the latest topics and concerns in higher education. The program is designed for working professions, so adult learners can keep up with their responsibilities.
Northeastern University is an experience-focused and student-centered school, so students can grow their confidence as they work toward their goals. Not only does this school produce great academics and career training, it also produces research that creates real solutions. Northeastern University helps students make the most of their career goals. Students find the tools they need and develop the right skills for success in the career field.
Highlight: Northeastern University is ranked among the top 50 national universities.
24. Pace University
Pace University offers a master’s in higher education administration online. This program teaches how to shape universities from the inside. Students learn about university policies and how those policies come to life. They also learn about the issues and structures that impact students the most. This way, they can understand how to meet students’ needs. This program is based on research and an understanding of today’s university issues.
Pace University is a private school that offers a high-quality education. Online learners benefit from this quality just as much as their on-campus peers benefit from it. They also get the same level of support, so they never feel left behind. Faculty members are trained specifically in online learning techniques. Pace University is known for upward mobility and helping students move forward with their lives.
Highlight: According to Payscale, Pace is one of the top colleges for return on investment.
25. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University has an online master’s program in higher education administration. This MS program helps students become leaders in higher education. Students learn from teachers who have real-world experience. They gain skills to help colleges and universities prepare for the increasing demand for higher education. Students study data, strategy, and effective planning.
Southern New Hampshire University is an affordable, transfer-friendly school that’s known primarily for online education. In fact, most SNHU students learn online. SNHU provides a rigorous education with enough flexibility for students to balance their education with other parts of their lives. SNHU is committed to meeting the needs of today’s students.
Highlight: The tuition rates at SNHU have been frozen since 2012.
Careers In Higher Education Administration:
- Postsecondary education administrators
- Jobs in Human development
- Higher education administration careers
- Clinical assistant professor
Why Should I Get My Master’s in Higher Education Administration Online?
Colleges and universities need a lot of people to keep things up and running. That includes teachers and assistants, of course, but what about the people that students don’t see every day? Those people are administrators, and they’re very important for day-to-day operations. For those who love academic environments but don’t necessarily want to teach, an online master’s program in higher education administration can provide the best path forward.
Why get a higher education administration master’s online?
For one thing, most higher education administration jobs require a master’s degree or higher. Without a master’s degree, you may not find the job you want, even if you’re willing to take your time and climb up the career ladder. If the administration is what you want to do, then an online master’s program in higher education administration can help you get your career started. Look into a graduate assistantship as well. Graduate assistantships may not be available for online students.
Even if you shift your focus and pursue a slightly different career path, earning a higher education administration master’s program online can help you. In general, people with master’s degrees earn more money than people with bachelor’s degrees alone. Having a master’s degree can also give you an advantage over other job candidates.
Why earn a master’s in higher education online instead of earning your degree on campus?
Either option can provide a great education. However, you might choose online learning if you need flexibility. Many nontraditional students choose online learning so they can earn a degree without sacrificing work hours, family time, and other important things. Any online higher education program, especially a graduate program, is much more convenient. Students in higher education administration learn leadership to support student success and improve student life.
Online degrees come with other advantages as well. For instance, you might have your sights set on a particular school, but what if that school is far away and you can’t move that far? You might still attend that school thanks to online learning. And if you already have a place to stay, online learning can help you save money on-campus housing, meal plans, and other university fees.
What Can I Do with a Master’s in Higher Education Administration?
It’s very understandable to ask about job outlook before pursuing a degree. After all, you want to make sure that your degree will get you where you want to go. With all the time, money, and effort that you’ll put into your education, it’s important that your education serves you well and helps you get results. So what about master’s in higher education administration jobs? What is the master’s program in higher education administration job outlook?
Fortunately, if you earn a master’s in higher education administration, job outlook problems won’t likely become a problem for you. For one thing, there’s a long list of possible master’s in higher education administration jobs. It takes a lot of administrators to run a accredited college or university, including admissions administrators, financial aid administrators, alumni relations, student affairs administration, clinical assistant professor, college teaching, advisors, associate dean, higher education administration careers, consultants, and much more. Colleges will probably always need a lot of administrators, so people with the right training shouldn’t ever struggle to find options. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for higher education administrators should grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030.
How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Higher Education Administration?
In 2020, the median master’s in higher education administration salary was $97,500, which is higher than average for the United States. A median is a mid-range salary, which means that half of higher education administrators earned more than that number while half earned less.
A master’s in higher education administration salary can vary. For those with a masters, higher education administration salary can be as low as $39,000 and as high as $129,000.
Why Is There Such a Big range in Salaries in Higher Education?
Because once you earn your master’s, higher education administration salary depends on a lot of factors. Remember that colleges and universities need a lot of administrators. Not all of those administrator jobs look the same. They have different functions and responsibilities, which means different salaries. The more responsibilities and departments a person oversees, the more that person can expect to earn in their administrative career. A provost, for example, is one of the top administrators in any university, so they make a lot more money than advisors and coordinators.
Other factors can impact salary, too, often depending on the university and its location. For instance, an athletic director at a Big 12 school might make more money than an athletic director at a small college without a big sports culture. Likewise, large schools in major cities will likely offer higher salaries than smaller, lesser-known colleges.