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With college tuition costs continually rising, and more students paying their own way (or taking out loans to pay), students looking for a sports management degree have a lot of motivation to find programs that won’t break the bank. Finding an affordable bachelor’s degree in sports management doesn’t have to be hard. 

There are several things you can do to save money on your sports management degree. The simplest one is to look for the cheapest sports management degree online. You can find lots of affordable sports management programs across the US, and many of these affordable programs come from well-renowned schools that provide excellent education. You don’t have to compromise on a high quality education when you look for affordable schools. You can absolutely have both, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. 

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Sports Management Degrees

Great Business Schools editors only feature accredited, trusted colleges and universities that have a proven track record of getting students the credentials they need for the jobs they want. For the most affordable ranking, that baseline of quality is underlying a ranking organized around tuition price, from lowest to highest, according to current IPEDS data. 

1. Louisiana State University

louisiana state lsu

The Sport Administration BS from Louisiana State University is one of the most affordable sports management degrees available, but students in this program get a lot for their money. The program provides an in-depth look at sports management. It teaches students all of the “behind the scenes” sports subjects that they need to become effective managers, including ethics, recent sports practices, and other crucial information. It also provides students with practical, hands-on experience so that they can gain a competitive edge for employment. 

LSU is a large school with all of the technological advances to go with its size. Faculty members bring cutting-edge learning experiences into the classroom. This school also connects students to learning opportunities outside of the classroom, helping them gain their footing as they pursue life after college. This school provides academic rigor, up to date learning, and excellent research opportunities. 

Highlight: LSU earns consistently high rankings from sources like Forbes, Kiplinger, US News and World Report, and the Princeton Review. 

Degree: Sport Administration, BS

2. East Tennessee State University

east tennessee state 1

The Sport and Recreation Management BS from East Tennessee State University covers a lot of ground. While it’s one of the more affordable sports management degrees, it helps students broaden their horizons as they examine the world of sports from a business and leadership perspective. The program provides in-classroom and hands-on experiences. It’s also unique in that it covers all levels of sports, from professional and college level to non-competitive recreation. 

ETSU is a challenging but affordable school that has been educating students for more than 100 years. This school promotes high standards and is deeply focused on student success. It boasts of a rich liberal arts educational program, so students emerge from this school both career-ready and well rounded. ETSU is a well-recognized college in the southern US, which makes it a great place for career-seekers to earn a degree. 

Highlight: ETSU has 17 sports teams, which makes it a practical choice for sports management students who want hands-on experience. 

Degree: Sport and Leisure Management, BS

3. Florida State University

florida state u 1

The Sports Management BS from Florida State University was designed with flexibility in mind. It teaches students the core knowledge that they’ll need to know for sports management careers, and it provides a solid foundation both for students who want to move on to graduate school and those who want to step right into their careers after graduation. Among affordable sports management degree options, this one provides a lot of room for tailoring. Students can pursue electives and experiences to match their degrees to their specific sports interests. 

As a top research university, FSU makes a good choice for students who want science-based, practical careers. This school is challenging and committed to helping students succeed with confidence. At FSU, students are prepared to embrace a changing and evolving world. They develop the flexibility that they’ll need to succeed in the workforce. 

Highlight: FSU was named the 4th highest producer of Fulbright Scholars. 

Degree: Sports Management, BS

4. Missouri Western State University

missouri western state u

Missouri Western State University’s Recreation Sport Management BS is designed for those who love physical activity, want to become better leaders, and have a passion for improving people’s lives through sports. As one of the most affordable sports management degrees, this BS from MWSU makes a solid choice for many students. Those who graduate from this program often move on to start their own sports-related businesses, develop recreation programs, or teach others about sports and related topics. 

Missouri Western State University combines hands-on skills with academic skills to create a well-rounded learning environment. This school has particularly strong medical and science programs. Dedicated to providing an affordable education, MWSU provides the high quality education that students deserve without forcing them into unmanageable debt. 

Highlight: MWSU offers in-state tuition rates for thirteen states. 

Degree: Recreation Sport Management, BS

5. Arizona State University

arizona state 1

The Community Sports Management BS from Arizona State University emphasizes sports as a way to improve lives. Students in this program learn the fundamentals of sports as community building activities. Many who graduate from this program move on to work in nonprofit organizations and other organizations that help youth, seniors, and adults through athletics. It’s also one of the more affordable sports management degrees in the US. 

ASU is a thriving school with a metro location that puts students in a great spot for networking. This school focuses on both student and faculty excellence, helping learners discover the tools that they’ll need for success in college and beyond. As a well-ranked research university, ASU stands at the forefront of innovative learning. 

Highlight: ASU was ranked as one of the most innovative colleges for 2020. 

Degree: Community Sports Management, BS 

6. Fort Hays State University

fort hays state

Fort Hays State University offers a BS in Health and Human Performance with concentration options in Recreation and Sports Management. The program takes a hands-on approach to learning. Students actively participate in the sports and recreational activities that they study. More importantly, this program connects students to sports and recreation opportunities through local retirement homes, sports teams, and more. For all that it has to offer, this program is also one of the most affordable sports management degrees available. 

Fort Hays State University is a forward-moving school that helps students sharpen their leadership skills as they dive into their academic skills. FHSU helps students find the tools they’ll need for career movement. The school focuses on giving students real-world experiences in addition to classroom experiences so that these students can graduate with confidence. 

Highlight: FHSU has a 96% job or grad school placement rate. 

Degree: Health and Human Performance, Recreation and Sports Management, BS

7. Winston-Salem State University

winston salem state

The Sports Management BS from Winston-Salem State University is one of the most affordable sports management degrees in the US. This program provides room for flexibility and customization, letting students choose from different concentrations. Students can focus on marketing, communication, or management. In any case, students learn from talented faculty members and put their skills to work in practical ways, and they benefit from earning one of the more affordable sports management degrees in America. 

As an HBCU, Winstom-Salem State University is uniquely focused on fostering Black success. The school fosters creativity, academic excellence, and serving the broader community. Students here get plenty of practical learning, but they also get a well rounded liberal education, so students get to enjoy the best of all worlds as they prepare for career success. 

Highlight: WSSU was ranked the #1 HBCU in the US as well as one of the top 20 for social mobility. 

Degree: Sports Management, BS

8. Arkansas State University

arkansas state

Arkansas State University’s Sport Management program empowers students to take on a range of career paths, from managing individual sports to teams to taking charge of sports arenas. This program, aside from being one of the most affordable sports management degrees, is also one of the most dynamic. This program takes a broad but deep look into everything that goes on behind the scenes in the world of sports. 

Arizona State provides a supportive and enriching environment for academic excellence. Students sharpen their skills so that they can face career challenges head on. This research university doesn’t shy away from innovation, and students benefit from the school’s forward-thinking approach to learning. With no shortage of technology and other resources, Arizona State prepares students for innovative and exciting careers. 

Highlight: Arizona State has had an 85% honors enrollment growth since 2009. 

Degree: Sport Management, BS 

9. Florida Gulf Coast University 

florida gulf coast

Florida Gulf Coast University offers a BS in Management with a concentration in Sports Management. It’s one of the more affordable sports management degrees for those who want to dive into the business side of sports. Overall, this program is designed to help students succeed in the ever-changing world of business. Sports management students in particular learn how to apply those skills to managing teams, stadiums, recreation programs, and similar organizations. 

FGCU is dedicated to helping students succeed both academically and professionally. Students here get an affordable education along with the chance to tailor their own academic pathways. To prepare students for their future careers, FGCU combines classroom learning with more hands-on styles of learning. 

Highlight: 93% of FGCU alumni report a positive opinion of their FGCU experience. 

Degree: Management: Sports Management, BS

10. Central Michigan University

central michigan

The Sport Management BS from Central Michigan University is one of the most affordable sports management degrees. CMU has designed its sports management programs to prepare students whether they move to work with school-aged, collegiate, or professional athletes. Students in this program also get the opportunity to tailor their degrees through major/minor coordination and electives. 

CMU is a highly ranked university with over 30 campuses and a wide range of learning options. The school has a strong liberal arts program, helping students to grow and stretch their skills in multiple academic areas. Even with its strong science and technology programs, CMU fosters creativity and imaginative learning. This research university is also deeply focused on discovery and advancement. 

Highlight: CMU has the #1 ranked recreation and event management major in Michigan. 

Degree: Sport Management, BS

How Do I Save Money on a Sports Management Degree?

What can you do to save money on your degree? Aside from looking for the cheapest sports management degree online, you can also look for financial aid opportunities such as scholarships and grants. If you look for universities in your own state, you can save money by paying in-state tuition. Some schools even offer in-state tuition for students from surrounding states, so add the tri-state area to your search, too. 

Online educational programs are sometimes cheaper than in-person programs, especially because online programs don’t involve living on campus. Look into online options if you feel that they may work for your needs. 

Next, if you’re currently employed, see if your workplace offers employer reimbursement options for higher education. Some employers have such programs because a highly educated workforce is good for companies, so if they provide incentives for their employees to go to school, everybody wins. 

Finally, keep in mind that you don’t have to attend all four years at the same school. You can save a lot of money by taking your core classes at a local community college. Community college classes are much cheaper than university classes, but many of those classes can transfer to your university. 

What Will I Learn in a Sports Management Degree Program?

You’ll learn several subjects in your undergraduate sports management degree program. Sports management degree requirements vary from school to school, so you’ll have to look at your school of choice to see program specifics and get a better idea of what you’ll learn in your sports management program. However, in general, here’s what you can expect to learn: 

First, sports management degree requirements usually include core classes like math and English, especially if you go to a school with a strong liberal arts focus. Remember, you can take these kinds of classes at a community college to save money and then transfer the credits to your university later. Just make sure that the credits are guaranteed to transfer before you get started. 

Once you’ve finished your core requirements, you’ll move on to specific sports management degree classes. You’ll likely learn some of the fundamentals of specific sports, but more importantly, you’ll learn how the sports world operates behind the scenes. You may take several business and management classes. 

Other courses include marketing and communication courses, which can help you as you develop your clients’ brand. All of these courses can also help you develop your leadership skills so that you can manage a team or arena with confidence. 

Some sports management degree programs include a captsone project, internship, or practicum option that puts students in contact with real sports teams or recreation centers in the community. This way, students can get some hands-on experience before entering the “real world” of sports management careers. 

How Much Can I Make with a Sports Management Degree?

The question of sports management salary can get complicated. To get a more definitive answer, it helps to know what you want to do with your sports administration degree. 

With a sports administration degree, you can go into a wide range of jobs. Potential options include everything from running a small nonprofit organization to overseeing a multi-million dollar stadium. You should choose a career path based on your passion and talents. Many schools will let you tailor your degree to your specific sports management interests. 

As you can imagine, though, the potential sports administration salary has a range as wide as the potential job opportunities. 

The yearly sports management degree salary can be anywhere from $19,500 to $102,000, with the average falling around $47,700. Generally speaking, you can expect to make a smaller salary when you get started in the field and grow your salary as you move forward. Just like with most career paths, the longer you stick with the job, the more you grow your earnings potential. 

Lots of factors will go into your future salary. For example, your educational level will play a part. Right now, you’re focused on earning your bachelor’s degree, but if you ever go back for a master’s degree, you can increase your salary potential. If you live and work in a big city, you’ll make more money than if you did the same in a rural area. 

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