The independent, trusted guide to online education for over 24 years!

19 Most Affordable Online Associate’s Degree in Hospitality Management

Rankings of online associate's degree in hospitality management programsIf you’re ready for better opportunities in the restaurant, travel, entertainment, or sales industries, you might be ready to pursue an online associate’s degree in hospitality management! There are plenty of colleges offering various hospitality programs to students with all kinds of professional and academic goals.

Earning an online associate of science or associate of arts in hospitality management is the preferred way to work toward a bachelor’s degree program in the field. AA/AS programs are generally for transfer purposes. Considering that an associate-level salary is only 33% of what you can make with a bachelor’s degree, this is a great way to get ahead while saving a few bucks. An associate of applied science or applied business, on the other hand, provides less general education and more technical-oriented studies to prepare you for entry-level industry jobs right away. Another factor to consider when searching for associate’s degrees is the cost difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. Shopping based on your location is a great way to avoid unexpected expenses.

GetEducated compared 30 online associate’s degree in hospitality management programs from 27 regionally accredited online schools to create this ‘Best Buy’ ranking. Our rankings reveal the most affordable options in the United States—19 options for online associate’s degree in hospitality management programs for under $14,500.

ARTICLE NAVIGATION: Rankings Table | Career Guide

Average Cost (In-state): ~$14,500
Least Expensive: Fayetteville Technical Community College ~$5,296.00
Most Expensive: Bryant & Stratton College – Online ~$37,655.00

Our data-driven research creates a truly reliable system of scientific rankings. There are no fancy formulas here. We meticulously calculate total full-time tuition—including any fees—for the most accurate total cost. Our rankings cannot be bought, and therefore factually showcase the cheapest online associate’s degree in hospitality management programs. The online hospitality, tourism, event, hotel and restaurant management degrees listed above the gray dividing line are official 2022 “Best Buys” and cost less than the national average.

Most Affordable Online Associate’s Degree in Hospitality Management

RankSchool / DegreeStatePriceNote
Fayetteville Technical Community College
Wake Technical Community College
York County Community College
Hillsborough Community College
Central Texas College
Albany Technical College
East Mississippi Community College
Casper College
Cowley County Community College
Western Technical College
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Chemeketa Community College
All Students
Finger Lakes Community College
Herkimer County Community College
Monroe Community College
Cayuga County Community College
Ocean County College
Tompkins Cortland Community College
All Students
Holyoke Community College
NOTE: The following schools did not make our Best Buy ranking but are also great online options.
School / DegreeStatePriceNote
Trident Technical College
NHTI-Concord's Community College
Community College of Allegheny County
American Public University System
University of Northwestern Ohio
All Students
Monroe College
All Students
Bryant & Stratton College
All Students

Accreditation & Program Notes

To qualify for a ranking, a program must be regionally accredited. Additional programmatic accreditation is noted in the rank table.

14  Program is no longer accepting new students.
17  Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Rankings Note

These online college rankings are based on a GetEducated Winter 2021 review of Associate’s in business management online offered at two year institutions. Total cost includes full-time tuition and fees and was valid at the time of collection and specific to the online learning program. School profiles for the online associate degrees in our directory may reflect a slightly different cost based on different editorial update schedules.

The published cost is an estimated sticker price for the entire online degree including fees. Actual costs may vary by student. Factors such as transfer credits, prerequisite courses, professional licensing and financial aid availability will affect final cost.

Editorial Note

Online schools do NOT pay to be included in any GetEducated online degree ranking. These rankings are editorially independent, open to any regionally accredited or candidate college that offers an associate degree that is available at least 80 percent through online learning and that is open to enrollment by the public. If your online college is regionally accredited and not currently reviewed by GetEducated, please contact us for inclusion.

These rankings of the cheapest online schools for an associate degree may NOT be re-posted online or reprinted in any format without a license from GetEducated ®. Consumer finance bloggers and writers can contact our editors for a free custom article on the best associate’s in business management online for use on your website. Our mission: Help consumers GetEducated ® about the best online colleges for cost and credibility.

Career Guide: Online Associate’s Degree in Hospitality Management

When you start your academic journey, you have many decisions to make, including what you want to study. If you have decided that hospitality management is the right path for you, you’ll then need to decide on a degree. Aspiring management students with no (or little) college experience essentially have two choices: an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree.

A bachelor’s is an excellent choice, but an associate’s degree has clear and obvious advantages (as well as disadvantages). Most notably, it takes about half the time to complete and (usually) is far more affordable.

A bachelor’s degree, which is a deeper education, takes roughly four years to complete, assuming a typical class load. An associate’s degree only takes about two years. This means you can complete your degree and start working in just four semesters of college. Best of all, if you decide to continue your education, you can likely transfer your credits to a bachelor’s program and, with roughly two more years of studying, complete your bachelor’s.

Cost is always subject to change, and certain bachelor’s degrees can be less expensive than certain associate’s programs. But in general, you will find that the associate’s degree is less costly, both in overall price and per-semester tuition. At the time of this article, the average cost of an online associate’s degree in hospitality management listed on our site was $14,400. But they can go even lower; the lowest-cost program was only $5,296.

Choosing the Right Online Associate’s Degree in Hospitality Management

If you decide on an online associate’s degree in hospitality management, you have a few more choices to make, as there are different types of associate’s programs. The final decision will likely depend on whether you want to go straight into the workforce or transfer to a four-year bachelor’s program.

If you want to go directly into a hospitality career after two years of study, you’ll likely want to choose an associate of applied science or an associate of applied business, as these are more technical and generally deliver more job-ready skills.

Students who wish to transfer will likely prefer an associate of science or an associate of arts (not “applied” science or arts). These programs are often created for transfer purposes.

What to Expect from a 2 Year Hospitality Management Program

While the classes and subject matter will change depending on the type of degree you select, as well as the school you attend, you can expect a variety of classes that give you a sound understanding of the hospitality industry, which includes hotels, resorts, restaurants, casinos, catering companies, event planning, and more.

Some of your classes will certainly have a focus on general business practices. This may include financial accounting, principles of management, and business economics.

Many of the programs include at least a few classes on food service and food safety. Expect classes that include food sanitation, food and beverage management, and alcohol sales.

The hotel industry is heavily represented during an online associate’s degree in hospitality management, so you will likely complete courses in hotel management, operations, and hospitality service.

Popular Careers for Students of Hospitality Management

Once you complete these interesting and diverse classes, you’ll be prepared for numerous careers in hotels, resorts, restaurants, and more…

Lodging Manager

  • Salary: $56,670
  • Education: High school diploma
  • Experience: Under 5 years

Lodging managers, who usually work in hotels, are responsible for ensuring guests have a pleasant stay. They also ensure that a hotel is profitable and the operations are effective and efficient.

To work in this career, you need experience in the hotel industry. While the minimum education is a high school diploma or equivalent, an associate’s degree will give you an advantage over other job candidates and could even reduce the experience requirements. Full-service hospitality chains often require job candidates to have a bachelor’s, so a transferable degree may be preferred.

Food Service Manager

  • Salary: $56,590
  • Education: High school diploma
  • Experience: Under 5 years

Food service is more complicated than you might think. Not only do the food and beverages need to be appealing to customers, food safety needs to be at the highest possible standard. Food service managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and other food services, making sure the business is safe and profitable.

Experience in the food industry is essential for this career. Most managers will spend around five years as cooks, wait staff, and hosts before they work as a food service manager.

Hospitality management is a unique, interesting, and engaging career. If you want to work in this profession, visit this ranking list gives you a full picture of the top online associate’s degree in hospitality management programs for your goals, budget, and schedule.