Prospective business students know that MBAs are expensive undertakings: an article from U.S. News estimates that highly-ranked MBA programs generally cost about $60,000 per year. But although MBA tuitions are high, funding your professional future may not be as daunting as it seems. That’s because, as the same article points out, many business school students receive scholarships and need-based financial aid. In fact, U.S. News reports that “nearly 50 percent of Harvard MBA students are given a need-based fellowship,” and “55 percent of the two-year MBA student population received… need-based fellowship grants” at Stanford University.

MBA scholarships

Funding Your Future

As you consider which type of MBA program makes the most sense for you, it's also wise to consider what scholarships and financial aid packages are available at each of the schools you're considering. Here are a few tips to get started:

1. What does it cost?

Check tuition estimates listed in our online  business school profiles. These resources will give you an idea of what costs you'll need to cover as a business student.

2. What kind of b-school aid is available?

Figure out whether or not the schools you're interested in give need-based fellowships or grants (which do not need to be repaid) as well as what calculations they use to determine need. Research these schools online or call their financial aid offices directly if you have specific questions. At the same time, check out any merit-based scholarships, which are generally awarded to students based on previous education achievements, high GMAT or GRE scores, or specific backgrounds or career plans.

3. Research industry scholarships.

These are not awarded by MBA programs themselves, but rather by third-party organizations that sponsor business students who plan to work in specific fields. There are also programs run by organizations like the National Black MBA Association, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and the Forte Foundation, which help minority and women students pay for their MBA degrees.

4. Look into federal student loan programs for U.S. students.

Check options like Stafford loans and GRAD Plus loans, as well as private student loans. Note that planning to pay back borrowed money with interest makes it clear to business schools that you are making an investment in your education; make sure you’ve calculated your MBA return on investment if you decide to borrow money. Know, however, that loans (both public and private) are a common way for business students to pay for MBA degrees. 

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