The MBA or Masters in Business Administration is one of the most lucrative graduate degrees a student can pursue. According to the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) the average starting salary for MBA graduates was $115,000 in 2019. MBA programs can also be quite expensive. Luckily, there are a number of MBA scholarships that can help students pay for their MBA degree!
Keep on reading to learn more about how you can pay for your business degree with scholarships and fellowships!
Jump ahead to…
- How to win MBA scholarships
- College-specific MBA scholarships
- How to pay for your MBA
- Frequently asked questions
- Explore these additional scholarship categories
How to win MBA scholarships
Now that you’ve got a great list of scholarships to consider, it’s time to start applying! Remember, every scholarship opportunity receives many applications, so in order to win, you’ll have to put together a standout application.
Before you start to apply, take some time to reflect on your aspirations, strengths, and past experience. Think about how you want to change the world with your MBA degree, how you’ll get there, and your past accomplishments that speak to your ability to do so. Try jotting these down in bullet points on a piece of paper to get all your thoughts on the page.
Don’t worry about succinctness or grammar or spelling; just get your thoughts out in front of you, and then come back to this page as you write your essays. This allows you to focus on your thoughts initially, and then use the actual writing process to focus on making your essay succinct, powerful, and compelling.
Writing the perfect essay
Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to write about, it’s time to work on crafting that perfect essay. We can help you out with guides on how to start and end a scholarship essay, how to write a winning scholarship essay, and the best ways to respond to a “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” prompt. We can also show you how to tailor your writing to 250 or 500 word limits, and write a scholarship resume. Good luck!
College-specific MBA scholarships
If you are interested in earning an MBA, there is a program for you. An MBA can drastically increase a graduate’s salary, but keep in mind that the degree itself is only part of the picture. The reputation of the university attended, academic performance, work experience/focus, and location all influence the overall value and MBA. Our list includes just a few of the top programs that offer scholarships and/or fellowships.
- Eligibility: Four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. Average applicants have a 730 GMAT and 4.7 years’ of work experience
- Amount: Varies ($42,000 average scholarship)
- Deadline: Round 1: September 8, Round 2: January 5. and Round 3: April 29 (dates change by a day or two each calendar year, so check website)
- Eligibility: Four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. Average applicants have a 3.6 GPA and 730 GMAT.
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Round 1: September 24, Round 2: January 12. and Round 3: April 1 (dates change by a day or two each calendar year, so check website)
- Eligibility: Four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. Average applicants have a 3.4 GPA and 680 GMAT. Communication ability, motivation, maturity, career focus, and leadership are all considered
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Round 1: October 15, Round 2: January 15. and Round 3: May 15 (dates change by a day or two each calendar year, so check website)
- Eligibility: Wide variety of scholarships and stipends for academic achievement, U of Minnesota alums, women, diverse applicants, residents of Minnesota, veterans, and international students!
- Amount: Varies, up to full tuition.
- Deadline: Round 1: October 1, Round 2: December 1, Round 3: February 1, Round 4: April 1, Round 5 (Domestic applicants only): June 1 (Unless noted all scholarships do not require a supplemental application)
- Eligibility: Undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. Average of 694 GMAT and five years’ work experience, as well as outstanding personal qualities
- Amount: Varies, up to full tuition and living stipend fellowships are offered
- Deadline: Round 1: October 13, Round 2: January 5. Round 3: April 12, and Round 4: May 24 (dates change by a day or two each calendar year, so check website)
- Eligibility: Admitted applicants have a GMA of 6.94 and 5.5. years’ work experience
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Rolling
How to pay for your MBA
If you are a prospective MBA student you are probably aware that getting your MBA can be quite expensive (for reference, the most expensive MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management costs around $120,000 per year). This is why it is so important to put together a plan for paying for your MBA.
Below, we’ll walk through the basics of financing your MBA program so you can put together a plan to pay for your degree.
Scholarships & fellowships
Whether you are applying for outside scholarships or college-specific opportunities, there are scholarships, grants, and fellowships available for MBA students. The best part about these funding opportunities is that they do not need to be repaid and are essentially free money to subsidize your degree. If finances are going to play a major factor in your MBA school choice, you should be sure to include MBA programs that offer generous scholarship and fellowship awards.
In addition to scholarships, tuition reimbursement can be a great way to subsidize your MBA. Tuition reimbursement is an employee benefit that companies offer to help provide financial support to employees who are furthering their education. If you want to learn more about employee tuition reimbursement and what companies offer it, check out our tuition reimbursement guide to learn more.
Many MBA students will have a few years of work experience, which means that they may have some savings (and in the case of students who are doing their MBA part-time, income to pay for their degree). Depending on your financial situation and budget, this can be a smart way to cover at least some of your MBA costs.
MBA students can pay for costs that are not covered by scholarships, fellowships, or personal savings with student loans. This can include student loans from the federal government, as well as private student loans. Students should note that to qualify for federal student loans, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA.
Frequently asked questions
Can you get a fully funded MBA?
Yes, there are full scholarships available for MBA students. Your best bet is to look into specific MBA programs, like the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business or University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management that offer scholarships that go up to full funding.
Other options for full funding include the Questbridge Graduate School Match program which provides full funding at top MBA programs like Stanford Graduate School of Business, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Yale School of Management. The big caveat wit the Questbridge Graduate program is that it is for alumni of the Questbridge undergraduate program only.
Can you get a scholarship for an online MBA?
Unless specifically stated, all MBA scholarships will be applicable at an online MBA program. When in doubt, you can also contact the financial aid office at your college (or the college you are considering). Additionally, you can check out our top scholarships for online students that’s updated each month with new, vetted scholarships.
Explore these additional scholarship categories
- Top graduate school scholarships
- Top scholarships for accounting majors
- Easy scholarships to apply for
- Top business scholarships
- Top scholarships for women
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