February 26, 2024

Top MBA is a significant financial investment, but the returns can be even greater than the tuition. There’s also the issue of lost earnings — or opportunity cost. Getting into an elite program is extremely difficult, with top schools typically admitting only a small percentage of those who apply. As a result, most successful candidates are high-fliers who must forego typically large pay packages to obtain the degree.

Fortunately, business schools are going to great lengths to provide financial assistance to their students. Scholarships worth millions of dollars are awarded each year as competition for the best and brightest students heats up. In fact, some astute students are negotiating their own scholarship offers, pitting one school against another in the hopes of securing more financial aid.

MBA scholarships are generally divided into two types: need-based and merit-based. Merit-based scholarships are given to students based on their accomplishments, such as high GMAT scores, strong undergraduate performance, or leadership experience. Need-based MBA scholarships are given to students based on their financial need, with the goal of attracting a more diverse range of participants to MBA programs. This is significant because peer learning is the MBA’s mantra.

The top MBA programs for scholarships are listed below, based on the total amount awarded as well as the breadth of scholarships available, as well as assistance in locating other funding sources. The schools listed below were chosen using publicly available scholarship data.

Also Read: IMD MBA scholarships

Harvard Business School (HBS)

With a $34 million financial aid budget, HBS provides need-based assistance to approximately half of its MBA students. As of this year, the average HBS financial aid package is around $40,000 per year, for a total of $80,000 for the two-year program. Also, the HBS financial aid team helps students find loans to cover the full cost of an MBA, which includes not only tuition but also living expenses, travel, and other costs.

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CEIBS China Europe International Business School

CEIBS in Shanghai has a robust and diverse financial aid program for both domestic Chinese and international MBA students. In 2018, 30% of the MBA cohort received scholarships covering 20% to 100% of their tuition. Furthermore, 40% of the cohort received loans ranging from 25% to 100% of their tuition.

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Stanford University – Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford provides generous scholarships to top MBA students to help them cover the full cost of attendance. They are gratuitous gifts that do not require repayment. The average GSB award is around $35,000 per year, for a total of $70,000 in awards. They are distributed based on financial need. Once admitted, GSB calculates the expected student contribution to fees based on the student’s financial situation. Scholarships and loans are used to cover the difference between the cost of attendance and the expected student contribution.

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The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Wharton’s financial aid program is open to all admitted top MBA students. Unique personal qualities and background; academic or professional achievement; and community involvement are among the criteria. MBA applicants can apply for six different “fellowships,” including those who have demonstrated social impact or come from emerging economies. Also, 19 companies and foundations, such as Bain & Company, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse, offer fellowships to Wharton MBA students.

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Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Every admitted applicant is considered for a merit scholarship, which can range from partial to full tuition for the entire two-year MBA program; some top  MBA candidates have received financial awards of up to $66,000. Prior academic achievement, demonstrated leadership qualities, community involvement, extracurricular work, and professional accomplishments are all considered for the awards. There are also several specific scholarships available. They include the Keller Scholars program, which pays for all tuition for exceptional students. The school also has a number of programs to help students who are interested in becoming social entrepreneurs.

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Georgetown University – McDonough School of Business

Merit-based scholarships totaling more than $1.5 million are available to all MBA applicants at Georgetown McDonough. They are given based on an applicant’s academic, personal, and professional achievements, which are evaluated during the application interview. Also, all veterans in the school’s MBA program get $15,000 per year in funding, which is more than the $10,000 they used to get.

Visit the school website HERE