Columbia Offers New Dong-Bin Shin Fellowships

Applying to CBS? Check out our application essay tips! Last week, Columbia School of Business announced that it will be offering two-year, full-tuition fellowships to four class of 2016 students. The fellowship – the Dong-Bin Shin Fellowship – is supported by the recent $4 million gift of class of 1981 alumnus, Dong-Bin Shin.

The fellowships will be awarded to four students who demonstrate academic excellence as well as financial need. One fellowship will be given to an international student from each the follow regions: South Korea, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East or Africa. To be considered, students must apply by January 6, 2014.

In appreciation of Shin’s generosity, Columbia will establish the Dong-Bin Shin ’81 and Lotte Classroom on its new Manhattanville campus.

Check out our Columbia Business School Zone for all the CBS news, stats, tips, and more.

NYU Stern Offers New Scholarship

Learn more about NYU Stern.

“We’re in the dream-enabling business at NYU”

NYU Stern received a $10 million gift that will go towards a scholarship fund for college seniors who wish to pursue their MBAs at Stern after they graduate. The scholarship is named for the donor, William R. Berkley, NYU alumnus and vice chairman of the NYU board of trustees. Berkley’s $10 million gift is part of NYU’s six-year campaign to raise $1 billion for scholarships.

Exceptional college students must apply to Stern’s full-time MBA program and The William R. Berkley Scholarship Program during their senior year on the regular Stern application deadline schedule.

The program provides awardees with “a scholarship that covers the full two-year tuition and fees, provides a housing stipend of $18,000/year, and includes a $10,000/year stipend for books and other expenses. Berkley Scholars will also receive intensive mentoring from the Stern community.” In other words, it covers virtually everything.

“We’re in the dream-enabling business at NYU,” says Peter Henry, NYU Stern’s dean. “With Bill’s support, we have the opportunity to inspire the best young minds around the country and the world to dream big. Whether they’ve studied engineering or economics, physics or philosophy and everything in between, we want to put the tools of business into the hands of the most promising leaders of tomorrow.”

I emailed Jessica Neville, Executive Director of Stern’s Office of Public Affairs, with a few questions. I thought I’d share her answers here:

1. Is this for ANY college senior? In other words do you have to be an undergraduate student at NYU or do you have to be a U.S. resident or citizen? Are there any other restrictions?

Jessica Neville: Yes, domestic and international college seniors are eligible to apply. We are seeking seniors who demonstrate a combination of stellar academic performance and exceptional potential to contribute to business and society.

2. How many students a year (or at least in the first year) do you anticipate will be awarded the scholarship?

JN: The program will be highly selective with a maximum of 10 students per year.

3. Does the student need to start the MBA immediately upon graduate, or is there a deferral option?

JN: There is no deferral option. College seniors will be required to start the Stern full-time MBA program in the fall after graduating from college.

(See NYU’s press release announcing the scholarship for more info.)

Against the Odds: Indian MBA Applicants – Find a Way to Pay

What are your options for financing your MBA?

A quick survey of total out-of-pocket MBA expenses at some of the world’s top business schools may leave you weak in the knees. The range is about $150,000 to over $200,000 USD. That’s before adding in lots of extra costs like travel, computers, and loan interest repayments.

Now most schools offer some sort of financial assistance. Harvard, for example, boasts that 65% of students receive some sort of financial aid.

But as an Indian applicant, you may have a few additional hurdles ahead as you secure financing for a U.S.-based MBA. The current 1 USD → 60 Indian rupee exchange rate means you’ll have to dig deeper into your bank account to cover costs. You also have fewer resources than U.S. citizens when it comes to securing loans if you choose an American MBA program.

What are your options then for financing your MBA?

Personal and family resources, company sponsorships

Most schools suggest you should first rely on your own savings, then assistance or loans from family. For those who’ve been savvy savers or lucky enough to have deep-pocketed relatives, this zero percent interest approach is a great way to start chipping away at your behemoth tuition fees and expenses.

If you plan to return to the company where you’re currently employed, then ask for a corporate sponsorship! Not only will this cut down on your costs out-of-pocket, but it may also enhance your chances of acceptance. Many one-year and accelerated MBA programs look very favorably on sponsored candidates as it means guaranteed tuition payment, and guaranteed job placement.


**Please note that all these resources are suggestions, not endorsements. Loan terms may be subject to change after publication of this blog post. Be sure to verify these sources on your own.**

Domestic loans from India

Start at home on your hunt for loans. But school financial aid websites can also be a good place to start! Cornell Financial Aid has a great website listing domestic loan options specifically oriented to Indian students. Columbia also has a page that lists domestic Indian loan and grant options.

US Federal Student Loans

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for US federal student loans through the Department of Education, unless you are a permanent resident with a green card, or in the case of some other very rare exceptions.

Private US Loans

That leaves the private loan market as the only lender source for Indian nationals. It will take dedicated research to identify the right loan provider for your needs. Several US loan programs that did not require a creditworthy U.S. co-signor shut down in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Deutsche Bank then launched an alternative program in 2009 called ALPS (Affiliated Loan Program for Students) that was embraced by some top MBA programs, but they have since stopped offering loans to new borrowers. Lenders have a tendency to start and stop their programs frequently. It is thus best to confirm directly with schools that a loan program is still in existence before deciding to depend on it as a funding source.

Private US loans — no U.S. co-signor

Several MBA programs such as Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, Cornell and others offer loans through credit unions that do not require a U.S. co-signor. Carefully read the terms of the loan though. Wharton’s program covers only 80% of the first and second year budget. Cornell’s arrangement funds “cost-of-tuition only less any scholarship received.” If you choose this option, you will likely have to cover additional expenses with another funding source.

Private US loans – with U.S. co-signor

Again, make school financial aid websites your first stop when on the hunt for such lenders. Check out numerous schools’ sites, even if you don’t plan to apply. They may have information on private loan sources that your choice hasn’t mentioned. For example, Cornell has a list of resources for private loans requiring a U.S. co-signor. Check it out!

School grants or fellowships, outside scholarships

If you’re a stand out applicant, it’s likely you’ll be offered some money to attend.

Schools make this decision as part of the application process. If you don’t receive an offer with your letter of acceptance, it’s likely you won’t be considered for an award. But after you’re accepted, it still never hurts to ask.

If you do receive money from one school, be careful and tactful about playing schools off each other to get more award money. Each program may have different criteria to determine who gets awards. Money may be available to you at one school, but not another.

Some schools make additional grants taking your background or nationality into consideration. Stanford just announced the new Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship that covers “everything for up to 5 Indian students to attend Stanford GSB, and the top 50 finalists for the Fellowship will even receive a break on applying – submitting Stanford’s application for free.”

Check out this list of other school fellowships oriented to students from developing countries. And again, scour your top choice schools’ financial aid websites for more information:

• Wharton:

• Insead:

• Esade:

• HEC:

• IMD (Women):

Finally, here’s a brief list of outside scholarships oriented to Indian students. They’re all competitive, but worth your time to consider.

• AAUW (Women):

• Aga Khan Foundation:

• Fulbright:

Every penny counts, especially those you don’t have to pay back!

Get the rest of the series: Download Against the Odds: MBA Admissions for Indian Applicants now!

Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.

More Money for Students!

More money for studentsThe Dorm Room Fund (DRF), a student-run venture fund that invests in student-run startups, will be expanding its concept to Boston this fall. The VC fund already operates in Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco.

For a startup to be eligible for DRF funds, it must have at least one current student or recent graduate on its investment team. Of the 32 students (spread out over three investment teams), there are 7 MBAs from top schools, including Wharton and Columbia Business School.

See Businessweek’s article, “VC Fund ‘for Students, by Students’ Expands to Boston,” for more details.

Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship

Stanford GSBIndian students considering applying to the Stanford MBA program should check out the Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship. The scholarship covers everything for up to 5 Indian students to attend Stanford GSB, and the top 50 finalists for the Fellowship will even receive a break on applying – submitting Stanford’s application for free. The Fellowship’s application process has already begun and registration will end on June 21st, so if you are considering applying to Stanford this year, be sure to complete the application soon.

Successful Fellowship applicants will need to demonstrate excellent academics and career progress plus a strong commitment to India’s development (financial need is also a factor). The Fellowship application is short, asking for educational history, test scores, employment history, a CV, financial information, and only one short essay of 250 words or less: “How do you aspire to shape your country’s future?”

Two-hundred and fifty words is not a lot of space, so I recommend that your past leadership experiences be detailed well in the CV to leave this brief essay solely to your vision for the future: In what areas do you aim to make the greatest headway? How do you plan to undertake that effort? What goals do you aspire to and how do you intend to help India reach them within the next 10 to 20 years?

Obviously, goals based upon previous experiences and involvement will strike the Fellowship’s review committee as the most authentic, so take the time to identify what areas of development are truly the most important in your eyes and share your passion through this essay. Once the top 50 finalists for the Fellowship are selected, they will proceed to complete the regular Stanford application.

Jennifer BloomAs an editor with Accepted for 14 years and a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW),  has gained great experience in crafting CV’s and essays that truly differentiate applicants from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your Fellowship application, please consider Accepted’s editing services for both your CV and essay.