Harvard Business School is now offering full scholarships based on financial need for approximately 10% of its MBA candidates, according to an August 16 article in the Wall Street Journal. The article also quoted Accepted founder and CEO Linda Abraham, who noted that scholarships covering the entire cost of tuition and fees for the neediest of students are “highly unusual,” and few top MBA programs offer them. Many MBA students at top-ranked schools must apply for loans to cover part of the cost of their education, but with a cost of more than $150,000 (plus living costs), the price of an HBS MBA has become prohibitive for many, depressing application volume among the more socioeconomically and ethnically diverse applicant pool that HBS (and many other MBA programs) want to attract.
The scholarships will be worth nearly $76,000 in tuition and fees, but students must still cover their own living costs, estimated at roughly $35,000 in and around the Boston area. This fall, about 200 first and second-year HBS students receive the full scholarships.
“HBS is one of the few top MBA programs with need-based (as opposed to merit-based) financial aid,” Linda observed in a LinkedIn post about the HBS scholarship announcement. “Stanford Graduate School of Business and Columbia Business School give financial aid based on need. University of Virginia Darden School of Business also has a need-based program for its MBA students called AccessDarden.”
The WSJ article also quoted Insik Kim, a co-president of Harvard Business School’s club for first-generation and low-income students, who noted that “tuition is definitely the number one priority” as qualified applicants choose their target schools.
Linda adds “I believe other programs will increasingly offer need-based aid to a small slice of their classes in the future.”
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By Judy Gruen, former Accepted admissions consultant. Judy holds a Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern University. She is the co-author of Accepted’s first full-length book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools. Want an admissions expert help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!