You don’t need us to tell you that Business School is expensive. But there are more resources available to help you pay for it than you might think. With some careful research into scholarship and fellowship opportunities, you could be on your way to funding your degree.
Funding for your MBA may be offered by specific universities or programs, or by outside private sources (such as foundations, alumni groups, or companies). The key for scholarship candidates is research. Start by thoroughly reviewing any funding opportunities at your chosen school. Do they offer a full-ride fellowship program for high merit students? Perhaps the university participates in a wider fellowship program, such as the
• Consortium Fellowship, which provides funding for outstanding applicants who demonstrate a commitment to the Consortium’s mission of promoting diversity and inclusion in American business and who are applying to member universities.
• Forté Foundation, which provides funding for outstanding women.
Next, consider your interests, affiliations and goals. Maybe you already have a professional connection with an organization or company that offers scholarships. Maybe there’s an organization that offers scholarships to support the next generation of leaders in the field you intend to pursue. Maybe you’re a member of an underrepresented community, and there’s a community-based MBA association (or alumni association at the school you plan to attend) that funds scholarships— see for example the National Black MBA Association or the National Society of Hispanic MBAs . International students planning to pursue their studies in the US might consider the Fulbright.
Finally, conduct a general scholarship search. Many companies and foundations offer scholarships for MBA students, and the web makes it easy to find them. Create a profile on a free database such as www.ScholarshipExperts.com or www.FastWeb.com (these contain a lot of undergrad listings, but they also have some MBA-specific scholarships). There are also targeted books available—a good one is Schlachter and Webber’s How to Pay for Your Degree in Business & Related Fields, published by Reference Service Press.
The requirements for your scholarship applications will be similar to your admission applications: essays, recommendations, academic transcripts, resumes. For large, school-based fellowships, finalists will often be interviewed. And remember to start your search early—don’t let opportunities pass you by!
By Dr. Rebecca Blustein, Accepted.com editor and former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center. Dr. Blustein can help you with your application or scholarship essays.