Having a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can give you an edge on the competition in the business world. With the cost of MBA programs reaching as high as $161,000 in some schools, being able to pay for your degree can seem challenging. Finding more affordable schools for your MBA is one way to keep expenses low. You can also apply for MBA scholarships, which cover all or some of the cost of MBA degree programs.
How Common Are Scholarships for MBA Programs?
Several scholarships are available for MBA programs. However, being awarded with a MBA scholarship can be difficult to accomplish, especially for more competitive scholarships. Knowing more about different scholarship options, as well as following tips on how to apply for them, can help you improve your chance of being considered for at least one scholarship.
Scholarship Types for MBA Students
Different types of MBA scholarships are available, including local scholarships and scholarships from specific schools. Exploring these different types can help you determine which ones you might be interested in applying for. These are some of the MBA scholarship types to look into.
- Corporate Scholarships. Some companies offer scholarships for MBA students. In some cases, large corporations sponsor business school scholarships, but some smaller companies offer them, as well. Each company has its own eligibility rules for these scholarships. Check with your employer to see if they have any corporate scholarships available for you as a prospective MBA student.
- Scholarships from Professional Organizations. Professional organizations in different fields sometimes offer scholarships for graduate students. Research professional organizations in the business world to see if you are eligible for any MBA scholarships.
- Local/Regional Scholarships. Some areas offer local or regional scholarships to help community members achieve their educational goals. Check local and regional resources to find out about the types of MBA scholarshipsin your area. You might face less competition with these scholarships since they’re typically limited to community members.
- Scholarships for Minorities/Diverse Populations. Scholarships for minority students or students from diverse populations are out there. You can find MBA scholarshipsfor different races and ethnicities, as well as scholarships for women and LGBTQ students. You can apply for more than one of these minority or diverse population scholarships depending on which you are eligible for.
- Scholarships Based on Enrollment Status. Some schools offer scholarships based on enrollment status, such as being a full-time student. This is important to keep in mind as you explore options for full-time or part-time MBA degree programs. Your enrollment status could provide additional scholarship opportunities. If you are awarded this type of scholarship, you might need to verify your enrollment status each year or as often as required.
- Military Scholarships. Military scholarships are available for those who served in the Armed Forces. Some of these scholarships cover the full cost of tuition, and some include additional funds to cover the cost of books, room and board, and other fees. If you have been in the military, look into MBA scholarshipsfor veterans and service personnel.
- School-Specific Scholarships. Some colleges and universities offer scholarships for MBA students. If you’re looking for additional scholarship opportunities, you might want to choose an MBA school that offers these scholarships. Go over the eligibility rules for these institutional scholarships to make sure you are eligible.
MBA Scholarship Tips
Since scholarships for MBA programs can be competitive, knowing how to help improve your chance of being chosen is important. Keep the following tips in mind as you explore your options for MBA scholarships.
- Do Your Research On and Offline. Give yourself time to do the research. Look for MBA scholarships online and read through the eligibility requirements and application process. Network within your community and professional contacts to learn about possible MBA scholarships that aren’t advertised online.
- Improve Your GMAT/GRE Scores. Your GMAT or GRE scores are one of the factors schools look at when choosing to offer scholarships. Improve scores by taking practice tests, pacing yourself as you study for the exams, and making a study plan.
- Apply for a Variety of MBA Scholarships. You don’t have to limit yourself to applying for one or two types of MBA scholarships. Look into different types of eligible scholarships and apply to each one. Applying for a variety of MBA scholarshipscan give you a better chance of being offered at least one.
- Apply Early. Scholarships have deadlines that can be several months or a year before the semester starts. Getting your MBA scholarship application in early can help you stand out more when schools review applications instead of getting lost in the shuffle among those who wait until closer to the deadline.
- Write a Strong Scholarship Essay. As part of your scholarship application, you might be asked to write an essay. Writing a strong essay can help you stand out from the competition, which can boost your chance of receiving an offer. Follow the essay writing prompt given to you, and make sure you also follow the rules for essay lengths and deadlines.
- Check Your Social Media Accounts. Making a good impression on schools is essential if you want to be considered a scholarship candidate. Go through your social media accounts to make sure they do not contain any content that could give schools a negative impression of you.
- Prepare for a Scholarship Interview. Your scholarship interview can play a big role in determining whether or not you’ll be awarded, so it’s important to prepare. Look up common scholarship interview questions, and practice giving your responses. You might also want to come up with a few questions to ask your interviewer, such as what the school’s class sizes are or what makes the school’s MBA program unique.
- Negotiate. You can negotiate the amount of money your scholarship offers if you need a higher amount. Leveraging multiple scholarship offers, justifying why you’re asking for an increase, and practicing your negotiation skills ahead of time can help you improve your chance of successfully negotiating your offer.
Other Ways to Pay for Your MBA
Scholarships aren’t the only way to pay for an MBA degree. The following are some other options to explore if you’re looking into ways to cover the cost of an MBA.
- Federal Loans. Federal loans can cover some or all of the cost of your MBA program. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay your federal loan back after you graduate.
- Private Loans. Private loans offer another way to pay for an MBA degree. These loans might have a higher interest rate than federal loans and can require you to begin paying them back sooner after graduating.
- Work-Study. At some schools, working on campus can help you pay for your MBA. Some work-study options allow you to have your pay applied to your tuition and fees.
- Employer Assistance. When you’re an employee, check to see if your company offers employer assistance. With this option, employers cover all or some of the cost of having an employee earn an MBA.
- Graduate or Teaching Assistantships. Some schools hire graduate assistants or teaching assistants. In exchange for working for a professor by grading papers and doing research, students can receive all or part of their tuition and fees waived. Some offer additional stipends to cover all or part of room and board. Some schools limit assistantships to students enrolled in on-campus MBA programs.
When exploring your options for MBA scholarships, keep in mind that you might be able to apply for them each year even if your previous applications aren’t accepted. This gives you more chances to receive some scholarship awards as you go through your MBA program.
If you’ve started looking for MBA degree programs, please contact the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at The University at Tennessee at Chattanooga. You can earn a fully online MBA degree or a flexible degree with both online and on-campus classes. If you’re leaning toward a certain area in business, keep in mind that we offer specializations in business analytics, healthcare administration and finance. We can also provide you with information on financial aid options and our admissions processes.
https://www.onlinemba.com/resources/mba-scholarships/ https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2018-08-16/consider-applying-for-these-4-types-of-mba-scholarships https://www.mba.com/how-to-apply/scholarships-and-financing/five-ways-to-ace-business-scholarship-negotiation