MBA scholarships can help you offset the costs of one of the most expensive graduate degrees. The average cost of an MBA in the US ranges from as low as $30,000 to as high as $150,000 for the . In Canada, you can expect to pay between $20,000 and $50,000, which is a bit less but it's still a significant investment. MBA scholarships are usually aimed at recent university graduates, so the type of MBA you are pursuing, for example the , may impact whether you can get MBA scholarships. Regardless, if you’re thinking about how to get an MBA and along with how to pay for an MBA, this blog will give you a list of MBA scholarships that you can apply for (although some you do not have to apply for), and what you need to get these coveted scholarships.
1. James R. Swartz Leadership Scholarship
Named after a Tepper School alumnus, the James R. Swartz Scholarship awards more than money. You will receive financial assistance, but being a Swartz scholar also brings other benefits such as a summer internship with a prominent venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, although you can choose another firm anywhere in the US. You will also be introduced to past Swartz alumni who are now industry leaders or hold high-level positions at Fortune 500 companies. But as the fellowship takes in around 12 scholars each year, you’ll also be part of a small cohort of other high-achieving students with whom to collaborate.
- You must be a full-time, first-year student at Tepper
- You must have demonstrated leadership capabilities
- You must upload an , personal statement and at least two letters of recommendation
Want to know everything you need to make your MBA resume stand out? Watch this video:
2. Tepper MBA Admission Scholarship
All entering the full-time Tepper MBA program are eligible to receive this merit and need-based scholarship. There are no specific application requirements as you will be considered for the award automatically after being accepted. You will be notified if you receive the scholarship. The award is given on the strength of your application, so you should think about getting some to make your letters, statements and personal essays all stand out.
3. Mary Anne Spellman & Jack McGrath Scholars Fund in Business
Similar to the Swartz fellowship, this scholarships program was created by a Tepper school alumnus and also awards an incoming, first-year student with a two-year tuition scholarship. The student must be a demonstrated leader and show potential as a future business leader through a combination of compassion, selflessness, practicality, and creative thinking. Your academic performance will also be a crucial deciding factor, but you should also remember to always focus on your This means choosing something you’re passionate about and committed to in the long-term. Only time will yield the experiences and development this, and many more, scholarships are looking for.
1. Marvin Zonis International Scholarship
Named after a late professor of the Booth School of Business, this scholarship is aimed at giving international MBA students a helping hand. The scholarship is specifically aimed at helping entering, full-time international students from underdeveloped nations who have excelled in their academic, personal or professional lives. There are no other specific scholarship requirements and recipients of the award are chosen based on their application to the Booth School.
2. Chicago Booth Civic Scholars Program
This program hopes to award new and experienced professionals in the public or non-profit sector with a chance to learn industry-specific management techniques and principles. Created off the strength of the Booth’s school expertise in public sector management, the Civic Scholars program is open to students from all of the school’s MBA programs, including the Executive and Part-Time MBA. You have to complete a separate application, and meet specific requirements, but the scholarships award successful applicants a full, two-year tuition waiver.
3. Zmijewski Scholarship
This scholarship is available only to incoming full-time Booth MBA students and is awarded on the basis of your leadership experience and proven determination. The scholarship is named in honor of a professor and has no specific application requirements, as you will be considered after you are admitted. But your previous professional and personal experiences will matter most, as the scholarship favors those who did not take a traditional path to business school.
1. Thomas A. Stith and Yolanda Kaye Stith Leadership Award
This fund awards first and second-year MBA students at the UNC Kenan-Flagler school who have proven themselves academically or professionally. You must also have demonstrated qualities such as resilience, being community-minded, and be actively involved in improving the lives of people in North Carolina and the United States. You must be nominated for this award, but even students from other MBA programs or graduate schools can be nominated.
2. The MBA Class of 1990 Graduate Scholarship Fund
This merit-based scholarship is aimed exclusively at first-year, full-time MBA students who have achieved high academic standing at the end of the first year. The award is usually given to someone who gets a high GPA or has shown the most improvement, but you can also win this award if you have shown leadership qualities either in class or through involvement in student clubs, extracurricular activities or through helping your fellow students.
3. The Jack Behrman and Dick Levin Award
This is another community-focused award that is open to second-year full-time MBA students at UNC Kenan-Flagler. To be eligible for this award, you must have shown your dedication to improving the learner experience for your fellow classmates by either contributing to their learning, or by supporting the university community. You can also have distinguished yourself by helping others in the surrounding community through either volunteer work or by mentoring and leadership.
1. Center for Equity, Gender, & Leadership Fellowship
This fellowship is unique to the Haas School of Business, and it puts you directly into an important professional role at the Center for Equity, Gender, & Leadership (EGL). If you win this fellowship, you do not only receive financial assistance, but important, real-word experience as a board member with public relations and marketing responsibilities. You’ll be in direct contact with EGL leadership and participate in EGL activities that range from arranging guest speakers and organizing conferences.
2. Center for Responsible Business (CRB) Fellowship
Similar to the fellowship for the EGL, winning a CRB fellowship is an opportunity for hands-on development of your skills and career, as you will be tasked with day-to-day responsibilities in the operation of the center. You will also receive a $20,000 award divided between two years of your MBA. You do not have to apply separately for the fellowship, as all incoming students are screened for the eligibility based on their academic achievements, interest in responsible corporate governance and any future plans for how to meld the goals of enterprise, and sustainability.
3. Song Feiqing Fellowship
Named for and funded by the survivors of a Chinese businessman, this award at Berkley Haas is aimed at international students who have been accepted into the full-time MBA. While the award committee prefers applicants from China, it will also accept applications from other international MBA students. To win the award, you must have an outstanding academic record, and have an interest in starting a business in Southeast Asia, preferably China that you must outline in an MBA statement of interest.
1. Meyer Feldberg Distinguished Fellowship Program
One of the most highly-coveted MBA scholarships available at , this fellowship offers a full-tuition scholarship for the duration of your MBA, while also making you a member of a highly distinguished fraternity. There is no separate application, as all incoming, first-year, full-time MBA students are screened. The fellowship committee looks at significant achievements in several fields, not only academics, or the business world. If you have distinguished yourself in a non-profit or a public service, you will also be considered.
2. R. C. Kopf Global Fellowships
This fellowship is another aimed at helping international students (non-American citizens accepted into the Columbia MBA program are eligible) although American citizens are also eligible. The focus of the fellowship is to help students interested in international business, international relations and global marketplaces excel in their studies so they can contribute positively to the growth of successful multi-national enterprises. You must also embody the spirit of fellowship’s namesake, in that you are driven to succeed, think globally, and have proven experience in an international field or with international organizations.
3. Robert F. Smith Scholarship Fund
This MBA scholarship is open only to incoming MBA students who have graduated from historically-black colleges or universities in the US. The awards range from partial-to-full-tuition scholarships, some of which are renewable for each year of your program. If you are planning on applying to CBS, pay special attention to your , as your eligibility for this scholarship will be based on how you’ve overcome obstacles, and have helped encourage diversity in different circumstances, whether in academia or the business world.
1. Wharton Fellowship Program
This program is open to all incoming Wharton school MBA students, so there is no separate application. You will be selected based on the quality of your application, especially any exceptional qualities of your background, academic or personal achievement, and extracurriculars. If you do receive the award, then you will receive a two-year monetary award that can only be used for your tuition and any school fees. To be eligible to have your award renewed, you must remain in good academic standing throughout the duration of your degree. Along with the initial prize, as you progress through the MBA program, you’ll become eligible for more scholarships based around your academic performance (Inselbag Fellowship), career goals (Leonard L Zeidman Fellowship) and career interests (Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center Awards).
2. Wharton Student Experience Fund (WSEF)
This award is unique in that it is not a scholarship, but is more a grant to pursue studies associated with taking senior-level graduate business courses in venture capitalism, investing, and leadership. You can apply for additional funding from Wharton if you have a business idea or other entrepreneurial ideas that require investment, which can range from being awarded seed money to covering traveling costs to visit possible future investors. You can also apply if you have a specific project you want to complete that is a curriculum requirement for any of the elective or specialization classes available at Wharton.
3. Friends of Israel MBA Fellowships
If you’re an Israeli citizen who has been accepted into the full-time MBA program at Wharton, this fellowship is for you, except, Israeli citizenship is not the only requirement. You must have also served in the Israeli military for your compulsory service, while also having spent at least five years working at an Israeli company prior to being enrolled in the Wharton MBA. Your undergraduate degree must also be from an Israeli university or college. There are about five or six fellowships available each year and each fellowship include a monetary award, networking and mentorship opportunities.
University of Toronto Rotman School of Management
1. Joseph L. Rotman Scholarship
This entrance scholarship is for incoming first-year, full-time MBA students who have distinguished themselves in various ways (academically, professionally) through their application materials and the application process itself, such as during their performance in their . The scholarship has no separate application, but your application to the University of Toronto School of Management is your application, so make sure to put as much time and focus into your as your , as doing well in both can pay dividends.
2. Rotman African and Caribbean Business Club (RACBC) Scholarship
This entrance award is both merit-and need-based as aimed at helping Black students from Canada and abroad find their footing at the University of Toronto, and Canada, in general. The award is open to those who have already been accepted into the full-time MBA at Rotman, and will around $20,000 for two-years based on your need and academic achievements.
3. CIBC BASc/MBA Scholarships
This scholarship is intended specifically for students who are taking a dual-degree in engineering and MBA. The scholarship is available to all combined degrees students, especially those who are attending the . You must be taking a Bachelor of Science degree in any engineering program, and have distinguished yourself academically in your three years as an undergrad. You can apply for this scholarship before starting the MBA portion of your degree, and your financial circumstances will also be a deciding factor.
York University Schulich School of Business
1. The Goldberg Leadership Award of Excellence
Only one incoming, full-time MBA student is awarded this prize worth $40,000 and named for Schulich School of Business alumni, Richard Goldberg. This MBA scholarship is mostly merit and needs-based, as one of the main scholarship requirements is a high GPA (B+ or higher). You will also be assessed for the quality and duration of any extracurricular work, such as volunteering, business ventures, internships, and community service. The award is renewable for two-years, but you must reapply and maintain your GPA to the stated level.
2. Seymour Schulich Entrance Scholarships
These no-apply scholarships are available to any incoming Schulich MBA students who meet certain criteria, namely academic excellence or commitment to serving others. However, this award is also directed at non-traditional students who may have been out of school for some time, as you must also possess at least two years of professional working experience to be eligible. The prize is renewable, and there are up to five recipients each year who receive anywhere between $20,000 and $25,000.
3. Robert Krembil Scholarship of Merit
The most valuable and noteworthy MBA scholarship opportunity at the Schulich school, this award covers your full tuition for two years, and also comes with a stipend to help you cover living expenses. The award is intended for incoming students to the MBA program, and is both needs-and-merit based. As with the Schulich entrance scholarship, you must also have high academic standards (A- or higher) in your last year of undergraduate work, along with a minimum of two years of professional working experience. If you win, you will receive a full tuition scholarship, but you have to maintain good academic standings to have it renewed, along with the $5,000 expenses stipend.
Start Planning Ahead
As you probably guessed, many of the MBA scholarships listed here are entrance scholarships, meaning there is no extra application. However, this also means you have to double your efforts in preparing your MBA application, as an excellent application package (and interview performance) can not only secure your admission, but also financial assistance. Before you submit your applications, or figure out more about how to get an MBA, look up various scholarship opportunities to see what the requirements are. When have an understanding of the kinds of qualities these MBA scholarships are looking for, you can start looking for ways to meet those requirements, whether they are work experience, community service, or academic excellence.
Get Excellent Academic Stats
Your academic performance figures heavily into whether you’ll receive an MBA scholarship. A high GPA is your ticket not only to getting into an MBA program, but also for a slew of other opportunities, such as a merit-based scholarship, fellowship opportunities, and other extracurricular activities that can help enrich your education. If academic performance is something you struggle with and are instead thinking of , you should still try to improve your GPA by taking extra-credit or summer classes when possible. The effort you make to improve your GPA, even if unsuccessful, will still matter to admissions and scholarship committees.
Score High on GMAT or GRE Test
Aside from your GPA, your GMAT or GRE scores will also figure heavily on whether you will be considered and awarded with an MBA scholarship. The higher, the better is the way it goes for your GMAT and GRE scores, and you should give yourself enough time in your to adequately prepare for the test and for multiple attempts, if necessary. Even if you are applying to , you can still submit your GRE scores (if the option exists) so that the admissions committee and, by extension, the scholarship committee can see how you excel in various areas.
Pick the Right Extracurriculars and Stick with Them
By “right” we don’t mean that certain placements, organizations and companies are preferred over others. By “right”, we mean the extracurriculars that you see yourself giving your time and energy to because you are passionate about it. If you pick an extracurricular or MBA internship that you think will impress, you’re not demonstrating something inherent about you. If you choose an extracurricular that you see as a long-term commitment that you can grow and develop in, it will lead to the kinds of things that business schools want to see in an applicant, such as commitment, dedication, and leadership. The more you grow in this extracurricular (whether it is working with a non-profit, community group or social organization), the more experiences you will have to write about and articulate on your MBA application.
Write Exceptional Personal Essays
As many of the MBA scholarships listed here are entrance scholarships, the quality of your or your is doubly important, as they will offer a window onto the personal struggles and obstacles you’ve had to overcome. You can engage an , but writing the essays yourself will have more impact. You should try to show, not tell, so your audience does not lose interest. You have to tell a compelling narrative that shows the work you’ve done to excel academically, or you can also tell an impassioned story about your personal life that has, for example, impacted your studies and is the reason behind your low GPA or failed second or third-year course.
1. Can I get an MBA scholarship?
Yes, and sometimes you do not even have to apply. The award criteria are different for every MBA scholarship, but, in general, if you have a high GPA, high GMAT or GRE, have plenty of extracurriculars or years of work experience, you might be eligible for an MBA scholarship.
2. How can I apply for an MBA scholarship?
Many of the awards listed here do not require a scholarship. For in-program scholarships, you have to follow the application instructions of each scholarship to apply, which can vary from program to program.
3. How much are MBA scholarships worth?
The award amounts for these scholarships varies. Some offer a full-tuition scholarship, while other offers a one-time prize that is either renewable or non-renewable. You can expect to get anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000 for the richest scholarships, but the award amounts may be less for the lesser-known, and most specific scholarships.
4. Who are MBA scholarships for?
MBA scholarships are typically for first-year, full-time MBA scholarships, as they are the demographic that may have the least number of resources to fund their education. Fun fact: more than half of Executive MBA students fund their own education, which is another difference between the programs for graduate students.
5. What do I need to get an MBA scholarship?
Most MBA scholarships are awarded on the basis of to get into MBA programs. Things such as your GPA, GMAT or GRE scores, , and your performance in your MBA interview will all influence whether you’ll be awarded an MBA scholarship.
6. Is an MBA worth it?
If you’re still stuck on the question of “”, you have to review what the potential salary expectations are for your particular field or industry for people with MBAs, as opposed to those who do not have MBAs. While there certainly benefits to getting an MBA, you have to weigh those benefits against the significant investments of time and money. And, you should also remember that many highly-successful executives and business leaders have built their businesses without an MBA, including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.
7. How much does an MBA cost?
We talked about the costs of an MBA in both Canada and the US, and it can vary from program to program. In Canada, you can expect to pay anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000, while in the US you can expect to pay six-figures for the best MBA programs.
8. Should I get an MBA scholarship?
For entrance scholarships, you will be made aware that you are eligible for an MBA scholarship, and it's your decision on whether you accept it, or not. But given the costs of a MBA, you should definitely accept, as you will receive not only financial assistance, but many intangible benefits as the mentorship and guidance of experts and business leaders who have come before you.