Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
IU Kelley | Mr. Clinical Trial Ops
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.33
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Rice Jones | Mr. Simple Manufacturer
GRE 320, GPA 3.95
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
NYU Stern | Mr. Low Gmat
GMAT 690, GPA 73.45 % (No GPA in undergrad)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Finance Musician
GRE 330, GPA 3.6
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. 1st Gen Brazilian LGBT
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
USC Marshall | Mr. Ambitious
GRE 323, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Tuck | Ms. Nigerian Footwear
GRE None, GPA 4.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Low GPA High GRE
GRE 325, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5

Harvard Discounting MBA Tuition by 58.3%

A case study professor in action at Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School, already the world’s most generous school in helping its MBAs with their tuition bills, increased fellowship support last year another 12% to an average of  $29,843 per student, up from $26,745 a year earlier.

Only five years ago, in 2007, the average fellowship aid per student at Harvard was $17,605 a year. That’s a nearly 70% increase in student support since 2007, making it increasingly difficult for other B-schools to lure and essentially buy the best MBA talent on the market.

Put another way, Harvard discounted its then annual $51,200 tuition by an average of 58.3% last year, up from 54.7% a year earlier and 44.5% five years ago. Of course, these are average numbers. So some students pay full freight; others go for free. Many get a discount off the full cost of tuition. The school says that half of its MBA candidates, roughly 900 students, receive a need-based fellowship award. Annual tuition at Harvard also has now risen to $53,500.

Over the past five fiscal years, the school’s average two-year MBA fellowship award has grown from $36,908 for the HBS Class of 2008 to $59,000 for the Class of 2013, according to Richard P. Melnick, chief financial officer of the Harvard Business School.


All told, Harvard spent an unprecedented $27 million in MBA fellowship support last year, up from $26 million in 2011. Including fellowship spending for doctoral and executive education programs brings the total spent last year to $37 million, up one million from $36 million in fiscal 2011.

The numbers are disclosed in Harvard Business School’s just released 2012 annual report.

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, Harvard’s biggest domestic rival, is not far behind in discounting the sticker price of its MBA program. The school says its average fellowship grant last year to MBA candidates was $24,708, up from $23,683 in 2011. This academic year some 427 MBA students at Stanford are receiving some form of scholarship money from the $12.8 million in institutional funding the school has set aside for MBA candidates.

The pressure Harvard is placing on other prominent schools who are losing some of their best applicants to HBS due to the lure of a deeply discounted education is not likely to let up. The business school is currently in the midst of a quiet fund raising campaign that seeks to raise an unprecedented $850 million to $1 billion, a chunk of which will go to students in the form of more fellowship money.

Harvard justifies its generosity this way: “The prospect of joining the workforce with high levels of education debt can deter strong MBA candidates from applying to HBS and restrict their career choices upon graduation,” according to the annual report. “This is particularly true for younger students, those from outside the United States, and students whose early career paths have not enabled them to reduce their undergraduate loans. Consequently, one of the School’s longstanding goals is to assist students in minimizing minimizing their debt at graduation by ensuring that fellowship support at least keeps pace with tuition and fees.”


Harvard alsol disclosed that it spent $8 million to launch its new MBA curriculum last year, according to its just released annual report. The money went to support FIELD, the new yearlong course in the MBA required curriculum.

“Supporting the FIELD modules on campus and globally added $8 million to the cost of delivering MBA education at HBS during the year,” the report said. “These incremental expenses included, among others, international travel costs for students and seed funding for student-launched businesses, as well as the cost of expanding the I.T. platform to support FIELD exercises.”

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.