Duke Fuqua | Mr. Military MedTech
GRE 310, GPA 3.48
Wharton | Mr. Aspiring Leader
GMAT 750, GPA 3.38
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Advisory Consultant
GRE 330, GPA 2.25
Kellogg | Mr. Equity To IB
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
INSEAD | Mr. Marketing Master
GRE 316, GPA 3.8
Darden | Ms. Marketing Analyst
GMAT 710, GPA 3.75
Harvard | Mr. Hedge Fund
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred MBA
GMAT 760, GPA 3.82
Stanford GSB | Mr. Robotics
GMAT 730, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Yale | Mr. Army Pilot
GMAT 650, GPA 2.90
Kellogg | Mr. Double Whammy
GMAT 730, GPA 7.1/10
INSEAD | Mr. Tesla Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. Tech To MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 2.4
INSEAD | Ms. Investment Officer
GMAT Not taken, GPA 16/20 (French scale)
Cornell Johnson | Mr. SAP SD Analyst
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Startup Of You
GMAT 770, GPA 2.4
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Admit
GMAT Waived, GPA 4.0
UCLA Anderson | Mr. International PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.3
Harvard | Mr. Policy Development
GMAT 740, GPA Top 30%
Ross | Mr. Brazilian Sales Guy
GRE 326, GPA 77/100 (USA Avg. 3.0)
GMAT -, GPA 2.9
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Against All Odds
GMAT 720, GPA 2.9
Wharton | Ms. Finance For Good
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future VC
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Mr. Investment Associate
GMAT 700, GPA 3.67
Kellogg | Ms. Public School Teacher
GRE 325, GPA 3.93

Applicants Seeking More Scholarship Cash

More and more MBA applicants are hoping to fund their degrees with scholarship money from the schools.

Some 61.1% of prospective MBA students expect to help fund their education with a scholarship, up significantly from a low of 45% in 2008, according to a new study of MBA applicants.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, far fewer applicants want to take out loans. The study said that only 13.8% of the MBA candidates expect to rely on loans to fund their MBA, down from 27.4% in 2008 and 14.5% last year.

The numbers come from a newly published study by QS TopMBA.com, an organization that sponsors MBA fairs for business schools. All told, 4,122 applicants responded to the survey from the more than 70,000 applicants who registered for the QSWorld MBA Tour in the spring and fall of 2012, a response rate of 5.9%.

“Since the recession there has been a long-term rise in the proportion of candidates relying on scholarships to fund their MBA,” said the report. “The decrease in the proportion of candidates relying on loans may reflect the tighter credit restrictions that followed the 2008 crash.”

MBA Financing Options


Source: 2013 QS TopMBA.com applicant survey

Source: 2013 QS TopMBA.com applicant survey

The report found that candidates in the U.S. and Canada are the least likely to rely on scholarships, which the authors said “may be a reflection of the extremely competitive nature of business schools in the region, as well as a greater cultural willingness to incur personal debts during the course of their higher education.” Candidates in the region are by far the most likely to rely on loans, an option chosen by nearly a third of candidates, more than double the proportion of any other region (see table below).

Candidates in Western Europe are the most reliant on personal savings, and the second most reliant on those of family and parents. MBA applicants in Africa and Middle East overwhelming expect to fund their studies through scholarships, with 71% identifying this option compared to 45.8% in US and Canada and 54% in Western Europe. Scholarships are also by far the most popular option on Latin America (69.9%) and Eastern Europe 66.5%.

Regional Comparisons of Financing Options


Source: 2013 QS TopMBA.com applicant survey

Source: 2013 QS TopMBA.com applicant survey


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.