Stanford GSB | Mr. Marine Corps
GMAT 600, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. AI & Robotics
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Ms. MD MBA
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Fundraising Educator
GMAT 510, GPA 2.89
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Work & Family
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Fintech Startup
GMAT 570, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Ms. Ukrainian Techie
GMAT 700 (ready to take it again), GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Pretty Bland
GMAT 710, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Ms. Sales & Trading
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Mr. Long Shot
GRE 303, GPA 2.75
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Dream
GMAT 760, GPA 3.1
Columbia | Mr. Alien
GMAT 700, GPA 3.83
Harvard | Mr. Veteran
GRE 331, GPA 3.39
Wharton | Mr. Naval Submariner
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83
Wharton | Mr. Second MBA
GMAT Will apply by 2025, GPA 7.22/10
IU Kelley | Mr. Builder
GMAT 620, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Supply Chain Data Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Ms. Aspiring Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8 (Highest Honor)
Yale | Mr. Environmental Sustainability
GRE 326, GPA 3.733
Yale | Mr. Project Management
GRE 310, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Samaritan Analyst
GMAT 690, GPA 3.87
MIT Sloan | Ms. Physician
GRE 307, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Cal Poly
GRE 317, GPA 3.2
HEC Paris | Ms Journalist
GRE -, GPA 3.5
IU Kelley | Mr. Educator
GMAT 630, GPA 3.85
IU Kelley | Mr. Tech Dreams
GMAT 770, GPA 3
Tuck | Mr. Strategic Sourcing
GMAT 720, GPA 3.90

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, 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 applicant survey

Source: 2013 QS 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 applicant survey

Source: 2013 QS 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.