Berkeley Haas | Mr. Upward Trend
GMAT 730, GPA 2.85
MIT Sloan | Mr. Unicorn Strategy
GMAT 740 (estimated), GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Financial Controller
GRE Yet to Take, Target is ~330, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. Data & Strategy
GMAT 710 (estimate), GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Class President
GRE 319.5, GPA 3.76
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Man
GRE 330, GPA 3.25
Stanford GSB | Mr. S.N. Bose Scholar
GMAT 770, GPA 3.84
MIT Sloan | Mr. Surgery to MBB
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Foster School of Business | Mr. Tesla Gigafactory
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. PM to FinTech
GMAT 740, GPA 6/10
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Emporio Armani
GMAT 780, GPA 3.03
MIT Sloan | Mr. Generic Nerd
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Columbia | Mr. Alien
GMAT 700, GPA 3.83
Harvard | Ms. Media Entertainment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Jill Of All Trades
GRE 314, GPA 3.36
Ross | Mr. NCAA to MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Finance in Tech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Global Energy
GMAT 760, GPA 7.9/10
Chicago Booth | Mr. Indian O&G EPC
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Tuck | Ms. Green Biz
GRE 326, GPA 3.15
Wharton | Ms. Female Engineer
GRE 323, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Global Innovator
GMAT 720, GPA 3.99
London Business School | Mr. CFA Charterholder
GMAT 770, GPA 3.94
Tuck | Mr. Federal Civilian
GMAT 780, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Texan Adventurer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
London Business School | Mr. Impact Financier
GMAT 750, GPA 7.35/10
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Contractor
GMAT 730, GPA 3.2

MBA Scholarships At Top Business Schools

This year, the average need-based scholarship comes to $32,000 a year—a tidy sum but under the $58,875 in annual tuition and significantly under the $95,100 that Harvard says a single student should budget for their annual MBA experience. The higher $95,100 number includes program fees, health care, and room and board. That’s why Harvard, even with the largest scholarship fund for MBAs, is setting aside some of the $1 billion in its latest capital campaign toward even more scholarship support. After all, last year the average student debt load for a graduating MBA from the school was a hefty $78,991.

One of the primary reasons Harvard is raising more money is to help its MBA students is because the school doesn’t want all of its graduates to chase the highest-paying jobs in finance and consulting out of necessity–to help pay off their debt. Dean Nitin Nohria believes that the high cost of an MBA can impose limitations on career choices, unless the school can help with the burden.

The numbers shown in the table (below) are for scholarships and do not include the total financial aid budgets of the schools. The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, for example, devotes $19.2 million a year to financial aid, a significant portion of which is used to cover the interest payments of students while they are in the MBA program. Some 61% of the MBA students receive aid, but a smaller percentage gets scholarship funding, in all likelihood just under 50%. The actual amount of scholarship support at Ross is estimated at $15.4 million.


SchoolTotal Scholarships% of Gross TuitionAverage Grant% of MBAs on Scholarship
Harvard Business School$31.5 million28.6%$32,00050%
Penn (Wharton)*$16.9 million*14.8%$30,50033%
Chicago (Booth)*$16.3 million*22.6%$30,00060%
Stanford GSB$15.7 million31.0%$35,83052%
Michigan (Ross)*$15.4 million27.5%$22,36048%
New York (Stern)$12.8 million26.8%$26,400*62%*
UCLA (Anderson)$12.1 million22.4%$25,86065%
Northwestern (Kellogg)$11.8 million27.9%$22,80035%
Columbia Business School*$10.1 million12.5%$20,50046%
Virginia (Darden)*$8.4 million23.4%$30,80043%
MIT (Sloan)*$8.1 million15.6%$28,22035%
Duke (Fuqua)$7.1 million14.2%$20,95033%
North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)$6.8 million22.2%$35,37035%
Rice (Jones)$6.7 million59.0%$33,32094%
Indiana (Kelley)$6.4 million34.0%$25,75770%
Yale School of Management$6.2 million13.0%$23,02831%
Vanderbilt (Owen)$6.0 million36.6%$25,79765%
UC-Berkeley (Haas)$5.8 million23.0%$29,06050%
Cornell (Johnson)$5.7 million17.5%$12,00033%
Washington Univ. (Olin)$5.5 million39.0%$30,99064%
Notre Dame (Mendoza)$5.5 million36.9%$29,28360%
Dartmouth (Tuck)*$5.4 million15.6%$27,55035%
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)$5.3 million21.5%$21,85357%
Emory (Goizueta)$5.0 million29.6%$24,90557%
Georgetown (McDonough)$3.3 million11.6%$30,00027%
Texas-Austin (McCombs)$3.0 million13.8%$13,49444%
Univ. of Washington (Foster)$1.3 million13.8%$17,70047%

Source: Poets&Quants from business school reports

Notes: An asterisk denotes estimates by Poets&Quants based on interviews with rival business school administrators and admission consultants


The first in a series on the growth in MBA scholarship money and what it means

The first in a series on the growth in MBA scholarship money and what it means


The Often Frenzied Pursuit Of The Best Students

The Bottom Line: MBA Scholarships At Top Business Schools

Show Me The Money: How A Scholarship Committee Decides

What Kinds Of Students Win The Scholarship Game

Why Many Fail To Negotiate Scholarship Offers

How NOT To Haggle For Scholarship Cash

Consultants Hype MBA Scholarship Awards To Clients

How A Scholarship Can Transform A Life


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.