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.


School Total Scholarships % of Gross Tuition Average Grant % of MBAs on Scholarship
Harvard Business School $31.5 million 28.6% $32,000 50%
Penn (Wharton)* $16.9 million* 14.8% $30,500 33%
Chicago (Booth)* $16.3 million* 22.6% $30,000 60%
Stanford GSB $15.7 million 31.0% $35,830 52%
Michigan (Ross)* $15.4 million 27.5% $22,360 48%
New York (Stern) $12.8 million 26.8% $26,400* 62%*
UCLA (Anderson) $12.1 million 22.4% $25,860 65%
Northwestern (Kellogg) $11.8 million 27.9% $22,800 35%
Columbia Business School* $10.1 million 12.5% $20,500 46%
Virginia (Darden)* $8.4 million 23.4% $30,800 43%
MIT (Sloan)* $8.1 million 15.6% $28,220 35%
Duke (Fuqua) $7.1 million 14.2% $20,950 33%
North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) $6.8 million 22.2% $35,370 35%
Rice (Jones) $6.7 million 59.0% $33,320 94%
Indiana (Kelley) $6.4 million 34.0% $25,757 70%
Yale School of Management $6.2 million 13.0% $23,028 31%
Vanderbilt (Owen) $6.0 million 36.6% $25,797 65%
UC-Berkeley (Haas) $5.8 million 23.0% $29,060 50%
Cornell (Johnson) $5.7 million 17.5% $12,000 33%
Washington Univ. (Olin) $5.5 million 39.0% $30,990 64%
Notre Dame (Mendoza) $5.5 million 36.9% $29,283 60%
Dartmouth (Tuck)* $5.4 million 15.6% $27,550 35%
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) $5.3 million 21.5% $21,853 57%
Emory (Goizueta) $5.0 million 29.6% $24,905 57%
Georgetown (McDonough) $3.3 million 11.6% $30,000 27%
Texas-Austin (McCombs) $3.0 million 13.8% $13,494 44%
Univ. of Washington (Foster) $1.3 million 13.8% $17,700 47%

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


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