UCLA Anderson | Ms. Triathlete
GMAT 720, GPA 2.8
Columbia | Mr. Oil & Gas
GMAT 710, GPA 3.37
Kellogg | Mr. Digital Finance Strategy
GRE 327, GPA 3.47
Harvard | Mr. Banking & Finance
GMAT 700, GPA 3.8
MIT Sloan | Ms. Canadian Civil Servant
GRE 332, GPA 3.89
INSEAD | Mr. Dreaming Civil Servant
GMAT 700, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Ms. Energy To Healthcare
GMAT 740, GPA 8.4/10
NYU Stern | Mr. NYC Consultant
GRE 327, GPA 3.47
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Air Force Vet
GRE 311, GPA 3.6
Yale | Mr. Yale Hopeful
GMAT 750, GPA 2.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Nuclear Vet
GMAT 770, GPA 3.86
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. MIT Hopeful
GRE 316, GPA 3.77
Wharton | Mr. Do Little
GRE 335, GPA 3.6 (High Distinction)
Harvard | Mr. Infantry Commander
GMAT 730, GPA 3.178
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Harvard | Mr. Low GRE
GRE 314, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tier 2 Consultant
GMAT 770, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Latin American
GMAT 770, GPA 8 of 10
Columbia | Mr. Brandless
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Ms. Decision Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Ambivalent Applicant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Data Dude
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Columbia | Mr. Reinvention
GMAT 780, GPA 2.3
Kellogg | Mr. Hopeful Green CPA
GMAT 690, GPA 3.96
Tuck | Mr. Mega Bank
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3

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.