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


  • lol

    Haha.. U nailed it bro!

  • HBS

    Hi John, can you please get me a full ride to HBS through your connections?

  • Duy N Pham

    Their rankings are much different too.

  • quest

    No. with Indians and Chinese flooding, and desperate admission people for ranking, you will need something above 790! You will have a fair chance with 800! but will be competitive if you provide three times test scores of 810.

  • Roy

    You in what army little man ?

  • tylerdurden

    Is a 760 really competitive enough to get a full-ride?

  • Rachel

    Thank you!

  • JohnAByrne

    Per year.

  • Rachel

    Are the grant amounts noted above per year or overall?

  • omarelmessawy

    My Name is Omar elmassawy stay in Egypt ( North African ) i qualified CPA from USA + Diploma IFRS and i worked in KPMG ( Egypt , Kuwait ) and deloitte egypt, state audit bureau – Qatar and I hope to study MBA – FInancia In USA with schloership option due to i have financial hard if there is any method for helping me, please do it.

  • Nirav Kapasi

    I study at SMU and was told that SMU COX offers a lot of scholarships in their MBA program.Is that correct?

  • Theodore K.

    Grants could be cash money that you use for rent, books, living, or even tour tuition. Scholarship applies solely to your tuition.

  • MistaButters

    Seems like Anderson or Kellogg is off (I’m thinking Kellogg). Anderson gives more money than Kellogg, plus Anderson’s tuition is lower, plus Anderson has less students. So shouldn’t Anderson have a higher % of gross tuition than Kellogg?

    Yeah, with some back of the napkin math, seems like Kellogg should be about 10% points less, or around 17%.

  • Tuk Tran

    i see a VERY serious CRISIS down the road…business schools like all schools in universities, are big bloated bureaucratic machines that rather than cut costs raise fees 4-7% a year or so..dont forget lots of other fees go up too in addition to tuition…people will start saying it is not worth it..even places like McKinsey and Goldman and KKR do all they can to keep their people from applying to bschool (i know it is not official but they push them to consider 1 year programs or not to do bschool)….i see a HUGE CRISIS down the road..a HUGE ONE…

  • Ibukun Ogunfeitimi

    The value of MBA could be improved

  • Betsy

    Would someone mind explaining the difference between scholarships and grants, if there is one? I hear the word “grant” thrown around a lot, but in all my admissions decisions I’ve only received notifications about scholarships. Do grants come later with the financial aid package if you accept a school’s offer of admission? I’m a bit confused about this, and Google isn’t much help for this when it comes to graduate school; all the results seem to be for undergrad.

  • Ethan Baron

    Thanks, yes, you’re right – the school reports that about 23-27 students per class receive Park awards…

  • JohnAByrne

    So we went back to Cornell to double-check the numbers and it turns out the school provided the wrong number, giving us scholarships for first-year students excluding the Park fellowships. The story has now been updated with the correct numbers. Turns out the total is $5,686,650, including $2,554,484 for the Park Fellowships. Thanks for alerting us.

  • Mr. Wannabe Entrepreneur

    Interesting, I wonder why they wouldn’t include the Park Fellows. I think it’s one of the most attractive scholarships out there and would put the school’s scholarship numbers more in line with competing elite schools. Although not everyone accepts the Park Fellow award, from what I could tell, around 23 students a year accept it (almost 10% of the class!). Anyways, I think schools should publish these numbers themselves and highlight them more to prospective students. I think it would make the school more attractive to competitive applicants knowing that they have a decent shot of getting at least a little aid.

  • JohnAByrne

    The numbers were provided by Cornell.

  • jonedevil

    Online jobs guys

    I just got paid $8580 working off my computer this month. And if you think that’s cool, my divorced? friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less.,,,,,

    This is what I do——⇛⇛⇛⇛►►►

  • Mr. Wannabe Entrepreneur

    Hmm, it appears that the numbers for Cornell are off. I know that Cornell offers the Park fellowship to up to 25 students a year and that amount alone is greater than the $1.9 million that this table is showing.