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3 Ways to Be a Good Candidate for MBA Scholarships

“Can I have a raise?”

Ever have that awkward discussion? Talk about big-time risk! Sure, your boss can only say ‘no,’ but it’s what’s behind the no that should worry you. Does it mean that you’re not valued? Is your job at risk? By raising the question, are you now deemed a flight risk?

Asking for a scholarship after being accepted is a similar scenario. I mean, you just landed a spot – likely at a dream school. This is the time to celebrate! Do you really want to sour the moment by starting a negotiation? Will it jeopardize your acceptance? If you don’t merit a scholarship, does the school really want you – or should you keep your options open?

According to the New America Foundation, the average MBA debt was roughly $42,000 in 2014. And that’s nothing compared to the $140,616 that law grads are shelling out. But every penny counts, especially when you factor in cost of living. So why not give a scholarship a shot?

The problem? When it comes to MBA scholarships, the process can rather “opaque” according to a recent U.S. News & World Report column. So where can students go for assistance?

First, U.S. News counsels enrollees to look for scholarships outside the schools, particularly to cover costs beyond tuition and fees. In particular, students can turn to organizations related to gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. For example, students can pursue merit aid through organizations like the National Black MBA Association, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Reaching Out MBA, or the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. The renowned Forte Foundation also offers fellowships to women, while The Consortium of Graduate Study in Management provides scholarship and support to students at member schools.

Second, students can negotiate, particularly if they have offers from multiple schools. However, Linda Abraham, who runs the admissions consultancy firm Accepted, offers a few words of warning: “No arrogance. No entitlement. Humility is required.”

Finally, students should consider that the scholarship process truly begins before they’re even accepted. For many schools, the scholarship dollars are divvyed out based on the caliber of the candidate and application. In other words, factors like GMAT scores and work experience will be considered for scholarships according to Sherry Wallace, who oversees MBA admissions at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

“The same criteria that the admissions committee is using to select which applicants will be admitted are the criteria that the fellowship selection team is using to determine to whom fellowships will be offered.”


Source: U.S. News & World Report

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