Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Social Scientist
GRE 330, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Over-Experienced
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 2.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6

How Will You Pay For Your MBA?

How will you pay for your MBA?

Linh Gilles, director of admissions and recruiting for the Carlson Full Time MBA program at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

When you decide to buy a house, doing your financial homework is not only advisable but absolutely necessary. You must research loan options, check your credit, and, most importantly, accumulate savings to be ready to make the large financial investment.

Preparing to pursue your MBA shouldn’t be any different … but too often, I’ve seen students left flummoxed by that first tuition bill. No doubt, applying to MBA programs is daunting, so many candidates intensely focus up front on getting into their preferred schools. Often, students don’t truly understand the full financial implications until they’re actually admitted, submit their deposit, and enroll. Or, they place all their hopes in scholarships to cover the bulk of the cost.

A lack of financial preparation will leave you stressed out and distracted from the very reason you’re in school in the first place.

Instead, accept and embrace that your MBA is an investment—one that will pay off in the long run, according to numerous studies—and dig into your options and the short-term financial implications for your life.

Here are some simple starter tips:

  • Take steps now to ensure your credit is in good standing
  • Review and be ready to submit an application for federal student aid
  • Know that you may have to seek additional private loans
  • If you’re comfortable with it, think about any family members who might be willing to provide financial help
  • Explore scholarships at your target schools (without assuming you’ll land one)
  • If you’re pursuing your MBA on a part-time basis while still working, be sure to examine any reimbursement options offered by your company

Determine what kind of monthly budget you’ll need to pay your current and ongoing expenses. Start saving and living like an MBA student, cutting expenses where you can. If you do that a year in advance, it won’t be such a shock to the system when the paychecks stop and your program starts.

By doing your homework ahead of time, you’ll graduate with less debt and greater financial freedom. And instead of stressing about finances, you’ll be able to focus on your classes, networking with employers, and launching your new career.


Linh Gilles is director of admissions and recruiting for the Carlson Full-Time MBA Program at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Contact her at ftmba@umn.edu.