How to Get Money for Your MBA
Just four years ago, no MBA program cost more than $200,000. That reality is now long gone. With nine total schools over the $200K threshold, MBA applicants should ensure that they are getting the most money from b-schools.
Roughly 48% of two-year MBAs received a scholarship, according to data for the FT’s 2017 ranking. So, what’s the best way to get the most money out of your scholarship?
Matt Symonds, a contributor at Forbes, recently reported on key tips applicants should know if they intend on getting the most financial aid from their acceptance.
Every applicant has a unique background. This is what personal statements and essays intend on conveying. Yet, financial circumstances should also be highlighted. Circumstances such as income drop, divorce, death in family, student loans, or dependents should all be brought to attention.
Symonds recommends that applicants highlight special circumstances that are relevant to paying for business school.
“It is up to you to bring these circumstances up to the schools you’ve been accepted to and ask them for reconsideration of an aid offer,” Symonds writes.
Detail Your Requests in Writing
Symonds recommends all requests be detailed in writing rather than over the phone to financial aid officers.
“At most schools, the Admissions Office controls merit-based scholarship funding and the Financial Aid Office controls need-based grant funding,” Symonds writes. “If both types of assistance might be in play, it wouldn’t hurt to send an email to both offices.”
Target Scholarships That Fit You
A number of scholarships are available to applicants with specific profiles.
Caroline Diarte Edwards is a Director at MBA admissions coaching firm Fortuna Admissions and former Director of MBA Admissions at INSEAD.
In a Poets & Quants article, Edwards highlights the importance in targeting scholarships that may fit your specific profile.
For instance, at NYU Stern, a new scholarship entitled “Advancing Women in Business Scholarship” focuses on reducing gender inequality and covers the first year of tuition for women applicants. At INSEAD, the “Mexico Excellence Scholarship” values diverse cultural perspectives and belief in “open borders.”
Outside of applying for scholarships, applicants should find creative ways to fund their MBA. Edwards recommends students to turn to crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo or GoFundMe to invest in their MBA degree.
“This DIY fundraising tactic may be appealing to those with particular marketing and social media savvy,” Edwards writes.
In addition, Edwards recommends applicants to look into government-sponsored programs such as the Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives loans for grads who go into the public-sector industry.
Above all, Symonds says it’s important to submit requests for aid early.
“More often than not, funding dwindles as time goes on and deposits start rolling in,” he writes. “Submit your appeal early, while schools are still working to recruit their classes and are likely at their most generous points.”