The Women Leading The World’s Top Business Schools

Here’s How to Land a Full Scholarship

It now costs more than $200,000 to earn an MBA from a Top 15 business school in the U.S.

It’s no surprise that the cost of an MBA is rising, but experts say there are ways that students can cut those costs—and even get an MBA education for free. US News recently offered a few tips on how to investigate school-specific scholarships and fellowship opportunities to offset the costs of an MBA degree.


It’s important to note that getting a full-ride in B-school is rare. But applicants can improve their odds by making sure their application materials are well-polished.

“Full-tuition scholarships are typically awarded to candidates who are strong across the board,” Elissa Sangster, CEO of the Forté Foundation, a nonprofit that offers MBA fellowships for women, tells US News. “A high GMAT or GRE score is important in scholarship consideration, but it usually isn’t enough to land a full ride. Your application should tell your story, reflect on your career and life experiences to date, and show how you can contribute to your school during your MBA and to the broader business world once you graduate.”

Experts say B-schools specifically seek out applicants who not only have proven academic success, but also strong communication skills and ambition.

“Successful candidates show off their outward community, social and global focus,” John Enyart, senior consultant at New York-based Solomon Admissions, tells US News. “Persuasive humility, along with proof of job success, networking and engagement are indicators of leadership.”


If you’re hoping to land a scholarship, you’ll want to make sure you perform well on the GRE or GMAT.

“MBA programs use scholarships to give their preferred applicants an extra incentive to enroll, so the applicants most likely to win a generous award are ones who schools expect to receive multiple offers – such as applicants with 760-plus GMAT scores or ones from underrepresented categories,” Enyart says.

Enyart recommends applicants to complete a test prep program roughly six to eight weeks before taking the actual exam.

“Standardized testing is a technology that can be studied and mastered,” he says. “Why leave money on the table?”


Your essay is critical in showing admissions officers why you’re unique. And, often times, it’s the component in your application that decides whether or not you win a full scholarship.

“It can make you or break you,” Enyart says. A good story or compelling imagery “lets the candidate grab the attention of a blurry-eyed admissions reader.”

Sources: US News, P&Q, P&Q

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