Can you get a scholarship for an mba?

Can you get a scholarship for an mba

Obtaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can be a significant investment in your future. However, the cost of pursuing an MBA can be a major deterrent for many prospective students. Fortunately, scholarships can provide financial assistance and make pursuing an MBA more accessible. In this article, we will explore the possibilities of obtaining a scholarship for an MBA, the types of scholarships available, and provide valuable insights on how to increase your chances of securing one.

Why pursue an MBA?

Before delving into the topic of scholarships, it is important to understand the value of pursuing an MBA. An MBA is a highly regarded degree that can open doors to various career opportunities and significantly boost earning potential. It equips individuals with a diverse skill set, including leadership, strategic thinking, and analytical abilities, which are highly sought after by employers across industries.

According to a survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 89% of MBA graduates worldwide reported that their degree was personally rewarding, and 92% believed it was professionally rewarding. Additionally, the survey revealed that the median base salary for MBA graduates in the United States was $115,000, significantly higher than the median salary for bachelor’s degree holders.

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Types of MBA scholarships

There are various types of scholarships available for MBA students, each with its own eligibility criteria and application process. Here are some common types of scholarships:

  • Merit-based scholarships: These scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, professional achievements, and leadership potential. They are highly competitive and often require a strong academic record and exceptional GMAT or GRE scores.
  • Need-based scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. They take into account factors such as income, assets, and family circumstances. Need-based scholarships aim to make education more accessible to students who may not have the financial means to pursue an MBA.
  • Diversity scholarships: Many business schools offer scholarships to promote diversity and inclusion. These scholarships are specifically targeted towards underrepresented groups, such as women, minorities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Industry-specific scholarships: Some scholarships are tailored to students pursuing an MBA in a specific industry, such as healthcare, technology, or finance. These scholarships are often sponsored by companies or organizations within the respective industry.
  • Geographic scholarships: Certain scholarships are available to students from specific regions or countries. These scholarships aim to attract international students or individuals from underrepresented geographic areas.

How to increase your chances of securing an MBA scholarship

Securing an MBA scholarship is a competitive process, but there are several strategies you can employ to increase your chances of success:

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  • Research scholarship opportunities: Start by researching the scholarships offered by the business schools you are interested in. Visit their websites, attend information sessions, and reach out to current students or alumni to gather information about available scholarships.
  • Focus on your academic performance: Maintaining a strong academic record is crucial when applying for merit-based scholarships. Aim for high GMAT or GRE scores and strive for excellence in your undergraduate studies.
  • Highlight your achievements and leadership potential: Scholarships often consider your professional achievements and leadership potential. Showcase your accomplishments, such as promotions, awards, and successful projects, in your application.
  • Write a compelling scholarship essay: Many scholarship applications require an essay. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your passion for business, your goals, and how an MBA scholarship would help you achieve them. Tailor your essay to each scholarship application to make it more impactful.
  • Secure strong letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation play a crucial role in scholarship applications. Choose recommenders who can speak to your abilities, achievements, and potential. Provide them with relevant information to help them write compelling letters.
  • Engage in extracurricular activities: Participating in extracurricular activities, such as volunteering, leadership roles in student organizations, or community initiatives, can demonstrate your commitment to making a positive impact beyond academics.
  • Consider alternative sources of funding: In addition to scholarships, explore other sources of funding, such as grants, fellowships, and employer sponsorship. Combining multiple sources of funding can help alleviate the financial burden of pursuing an MBA.

Real-life examples of MBA scholarship recipients

Real-life examples can provide inspiration and insight into the possibilities of securing an MBA scholarship. Here are two notable examples:

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1. The Forté Foundation: The Forté Foundation is a consortium of leading companies and top business schools that aims to increase the number of women pursuing MBA degrees. They offer scholarships to exceptional women candidates who demonstrate leadership potential. The Forté Fellows Program has awarded over $200 million in scholarships to more than 7,000 women since its inception.

2. The Skoll Scholarship: The Skoll Scholarship is offered by the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. It is awarded to MBA candidates who have a passion for social entrepreneurship and aim to create positive social change. The scholarship covers the full tuition fee and provides additional funding for living expenses.


Obtaining a scholarship for an MBA can significantly reduce the financial burden of pursuing this prestigious degree. Scholarships are available for various types of students, including those with exceptional academic records, financial need, or from underrepresented backgrounds. By conducting thorough research, focusing on academic performance, highlighting achievements and leadership potential, and engaging in extracurricular activities, you can increase your chances of securing an MBA scholarship. Real-life examples, such as the Forté Foundation and Skoll Scholarship, demonstrate the possibilities and impact of scholarships in making an MBA more accessible to deserving candidates.

Remember, pursuing an MBA is an investment in your future, and scholarships can be a valuable resource to help you achieve your goals. Start exploring scholarship opportunities today and take the first step towards a rewarding and successful MBA journey.

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