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An MBA is a helpful tool toward a successful and lucrative career in business — but the financial cost, from tuition to other educational expenses, can be heavy and is only getting worse. So if you’re strapped for cash, scholarships and grants for MBA students are a godsend.
And you can find a range of scholarships and grants depending on your unique scenario, including on-campus and online MBA scholarships based on merit or financial need.
Read on to learn about MBA grants for women, veterans, and minority students, as well as general MBA scholarships. We’ve also included tips for creating the best application, common mistakes to avoid, and tips to apply for MBA scholarships online.
General Scholarships for MBA Students
The Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi Scholarship is an annual award open to business administration students with a 3.25 minimum GPA. It is a one-time scholarship, but you can reapply in later years.
The AKCPA (Alaska Society of CPAs) offers this scholarship to graduate students in Alaska with at least one subject in accounting, meaning MBA students will qualify.
GFOA Scholarships: (Deadline: 2023 edition will open in fall)
Amount: $5,000 to $20,000
The GFOA (Government Finance Officers Association) offers this group of scholarships to graduate students majoring in finance that aspire to secure a finance career in the government sector.
Amount: Up to $5,000
The SHRM Foundation Scholarship is for students pursuing studies in human resources or a related field like business, economics, organizational development, or psychology. Although it’s a one-time scholarship, successful applicants can reapply.
MBA Scholarships for Women
The C200 (Committee of 200) MBA scholarship program is a group of scholarships intended to develop and mentor female leaders and entrepreneurs. Students pursuing an MBA or management program at certain universities are eligible.
Zonta International offers the Jane M. Klausman scholarship to encourage women to become business leaders. Each year, Zona International awards the scholarship to 37 students pursuing graduate or undergraduate studies in business management or a related discipline.
Unfortunately, Zona International doesn’t list a deadline. Contact them for more information.
Amount: CHF 25,000
These worldwide awards are offered by the International Management Development (IMD) Institute in Switzerland to bright female students with financial need.
Related: Top 30 Scholarships for Women
MBA Scholarships for Minorities
This fellowship is offered to MBA students from minority groups (as defined by the US Department of Labor) who aspire to build a career in finance.
Amount: Up to $100,000 or full tuition
A group of nationally ranked universities offers the NBMBAA (National Black MBA Association) scholarship to deserving students of color. Deadlines vary depending on the institution.
Amount: $2,000 to $5,000
This scholarship for a master’s in business administration is offered to US citizens of Hispanic/Latino heritage. You’ll need a minimum GPA of 3.0, or 2.75 combined with relevant work experience to be eligible.
The ROMBA (Reaching Out MBA) scholarship program is jointly offered by 64 top business schools to help gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students become future leaders. Remember, each deadline depends on your institution.
MBA Scholarships for Veterans
Amount: Up to $5,000
The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) scholarships and grants are offered to families of veterans or of those currently serving or have served in the National Guard or Reserve.
Average amount: $10,000
The Tillman Scholarship program is offered to veterans’ spouses and family members pursuing a full-time program at any private or public US university.
Amount: $500 to $5,000
The WMA (Women Marines Association) Scholarship is offered to members of USMC or their siblings, descendants, or other family members like siblings’ descendants.
Amount: $500 to $2,500
The National Military Family Association (NMFA) offers these scholarships to spouses of 9/11 service members belonging to any of the eight uniformed services. You can apply year-round, as the NMFA awards scholarships every quarter.
Common Application Requirements for MBA Scholarships
The exact requirements for each scholarship vary, so we advise you triple-check the organization’s application instructions.
But you’ll typically find these general requirements to apply for MBA student scholarships:
- A bachelor’s degree from an approved university
- Specified minimum GPA (usually 3.0) from undergraduate studies
- An interview (In-person or video)
- A personal statement
- An essay on a given topic
- Letters of recommendation
- Specified GRE/GMAT scores (in some cases)
- Proof of US citizenship or permanent residency (in most cases)
How to Craft a Stellar MBA Scholarship Application
A strong MBA scholarship application sets you apart from other applicants and demonstrates your passion and enthusiasm for your education. Scholarship committees want to see students with clear objectives and motivation to earn an MBA. They’ll also look for a strong academic background and compelling personal qualities.
Keep the following in mind to prepare a winning MBA scholarship application:
- Objective and motivation: Your application should uniquely outline why you want to pursue an MBA. Along with strong academic grades (especially in related subjects), your history in any managerial or leadership roles will help.
- Academic background: Your GPA should meet or exceed the scholarship criteria. Additionally, any other professional certifications and experience you have post-bachelor’s will add more value to your application.
- Personality and Character: Candidates usually have the opportunity to showcase their personality to the scholarship committee during an interview. You’ll also need to submit letters of recommendation, so reach out to your favorite professors early!
Ensure you include any relevant requested documentation with your application, like school transcripts, employment letters, and more.
Expert Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid to Win Scholarships for MBA
Here are some common pitfalls to avoid when preparing a successful scholarship application:
- Start early: Schools and organizations typically announce scholarship criteria months ahead of the deadline, so don’t wait until the last minute. You’ll need time to prepare your personal statement and gather transcripts and recommendation letters. Put time into each application, but also try to apply to multiple scholarships to increase your chances of success.
- Be organized: Research the various scholarships available and prepare a shortlist of your most suitable options based on eligibility criteria. Consider inputting your scholarship into a spreadsheet with all relevant details and sort them according to the deadline. Additionally, you might set up a separate folder for each scholarship to store relevant documents.
- Keep a checklist: Make separate checklists for each scholarship, including required documents and credentials. Cross-check your list before applying to ensure everything is in order.
- Perfect the application: Proofread your application and all documents to avoid errors. Even minor mistakes detract from your application and hurt your chances of success.
- Document each application: It’s a good idea to keep a copy of all your scholarship applications for future reference. You could likely use the same application as a template for different scholarships, so keep copies of your previous applications to save time.
Whether you’re looking for on-campus MBA graduate scholarships or MBA online scholarships, you’ll find plenty of options. Eligibility requirements can vary, so it’s important to do your research to shortlist your most suitable scholarships. Remember to take your time preparing your application to heighten your chance of scoring MBA scholarships.
Interested in exploring other lucrative educational paths? Check out our list of highest-paying PhDs and online PhD programs.
MBA Scholarship FAQs
Are MBA Scholarships Common?
Yes, you’ll find many scholarships for MBAs offered by various universities, institutions, and professional organizations, including need-based and merit-based scholarships. Additionally, you’ll find online MBA scholarships for students looking to study online.
Can I Get a 100% MBA Scholarship?
Yes, several organizations cover 100% of your major expenses as part of their scholarships. For example, the NBMBAA scholarship takes care of your tuition and other expenses if you’re successful.
Are There Any Scholarships for MBAs Abroad?
Yes, you’ll find many scholarships for MBA programs offered by institutions and organizations abroad. For example, the MBA Nestle and Hilti Scholarships at IMD are offered by the International Management Development (IMD) Institute in Switzerland, and students worldwide are eligible.