When MBA applicants apply to a business school, they usually play it safe. So, in addition to schools which may seem ambitious, they may also apply to schools where they have a better chance of being accepted.
Now, let’s consider a hypothetical situation. Assume that you’ve got admits from two schools, you get a generous scholarship from one school which is a lesser known brand whereas no scholarship in the other which is among the top twenty MBA programs, which one would you choose?
Would the scholarship be the deciding factor in choosing one over the other? Or would you prefer to have a top brand name on your resume while you don’t mind putting in a few additional years of toil to repay your MBA loan?
Though some would say that the brand reputation matters, there’d be a sizeable number of applicants who’d agree that it’s the financial aid that may be the deciding factor.
A majority of international students rely on some form of MBA funding assistance including student loan, scholarship, teaching assistantship / research assistantship. The loan coupled with the interest puts you in a huge debt.
You cannot be guaranteed of landing a TA/RA position and even if you do, you’re needed to put in the required number of hours every week to qualify for the fee waiver or stipend.
Ensure that you’ve planned on how to finance your MBA well in advance to avoid ending up in a tight spot after the program starts. A scholarship can ease your financial burden to some extent. Who knows, you may be the lucky one to get a free ride!
Even the top MBA colleges offer numerous scholarships and though there’s a perception that these are very difficult to get considering the number of students eyeing them, it is surely not an impossible task as it may seem.
You have to apply early and well on time so that you improve your chances of bagging one.
Scholarships fall in various categories: there are several specific scholarships that are as per nationality, gender, professional development or educational background.
A lot of scholarships are merit-based, need-based, those with military background or for those who have shown leadership qualities or have a unique profile. The need-based scholarships would be given after considering your financial scenario including various assets and prior outstanding loans/liabilities.
While applying for a scholarship, make sure you meet all the qualifying criteria. You may be required to write a scholarship essay. Like the admissions essays, these scholarship essays must be customised too, so that you present yourself as the right fit for the profile to improve your chances of winning the award.
If you visit the school website, you’ll find the various scholarships the various schools have to offer. In this post, we’ve tried to list out the MBA scholarships for international students (including Indian students).
1. Harvard MBA scholarship: This school offers need-based fellowships wherein you’d receive approximately $34,000 per year. The special interest fellowships are for those with various interests or backgrounds.
These include The Robert S. Kaplan (MBA 1983) Life Sciences Fellowship (for students interested in a science-based career) and Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship (non-profit).
2. Wharton MBA scholarship: There are various fellowships available like the emerging economy fellowships (students from emerging economies), Joseph Wharton Fellowships (outstanding achievements), Howard E. Mitchell Fellowships (outstanding students from under-represented backgrounds), Forté Fellowships(female students), Social Impact Fellowships (public or not-for-profit sector).
3. Stanford MBA scholarship: The Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship is awarded to upto five students. This scholarship provides assistance to cover the tuition and fees for each of the two years of the program.
However, upon graduation are required to return to India and work for an Indian organisation for a minimum period of two years.
4. Columbia Business School MBA scholarship: Scholarships are
a)merit-based: Forté Foundation Scholarship (for women) and Toigo Fellowship (under-represented groups pursuing finance careers)
b) need-based: Amounts are awarded in the range of $7,500 to $30,000 and may be renewed.
5. Chicago Booth scholarships: There are several scholarship and fellowship awards. We have listed some of them below: The India Trust Fellowship (for those living and working in India), Akhtarali H. Tobaccowala Fellowship (for students from India),
The Zonis Fellowship (international student from an emerging economy), Canfield Private Equity Fellowship (prior experience in private equity or investment banking), Forté Foundation Fellowship and Distinguished Fellows Program (full-tuition and $25,000 stipend each year).
Financial Times has done a great job by listing down the scholarships offered worldwide by the various business schools. We’ve shortlisted the scholarships that are applicable to international applicants for some of the reputed programs.
Source: Financial Times
Read stories of Indian MBA applicants who’ve got scholarships.