MBA financing options for Indian candidates

If your last name is Ambani, Tata, Birla or you are a direct descendent of Seth Karodimal, feel free to scoff at the futility of this post and move on to the next one. Oh, so you are still with us. Cool, read on.

Despite the wild fluctuations in the foreign exchange rates (we are talking about INR vs USD, INR vs GBP et al), for Indian candidates hoping to navigate the steep financing curves it’s never been an easy road to cross.

A top MBA program would set you back by 20 lakhs to over 70 lakhs, depending on whether you are targeting a 1 or 2 year program from an elite school.

Most schools will ‘encourage’ you to look for funding in your own country. Roughly this translates to – ‘sort out as many problems as you can before you come to our campus.’ Some schools (including those that have the cautionary advice that we just mentioned) are a little more considerate and will help you identify sources of funding before and during the program.

But rather than depending on the business school, you’d be better off if you’ve already got a major chunk of the funding arranged. There are two primary ways to do this – Personal savings and MBA education loans (from Indian banks).

Then there are the extremely competitive scholarships offered by Indian trusts, companies, individuals (the respectful technical term here would be HNI – High Networth Individuals). Here’s a list of MBA scholarships for Indian students.

Most of them don’t cover the entire tuition. There are a few exceptions though and these are very (VERY) difficult to get if you aren’t a superstar. Partial scholarships for Indian candidates are also very tough to get. So if you get one of these, consider yourself very lucky. But if you are betting on financing your entire MBA through scholarships, it’s a damn risky proposition. Here are some scholarship success stories to inspire you.

Essentially the bottomline is, if you aren’t a strong candidate for the schools that you have on your list, a major chunk of your financing will have to come from bank loans, personal savings, campus income (internship, part-time work) and finally scholarships.

Read these related posts:
All about education funding options
How to get GMAT scholarships
MBA Scholarships for African Students

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Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin
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  1. Ashok Kadam says:

    Thanks for this post. Waiting to read more on each of the funding sources.

  2. Suresh Yadav says:

    Please guide me regarding admission in Copenhagen Business
    School. My GMAT score is 720 and 7 year experience in one of the best Telecom Industry and presently i m working as Engg Project Manager. i had received Admission call from Copenhagen Business
    School but they will announce scholarship in May. But to confirm my seat in college , i need to submit Registration fees( Approx. Rs150000) and reply to them in next 15 days. So, my delima is whether to go for this coll or wait for call from other colleges bz fee is non refundable n even scholarship will be anounced in nxt year.

    Please mention about college course & placement, expected scholarship which i can get and plz suggest should i go for admission or not?

    Suresh Yadav

    • Sameer says:

      Hi Suresh,

      Congrats on the admit. Parantu 1.5 lakhs is a lot of money, sirji. Soch samajh kar kadam uthaana.

      I’ve sent you an email with some more thoughts, on the ID you’ve shared while posting this query.

      Let me know your thoughts over email.

      – Sameer

  3. Nick says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I have 15 lacs in my account, another 5 lacs by the time I apply next year to a US university. I will show my mom’s FD which are around 5 lacs and a loan of 7 lacs. That still means that I will be short by 40 lacs. We have property worth many a crore but would be risky to take a loan of 20 lacs for property whose value is multiple of that amount. I know that there are non – co signer loans at most top universities and Said/Insead/Vlerick loans are covered by prodigy. Do you think that one could obtain the non – co signor loan and prodigy loan without any collateral, by just getting admission to a program.

    Your thoughts would be quite helpful.

  4. Sameer Kamat says:


    You are revealing too much on a public site, buddy.

    Anyway, to answer your query, it does make it easier to secure funding if you get an admit from schools that have existing relationships with financing organisations.

    But such organisations operated independently as well. So you might want to contact them directly and find out how the lending process works if you get into another good school where they don’t have any formal relationship.

  5. Sandeep says:

    Hello Sameer Sir,

    I have got admitted to MIT Sloan Full Time MBA program. I have very little idea on how to approach the BIG financial hurdle in front of me. Could you please guide me here?


  6. Sameer Kamat says:


    Congrats on the MIT Sloan offer. However, it wasn’t very prudent on your part to have ignored the financing parts.

    Apart from the general areas to explore (that you may already be aware of – savings, loans, scholarships, graduate assistantships), I don’t know what else to tell you.

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