Get a top-rated Mini-MBA Certificate for $199 $49 (till 29th Feb)

5 Financing options for an MBA

Financing options for an MBA

MBA degrees don’t come cheap. Although salary increases and promotions often accrue post-study, tuition fees can soar into six-figures at top business schools.

Despite these ostensibly exorbitant costs, the MBA remains a degree with significant quantitative and qualitative benefits that justify the investment – benefits outlined by QS Quacquarelli Symonds in this previous article (The Long-Term Value of an MBA).

Here’s another article from QS to help you finance your MBA.

5 Financing options for an MBA

by QS Quacquarelli Symonds

Full-time MBA programs are facing challenges, such as stricter immigration policies that are making potential international students reluctant to apply – an unfortunate additional blow for business schools.

Similarly, questions of accessibility have also made students, and the general public, ever-more-conscious of the cost of college.

Therefore, for any aspiring MBA student, questions of funding remain prominent in their considerations. These include:

  1. Which business schools offer financial aid and how can one avail them?
  2. Does your company offer you sponsorship to do an MBA?
  3. What kind of scholarships are there on offer for aspiring students?
  4. Are there any special scholarships that B-schools offer?

Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can pay for an MBA, and here are some tried-and-tested ones:

1. Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants

The average MBA candidate has 30 percent of their total financial costs covered by scholarships, grants and fellowships, according to data from entrance test administrator GMAC.

The proportion of business school students receiving scholarships has increased year-over-year in 2018.

One of the best ways to defray tuition costs is to earn while you learn – get a part time Job.

However, schools often advise candidates not to take a part-time job during a full-time MBA, because the course is intensive, and it could leave you stretched.

2. QS MBA Scholarship

QS Quacquarelli Symonds, global higher education think-tank, offers US$7 million worth of scholarships to talented students every year, allowing some of the world’s brightest minds to pursue their dream education.

The most important thing here is to thoroughly read through the eligibility criteria and only apply if you fulfill all the requirements.

(Don’t forget: to be eligible for a QS scholarship you need to attend one of their global MBA events. Sign up by visiting

3. MBA Scholarships for women


IE Business School

IE Women Scholarship and Mentoring Program Offered to MBA candidates, among others. 40 percent of tuition plus six-month mentoring program
IE Women’s Leadership Scholarship Admitted to MBA (or any other) 30 percent of all costs
IE Women’s Scholarship Open to women admitted to any master’s program. 40 percent of tuition
Queen Rania Foundation Scholarship for Women Leaders Any master’s for Jordanian women Three Scholarships that cover all costs



INSEAD Judith Connelly Delouvrier Endowed Scholarship Women candidates who have been admitted to the MBA Programme or invited to admissions interviews €20 000 to €25 000 (approx. US$22,376 to US$27,970)
INSEAD Groupe Galeries Lafayette Endowed Scholarship for Women Women candidates who have been admitted to the INSEAD MBA programme who identify with the goals and ambitions of Groupe Galeries Lafayette (retail industry) €12,000
(approx. US$13,425)
INSEAD Alumni Fund (IAF) ’68 Scholarship for Women Meritorious women candidates with financial need. €10,000 to €20,000
(approx. US$11,188 to US$22,376)


4. Company Sponsorship

Often, MBA degrees are structured to allow candidates to continue working while upskilling in the business school classroom.

It’s also the option that many business schools encourage. MBA marketing and recruitment managers in the UK encourage candidates to talk to their employer in order to receive the requisite support.

Discussing the possibility of a partial financial contribution, having them involved in your journey – you’ll both benefit more from it.

If employer sponsorship isn’t an option, then talk to the school to see if they have a flexible payment plan in place.

Applying to MBA Programs as a Sponsored Candidate
Company-sponsored MBA: Pros and cons

5. Other Finance options

These include scholarship options from prospective B-schools, crowdfunding and loans. Business Schools offer scholarships to candidates, awarded on a merit basis.

At IE Business School in Spain, candidates can apply for a broad range of scholarships based on their profile, for example geographic location, gender, experience, or alumni status with IE and other partner universities.

Whatever combination of finance options you eventually take to see your MBA goals come to fruition, it’s important to be prepared.

Weighing up the costs, the risks, and the rewards of embarking on this degree will ensure your time spent in the classroom is time dedicated to all that the MBA has to offer.

Instead of worrying about your finances, shrewd preparation beforehand will enable you to get the most out of your business school experience.

You can meet over 50 of the world’s top business schools – including IE, INSEAD, York-Schulich, HKUST, Nanyang, SMU, Thunderbird, SUNY-Buffalo – at the QS World MBA Tour this Fall (December 1-9).

You can meet the admissions directors at these top schools, receive expert insight on your scholarship options, and make your dream of an MBA come true. Click on the link below to find out more and register.

This article is part of CrystalConnect, an outreach initiative by MBA Crystal Ball.

Also read:
What is the RoI of an MBA from USA?

Mini-MBA | Start here | Success stories | Reality check | Knowledgebase | Scholarships | Services

Serious about higher ed? Follow us:


6 thoughts on “5 Financing options for an MBA”

  1. Hi Sameer,

    My name is Mitesh. I am a graduate in ECE from the batch of 2018. Post graduation I have worked in an MNC for 5 months. After that due to some misunderstandings between me and my manager, I had to leave my job. Post that I was depressed and stressed out and took some time for myself ( 4 months ). I started preparing for CAT and gave CAT 2019. It didn’t really go my way. I have currently two job offers in hand with a salary of 3.4 lpa. I want to do an MBA from a good institution whether foreign or Indian. If I don’t take up a job now, will it be a major drawback to my profile. FYI I already have a year gap in my career.

  2. I am looking to change my field from sales to marketing. Pls suggest courses i should go for changing my profile. I am already an MBA in marketing.

  3. I completed my graduation in 2013 after that i worked in a contractual unit as a site engineer for 4 years and now i want to pursue MBA because i feel i am having all qualities to rule and not being ruled by others.Sir can will my site engineer experience help in MBA campus jobs?
    Please reply

  4. Dear all,
    I’m an MBA from india, I have been looking into master courses which can give credit for the indian MBA program and adjust their credits accordingly
    Are there any recommendations for colleges having such provisions for an online MBA ?


  5. @Mitesh: Yes, it could be a bit of a challenge considering most other applicants will not have an academic or career gap. Best to take up one of the two job offers in hand.

    @Ruchi: Why not use your MBA in marketing to try for marketing roles. No other short degree will have the same impact.

    @Pratyush: Sure, your site experience will help. But if you’re looking forward to being a good and respected manager, it would be helpful to drop the ‘rule or be ruled’ perception of management. Maybe your bosses followed that approach and the company you worked for encouraged such behaviour. But that’s not a very healthy approach to building a career in management, especially in an era where the focus is more on collaboration rather than domination.

    @Raj: Sorry, no idea. We work with a lot of second MBA applicants who aim for international full-time programs. And instead of getting credit for it, they have the added challenge of explaining why they want a double MBA.

  6. Hi I am Ramakrishna ,I am looking for MBA Program full time which has good value and less tution fee in US , Canada or Europe


Leave a Comment