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5 Ways to Fund Your MBA

McCombs scholarships

Money! That’s one of the biggest concerns for many MBA students. How do you afford your MBA?

It’s not cheap. According to the 2016 US News & World Report, the average cost of a top ten business school program is $125,000 over two years. And that’s just for tuition. When Investopedia added in an additional $40,000 for boarding and books, plus $20,000 for peripheral expenditures, the cost rises to $185,000 for a Full-Time MBA. That’s not a small sum.

However, the cost is worth it. According to an analysis by PayScale in 2014, an MBA from a top school earns seven figures over twenty years. In fact, an MBA from Harvard Business School can make $3,233,000 over twenty years, but that doesn’t lessen the initial cost. Thankfully, you don’t have to bare the burden alone.

There are a number of sources for funding your MBA that you may not have considered. Based on research by the 2015 Executive MBA Council (EMBAC):

  • 23.2% of students receive full sponsorship.
  • 35.6% of students receive partial sponsorship.
  • 41.2% of students are self-funded.

So, before you decide not to pursue an MBA because of cost, take a look at these five options:

Ways to Fund Your MBA

Corporate Sponsorship

One of the most well-known sources of MBA funding is corporate sponsorship. Depending on the company where you work, you can receive financial support from your organization to pursue your EMBA. Unfortunately, with challenging economic times, fewer companies are willing to pay for an EMBA education. But it’s still possible if you start the conversation in the right way.

The EMBA program at the Wharton School shares these tips:

  • Educate your target person on the value of an EMBA using success stories.
  • Get your target person to help you understand the decision-making process.
  • Brainstorm how your job can be redesigned at no cost to the firm to make EMBA attendance possible.
  • Obtain an endorsement from the person.
  • Get your target person to make an introduction to the next key decision maker.
  • Obtain resources and a buy-in from a key decision maker.

The key is to present your case based on the ROI your company will receive, and make sure you show 100% commitment to returning to the firm. The greatest fear most businesses have is that you’ll leave.

MBA Scholarships & Fellowships

Scholarships aren’t just available for undergraduate students. There are a multitude of grants and scholarships given by external organizations to help aspiring MBA students fund their education. There are scholarships available for generic MBA applicants as well those specific to different ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds.

To begin your online scholarship search, take a look at these websites:

You can also take a look at these specific Fellowships available for varying backgrounds:

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About the Author

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Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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