An MBA is a significant investment in yourself and your future, and MBA scholarships can significantly help in easing the financial burden of attending a top MBA program. There are plenty of scholarships that you can earn at any of the top B-schools! In fact, MBA scholarships are currently some of the best education-aid you can get right now!

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the top international MBA programs and the average scholarships they roll out every year. This will give you an idea about whether you stand a chance to gain a scholarship at the B-school you are applying to.

School Total Scholarships Average Grant % of MBAs on Scholarship
Harvard Business School $31.5 million $32,000 50%
Wharton $16.9 million $30,500 33%
Chicago (Booth) $16.3 million $30,000 60%
Stanford GSB $15.7 million $35,830 52%
Michigan (Ross) $15.4 million $22,360 48%
New York (Stern) $12.8 million $26,400 62%
UCLA (Anderson) $12.1 million $25,860 65%
Northwestern (Kellogg) $11.8 million $22,800 35%
Columbia Business School $10.1 million $20,500 46%
Virginia (Darden) $8.4 million $30,800 43%
MIT (Sloan) $8.1 million $28,220 35%
Duke (Fuqua) $7.1 million $20,950 33%
Rice (Jones) $6.7 million $33,320 94%
Yale School of Management $6.2 million $23,028 31%
UC-Berkeley (Haas) $5.8 million $29,060 50%
Cornell (Johnson) $5.7 million $12,000 33%
Dartmouth (Tuck) $5.4 million $27,550 35%
Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) $5.3 million $21,853 57%
Emory (Goizueta) $5.0 million $24,905 57%
Georgetown (McDonough) $3.3 million $30,000 27%

While some of these figures may have changed depending on the current situation, you should easily be able to understand the huge scholarship opportunity that lies ahead if you crack a top-tier MBA!

But first, you need to understand the different types of scholarships available for international applicants.

Types of MBA scholarships for Indian students

Merit-Based MBA Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships are generally offered to students with outstanding academic performance based on undergraduate GPA, GMAT/GRE scores, or exceptional professional achievement. Merit-based MBA scholarships are also offered to students who show demonstrated commitment and service to the community.

Need-Based MBA Scholarships

A few top business schools such as Harvard and Stanford provide only need-based scholarships and fellowships to students who have received an admit. At Harvard Business School need is determined based on the candidate’s income from the last 3 years, along with any other assets. This puts Indian applicants at an acute advantage.

Diversity & Gender-based MBA Scholarships

Diversity and Gender-based MBA scholarships help promote diversity in the student body of MBA programs. These scholarships help increase representation and advance the interests of traditionally underrepresented communities in MBA programs. Some examples of this type of scholarship include Forté MBA Fellowships for Women, Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA Fellowship, Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, etc.

External MBA Scholarships

Many organizations that traditionally employ MBA graduates also offer MBA scholarships to students. Apart from the financial awards such scholarships also provide access to resources such as special programming and access to networking and recruiting resources. Some examples of External MBA scholarships are McKinsey Emerging Scholars Program, Khosla Booth Private Equity Fellowship, and Orbis Investment Management MBA Fellowship. External MBA Scholarships are also offered by several non-profit and charitable organizations such as The Aga Khan Foundation and KC Mahindra Education Trust.

How to get a MBA scholarship in 2021

If you are thinking that you will start preparing for the scholarship after you have gotten your admit, you are completely off-track!
As someone who aims to crack top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard and Darden, you need to start preparing for a scholarship right from step 1! And being an Indian applicant means you have a good chance getting these scholarships. Since 50% of the MBA classes at top B-schools receive a scholarship, and these B-schools value a diverse classroom, you should be able to acquire one.

So, here are 4 things that you can start doing today to have a better chance at gaining a well-funded higher education

1. Start networking

From ex-students to instructors and admissions committee members, try to get in touch with anyone possible. But don’t simply knock them on the internet. Have your short-term and long-term goals figured out, and then have a very specific set of questions ready that will help you understand the scholarship process better. The world is still reeling from the pandemic situation, so you will be able to easily get in touch with the people and they will be happy to share the information with you as long as you have your end figured out.

2. Attend B-school webinars

You need to create a list of MBA programs that you will be applying for. Once done, find out when these B-schools are holding their various webinars and attend as many as possible. Many of these webinars will allow you to build your network as well as provide important information regarding the scholarship process.


Your GMAT score will definitely matter when you are applying for scholarships. So, it’s great if you attempt the exam multiple times and raise your score as high as possible. Even a difference of 30 – 40 points can raise your scholarship amount by a huge deal. So, give the utmost importance to your GMAT score.

At this point if you are wondering whether you can get a scholarship with a low GMAT score, well you definitely can but the process will be albeit difficult. Watch this short video to understand how it is possible –

How Can I Get a Scholarship with a LOW GMAT and GPA? GMAT Scholarship India

4. Figure out your strengths

The MBA application and interview process will have you answering various questions about yourself, and some of them can be challenging. It’s best to prepare for these questions beforehand and have your profile ready for presentation. Don’t think of this as an easy process, as this is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd! Here are some of the best answers to the Stanford MBA application question to give you a better understanding.

Try every resource possible

Lastly, don’t just try for B-school scholarships. There are a number of outside institutions (both within India and other respective countries) that sponsor students who wish to study abroad. Once again, these scholarships are based on either merit or need, or both.

Here are some of the currently available scholarships that any Indian applicant can apply for:

  • Tata Scholarships for Cornell University: The Tata Education and Development Trust has endowed Cornell University with $25 million (INR 178,48,87,500) to financially aid meritorious underprivileged Indian students. There are a total of 20 scholarships offered.
  • TOEFL Scholarship: This offers 15 merit-based scholarships ($7000 each—about INR 4.7 lakh) for academic expenses of undergraduate students at any of the universities listed in the TOEFL destinations directory.
  • Chevening scholarships: This is a scholarship available for Indian students who wish to apply for MBA at any UK based University, and it unconditionally covers almost all possible expenses of the student. Many students apply for it each year.
  • Rhodes scholarship: Every year 6 Indian students are given this prestigious scholarship for studying MBA at Oxford. The maximum scholarship amount is INR 57,50,304/- and it also includes a monthly stipend. This is easily one of the best Ivy League scholarships for Indian students.
  • Felix scholarship: This is a both merit and need based scholarship available to Indian students seeking MBA opportunities in the UK. Around 20 scholarships are awarded every year, and it covers both tuition and other expenses.
  • Fulbright-Nehru scholarship: This is yet again an annual scholarship to help Indian students seeking opportunities in American colleges. It is provided by the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF).

And there you have it; a comprehensive guide to international MBA scholarships for Indian students!

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