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All About Scholarships for Indian MBA Aspirants and How to Get Them

While an MBA education overseas is quite popular due to the plethora of job opportunities that open up right after college, few can afford the cost involved. With an average annual price of over $1,00,000 on course fee alone, it can be way over the head for an average Indian household.

Thankfully, there are several different types of scholarships that you can use to partially or even fully fund your MBA education abroad. Lets us find out more about such scholarships and how to get them.


MBA Scholarship Types


  • Merit-Based Scholarships

Perhaps one of the most valued and respected among all others, merit-based scholarships are offered to applicants with an outstanding academic record. Applicants with a stellar undergraduate GPA, GMAT test score or noteworthy professional achievements can bag such scholarships. 


  • Need-Based Scholarships

Such scholarships are awarded to deserving and promising students whose financial conditions are not strong. Some top universities like Harvard, Stanford and many others offer several need-based scholarships every year.


  • Diversity and Gender-Based Scholarships

The primary purpose of such scholarship is to promote diversity in management programmes and increase the participation of under-represented communities in a particular programme.


  • External Scholarships

Some large and reputed corporate houses provide educational funding to deserving students to aid their higher education. The B K Birla Scholars programme and the J.N. Tata Endowment For Indians are prominent examples of external scholarships.


Top Scholarship Programmes for Indian Students


Sr. No. Scholarship Name Body Study Destination Official Website
1 Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship US-India Educational Foundation USA
2 National Overseas Scholarship Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment All Countries,.%2C%20Master%20degree%20or%20Ph.
3 OCSI Scholarships Oxford and Cambridge Society of India The UK
4 Chevening Scholarship UK Government The UK
5 India4EU II Scholarships India4EU  Europe
6 The Inlaks Shivdasani Scholarships Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation USA, UK, Europe
7 GREAT Scholarships India British Council & GREAT Britain Campaign UK
8 Commonwealth Scholarship British Council UK

Source: CollegeDekho


How to Get Scholarships?

Getting a scholarship is no easy task when the applicants significantly outnumber the total number of scholarships on offer. However, you can remarkably improve your chances of getting a scholarship if you follow a systematic approach as discussed herein


  • Know The Right Place to Look For

To begin with, you should be well aware of the various scholarship options available for you. For example, if you come from a low-income family belonging to any of the marginalized communities in India, you might be eligible for some of the scholarship schemes available under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Therefore, you should visit various Indian Government websites to know the kinds of scholarships on offer. Additionally, you can also search for various scholarships offered by the government of different countries like the USA, UK, Australia, etc. 

Your second target should be the official website of your preferred university. All the top US universities like Stanford, Harvard, Yell, etc., offer a string of scholarships to international students. All such scholarships and grants are usually listed under the “Financial Aid” section on their website. 

Next, you can consider checking credible websites like and that regularly aggregate lists of various scholarships available for students of different nationalities. 

Finally, you can consider searching for scholarship programmes run by different charitable trusts or philanthropic organizations dedicated to the cause of higher education.

[READ: How to Get Full-ride Scholarships to top B-schools]


  • Make Advance Preparations

If you are eyeing a scholarship, you should begin your preparations right away as you are bound to face serious competition at every stage of the selection process. Many universities conduct interviews to ascertain your reasons for applying for a scholarship. You need to take these interviews very seriously to come across as a genuine candidate. 

Furthermore, most scholarship assessment processes want to know how the society or a cause will benefit from funding your education. Therefore, it is futile to highlight your struggles or setbacks unless you link them to your future plans and goals. 

Simply put, you should concentrate on explaining how you can pay back to society rather than why you need the grant.


  • Build a Good Academic Track record

Like it or not, high grades always tend to weigh over other factors regardless of the scholarship type. For example, even if you are applying for a need-based scholarship, you might get preference over other candidates if you have distinguished academic achievement. Your GMAT and GPA score are key essential to securing a good scholarship. Watch this video where I share the importance of GMAT and GPA scores and how to get scholarships.


  • Make Your Application Unique

As mentioned before, you will be competing against many potentially deserving candidates. So naturally, you need to put in all the effort to make your application count. You can begin by mentioning the projects that demonstrated your leadership skills or commitment to a cause. 

You can further try to build an impression by listing your extra-curricular activities that made a positive impact in a community.

[READ: Why are Extracurriculars Important in Your MBA Application]


Finally, your academic record and personality traits can be a great influencer before the scholarship council. Don’t underestimate the importance of letters of recommendation for this purpose. Put extra care and effort while choosing your recommender and take every possible measure to secure a strong and compelling letter of recommendation.


  • Cover Letter/Scholarship Essay

Many scholarship programmes require applicants to write a cover letter or an essay. Use this opportunity to make the maximum positive impact. 

  • Begin with a strong introduction and follow it with a sharp focus on the theme of the topic.
  • Don’t sound monotonous or just a neutral observer of facts. Instead, try to provide your personal opinion and perspective. 
  • Proofread well for spelling and grammar errors. You can even consider asking a friend to check your draft for any errors.


Getting the right scholarship can be a fight among the brightest of minds, and you should be mentally prepared to face rejection despite the hard work and dedication you put into it. However, as Louise Pasteur said, chances favour the prepared mind. 

You should give your preferred scholarship programme the best shot and hope for the best. After all, you fought hard to come a long way; there is no reason to discontinue that spirit while applying for the grant that you so rightly deserve.

For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

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