An MBA degree from a good B-School has the potential to provide a massive boost to your career trajectory. It is no surprise then that MBA programs offered by reputed colleges are always in demand, even in the post-pandemic era.
Therefore, full-time management programs from reputed colleges, especially those in the USA, can be costly as they are often in great demand. The average cost of the top 25 MBA courses in the USA has increased by an average of 3 to 4 per cent in the last two years.
Students often consider taking student loans to finance their MBA in such circumstances. However, you can also consider applying for scholarships which can be a better option to finance an MBA program overseas.
The Benefit of MBA Scholarships
A scholarship can ensure that you don’t have to worry about funding your studies, which can dramatically increase your MBA degree’s return-on-investment (ROI). Therefore, you can work on securing your financial future and consider taking risks as soon as beginning your job since you don’t have to worry about loan repayments.
Besides, a scholarship is an achievement that distinguishes your resume while entering the job search. A merit-based scholarship is a recognition of your hard work. It provides a sense of achievement that can boost your confidence at your workplace.
Types of MBA Scholarships
- Merit-Based Scholarships
This is the most common form of scholarship that is provisioned for in almost all major universities. As the name suggests, such scholarships are provided to students based upon their academic performances or special talents and skills.
- Government Scholarships
These are the government-sponsored scholarships to help students pursue higher education overseas and get the necessary exposure. The Government of India sponsors many such awards to encourage deserving students to pursue their overseas education.
- Subject-Based Scholarships
These scholarships are awarded to students of a specif subject to encourage better development in that field. For instance, many B-schools provide subject-specific scholarships in the field of finance or marketing.
- Need-Based Scholarships
This is the second most common form of scholarship after merit scholarships. Such scholarships are awarded to students from disadvantaged financial backgrounds who otherwise can’t afford the course. Harward University and Stanford University offer many such scholarship programs to deserving students.
Top MBA Scholarship Programs for International Students in 2022
- Fulbright Scholarship Program (USA)
One of the oldest and most reputed scholarship programs, it enables international graduate students to pursue post-graduate study and research in the USA. About 4000 students from 160 different countries avail this scholarship every year.
- B K Birla Scholarship (UK)
The GBP 15 million scholarship program was founded in 2019 by Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla. The scholarship provides financial support to 5 full-time Indian candidates every year to pursue an MBA from the London School of Business.
- Kellogg Scholarships (USA)
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University offers a wide range of merit-based scholarships to international MBA students. The list includes Donald P Jacobs International Scholarship, Drake Scholars, Finance fellows, Frederick C Austin Scholarship, John R Flanagan Excellence Grant and many more.
- Chicago Booth School Scholarships (USA)
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business offers a diverse range of scholarships and financial aids for pursuing their full-time MBA courses. There is no fixed number of scholarships as they consider every scholarship application and award the same if they find the recipient suitable.
- UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Scholarships (USA)
The UC Berkeley Haas School of Business offers both need-based and merit-based scholarships to admitted students. Among the many scholarships the college offers, the Dr Tahir Fellowship scholarship is awarded to international students with a preference for those who did their undergraduate education in Asia.
- National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for Applicants from Marginalised Communities
This scheme is run by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India. Underprivileged Indian students belonging to scheduled castes, denotified tribes, traditional artisan communities can avail of this scholarship to pursue MBA at any accredited institution or university abroad except the UK.
How to Get MBA Scholarship
Unlike MBA admission, most business schools’ MBA scholarships and grants do not have a set pattern. However, they do follow certain guidelines, and you can enhance your chances of securing a scholarship by having a strategy at the place.
- Start With GMAT Score
While a strong GMAT score does not automatically assure a scholarship, it can definitely improve your chances of getting a scholarship. A high GMAT score can indicate academic excellence and hence is highly valued by most MBA colleges.
Therefore, you can get an edge over other applicants if you apply for the scholarship with a high GMAT score.
But not scoring well on GMAT is not the end of the road. Read this blog where I share tips to increase your chances of getting a scholarship in spite of a low GMAT score.
- Be An Early Applicant
Remember that you are competing against a sizable number of international students for admission to your favourite university. Naturally, a large number of them will apply for scholarships as well.
Therefore, one simple but effective strategy would be to apply for the scholarship as early as possible. You can have a better shot at securing a grant when the race for the scholarship is still not heated up.
You can access a lot of information regarding various scholarships from the institutes’ websites. Take your time researching various scholarship programs offered by different b-schools. Make notes if needed. Try to find out the one where you stand the best chance to win.
Sometimes your goal essay could be the key to getting a scholarship like this applicant-
Your GRE/GMAT score could be a cause at other times as discussed above-
Whatever is the case, researching is often the first step to identify gaps (if any) in your MBA application and fill those.
Furthermore, broaden your research. Apart from the usual merit-based or need-based scholarship, you might be eligible for a wide range of special scholarships as well. For instance, some scholarships are aimed to aid female students, students belonging to a particular geographical area, and so on.
A little awareness and determination can help you secure a scholarship that can help you go debt-free right after you finish your course. You can take the help of a reputed and experienced MBA consultant who can guide you in the right direction during the whole process.
So, what are you waiting for? Make your move now toward a debt-free MBA program with the help of a scholarship.
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