Earning a Master of Business Administration, or MBA, is a wise investment that can open many doors to exciting, lucrative careers in the world of business.
Graduate degrees are a great way to develop expertise in your field, set yourself apart from other candidates in the eyes of potential employers, and increase your earning potential.
According to a survey of corporate recruiters conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, the projected median base salary for people who completed an MBA degree and accepted job offers in 2021 is $115,000 — more than three times the median annual wage across all careers in the United States.
Although all of the opportunity that obtaining an MBA may entail is a rather enticing prospect, earning an MBA — or any other graduate degree — can be prohibitively expensive for many people.
On the bright side, there is a lot of free money out there for prospective MBA students who are in need of financial assistance. Generally speaking, funding for your MBA can come in two different forms.
One of these forms of funding for MBA students is merit-based scholarships. These are awarded by the graduate school to which you have applied and do not require any additional application.
Second, there are also independent scholarships students must directly apply for. Most MBA scholarships are intended for a specific group of candidates based on the field of study, gender, race, or other qualifications.
For prospective MBA students who are interested in finding the best scholarships available to you, here is a list of some of the top MBA scholarships out there.
Goldman Sachs MBA Fellowship
The Goldman Sachs MBA Fellowship is a fellowship program for first-year MBA students who are pursuing a summer associate position at Goldman Sachs. In order to be eligible for the Goldman Sachs MBA Fellowship, applicants must be Native American, Latinx, and/or women.
In addition to receiving a salary for the association position, candidates who are selected for the GS fellowship will receive a scholarship award of $35,000 to defray the costs of earning an MBA.
Upon successful completion of the summer associate position, Goldman Sachs fellows receive an additional scholarship of $40,000, for a total of $75,000 to put toward MBA tuition.
Fellows who accept an offer for a full-time associate position at Goldman Sachs may also receive a signing bonus.
Harvard Business School RISE Fellowship
The Recognizing Individuals Seeking Equity, or RISE, Fellowship awards a $10,000 scholarship to as many as 10 MBA candidates in each class at the Harvard Business School.
As the RISE Fellowship is a part of the HBS Action Plan for Advancing Racial Equity, students who wish to apply to receive the award must have demonstrated outstanding dedication to serving Black, Latinx, or other communities of color in the United States.
There are a number of different ways students can meet the eligibility requirement of demonstrated commitment to these groups, including grassroots community organizing efforts, advocating for changing policies and programs that affect communities of color, and more, regardless of whether the applicant’s efforts in these areas were formal or informal.
Military MBA Merit Scholarship
The Military MBA Merit Scholarship is a $20,000 scholarship award available to United States residents who have served in the US military. The scholarship award must be used to pay tuition costs for attending a graduate business degree program at a participating member school.
In order to be eligible to receive the scholarship, applicants must have completed a bachelor’s or other undergraduate degree. They must not be currently enrolled in an MBA program or have already completed an MBA degree program.
Candidates must request that the college or university at which they earned their degree mails a hard copy of their official undergraduate transcript directly to the appropriate military PO box.
Applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation, one of which must be written by a recent supervising officer and the other of which must be written by a member of the military who has recently served under the leadership or command of the applicant.
AICPA John L. Carey Scholarship
Sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the John L. Carey Scholarship is an award of $5,000 for five recipients.
The John L. Carey Scholarship is intended to encourage those who have little or no experience in the accounting field to pursue a career as a professional accountant.
Because of this intention, in order to be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must have a liberal arts or other non-business undergraduate degree. Applicants must have completed no more than 12 credit hours in accounting during their undergraduate education.
They must also plan to pursue both a graduate degree and a CPA license.
The scholarship award will be paid directly to the recipient’s graduate school of choice for the sole purpose of defraying the cost of MBA program tuition or other related expenses.
Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award
The Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award is a $2,500 scholarship granted to select Golden Key members pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree program.
The award is open to students who are already enrolled in a graduate program at an accredited institution, as well as students currently in the final year of undergraduate studies.
To apply to receive the Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award, students must submit a personal statement of no more than five pages detailing the undergraduate program they are or have already completed, the graduate school they intend to attend, and why they are pursuing post-baccalaureate studies.
They must also submit a 500-word response explaining how they plan to use their graduate degree to make a mark on the world through academic leadership and service. Multiple candidates are selected for the award each year.
BMO Capital Markets Lime Connect Equity Through Education Scholarship
The BMO Capital Markets Lime Connect Equity Through Education Scholarship is an award of $10,000, open to American or Canadian college students who have a disability or disabilities.
In order to be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must intend to pursue a graduate degree in business, computer science, engineering, physics, statistics, mathematics, or a related discipline.
Additionally, applicants interested in pursuing a career in financial services with an emphasis on capital markets are given preference in the selection process.
To apply for this scholarship, students must submit a response to an essay prompt. The essay prompt asks applicants to describe their career goals and to explain why they feel they should be selected to be a BMO Capital Markets Lime Connect Equity Through Education Scholar.
Forté Foundation MBA Fellowship Programs
The Forté Foundation, an institution dedicated to supporting the advancement of women in the business field, offers multiple fellowship options for women who plan to pursue an MBA.
The Forté MBA Fellowships are intended for women who have demonstrated a dedication to the Foundation’s mission, represent diverse backgrounds, and show strong leadership ability.
In order to be considered for a Forté Fellowship, students must first apply to an MBA program at one of the Foundation’s participating partner schools.
Upon receiving an offer for admission, the partner school is responsible for selecting which applicants will represent them as Forté fellows.
In addition to tuition assistance of up to $20,000, Forté fellows also gain valuable network connections, receive invitations to Forté conferences, attend panel discussions, and participate in professional and personal development workshops.
Stanford Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program
Stanford University’s Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program offers full funding for graduate school tuition for up to three years.
Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive a significant scholarship to cover tuition costs, a living stipend for all educational expenses, and a travel grant for one round-trip flight for academic travel per year.
Supplemental funding for academic enrichment and support may also be available to students in this program.
To become a part of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, students first must get accepted to the Stanford graduate degree program and enroll in classes. Then, they may apply separately to the Scholars Program.
In addition to becoming a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, students who are accepted into this program also have the opportunity to participate in the King Global Leadership Program, or KGLP. The purpose of the KGLP is to allow scholars to be a part of an academic community of like-minded graduate students.
The hub of the KGLP is at the Denning House on Stanford’s campus, offering both housing and shared communal spaces for scholars to come together.
Wharton School Howard E. Mitchell Fellowship
Offered by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Howard E. Mitchell Fellowship is a tuition assistance program intended for students who belong to groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the law profession.
Specifically, the fellowship is awarded to students who identify as Black, Latinx, Native American, Alaskan Native, and/or Asian Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian.
Each year, the UPenn Wharton School selects a cohort of students to become Mitchell Fellows. These fellows receive full funding for MBA tuition, take part in a number of leadership programming events, and gain membership into a vast network of Mitchell Fellows and program alumni.
The Mitchell Fellowship is a two-year program, with tuition funding spread evenly across the four semesters of the program. This generally covers the entirety of the duration of a fellow’s MBA program.
The Reaching Out LGBT+ MBA Fellowship
The Reaching Out LGBT+ MBA, or ROMBA, Fellowship, is a program that offers individuals pursuing their MBA tuition support through a scholarship of a minimum of $20,000. ROMBA Fellows also get access to leadership programming events, including a retreat at the beginning of the fellowship.
In order to be eligible to become a ROMBA Fellow, students must identify as part of the LGBT+ community. To apply, students first must notify Reaching Out that they are interested in the fellowship and at which schools they may do so.
When students receive offers for admission from the schools they have applied to, they should also receive notification of if they have been selected to be a ROMBA Fellow directly from the school.
After choosing which school they will attend and accepting their offer for admission, the school will notify Reaching Out that they have been selected as a ROMBA Fellow on the student’s behalf.