An MBA is one of the most expensive courses in the USA and without some form of financial assistance, such as business school grants; many students would not be able to consider undertaking such a course of study. The payoff for successful MBA students is that on average they will earn 50% more than their bachelor degree counterparts once they hit the workforce.
At the start of a long course of study though that is cold comfort when the demands of your course work put limitations on your ability to work to support yourself. Very few students are able to afford to put themselves through university. Without grants, scholarships or student loans we would be very short of graduates and in the case of student loans, on graduation you are faced with the prospect of starting your working life with a huge debt to be repaid.
Business school grants have the advantage that they do not need to be repaid but the disadvantage that for every available grant there are many students hoping to secure one. Competition is fierce for financial aid of this type so the first step is to arm yourself with as much information as possible before you wade into the paperwork.
You should firstly complete a FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid), which will enable you to apply for the Federal Pell Grant and FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) that are awarded on the basis of financial need and the Academic Competitiveness Grant, awarded on the basis of academic merit.
A trip to your school’s financial aid office and time spent with the counsellors will give you the opportunity to review the business school grants that are being offered by your particular institution. Most of these grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis and are either determined on the grounds of financial need or academic merit.
Additional business school grants that are offered by your school may include financial aid for minority groups of which you may be a member, for example women, Hispanics, African Americans or Native Americans. These awards are typically merit based and are again becoming difficult to secure as more students are seeking help.
MBA students should also think about contacting professional organizations, private companies and foundations, which are commonly supporters of the business schools and may offer grants to individual students, particularly those with an excellent academic record. Some companies use the opportunity to provide business school grants to students as part of long-term recruiting strategy and the networking opportunity for you should not be under estimated.
Students who are commencing an MBA after spending some time in the workforce should approach their employer, as there may be financial help in the form of business school grants available from them if they know that they have your loyalty and you will be returning with new skills to offer.
Meeting the cost of an MBA can be a frightening prospect but with the help of business school grants you can be on your way to a successful career after graduation.