A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a graduate degree that enables students to pursue a career in business and management. Pursuing an MBA degree teaches you all the technical, managerial, and leadership skills necessary to work in business administration and investment management.
That’s all well and good, but MBA programs can be quite expensive. MBA tuition fees at some of the top-tier business schools range from an average of $50,000 to $160,000 for a two-year program. Even if you can afford it, it’s smart to receive some financial aid that would help you significantly cut down on what you pay.
This guide will take you through some of the best business school scholarships and MBA grants, key tips for applying, and some resources to help you prepare.
Most Popular MBA Scholarships and Grants
Apart from merit, some scholarships for Masters in Business Administration degrees consider a student’s affiliation with a particular group (e.g. philanthropic foundations), or interest in a certain field, such as insurance or internet marketing. Others are school-specific or available to certain groups of graduate students, such as minorities or women.
As for MBA grants, some require internships and employment in specific fields upon graduation.
With that in mind, take a look at some of the premier financial aids and grants available.
The Finest FinAid for MBA Students
These are some of the most notable business school scholarships and grants available to all MBA students.
The Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award is available to full-time and part-time senior or graduate students who must be members of the Golden Key International Honour Society.
Deadline: December 23
There are five GFOA Scholarships for students pursuing a career in local or state/provincial government finance.
Deadline: January 26
The merit-based program supports full-time students pursuing a career in insurance, finance, management, economics, statistics, risk management, mathematics, or a business-related field. They must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Deadline: June 30
These scholarships are available to students attending Columbia Business School. There are both merit-based and need-based scholarships.
Amount: $7,500-$30,000 (average $20,000 for need-based scholarships)
Deadlines: October 2, January 6, and June 1
Semify supports MBA students passionate about internet marketing. They must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least one year of college.
Deadlines: March 1 and November 1
Students with a minimum 3.0 GPA and the American Public Transport Association sponsorship can apply for the Dan M. Reichard, Jr. Scholarship. They must have completed an internship with the APTA, and pursue an MBA in the transit industry.
Deadline: June 15
Offered by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the renewable Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi Scholarship is available to all full-time MBA students with a minimum 3.25 GPA.
Deadline: February 10
The scholarship is available to MBA students interested in HR or a related field. They must be SHRM members with at least 3.5 GPA, or 3.0 GPA if they’re yet to enroll.
Deadline: March 21
The competitive Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program offers MBA grants to students with at least 3.2 GPA interested in working in the US Department of State Foreign Service. The fellowship provides mentoring, two summer internships, and other professional development activities.
Amount: Up to $42,000
Deadline: October 21
The program offers opportunities to full-time MBA students pursuing a career in fraud examination or a related anti-fraud field.
Amounts: $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000
Deadline: February 4
Best MBA Scholarships for Minority Students
Many schools and organizations offer scholarships and fellowships to minorities, mainly based on their ethnicity, race, and country of origin.
The Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) Scholarship is available to full-time Latino MBA students studying business, finance, accounting, or STEM. They must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Deadline: May 22
The scholarship is open to all full-time American MBA students of Polish descent who have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Deadline: January 16
The merit-based scholarship is available to visually impaired students with strong academic achievements. They must provide proof of legal blindness and US citizenship or legal residency.
Deadline: March 31
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship is a program that offers financial support to immigrants and children of immigrants in the US. Applicants must be under 30, legally in the US, and pursuing any graduate degree, including an MBA.
Amount: Up to $90,000
The National Association of Black Accountants offers scholarships to graduates of Black or African-American heritage, who must be NABA members with a minimum 3.5 GPA.
Deadline: January 31
There are dozens of excellent opportunities for NBMBAA members, with varying eligibility requirements. Head to the website for information on each.
Amount: $1,000-$100,000, and up to full tuition (depending on the program)
The Consortium awards hundreds of merit-based, full-tuition annual fellowships to African American, Hispanic American, and Native American MBA students. It also offers many internship opportunities.
Amount: Full tuition
Deadlines: October 15 and January 5
The Actuarial Diversity supports all full-time Black/African American, Native North American, Latinx, or Pacific Islander MBA students interested in pursuing an actuarial profession. They must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Deadline: June 15
The fellowship is open to full-time MBA students in any minority group who pursue a career in investment banking. They must demonstrate leadership skills, professional and academic achievement and complete a summer internship.
Amount: Up to $30,000
Deadline: June 21
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund offers merit-based MBA endowment to all full-time Hispanic students with a minimum 3.0 GPA (high school) or minimum 2.5 GPA (graduates).
Deadline: April 26
Most Favorable MBA Scholarships for Women
Many business school scholarships for minorities cater to women as well, but these below provide financial support to female students exclusively.
The American Association of University Women offers Selected Professions Fellowships to women of color pursuing an MBA degree and those interested in law, medicine, engineering, architecture, science, mathematics, and technology.
Deadline: December 1
The program awards MBA grants to women of any ethnicity pursuing an MBA degree. They must demonstrate strong leadership skills and engage in various Forté initiatives.
Amount: Varies (partial or full tuition)
Deadline: Varies across cities
The P.E.O. offers scholarships for Master’s in Business Administration degrees to full-time international female students studying in the US or Canada.
Amount: Up to $12,500
Deadline: December 15
The need-based WISP provides financial support to female survivors of intimate partner abuse. They don’t have to be full-time students, but their credits affect the award.
Deadline: At least two months before the program starts
The NGA Foundation’s oportunity is available to women pursuing a career in the independent food industry, including MBA students. They should have at least a 2.0 GPA.
Deadline: June 15
The CLF supports Latinas studying in specific Northern California counties. They must have at least 2.7 GPA, attend full-time, engage with the CLF Leadership Institute, and volunteer for the foundation.
Deadline: March 21
The JMK Women in Business Scholarship from Zonta International is open to all women pursuing an MBA or any business-related field who must become Zonta club members. Zonta’s classified members, employees, and their family members aren’t eligible.
Amount: $2,000 (domestic) and $8,000 (international)
Deadline: Between April and June (August 15 for Zonta club applications)
Scholarships4Moms offers endowments to all moms looking to further their education. They can use the funds for any educational opportunity, including earning an MBA degree.
Deadline: Varies (The deadline for 2021 is June 15)
The C200 Foundation offers many Advancing Women awards, such as the C200 Scholar Awards, aimed at female MBA students. They must demonstrate leadership and entrepreneurial skills and showcase a commitment to the community.
The Financial Women of San Francisco grants are open to women pursuing an MBA degree in finance and financial services in the San Francisco Bay Area. They must have a minimum 3.0 GPA or equivalent.
Amount: $10,000 (undergraduates) and $15,000 (graduates)
Deadline: March 25
Top MBA Financial Aids for Military Students & Veterans
These are some of the best business school scholarships for active military service members and veterans. They can use them to pay for any accredited college.
AMVETS Scholarships are available to veterans, active duty, military reserves, and Guard members, as well as their spouses, children, and grandchildren.
Deadline: April 30 and September 24
The SVA opportunity is available to all US Navy veterans looking to earn a degree in business, finance, or related fields and transition to civilian employment.
Deadline: April 5
The program offers military endowments to active service members, veterans, and military spouses. They must be full-time students at a public or private school.
Amount: Varies ($11,000 on average)
Deadline: February 28
Coast Guard, Marine, and Navy members (and their families) can apply for many scholarships, some of which require applicants to be FRA members.
Amount: Up to $5,000
Deadline: April 15
There are many favorable WMA opportunities for current and veteran female USMC and Reserve members and their family members.
Deadline: February 28
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Foundation offers the need-based scholarship to active National Guard or Reserve members and retired or honorably discharged veterans.
Amount: Up to $5,000
Deadline: April 30 and November 15
Students eligible for scholarships must be veterans pursuing an MBA, and they must provide two letters of recommendation.
Deadline: Varies ( The deadline for 2021 is June 30)
There are two merit-based BVA Scholarships (Kathern F. Gruber and Thomas H. Miller), each open to blinded veterans’ spouses and dependents. They must be full-time students in a vocational, secretarial, or business school or an accredited college.
Amount: $1,000 (Miller) and $2,000 (Gruber)
Deadline: April 16
Students who apply for these opportunities must have served with the 506th Infantry or be a spouse or descendant of someone who did. They’re both merit and need-based.
Amount: $1,000 and $1,500
Deadline: April 30
The merit-based AAAA Scholarship program provides current AAAA members and their families with financial assistance for higher education. They must demonstrate leadership skills, academic achievement, work experience, and volunteer service.
Deadline: April 30
7 Essential Tips for Winning an MBA Scholarship
To land your desired MBA scholarship, follow these crucial tips:
- Apply early - You’ll show you’re serious and have higher chances of winning a scholarship at top-rated schools.
- Apply for as many MBA scholarships as you can - Don’t apply only for large scholarships, particularly since they’re more competitive. Landing several smaller endowments can make a huge difference.
- Learn more about past winners - This will help you understand what various award committees are looking for.
- Don’t take your application essays lightly - Essays are some of the most important factors for winning financial help opportunities. They show if you’re the right fit, so make sure you showcase the uniqueness and stand out.
- Maintain a high GPA - GPA scores are often the primary factor for awarding scholarships.
- Consult with MBA graduates - They’ll provide you with invaluable information on MBA programs and funding opportunities.
- Explore MBA student resources - Every university and school offers helpful prep resources, and you can find tons of them online. They’ll help you learn how to write winning essays, how to highlight your accomplishments during interviews, how to apply for financial aid, and more.
7 Useful Resources for All Future MBA Students
If you need additional information on MBA grants and various programs, check out the following resources:
- Financing Your MBA Degree - An information-packed guide to all the available types of financial aid programs.
- The College Board - An extensive database offering information on over 2,200 financial aid programs.
- Federal Student Aid - Useful tips, checklists, and advice on academic and financial preparation, including how to win scholarships, fellowships, and grants.
- GoodCall - Comprehensive guides to paying for college, nailing interviews, finding and applying for internships, and finding a job upon graduation.
- Peterson’s - A huge database of scholarships, grants, fellowships, and test prep resources.
- Guide for Online Colleges & Disabilities - An informative guide to documentation, special accommodations, distance education, scholarship opportunities, etc. for students with disabilities.
- 25 MBA Prep Resources for Aspiring Applicants - Excellent resources for applying for MBA programs and preparing for business school.
Ready to Set Sail for an MBA Adventure?
Dig deeper into these and other MBA scholarships to find the best fits for your needs. Take advantage of available online and offline resources, follow the tips above, prepare like a pro, and you’ll become an MBA student without a hitch!