MBA Scholarships

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Scholarships Guide to Help Students Pay For Their Online MBA


Students today can be admitted to a graduate school with on campus learning in traditional classrooms and lecture halls and even live on campus as residents, or they can join a part-time or full-time MBA program online from anywhere in the U.S. Online attendance can reduce some of the costs of graduate study because students attend class from home. Online students can continue to work at their jobs, operate businesses, and maintain other obligations. They are still required to cover the cost of tuition and fees like other students. Scholarships, grants, and summer fellowships can reduce the out-of-pocket costs for online MBA students. For some students, grants, scholarships, and fellowships can cover all the costs of a master of business administration or even an executive education.

Scholarships, grants, and fellowships are unlike many student loan programs because they do not require repayment. Some federal loans, such as the Perkins or Stafford programs, offer low interest, deferred repayment, and potential for forgiveness to qualified candidates. However, scholarships often have extra benefits and never need repayment, and they can cover nearly every school-related expense.

The MBA is a flexible degree, and schools today offer MBA concentrations that can provide an advantage for jobs after graduation. Among the avenues for scholarships, fellowships, and grants are specific fields of MBA education. Students interested in healthcare, international business, operations management, or other specific studies can seek scholarships aimed at increasing the number of MBAs in that concentration and in the field.

Ways to Help You Pay for Your College Tuition


General MBA Scholarships


MBA scholarships help pay the sometimes very high costs of graduate education. General MBA scholarships are those that do not have specific limitations, beneficiaries, or purposes. General scholarships are open to all students and do not restrict or limit eligibility to favor some particular group. They do not have to go to the best GPAs or standardized test scores and are not meant to increase diversity in the field. These scholarships are an excellent source of funding for every student, and every student should reach out for them to fill their needs for financial help with tuition, fees, housing, and living expenses.

The business school in which the student intends to enroll can be a source of general scholarships. Some business schools are part of well-endowed universities and colleges with long-traditions of public and private support. Other schools may be relatively new and offer alternative forms of scholarship aid. As a guide to selecting business programs, the student can research the levels of financial aid provided to students in previous years.

Applicants must consider merit-based and needs-based scholarships. Many national scholarships and fellowships offer large amounts of aid. Too often, potential applicants shy away from these awards, perhaps believing they could never compete or meet the level of required excellence. However, you should allow the faculty or panel who review the application and info received to make that decision. Don't skip a possible source of funds because of uncertainty. Explore all your options.

  • Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program
    Amount: $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000
    Deadline: January 30
    Link: https://www.acfe.com/scholarship.aspx

    The Association of Fraud Examiners award the Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program and provides a scholarship to graduate students who wish to enter into the fraud examination major. You may apply in your first or second year of school.

  • National Academy of Human Resources Graduate Scholarship
    Amount: $5,000 (Not available after 2020)
    Deadline: N/A
    Link: https://www.nationalacademyhr.org/nahr-scholarship-sponsorship

    All graduate student applicants must have a designated specialization in human resources to be considered. You will also be judged on academics, leadership, work experience, financial need, and giving back to the community.

  • Technology Addiction Awareness Scholarship
    Amount: $1,000
    Deadline: January 30
    Link: http://www.digitalresponsibility.org/technology-addiction-awareness-scholarship/

    Anyone who wishes to apply to this scholarship must complete a 140-character text about technology addiction. If selected as a finalist, applicants must complete an essay about the same subject matter for a length of 500-1,000 words.

  • Harvard Business School Need-Based MBA Fellowships
    Amount: $80,000 ($40,000/year for 2 years)
    Deadline: N/A
    Link: https://www.hbs.edu/mba/financial-aid/tuition-assistance/Pages/default.aspx

    This fellowship award is entirely dedicated to MBA students who are full-time students. The amount offered will be determined based on your earnings and the earnings of your spouse along with any assets worth over $100,000. Applicants must be citizens of the United States.

  • Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship
    Amount: $2,000
    Deadline: February 15
    Link: https://www.dar.org/sites/default/files/members/darnet/forms/SCH-WP-2014.pdf

    Graduate degree applicants must be full-time students at an accredited university or college with a business administration major and at least a 3.25 GPA. The scholarship is eligible for renewal each year. This special scholarship is awarded by the Daughters of the American Revolution; however, both men and women can apply.

  • HubShout Internet Marketing Scholarship
    Amount: $1,000 (2 Awards)
    Deadline: March 1; November 1
    Link: https://hubshout.com/?p=scholarship

    Applicants must be planning to gain a job in internet marketing after graduation and have at least a 3.0 GPA. Two scholarships will be provided to those who are capable of demonstrating their passion for internet marketing through social media events on platforms like Twitter, email, and website content.

  • Dan M. Reichard Jr. Scholarship
    Amount: $2,500-$5,000
    Deadline: June 13
    Link: https://www.aptfd.org/aptf-scholarship-program/scholarships/

    Recipients of the Dan M. Reichard Jr. Scholarship must demonstrate a desire to learn about the public transportation industry and work in business administration or management. Applicants must find a member of the American Public Transportation Association to sponsor them to be eligible.

  • Little Family Foundation MBA Fellowship Award
    Amount: $5,000
    Deadline: Rolling
    Link: https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-usa/home

    To be eligible, applicants must have participated in a Junior Achievement program in high school and must have volunteered to teach two Junior Achievement K-8 classes. It is also imperative that you are applying for a one-year or a two-year MBA program rather than a PhD.

  • Careers in International Business Scholarship
    Amount: $2,500
    Deadline: October 31
    Link: http://www.memphisworldtradeclub.com/page-18070

    This scholarship is designed to award graduate students with the opportunity to become leaders in international business/transportation fields. Winners will be selected based on a 1,000-word essay written from a list of questions and their resume.

MBA Scholarships for Minorities


Minorities are defined as members of certain race or ethnic group, and they may also be defined in terms of under-represented groups. When pursuing scholarships based on minority status, it is important to look carefully at the definition of the intended beneficiaries. While scholarships may focus on minority group status, they also look to reward the most promising students. These classes of scholarship also look at financial need as a factor with considerable weight.

Because many minority-focused scholarships seek to benefit minority communities, the selection process tends to reward applicants that in turn have engaged their communities and demonstrated a willingness to participate and contribute to community improvement. The MBA is a powerful tool for progress in minority communities, both in social and economic terms. Reflecting the purposes of the scholarship is an excellent method for improving opportunities for success.

  • Leslie Elise Adkins Endowed Scholarship
    Amount: Varies
    Deadline: Varies
    Link: https://cgsm.org/orientation-program/upcoming-program/awards/leslie-elise-adkins-endowed-scholarship/

    This scholarship is dedicated to African American students who seek admission to pursue business degrees. Preferential treatment will be provided to female students and anyone who plans to attend Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College or the Marshall School of Business at USC.

  • Prospanica Foundation’s Scholarships
    Amount: $2,000-$5,000
    Deadline: May 15
    Link: https://www.prospanica.org/page/Scholarships

    This scholarship is dedicated to graduate students of Hispanic heritage with an entrepreneurial spirit. Applicants must be a US citizen or a legal permanent resident with a minimum 2.75 GPA for those with two years of work experience or a 3.0 GPA for those without work experience.

  • Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship
    Amount: $10,000/year ($20,000 total)
    Deadline: January 20
    Link: https://www.reachingoutmba.org/lgbtmbafellowship

    Recipients of the LGBTQ MBA Fellowship will receive up to $20,000 in total. They will also have exclusive access to mentors and a calendar of leadership development programs. It is important to note that only a select group of business schools qualify for enrollment to become a recipient.

  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund
    Amount: $500-$5,000
    Deadline: February 15
    Link: https://www.hsf.net/en_US/scholarship

    Applicants must be of Hispanic heritage with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA for graduate students. You must also enroll in an accredited graduate school that is a non-profit degree program. Applicants must also plan to enroll as a full-time student and be a US citizen, DACA participant, eligible non-citizen, or a permanent legal resident.

  • The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Scholarship
    Amount: Varies
    Deadline: October 16
    Link: http://scholarships.ncaied.org/

    You must be a graduate student in a business field to qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must be full-time students and provide a Tribal Enrollment document to qualify. It is essential that you enroll in an accredited graduate program, and you must attend the scholarship luncheon to qualify.

  • Association of Latino Professionals (ALPFA) Annual Scholarship Program
    Amount: $2,000-$10,000
    Deadline: June 8
    Link: https://www.alpfa.org/page/schol_landing

    This scholarship is for individuals of Hispanic heritage who are full-time students at an accredited university or college. Nearly 45 scholarships are awarded each year. However, less than five are typically awarded to those in a master’s degree program or higher.

  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Graduate Fellowship
    Amount: Varies
    Deadline: Varies
    Link: https://chci.org/programs/graduate-fellowship-program/

    If you are of Latino heritage, you can apply for this fellowship program to work with members of Congress on policy in a wide array of topics, from Homeland Security to public health. You must demonstrate financial need, be active in your community, and be enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited college or university.

  • Asian and Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community Scholarship
    Amount: $2500 (2 Awards)
    Deadline: February 10
    Link: http://www.apiqwtc.org/resources/apiqwtc-scholarship/

    Applicants must be a resident of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington or Montana. You must be of Pacific Island or Asian heritage and identify as transgendered, bisexual, or homosexual. Applicants must be active in the community and demonstrate leadership skills.

  • The Lagrant Foundation Graduate Scholarships
    Amount: $3,750
    Deadline: February 28
    Link: https://www.lagrantfoundation.org/Graduate%20Scholarships

    Eligibility is dependent upon being a US citizen, DACA participant or permanent resident, and having a minimum of a 3.2 GPA with at least two semesters completed or one year remaining in your master’s degree program. And you must have an interest in public relations, marketing, or advertising.

MBA Scholarships for Women


Historically, women have been severely under-represented in business education and in medium to large business organizations. Today the gap has decreased, but women still face barriers to full participation in business organizations. MBA scholarships for women focus on women students and on the situations that have traditionally reduced female participation. Some women scholarships help students that have had gaps in their educational progression due to roles as caregivers, parents, or sole support of households.

Many scholarships for women seek to support women with demonstrable financial needs. Some scholarships seek to bring women into fields where there have been few female participants. When searching for scholarships, female students should look at women business associations particularly in a field in which they plan to study and work.

  • Chicana/Latina Foundation (CLF) Scholarship Program
    Amount: $1,500 (30-40 Awards)
    Deadline: April 7
    Link: https://chicanalatina.org/?s=scholarship

    Powerful Latina women can qualify for this merit-based scholarship if they have a passion for equality and justice. You must demonstrate leadership and service to the community. Individuals who have overcome personal obstacles and have a clear direction of goals will have preference to the scholarship.

  • Scholarships4Mom
    Amount: $10,000
    Deadline: Varies (Several drawings yearly)
    Link: http://scholarships4moms.net/scholarship-application-for-moms

    Any mother qualifies for this scholarship. You can be in pursuit of any type of higher education. The awards can be used to pay for tuition, student loans or books.

  • Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP)
    Amount: $250-$2,000
    Deadline: Two months before program start date
    Link: http://wispinc.org/

    Applicants must be a woman and survivor of partner abuse who has been separated from the abuser for at least one year. To qualify, you must have worked with a non-profit organization for services that support abuse victims. The organization must be willing to be your mentor.

  • The Dodell Women's Empowerment Scholarship
    Amount: $1,000-$2,000
    Deadline: November 1 (two cycles of application acceptance/year)
    Link: https://www.ncjwla.org/what-we-do/scholarship/

    Applicants must be continuing their education or re-entering college or university to become self-sufficient economically. All applicants must be female and at least 25 at the time of the application. You can have children or not, and you can be married or not to qualify.

  • Moss Adams Foundation Scholarships
    Amount: $1,000
    Deadline: April 30
    Link: http://www.efwa.org/scholarships_graduate.php

    Minority women in pursuit of a graduate degree in business, accounting, or an MBA are the recipients of this scholarship. You must demonstrate your decisive goals for the future in your personal and professional lives and prove financial need.

  • Financial Women's Association (FWA) Graduate Scholars
    Amount: $10,000
    Deadline: March 29
    Link: https://fwa.org/initiatives/mentoring-scholarships/

    This scholarship is dedicated to women in pursuit of an MBA at a select group of reputable and accredited business schools. Scholar recipients will be selected based on academic performance and the ability to be a leader.

  • American Association of University Women Career Development Grants
    Amount: $2,000-$12,000
    Deadline: November 15
    Link: https://www.aauw.org/resources/programs/fellowships-grants/current-opportunities/career-development/

    These Career Development Grants will be awarded to women who are in pursuit of an advanced degree to change the direction of their current career path. You must already have a bachelor’s degree. Those women who are in pursuit of advanced degrees for the first time in a nontraditional field will receive preference.

  • Women in Logistics Scholarship
    Amount: $3,500
    Deadline: November 1
    Link: https://www.womeninlogistics.org/scholarship-program/

    Applicants must become a member of Women in Logistics to apply. Recipients must demonstrate a desire to have a career in logistics or supply chain management. Applicants must attend a graduate program in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • Z-NEF General Graduate Scholarship
    Amount: $2,500
    Deadline: Varies
    Link: http://www.zpbnef1975.org/scholarships--descriptions.html

    Scholarship recipients must be women in pursuit of a master’s degree. You must be willing to enroll as a full-time student. The award will not exceed $2,500 per year, and it will be paid to the recipient directly.

  • Angela Dipietro Women in Business Scholarship
    Amount: $500
    Deadline: May 1
    Link: https://marylandcriminallaws.com/scholarship.html

    Women pursuing graduate school or an MBA from an accredited college or university qualify for this scholarship. You must demonstrate an interest in entrepreneurship or business as a career path. It is also imperative to have professional and volunteer experience.

MBA Scholarships for Military


An MBA is a flexible degree that can enable veterans to use their military and educational experience to pursue careers in business, government, public administration, healthcare, and many other fields. The post 9/11 GI Bill adds matching funds to any institution that wishes to cooperate to cover any unmet financial needs for a veteran attending a graduate program in business. Veterans that wish to pursue civilian careers in the military establishment or in public administration can use an MBA to achieve their career goals.

Some veterans bring military experience to business fields such as logistics, transportation, and procurement. Many universities offer merit programs for students, and these include scholarships for MBA study. Veterans have some powerful factors in their favor; they can demonstrate a high level of contribution to community and country, and they can demonstrate leadership. Veterans can also compete in specific fields for scholarships such as in construction or trucking.

  • PNC-SVA "Serving with Integrity" Scholarship
    Amount: $10,000 (2 Awards)
    Deadline: Varies (November)
    Link: https://studentveterans.org/programs/scholarships?layout=edit&id=126

    This scholarship is dedicated to individuals who were honorably discharged or those who currently serve as a Guard or Reserve member. You must be pursuing a degree in business administration at an accredited college or university.

  • Army Women's Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program
    Amount: $1,000 (Community College); $2,500 (Bachelor’s-Master’s Programs)
    Deadline: Varies (January)
    Link: https://www.awfdn.org/scholarships/

    Applicants must be a woman, or her child, who is an active service member or who served honorably in the Army National Guard, Reserve, or Army. To be eligible, you must have a 3.0 GPA from undergrad and be accepted or enrolled in a graduate program.

  • Katherine F. Gruber Scholarship
    Amount: $2,000 (Renewable)
    Deadline: Varies (April)
    Link: https://www.bva.org/blinded-veterans-scholarships-awards/

    This scholarship is dedicated to the children, grandchildren, and spouses of a blinded veteran or an active duty member of the Armed Forces. Awards will be granted based on merit, and recipients can reapply each year for renewal.

  • Tillman Military Scholars Program
    Amount: $10,000 (Average Award)
    Deadline: Varies
    Link: https://pattillmanfoundation.org/apply-to-be-a-scholar/

    The scholars in this program must be full-time graduate students. Applicants can be active duty members or veterans; spouses and surviving spouses also qualify. Recipients will have access to numerous professional development opportunities.

  • Veterans United Foundation Scholarship
    Amount: $50,000 (10 Awards)
    Deadline: March 30
    Link: https://www.enhancelives.com/scholarships

    This scholarship is dedicated to veterans and their family members. Awards will be given as a one-time scholarship to 10 individuals for up to $50,000 each semester. You must be currently enrolled or plan to enroll at the next semester.

  • Sports Clips Help a Hero Scholarship
    Amount: Up to $5,000
    Deadline: April 30 (Fall); November 15 (Spring)
    Link: https://www.vfw.org/Scholarship/

    To qualify, you must be an active duty member, honorably discharged, retired, or a member of the National Guard or a Reserve. Scholarships have restrictions to one award per family each semester, and applicants must demonstrate financial need.

  • Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) Scholarships
    Amount: $1,000-$4,000
    Deadline: April 1 (Pre-qualifying Form); May 1 (Application)
    Link: https://www.quad-a.org/Scholarship/Application_Procedure/Scholarship/apply.aspx?hkey=6cfe053a-4474-4d81-a350-ec62c335f984

    Applicants must meet at least one requirement; be a current member of the AAAA or be the spouse, child, grandchild or unmarried sibling of a member or deceased member.

  • Military Spouse Scholarships
    Amount: $1,000
    Deadline: N/A
    Link: https://scholarships.militaryfamily.org/offers/nmfa-spouse-scholarship/

    The average scholarship awarded to a spouse who can present a valid military ID is $1,000. Applicants will qualify as long as they are the spouse of a service member of any kind. If the service members were wounded, injured, died or had an illness, they must have done so after September 11, 2001.

  • Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) Member Scholarships
    Amount: Up to $5,000
    Deadline: April 15
    Link: https://www.fra.org/fra/Web/Events_and_Programs/Fra_Education_Foundation_Scholarships/Web/Content/FRA_Education_Foundation.aspx?hkey=fe5fe4c8-48b6-4003-be7b-5f3f317c6600

    Eligible applicants can be members of the Fleet Reserve Association along with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and spouses. Members must be in good standing with the organization; all applicants must be full-time students at an accredited university or college and US citizens.

Your Scholarship Application Guide to Get the Scholarship


  • Searching for Scholarships
    From the beginning of the MBA program search, students should incorporate the costs of the MBA into their plans for selecting a program. Students should determine the costs of the MBA, their assets, and consider their needs for financial aid. When considering financing, loans should be the last resort and least preferred method. Students should set their sights on grants, fellowships, and scholarships. There are many sources of scholarship funds, and students should begin with the school scholarships, state grants and scholarships, and federal grants and scholarships. Unlike loans, students do not have to repay grants, fellowships, or scholarships.
  • Search the School's Resources
    Many students fail to look deeply into a school’s published information about financial aid and scholarships. Some funds may go unused for lack of attention from students. Students should not assume that they are not eligible. Many MBA students fail to inquire about general education scholarships and other categories of scholarship awards.
  • When Searching for MBA Scholarship Assistance, Remember who you are.
    Race, ethnic heritage, language, and gender can each qualify students for scholarships. Many scholarships focus on parts of a person’s identity and life situation. Many scholarships reflect the wishes of an individual or one person’s perception of a societal need. When searching for scholarships, you will find that the business sector has many scholarships which seek to encourage entry into the business world. You will find that some scholarships focus on residents of a community, county, or region. Many scholarships require residence in a particular state or part of a state.
  • You are also part of a family, and your family members have various connections.
    Fraternal organizations, professional associations, and labor organizations are each likely sources of scholarship funds for members and their families. There are scholarship dollars tied to occupations, companies, and industries. For example, a grocery chain might sponsor scholarships for employees and their children or family members.

Application Guide


  • Motivation
    The first step in the process is to state the reasons for undertaking an MBA clearly. Students should express their motivation for placing the time, funds, and effort into an on-campus or online MBA. The purpose of this exercise is to prepare a short statement of why you want to earn an MBA and that you would be an ideal candidate for a scholarship.
  • Academic Information
    Students should gather this information and prepare it for use with their FAFSA and with each application. This should include test scores, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation.
  • Personal Information Statement
    Students should spend a lot of time and effort to develop a meaningful personal statement. This should be a reflection of the student’s personal history, work experience, and academics. This is a great opportunity to lay out career and educational goals. The idea is to show the reviewer that there is a good fit with the academic program and a good investment of scholarship resources.
  • Essays
    When an application calls for an essay, it is important to address the question or designated theme. The essay is a test of writing, communication ability, and critical thinking.

Organizing the Process


Applications should begin early. As time passes to the new year, many application deadlines expire as decisions must be made well in advance of the upcoming fall semester. When reviewing scholarship announcements and information, students must read and study the terms carefully. There is no penalty for applying to items for which you are not eligible, but it wastes time that could have been used on an exact match.

The application process is a good time to develop habits of reading and editing correspondence. Students should keep copies of applications and continue the search for scholarship opportunities throughout the time that they remain open.

Tips and Advice to Improve Your Chances


Test Scores


High grade point averages are a must for certain highly competitive scholarships. Many industry-sponsored awards have high GPA requirements in the range of 3.35 to 3.5 on a four-point scale. GMAT and GRE test scores also get a lot of attention when ranking scholarship applicants. Applicants should try to do their best on the standardized tests. Test preparation can raise scores by offering helpful techniques and rehearsing the testing format and test-taking environment. For many students, a lack of realistic expectation can diminish their performance. Students may perform better when they have a positive approach, information about the tests, and some strategies for attacking issues.

The timing for the test can weigh on the student’s performance. Students can get the best results according to some experts by taking the tests during their third and fourth years. The mathematics and other subjects will be fresher before graduation than in the time after when sharpness can fade.

Research Thoroughly


The school selected or under consideration can offer scholarships. Many of the leading schools have deep reservoirs of scholarship funds for needs-based awards and merit-based selections. It is important to search thoroughly within the framework of the selected school and not just the MBA program or business school.

When looking for scholarships, students must thoroughly research the sources of funds. Scholarships can change from year to year and students must carefully review eligibility and restrictions. Many scholarships accept applications on a pre-enrollment status. Some scholarships require achievement of some number graduate semester hours. A frequent requirement involves GPAs of 3.0. Students should always inquire whether the minimum GPA in question is an overall figure or a weighted average that looks at major courses.

Apply Early and Often


There is no safe way to predict the outcome on a given scholarship application; students can raise the chances for success by making a lot of applications. Most scholarships adjust their awards against many factors such as the student’s need, the number of awards it wishes to make, and its annual budget. When applying to a wide range of scholarships, students must present a strong image of an active and socially engaged person. Scholarship committees also look at GPA and test scores. Since top students apply for scholarships, there may not be a wide range of difference among finalists. Students can distinguish their application with meaningful connections to their communities.

Essays


Many scholarships require essays or personal statements. These writings are opportunities to impress on a reviewer your sincerity and dedication to achieving a career goal. Creativity, insight, and critical thinking are valuable attributes, both in school and in the career that follows. Applicants can take every opportunity to demonstrate these traits. For example, it may seem out of place to mention a hobby like music in an essay about a career in accounting. If the music hobby involves creating original works or performing at a hospital for sick children, then it takes on a new meaning; it expresses something important about the applicant.

Be Expansive About Achievements


Scholarship committees are like employers, educators, and other reviewers of an applicant’s presentation. They seek something to use as a measure of the applicant’s present abilities and potential. One way to get to know an applicant is to assess the extent of community engagement, school activities, and participation in public issues. Getting great grades is impressive and so are high test scores on the GMAT or GRE, but scholarship committees are also impressed by people that organize food drives, take part in social issues, or lead in some type of social activity. Applicants should resist the urge to modesty and the type of social restraint used in a typical conversation. Applications need to use persuasion. The idea is to show a complete picture of a well-rounded person that has had an impact on his and her community.

Polish Your Image


A scholarship committee rarely meets the applicants. Some few do require face-to-face interviews. For the remaining 90% or more, the writings they receive are the only part of the applicant that they will see. The best advice, under those circumstances, is to polish the writing so that it can make a positive impression. Communication ability, whether verbal or in writing is critical to a successful career in business or any other type of organizational structure. The scholarship committee for an MBA award would be an excellent place to display superior writing ability, critical thinking, and a positive outlook.

Sloppy writing reflects a careless personality that may or may not understand the basics of the English language. That is a poor impression under any circumstance and particularly with someone sitting in a position to help or deny financial assistance for graduate education. In the same vein as great writing and precise use of words, applicants should take every opportunity to include things that reveal their character, roles in their communities, and achievements. One does not need to brag, but the task is to explain something to a stranger, details and specifics help fill the picture for the reader.

Common Mistakes to Avoid


  • Don’t Forget FAFSA
    FAFSA helps for the MBA too. Some students may assume that the FAFSA does not apply to graduate students or to students that do not wish to take out federal loans. The FAFSA is widely used by federal, state, local, and private scholarships. The FAFSA is a standard form, and the information format is widely accepted as proof of need. Today, many scholarships use student’s financial need as part of the selection criteria. In the framework of seeking MBA scholarship funds, need is a factor that tends to work in favor of the applicant. When applicants compete for scholarship funds, the selection criteria often point to the student with a greater level of need.

  • Read All Instructions carefully and send lots of information.
    One test of your application for a scholarship is whether the applicant followed instructions. Committees can accept incomplete applications, but the in-completions generally work against the applicant’s chances for success. The best practice is to read the application thoroughly and complete it to the best of your ability. Students can even submit questions either by calling or online if available. When given an opportunity to present information that can support the application, then students should send as much as possible. For example, students can send copies of awards, press clippings, honors, and mentions.

  • Pay attention to deadlines and avoid waiting till the last minute.
    Scholarship committees have procedures that help get the applications sorted, reviewed, and assessed. They typically involve deadlines for submission of applications and supporting materials. The best practice is to perform all the steps promptly. When students wait till the deadline approaches, they can lose opportunities if they cannot gather information and documents in time. Students should notice that many scholarship websites display the previous year’s data until the current year application period starts, but many scholarships do not change these from year to year, so they will give you somewhere to start.

  • Emphasize Your Past and Potential Contributions
    Many MBA scholarships seek top students with high test scores, impressive GPAs, and undergraduate degrees from top schools. Committees also look at character and the potential for the scholarship recipient to contribute to the profession. Many committees also interpret the social role of business as good corporate citizens, and they project that idea into the selection process for scholarships.

    Applicants should find ways to express their past social achievements including engagement with the communities with which they may be grouped. Student activities, charities, fundraisers, and other indicators of social awareness will impress a selection committee. In a similar way, applicants can stand out by demonstrating initiative; after all, it is one thing to feel strongly and quite another to take strong actions.

    Many scholarships envision selecting students that may contribute to the profession. In many professions such as auditing, accounting, and public finance, there are generally shortages of qualified people. Committees in some professional categories invite information that suggests an intention to do research, devise innovations, and enter into teaching at the secondary and college levels.

  • Don’t use sloppy writing or poor presentation
    Poor grammar and lack of clarity reflect poorly on an applicant. A document with poor grammar, misspellings, and a rough appearance suggests that the author either does not know or does not care that the document lacks authority. The MBA is a step towards a group of occupations that require strong communications skills. When asking for an MBA scholarship or grant, it is vital to avoid presenting poorly written work. Weak writing creates doubts about the basic skills needed to succeed as an MBA student and business professional.

  • MBA Students Can Get General Scholarships
    Although it may be obvious, many students seeking a specialized graduate degree like an MBA fail to apply for general university or college graduate scholarship funds. In many institutions, graduate and MBA students can qualify on the basis of merit and need. Like other parts of the institution, the MBA programs award full-tuition scholarships to attract the top talent or the talent they wish to attract.

    If using the FAFSA, then students can typically apply for a wide range of financial aid with a single filing. In some cases, schools require additional applications for specific scholarships. Students should remember that the school they attend is an ideal source for scholarships, grants, and other non-repayable financial aid.

    Online students that work while attending an MBA program may have an advantage with possible employer support. Many companies invest in workforce education and training. Many employers provide reimbursement for all or part of tuition and fees. An MBA can add value to an employee in the employer’s view. An MBA that has familiarity with the company personnel and operations may be a valuable addition to the staff. Students should always inquire with their employers about financial support for an MBA.

Additional Scholarship Resources


FinAid.org offers help to find useful information and ways to avoid being taken by a scam. Students can find information on funding a graduate degree program. The process includes federal resources and state-level programs which can be more generous in some cases. FinAid offers some useful advice on finding scholarship opportunities and winning them.

Scholarships.com- This search site offers college matching and a scholarship search. Students and their families can work together to develop workable options for choice of program and financial aid.

Fastweb.com helps answer questions in the ways that they occur. You can search by the nearest deadline, academic focus, and major or minor programs of study.

The College Board is a helpful site; it has a database that consists of survey information from more than 2,000 colleges and universities. The College Board site is a place to find internships, scholarships, and other types of financial aid and support.

  • US Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid
    Finding Scholarships’ is the Department of Education guidance on searching for scholarships and grants. It offers insights on how and where to find relevant opportunities. The link is https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/finding-scholarships.
  • CareerOnestop, sponsored by the US Department of Labor
    is an online scholarship search portal with a search tool. Using the interface, students can access information about more than 8,000 financial aid grants, fellowships, and scholarships. Students can search with filters including nearest deadline and keywords. The program link is https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx.
  • The Consortium is an inclusion and diversity-focused organization.
    It operates a progressive network of some of the leading US schools of business. The sponsors include some of the leading employers of MBAs such as Morgan Stanley, Facebook, Google, and Deloitte. The Consortium matches top students with top programs and provides scholarships that cover full tuition and fees. Like other resources here, students can interact with this site, join the program, and take advantage of educational resources, referrals, and scholarships. The program link is https://cgsm.org/member-schools/.
  • MBA professional associations are an excellent source of scholarships and educational resources.
    These include business associations that focus on women, minority group members, American Indian groups, Latino-Hispanic groups, and African Americans. For a given school, the alumni of the MBA programs typically offer scholarships or other types of student financial aid. These associations are widespread and particularly active in scholarships at some schools. For any program selected, the student should inquire about an MBA Alumni Association.
  • Your State’s Department of Education is responsible for awarding student financial aid

    within the state and providing information for getting additional assistance. State departments of education play a key role in distributing financial aid across the student populations in their states. Most states have accredited schools that participate in federal grant, scholarship, and loan programs. States use the FAFSA to help their residents get federal grants and scholarships.

    State departments of education also manage extensive inventories of scholarships funds outside of the state programs. The outside funding organizations benefit from referrals, and the state agency provides additional funding for its students. These funds exist within the colleges and universities in the state and from businesses and private groups that carry on operations in the state. Many states offer automatic scholarship searches connected to the FAFSA.

  • Scholarship Database Sites
    are private, commercial, and non-profit organizations that assist students with scholarship searches.

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