A Comprehensive Guide to MBA Funding | TopMBA.com

A Comprehensive Guide to MBA Funding

By Linda M

Updated January 19, 2021 Updated January 19, 2021

Between tuition fees, living costs and admin charges, it’s no secret that getting an MBA is an expensive endeavor.

However, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to splash out US$200,000 from your wallet, as thankfully, there are plenty of funding solutions out there that can ease – or fully cover – the cost of getting your degree.

Here’s TopMBA’s comprehensive guide to MBA funding.

B-school MBA scholarships

Scholarships are probably the most common form of financial assistance for MBA applicants.

B-school sponsored MBA scholarships come in all shapes and sizes depending on the school and program. These tend to award applicants who:

  • Might come from a less-represented background (such as female or minority students)
  • Have an excellent educational record (such as high undergraduate grades and a high GMAT or GRE score
  • Come from foreign regions or countries
  • Have an impressive background in a particular industry or sector

If you’re interested in obtaining funding directly from your business school of choice, your best bet is to look for scholarships on the institution’s website.

Here are some top scholarship providers to help kick-start your search:

  • The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business provides financial support to over half of its current MBA students
  • Harvard Business School is well-known for allocating millions of dollars to help talented applicants pay for their MBA
  • CUHK Business School offers scholarships to female applicants, students with an entrepreneurial flair, professionals from Southeast Asia, and candidates who have worked or studied in any of the countries under the Chinese infrastructure development plan
  • The Fuqua School of Business increased their scholarship allowance between 2018 and 2019 and gives exceptionally talented MBA applicants full scholarships

External scholarships

External firms and organizations are another popular source of MBA funding. Whether you’re looking for some money to cover basic expenses or fellowships for specific projects, they can help you significantly reduce costs.

Here are some organizations and schemes you should look into:

For female applicants

For international applicants

For minority applicants

For LGBTQIA+ applicants

For all applicants

MBA student loans

Student loans are another great way of financing your MBA: they have lower interest rates than regular loans and you’ll only have to start repaying them after graduating from business school.

You can get loans from public organizations – such as governmental departments or institutions – or from private firms, such as banks and commercial lenders.

Employer sponsorships

While employer funding has decreased in recent years, some companies are willing to pay their employees’ MBA and EMBA tuition fees. If you think your boss will appreciate your initiative and drive to upskill, it’s worth asking them to invest in your education at least partially. To make your case, think of the ways a b-school degree could help you make a positive impact on your workplace.

However, be careful not to ask for too much too soon. Your employer might present you specific terms and conditions, such as a lock-in period in which you are required to stay at the company, which you won’t be able to break once you accept the money.


Unlike employer sponsorships, crowdfunding has become a popular way to pay for an MBA tuition in recent years. Platforms like Prodigy Finance and CommonBond, for example, let b-school alumni invest in bonds, which are then used to fund tuition for MBA applicants.

If you’re worried about the legitimacy of crowdfunding, don’t be – these organization often work with top-ranked institutions, including London Business School, Rotman School of Management, Wharton and the Kellogg School of Management.

This article was originally published in January 2021 .

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience.