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Earning a master of business administration (MBA) can accelerate your career and boost your earning potential. However, pursuing an MBA can be expensive. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average MBA graduate in 2016 held $66,300 in student loan debt.
Open Doors reports that almost a million international students attended U.S. institutions during the 2020-2021 school year, with over 145,000 enrolled in business and management programs. A full-time MBA program may make it hard for students to work at the same time, and international students are not eligible for federal aid.
MBA international student scholarships and other financial aid options can help ease the strain of paying for your degree. In this guide, we explore financial aid for international MBA students. Read on to learn more about scholarships, grants, and other funding sources.
Paying for Your MBA
Financing an MBA can often be challenging. Graduate students can take advantage of several financial aid options to help cover program costs. Many options benefit students with financial need. Others focus on academic merit. Some resources may also be available to minority applicants. Students can combine multiple financial aid options to lower upfront expenses.
Looking for an affordable MBA? Start here.
Financial Aid and Employer Assistance for MBAs
MBA students can apply for financial aid like scholarships, grants, loans, and employer assistance. Below we look into various types of financial aid options for pursuing an MBA.
Grants: Like scholarships, grants do not need to be repaid. While scholarships can be merit-based or need-based, grants typically benefit recipients with financial need. Federal Loans: MBA students can apply for federal loans with flexible repayment options and fixed interest rates. However, most foreign citizens do not qualify for federal student loans. Private Loans: Unlike federal loans, private loans come from third-party lenders. They often lack the flexibility of federal loans. However, private loans may be easier to access for international MBA students. Work Study: Certain business schools allow learners to work on campus in return for payment. The payment usually goes toward covering the program cost and fees. Employer Assistance: Some companies may fully or partially fund an employee's MBA program. Eligibility criteria vary by employer.
Scholarships for MBAs
Scholarships are financial awards that do not have to be repaid. They can help MBA students take on less debt. Award amounts vary widely. Larger scholarships may offer over $10,000, while smaller awards may offer only $1,000. Scholarship money usually covers tuition, books, and other fees, but some scholarships may also pay for housing and transportation.
Every scholarship application sets different requirements. Before collecting application materials, students should look into the scholarships that they qualify for to avoid wasting time on opportunities that don't fit their qualifications.
Because scholarships are free, competition can be tough. Students should not ignore smaller scholarships. Because they tend to draw fewer applicants, smaller awards may offer better chances of acceptance. Some scholarships are also renewable, which means that instead of a single payment, these scholarships give out money on a recurring basis.
Tips for Finding and Applying for MBA Scholarships
Before applying for scholarships, make sure that they fit your qualifications and that your application contains all materials to help you stand apart from the competition.
Finding MBA Scholarships: Your MBA Scholarship Application:
Featured Scholarships for International MBA Students
Scholarships are of several types. Some awards only welcome applicants from certain backgrounds or those with exceptional academic merit. Others favor applicants from a specific field of study. Many scholarships fall under more than one category. The following opportunities may provide a good starting point for your scholarship search.
Common Questions about Scholarships for International MBA Students
Can international students get scholarships for an MBA?
Yes. Many business schools in the U.S. and worldwide offer need-based and merit-based scholarships to qualifying candidates.
How can an international student get a full scholarship?
Scholarships are either need-based or merit-based. Candidates with strong academic records and proven financial need may qualify for a full scholarship to fund their MBA program.
How do international students finance an MBA degree?
Financial aid for international MBA students may include loans, grants, work study, and scholarships. Some students may qualify for employer assistance. Others use personal savings to fund their MBA program.
Which scholarship is best for international students?
International MBA students should look for scholarship opportunities that fit their backgrounds and qualifications. University financial aid offices can help applicants find potential resources.
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