8 Smart and Easy Strategies for Earning MBA Scholarships


According to reports by the College Board, in the 2020-2021 academic year, the average tuition price for a public four-year college was around $27,020, whereas private institutions cost $37,650. When we compare those prices to earlier ones, we can estimate that the tuition and fees for college have increased 172% over the last two decades. Currently, an MBA program can cost you anywhere between $20,000 to more than $160,000, not including campus fees, transportation, and textbooks.

In light of everything stated so far, it is no surprise that scholarships are becoming even more essential as one of the best ways to pay for tuition. Unlike student loans, which need to be paid back and have interest rates after graduation, the money earned through scholarships does not come with any strings. However, starting the process of applying for scholarships can be overwhelming. So read on as we break down eight simple strategies designed to help you with the application process of earning an MBA scholarship.

How Do I Apply for an MBA Scholarship?

To apply for an MBA scholarship, you must meet the scholarship requirements and turn in the application form with the other required documentation in a timely fashion.

Although each MBA scholarship provider has its own application specifications, nearly every single one of them requires an essay, letters of recommendation, a resume, and personal and academic information. In many cases, to qualify for merit-based scholarships, they also require a minimum GPA, generally between 3.0 and 3.5. Some might even prioritize students who have already established a business, showing their professional and academic progression, ambition, and responsibility.

In some instances, scholarship providers target a specific group of people; for example, there are MBA scholarships for women, MBA scholarships for minorities, athletes, international students, etc. So as long as you are thorough with your searching, you can find a scholarship for yourself.

Strategies for Earning an MBA Scholarship

Suppose you are thinking of applying for MBA scholarships. In that case, whether it be for full-time scholarships in a traditional college, online MBA scholarships, or part-time MBA scholarships, the strategies we have compiled below will help boost your chances of achieving this goal.

1. Start the application process early

The early bird catches the worm! Scholarships are highly competitive, so the earlier you start your application process, the better. Waiting until the last minute to work on your essay and resume, ask for recommendation letters, and order copies of your grade transcript and other documentation will add to the stress and not leave you enough room to perfect everything. Convincing the committee you are a suitable fit for the scholarship they offer requires thorough planning and time. So, do not jeopardize your chances by delaying the process.

2. Submit your application as early as possible


Imagine this: it is 10 minutes before the scholarship application deadline, and you are finally going to submit yours. But, wait! Suddenly your internet connection is down. Or did the electricity go out? Maybe your file won’t open for whatever reason and you have no time to ask for help or search how to fix it. Now what? Well, substituting those 10 minutes with days or a couple of weeks would be a good solution, and you can only do that by starting and submitting your application as early as possible.

Even if such unfortunate events do not happen, submitting your scholarship application earlier than the deadline has additional advantages, such as reducing stress by not extending the process for no reason and giving you more room to work on other scholarship applications. So start early and get a head start—you will only benefit from it.

3. Apply to as many scholarships as you are eligible for

Remember, the higher the number of applications, the better the chance you win a scholarship. So make it a goal to apply to at least one scholarship each month. Maybe you will not win one high-paying scholarship that covers most of your tuition, but it will be just as helpful if you win a couple of smaller ones. Do not overlook any scholarship because each one will be helpful at the end of the day.

4. Do research

It is easier than ever to quickly search through massive databases and find thousands of available MBA scholarships with today’s technology. So, use all your resources to do research and find options that suit your requirements. Some helpful sites you can use while searching for available scholarships are:

However, sometimes scholarships may not be well-advertised, so do not limit yourself to online resources. Instead, make use of your network and spread the word that you are looking for scholarships. A friend of your parents, an old teacher, your high school tutor, or another person might have heard of a great opportunity that you can benefit from significantly.

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Once you have found the scholarships, remember to do thorough research on each one and its requirements. The better your understanding of the scholarship, the easier it is to tailor your application to match it.

5. Work thoroughly on your essay

The essay part of your MBA scholarship application is your time to shine, as it gives the committee the chance to understand who you are as an individual, your skills, and your goals for the future. If you don’t trust your writing skills, consider working with an advisor, such as your high school counselor, as they will often take the time to review your essays and application. You can also ask for the help of a parent, teacher, or friends to read your work and provide feedback until you perfect the text.

6. Maximize GMAT and GRE test scores

An important strategy to boost your chances of earning MBA scholarships is maximizing your GMAT and GRE test scores. Most scholarship committees pay significant attention to such scores as they indicate academic achievement after admission. Although test scores are not the only indicator of one’s intellectual abilities, schools do often use them to ensure that you can keep up with their academic programs.

7. Negotiate scholarships

Did you know that MBA scholarships are negotiable? Although asking for more money after receiving a scholarship offer might seem a little awkward, it is an excellent opportunity if you need it.

A simple way to negotiate your scholarship funding is to earn another scholarship from a competitor of your target college’s MBA program. It is understandable to ask for the college to match the financial aid the other school offers you, especially when this can factor in your decision about which school to choose.

Even if that is not possible, you can still negotiate by building a solid case for yourself. All you have to do is be honest and explain your financial situation and why you are the perfect candidate. Make sure you are respectful and do not come off as demanding, consider the school’s scholarship budget, and be clear about what you need.

8. Keep applying


Last but not least, keep applying. Unless you have earned a full scholarship for all four years of college, it makes sense to continue seeking ways to ease the burden of college tuition and fees.

Do not be discouraged even when you do not win the scholarships you want. As long as you do not give up, there will be opportunities coming your way.

Working in business administration requires determination, resourcefulness, and hard work—qualities you also need to earn MBA scholarships. So do not forget to start early, use all resources to your advantage, and be thorough with everything. The world is full of opportunities; all you have to do is go out there and chase them.

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