How Do I Finance an MBA Program?
Financing your business education needs serious budgeting and planning because you have to put up the money first. Lets look at the costs you will need to bear.
Other academic costs: these can frequently be under-estimated. You need to pay for a large amount of study materials. These can include your textbooks, which are more expensive than you would think, software - which is needed for the more quantitative subjects, your trips to companies, the costs of extracurricular academic activities and participation fees for professional student organizations.
Living Costs: - These will depend on your individual spending habits along with the location of your school. Most business schools, in order to retain links with business, will be located in proximity to the major business centers in their respective country. This means that the cost of living can be very high. Should you be planning to take your MBA course in a foreign country it can be a lot more expensive. You need to pay for transportation expenses, employment restrictions and medical insurance.
In order to finance your MBA course, you need to look at many sources. There are bank loans, many of which can be low-interest student loans. You can also use your own personal funds, although we would suggest you make sure you keep some funds aside as a savings safety net. You may also be able to apply for scholarships which can be received from governments, universities as well as foundations - these are given to students who have outstanding professional and academic backgrounds. Should you be from a developing country, you can expect to find getting a scholarship slightly easier.
Deciding whether and how to take an MBA program is - for many people - also a financial issue. MBA programs are not cheap. The fee is offer substantial - but to this must be added the living costs, cost of materials, travel, and for full time programs - the loss of income for the period of the program. For many people therefore this is one of their largest financial decisions.
In some countries are there are some tax benefits - e.g the fees for certain types of program attract tax relief. Some people may be fortunate and get support from their employer - but many must pay for themselves, and many therefore seek out some form of financial aid to relieve some of the burden.
Support from the Business Schools
Many Schools offer their own Scholarship or Bursary Schemes. In some cases their support is available on a competitive basis - i.e individuals apply, and are judged in some way. In some cases funds are made available to applicants from particular groups - that the School wishes to attract to their programs- e.g. people from particular countries, professions, ethnic groups etc. Some Schools provide earning opportunities - eg Research Assistantships, to help offset fees. The best way of getting information is to check out the Schools to which you might apply e.g look at their Prospectus, Web pages etc - and/or ask them. Some Schools also offer loans on beneficial conditions.
Support from other sources
Financial support may be available from Governments, Charities, Companies, Financial Institutions etc. There are two types - Grants/Scholarships and Bursaries, and Loans. The former may be awarded to you to cover some or all of your costs - and you will not be required to repay the funds, although there may be other conditions attached - e.g. that you return to your own country after completing your MBA. The latter will require repayment, but the interest rates will usually be lower - or the conditions of the loan beneficial in some other way - e.g. the repayment period.
This information is advisory only. We cannot provide assistance in securing funding.