I recently wrote an article on why people should consider going for an MBA from a top business school, See here . Many people have reached out to say they would really love to attend a top tier business school but they cannot afford it.
The truth is going to business school is usually a big investment, and the return on investment is usually huge.
I have not seen anyone that got an admission to a top school in recent times without getting finance to attend such school. You need to focus on the admission while considering the options available.
I have identified 3 ways that you can use to finance your MBA.
Most business schools usually provide some sort of funding for their admitted students. Some scholarships may be in form of full tuition plus stipend, part tuition, teaching assistantships etc. Some schools give a merit based scholarship in which case all admitted students are considered for scholarships while some provide need based scholarship depending on your financial status and need.
For most merit based scholarships, your test scores (GMAT/GRE), essay, undergraduate grade point and other application materials are part of the things considered in giving scholarships. I know a number of people in business schools around the world that got 100% and part scholarships so it is very possible.
A very high GMAT/GRE score coupled with other strong application materials may give you a edge in securing scholarship from a top business school.
2. Student Loan
A significant number of students going to business school now use student loan to finance their MBA degree. There are organisations that give international students loan without a co-signer while some require a co-signer. For example Prodigy Finance provides student loans to international students across the globe without requesting for any co-signer. The major requirement for the loan is an admission letter from a participating school and the interest rate is mostly one digit depending on the ranking of the school. Loan repayment for Prodigy loans usually start 6 months after completion of MBA final exams and tenor can be between 7-10 years.
There are other student loan providers that different schools work with. MAke sure you research about the options available from the school you are considering and go for it.
3. Personal Savings/Family Support
This is the last preferred for me because it is difficult to finance a top school MBA solely from savings. There are instances where the financing institution will expect that you have savings for your cost of living while they pick up the tuition on your behalf. Some may request that you pay a certain percentage of the tuition yourself so be prepared for this as well.
In conclusion, financing an MBA is not your greatest challenge to fulfilling your business school dreams, scoring a high test score and securing an admission poses greater challenge and you need to give the preparation and admission process your best.
All the best and see you at the top.