Getting your MBA is a big career step that can have a significant impact on your earning potential. It is also very expensive. As a savvy business person, you know that you need to make a return on your investment.
Grants and scholarships make that much easier. There are many opportunities available that can help relieve the burden of college tuition on a single, or even continuous basis. While most of these are merit-based awards, there is a range of different criteria that can influence your eligibility.
In this article, we review ten grant and scholarship opportunities that are currently active for people who want to get an MBA.
Things You Should Know About Grant and Scholarship Opportunities
Most grants will have their own rules and criteria for how you can receive your awards. While money is most commonly handed out based on merit, there are sub-criteria that can impact what you are eligible to receive. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Participation-based scholarships: Some funding opportunities have less to do with your academic achievement, and more to do with your background. For example, do you have military experience? That may open you up to a wide range of specialized grant and scholarship opportunities.
- Career path-related opportunities: You may also be eligible for scholarships that are specific to your discipline. For example, some award money is available only to people who plan on going into finance.
- Minority/gender-based scholarships: Many scholarship opportunities are available only to women, or members of minority groups. The idea behind these scholarships is to increase diversity within business leadership.
The benefit of scholarship opportunities that are more group-specific is that it narrows your field of competition. Lots of college students graduate with an awesome transcript. Fewer graduate with an awesome transcript and military experience.
The fewer people you have to compete with, the better your chances of landing the scholarship or grant will be.
As you look for scholarship opportunities, also think about the payment period length. Many scholarships and grants are one-time opportunities, but some will renew annually.
Finally, read the fine print. Awarded money can be provided conditionally. Some foundations will extend their offers as a loan that you don’t have to pay back until after a predetermined period. If you fulfill their criteria (working in a certain area, volunteering a specific amount of time, etc.) the loan is forgiven.
It’s important to know exactly what you are getting yourself into when you accept money from an organization for your MBA program.
1. Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship
The Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA scholarship is a relatively accessible source of funding, open to submissions for anyone with a GPA of 3.25 or higher (just slightly more than a B average).
The current money awarded is $2000. The funds are supplied on a one-time basis. However, you are free to reapply for the scholarship every year.
2. Paul Hagelbarger Memorial Scholarship
Though this scholarship is not specifically geared toward business school students it certainly is accessible to them. The Paul Hagelbarger Memorial Scholarship is an Alaskan-based scholarship that provides funding for anyone who is enrolled in at least one accounting class— a requirement that MBA students will comfortably meet without any issue.
This is another one-time award of $2000.
3. GFOA Scholarships
This grant has the most specific criteria seen to this point, but it also provides the most significant amount of funding. Sponsored by the Government Finance Officers Association, the money is open for applications from anyone who would like to get a degree in accounting, and eventually work in a government career.
Scholarship money ranges from $5-20,000.
4. SHRM Foundation Scholarship
Open to people who are pursuing business-related programs including everything from Human Resources to accounting, the SHRM scholarship provides a one-time award of $5000. However, successful applicants are permitted to reapply each year as they see fit.
5. C200 Scholars Scholarships
The C200 Scholars Scholarships specifically aim to increase female entrepreneurship and business leadership. Open to female students pursuing degrees in MBA management programs, it provides successful applicants with one-time funding of $10,000.
The program is only available at certain universities, so make sure that the school you are interested in participates before you begin to work on submission materials.
6. Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
Also geared toward women, the Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship is available to 37 female students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in business management. The scholarship awards $5000 to successful applicants.
7. Robert Toigo Foundation MBA Fellowships
The Rober Toigo Foundation MBA Fellowships is designed to increase minority representation in the world of business leadership. It offers scholarships of up to $5000 for qualifying students who belong to minority groups.
In this case, the Foundation uses the U.S. Department of Labor’s definition of “minority,” so you may feel the need to review their website before deciding if you would like to prepare submission materials.
8. NBMBAA Scholarship
The NBMBAA offers full tuition up to $100,000 to qualifying black students who would like to attend a participating MBA program. Obviously, this is enormous for students who are eligible to receive the funding, so read up on what you need to do to make it work.
While the NBMAA works with a preselected set of schools, they are all nationally distinguished, so do your research and find out if this is a program that might work for you.
9. Prospanica Scholarship Program
The Prospanica Scholarship Program is a relatively accessible scholarship opened to Latino citizen applicants with a GPA of 2.75 or higher (around a C+ average). The scholarship awards between $2-5000 to qualifying applicants.
10. VFW Veteran Support Scholarships
Provided by the VFW, the Veteran Support Scholarship is available not just to people who have served but also to their immediate family members. It provides one-time funds of $5000 to qualifying participants and can be applied to any college program.