Potential Funding Sources for Your MBA
23 December, 2020
Many people who have obtained MBAs have talked about how the degree opened doors for them, not just in what they learned but in the connections they made. However, before you leap into pursuing an MBA yourself, you need to take a look at the financial side of things. Getting an MBA is entirely possible even if you don’t have any savings yourself, but you need to get the financial lay of the land.
Just as you may have done as an undergraduate, you need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as your first step to find out what kind of loans are available to you. For most MBA students, it may be good news that your parents’ finances are no longer a factor, so you might be eligible for more aid than you were as an undergraduate. Federal loans generally offer low interest rates and other perks. As a graduate student, you can also apply for federal Graduate PLUS loans.
Private loans used to be harder to get, with your only options being brick-and-mortar institutions, such as your local bank. Today, there are many online lenders, and they have dedicated themselves to simplifying and speeding up the process of applying for loans. These loans differ compared to federal loans in that the interest rate you are offered may vary based on your credit score. It’s worth shopping around to find the loans that offer an interest rate and payment plan that meets your needs. Some are specifically aimed at students pursuing an MBA.
You might also be eligible for federal grants. The advantage of grants over loans is that they do not have to be repaid. Not all grants come from the federal or state government, so it is worth doing some research to find out whether there are some private or public organizations that offer grants you may be eligible for. The university you plan to attend may offer grants as well. Along with scholarships, grants may be designed to be specifically target certain groups of people, such as minority groups or veterans.
Scholarships are like grants in that they do not have to be repaid, but they generally depend more on merit. You may have to demonstrate excellence in your field or produce exceptional undergraduate grades or impeccable references to qualify. Although looking for and applying for scholarships can be time-consuming, some of them can be quite lucrative, and even those that only pay a few hundred dollars are worth applying for because every little bit helps. Civil groups and professional organizations are among the many potential sources of scholarships.
Some employers might pay toward your tuition, particularly if they believe it benefits them in the long-run by becoming a more valuable employee. In some cases, there might be conditions. For example, you may have to work for the company for a certain number of years. Even if your company does not offer this perk, it might be worth raising the issue to see if they would consider it.