Regardless of gender, race or financial need, external scholarships are available to students applying to business school. These scholarships are typically sponsored by non-government organizations, such as businesses, foundations and associations, individual donors, or community agencies. Each business school has regulations on how general MBA scholarships can be applied to tuition and related costs, such as books or technology fees. Below are some examples of general MBA graduate scholarships.

FEMC Richard Metzler Scholarship

Intended for students who exemplify a commitment to the management consulting profession. Sponsored by the Foundation for Excellence in Management Consulting.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date January 22

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship

Awarded to a full-time graduate student who is pursuing an advanced degree and intends a career in state or local government finance.

Amount $13,000
Application Due Date February 19

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

For full- or part-time upper division or graduate students studying in one of several finance-related areas including business administration, and who belong to one of a number of minority groups.

Amount $8,000
Application Due Date February 19

National Academy of Human Resources Graduate Scholarship

Candidates must be enrolled in a master's degree program with an emphasis on human relations or a human relations-related subject, such as business. Must be a Society for Human Resource Management member.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date November 1

Hubshout Internet Marketing Scholarship

Scholarships awarded twice annually to applicant with at least one year of college and a demonstrated passion for internet marketing.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date March 1, November 1

Paul Hagelbarger Memorial Scholarship Fund

Sponsored by the Alaska Society of CPAs. Scholarships awarded on the basis of scholastic achievement, financial need and an intent to practice public accounting in Alaska.

Amount Minimum $2,000
Application Due Date November 20

Wiley CPAexcel Scholarship

Candidate must be a full- or part-time student college student taking at least on accounting course. In addition to the $2,500, winner receives the Wiley CPAexcell Gold CPA review course.

Amount $2,500
Application Due Date November 30

New Hampshire Society of Public Accounts (NHSPA) Scholarship Program

Applicant must be a U.S. citizen and New Hampshire resident. Graduate student applicants must be pursuing a degree in accounting or business.

Amount Varies
Application Due Date December 1

Golden Key International Honour Society Graduate Scholar Award

Candidate must be undergraduate senior about to graduate or a current graduate student, as well as a Golden Key Honor Society member with demonstrated academic achievement and community service.

Amount $10,000
Application Due Date December 15

Lance Surety's $1,500 College Scholarship

Open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at an accredited institution in the United States. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay on one of a number of subject areas, including mortgage brokerage.

Amount $1,500
Application Due Date December 15

LawnStarter Lawntrepreneur Scholarship

Open to students of all majors who previously or currently own a lawn care business or plan to start one after graduation. A 500 to 700-word essay submission is required.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date December 31

InfoParrot Scholarship of Academic Excellence

Application requires the submission of a 1,000 to 1,600-word essay. Scholarships are renewable one time.

Amount $1,250
Application Due Date December 31

Mutual of Omaha Sales and Marketing Student Scholarship

Candidates must be currently enrolled and working toward a bachelor's or master's degree with an interest in a future in sales or marketing. Co-sponsored by

Amount $500
Application Due Date December 31

AfterCollege Business Student Scholarship

Eligible candidates must be working toward a degree in a business-related field, such as business administration. Applicant must be a U.S. resident and a registered member of

Amount $500
Application Due Date December 31

California Association of Realtors Scholarship Foundation Scholarships

Students must be enrolled in a California college or university for professions centered on a real estate related career such as finance or management.

Amount $4,000
Application Due Date January 9

Carl W. Christiansen Scholarship

Open to undergraduate and graduate students residing in Rhode Island and an expressed interest in public accounting during their undergraduate or graduate years in college.

Amount Varies
Application Due Date January 9

Elliott C. Roberts Scholarship

This scholarship is open to second year graduate students pursuing a degree in healthcare administration or comparable field (MBA included). Sponsored by the Institute for Diversity in Health Management.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date January 11

Transamerica Leaders in Healthcare Scholarship

Available to first and second year graduate students majoring in healthcare administration or related field (including MBA). Candidates must demonstrate financial need and a commitment to community service.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date January 11

Union Plus Scholarship Program

Applicants must be current or retired members, or spouses or dependant children, of a union participating an any Union Plus program.

Amount $500 to $4,000
Application Due Date January 31

AICP Scholarship Program

Graduate candidates must have a declared major in a business-related field and have a GPA of 3.0 or better at the time of application.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date June 1

QS Leadership Scholarship

Candidates must attend a QS World Grad School Tour fair and complete the QS Graduate Applicant Survey, as well as submit a 750-word essay on a designated topic.

Amount $10,000
Application Due Date April 30

AKA Graduate Scholarships

Sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha. Both merit-based and financial-based scholarships are available. Candidates need not be AKA members and scholarships are open to both men and women.

Amount Up to $2,500
Application Due Date August 15

Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship

Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate school business administration program. Sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution, however membership in the DAR is not required.

Amount $2,000
Application Due Date February 10

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program

Graduate applicants must be enrolled full-time and demonstrate a desire to pursue a career in fraud examination or closely-related profession.

Amount $1,000 to $10,000
Application Due Date February 6

Research confirms that women are underrepresented in both business and MBA programs. They only account for 41% of GMAT test takers, according to the Graduate Management Council and only 46% of MBA graduates according to the National Center for Education Statistics. For women, earning an MBA can be a key to unlocking career success and leveling the playing field in senior leadership positions. There are MBA scholarships and grants specifically designed to support the graduate education of women and foster their career advancement. Find out more about these scholarships.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Career Development Grants

Grants made to provide assistance to women making a change of career, seeking advancement in a current career or reentering the workforce.

Amount $2,000 to $12,000
Application Due Date December 15

Chicana / Latina Foundation Scholarship Program

Offered to women of Chicana/Latina heritage who are enrolled in a college or university program in one of 13 Northern California counties.

Amount $1,500
Application Due Date March

Samuel Schulman Memorial Scholarship

Applicant must be a single mother entering or continuing in school to earn a marketable skill. Must be a resident and attending a college or university in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange or Riverside counties in California.

Amount $2,000 to $12,000
Application Due Date December 15

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship

Candidates must be currently attending a graduate school program in the United States or Canada. However, scholarships are open to citizens or permanent residents of countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Amount Up to $10,000
Application Due Date December 15

Cheryl A. Ruggiero Scholarship

Must be a current Rhode Island resident to be eligible. Open to women accounting students, undergraduate or graduate, interested in pursuing a career in public accounting.

Amount Varies
Application Due Date January 9

Cronk Opportunity Scholarship for Lutheran Laywomen

Requirements include membership in Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Applicant must have experienced some interruption in education of two years or more since high school.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date February 15

Financial Women's Association (FWA) Graduate Scholars

Five merit-based scholarships are awarded annually to women pursuing MBAs at Columbia Business School, Fordham University Graduate School of Business, Bernard M. Baruch College Zicklin School of Business and NYU Stern School of Business.

Amount $10,000
Application Due Date March 29

Forte Fellows Program

Participating schools determine who will represent them as Forte Fellows. Candidates should exhibit exemplary leadership and commitment to women and girls through mentorship and community involvement.

Amount Varies- full or partial tuition
Application Due Date Multiple deadlines for designated cities

Jane M. Klauseman Women in Business Scholarship

Sponsored by Zonta International, a global organization empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. Open to women pursuing a business or business-related degree and living or studying in a Zonta region/district.

Amount $1,000 and $7,000
Application Due Date Varies by specific Zonta club

Women's Independence Scholarship Program (WISP)

Applicant must be a woman who is a direct survivor of intimate partner abuse. Special consideration is given to women who are interested in using their education to further the rights and options of women and girls.

Amount Varies. Average award is $2,000
Application Due Date No later than two months before start date of program

The Dodell Women’s Empowerment Scholarship

Must attend a college or university located in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura or Riverside county in California. Open to women who are re-entering or continuing in school to learn a marketable skill.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date November 1

Amelia Kemp Scholarship Fund

Candidate must be a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and have experienced an interruption in education for two years or more since high school.

Amount $600 to $1,000
Application Due Date February 15

General Federation of Women's Clubs of Massachusetts Memorial Education Fund Fellowship

Limited to graduate students studying physical therapy or marketing who are residents of Massachusetts.

Amount $3,000
Application Due Date March 1

Women in Logistics Scholarship

Limited to students pursuing a degree in logistics or supply chain management at an institution in the San Francisco Bay Area. Candidates must submit an essay explaining their interest in logistics or supply chain management.

Amount $1,000 to $2,000
Application Due Date November 1

AAUW Selected Professions Fellowships

Business administration applicant must be a woman of color applying for second year of study only. Sponsored by the American Association of University Women.

Amount $5,000 to $18,000
Application Due Date January 10

WGA Mary Macey Scholarship Award

Graduate applicants must currently work, and be planning a career, in the independent grocery industry.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date May 15

Scholarships4Moms Scholarship

Open to U.S. students only wishing to pursue higher education. Award made on a random basis from among registered applicants.

Amount $10,000
Application Due Date November 16

Z-NEF General Graduate Scholarship

Awarded to a woman working on a professional, master's or doctoral degree, or working in a post-doctoral program. Award is for full-time study for one academic year.

Amount $Up to $2,500
Application Due Date February 1

Nancy B. Woolridge McGee Graduate Fellowship

Available to Zeta Phi Beta sorority members pursuing a professional or graduate degree and demonstrating scholarly distinction or unusual ability in her chosen field.

Amount $500 to $1,000
Application Due Date February 1

Financial Women International Scholarship

Candidates must be female, a resident of Hawaii and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Applicants must be able to show financial need and be of good moral character.

Amount $2,000
Application Due Date February 19

Young Women's Alliance Foundation Higher Education Scholarship

Available to women who are enrolled in a graduate degree program at a Central Texas university. Awarded on the basis of commitment to community service, leadership, financial need and academic achievement.

Amount $2,500
Application Due Date March 1

Angela Dipietro Women in Business Scholarship

Available to any female student with an interest in business or entrepreneurship demonstrated by past or present volunteer, professional and educational experiences.

Amount $500
Application Due Date March 1

The Graduate Management Council reports only 33% of GMAT test takers in 2014 were minorities: African American (8%); American Indian/Alaskan Native/Pacific Islander (1%); Asian American (12%); Hispanic (7%); and Multiracial/Multiethnic (5%). Completing an MBA can create opportunities for minorities to own a business (according to SBA, slightly more than 14% of businesses are owned by minorities) or move into the C-suite. In order to promote greater representation in the business world, scholarships have been created specifically for minorities to fund their graduate education. Learn more about MBA scholarships for minorities below.

National Black MBA Association Graduate Scholarship

For students pursuing careers in business, academia and related professions. Must be a member of the NBMBAA to be eligible.

Amount Up to $10,000
Application Due Date April 17

The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Merit-based award that supports 30 students annually. Must be child of naturalized citizens or be a permanent resident or naturalized citizen on his or her own.

Amount Up to $90,000 over two years
Application Due Date November 1

Kosciuszko Foundation Tuition Scholarships

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of Polish descent and a graduate student at a college or university in the United States. Available to full-time student only.

Amount $1,000 to $7,000
Application Due Date January 15

Toigo MBA Fellowship

For students of one of a variety of minority backgrounds who are applying to or have been accepted into an accredited two-year MBA program or JD/MBA program.

Amount $2,500
Application Due Date May 15

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Scholarship

Applicant must be a full-time student majoring in a business related field at an accredited college or university. Must also possess a document of Tribal Enrollment (American Indian or Alaska Native)

Amount Varies
Application Due Date October 16

Association of Latino Professionals (ALPFA) Annual Scholarship Program

Applicants must be of Hispanic heritage and paid ALPFA members enrolled full-time in an accredited U.S. college or university.

Amount $2,000 to $10,000
Application Due Date June 8

Penobscot Nation Fellowship

Candidates must be members of the Penobscot Nation who are currently enrolled as a undergraduate senior or graduate student. Awards determined by the Penobscot Nation Higher Education Committee.

Amount $750
Application Due Date November 15

The CIRI Foundation General Scholarship

Open to individuals who are Cook Inlet Regional, Inc. enrollees or direct lineal descendants, attending an accredited institution and maintaining a 2.5 GPA. Mid-term scholarships of $2,500 also available.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date December 1

"Business Plan" Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

Student must have a documented disability. Award made to student who submits the best essay on the topic, "What I learned from writing a business plan."

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date December 4

Boomer Esiason Foundation (BEF) General Academic Scholarships

Open to students with cystic fibrosis. Factors considered include finanical need, scholastic ability, leadership, character and service to the community.

Amount $500 to $2,500
Application Due Date December 11; April 1; July 1; September 30; December 30

Cathy L. Brock Memorial Scholarship

Eligibility requires that the applicant be a member of a federally-classified minority group in his or her first or second year of graduate school at the time of application. Must be pursuing a degree in healthcare administration or a comparable subject (including MBA).

Amount $1000
Application Due Date January 11

National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) National Scholarship Program

Available to African-American students and students of African descent enrolled in or accepted to a master's-level business program.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date January 31

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Scholarship

Eligibility requirements include full-time enrollment in an accredited educational institution within the U.S. or Puerto Rico, demonstrated financial need, and consistent active participation in public or community service activities.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date April 16

Point Foundation Scholarships

Candidates must be "out" as a person who identifies within the LGBTQ spectrum. Factors considered for award include a very strong academic background and proven leadership skills.

Amount Varies
Application Due Date January 26

Asian and Pacific Islander Queer Sisters (APIQS) Scholarship

Eligibility requirements include: residency in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon or Washington state; female of Asian or Pacific Island descent and self-identifies as homosexual, bisexual or transgendered.

Amount $500 to $10,000
Application Due Date January 11

The Lagrant Foundation Graduate Scholarships

Requirements include membership in one of the designated minority/ethnic groups, and pursuit of a degree in advertising, marketing or public relations.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date February 29

Sachs Foundation Graduate Scholarships

Awards are made on a case-by-case basis and restricted to current Sachs Foundation recipients who will or have received their undergraduate degree within the last three years.

Amount Varies- average $5,000
Application Due Date March 15

Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

Candidate must be enrolled in the last year of a graduate program in the healthcare or related field (includes MBA). Sponsored by the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date March 31

HBCU Connect Minority Student Scholarship

Offered to students currently enrolled or planning to enroll in a historically black college or university within six months of the submission deadline.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date March 31

Award for Excellence in Business Commentary National Essay Competition

Essay contest open to African-American students currently enrolled in an MBA program. Requires submission of a 2000 to 3,000-word essay on a given business topic.

Amount $1,000 to $7,000 - depends on winning order
Application Due Date May 22

HSF General College Scholarships

Graduate applicant must be a U.S. student who is at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino and enrolled full-time at an accredited non-profit graduate school. Awards based on merit.

Amount Varies based on financial need
Application Due Date April 2

Ernest I.J. Aguilar Endowed MBA Scholarship

Candidates must be of Hispanic heritage and enrolled in a MBA program at the Foster Business School of the University of Washington in Seattle.

Amount $7,500 to $10,000
Application Due Date April 15

JCPenney Leadership Excellence Scholarship

Candidates must attend a HACU-member college or university in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, and majoring in business, retail, supply chain/logistics or related field.

Amount $2,500
Application Due Date May 22

Active military service members and veterans alike can earn an MBA to advance an active duty transition to a civilian employment path. They can leverage a variety of funding sources to pay for their graduate education, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the Montgomery GI Bill®. In addition to government sponsored programs, military service members can take advantage of external MBA scholarships awarded to individuals with military experience or service in specific branches of the military. Continue reading for more information about military scholarships for MBA students.

* GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

PNC-SVA "Serving with Integrity" Scholarship

Open to individuals who have been honorably discharged from Active Duty military service or currently serving in Guard or Reserve. Sponsored by the Student Veterans of America and PNC Bank.

Amount $10,000
Application Due Date November 2

SVA-NBC Universal Scholarship

Sponsored by Comcast/NBC Universal and the Student Veterans of America. Open to veterans pursuing a degree at an accredited U.S. college or university. Requires completion of an essay.

Amount $12,000
Application Due Date November 2

Army Women's Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program

Applicant must be a woman, or child of a woman, who is currently serving or has served honorably in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard.

Amount Up to $2,500
Application Due Date January 15

Kenneth L. Varns and Harvey D. Varns Memorial Endowment

Applicant must have a family member who was a fallen or wounded member of the military. Sponsored by the Epsilon Sigma Alpha Foundation.

Amount $500
Application Due Date February 1

Katherine F. Gruber Scholarship

Applicant must be either a dependent child, grandchild, or spouse of a blinded veteran or an Active Duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces. Sponsored by the Blind Veterans Association.

Amount $2,000
Application Due Date April 17

Military MBA Scholarship

Applicants must be prospective MBA students who have not graduated from or are actively matriculating in an MBA program. Open to anyone that has earned an undergraduate degree and served in the military. Candidate must attend one of approximately 50 designated schools.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date December 31

Tillman Military Scholars Program

Graduate students must pursue their degree full-time. Open to both Active Duty personnel and veterans and their current spouses (including surviving spouses).

Amount $1,500 to $23,000
Application Due Date March 3

Hope for Kansas Heroes Endowment Scholarship

Sponsored by the Epsilon Sigma Alpha Foundation. Open to Kansas residents who are Active Duty military, veterans, or members of their families. Financial need is considered.

Amount $500
Application Due Date February 1

Col. Charles E. McGee Scholarship

Applicants must be enrolled or plan to enroll in a degree-seeking program at Columbia College of Missouri. CCM offers MBA's with three emphasis options.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date February 28

Donald P. Weber Veterans Memorial Scholarship

Candidate must be a Wisconsin resident and attend a college on a University of Wisconsin campus. Financial need is a factor in awarding this scholarship.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date March 1

New Mexico Vietnam Veteran's Scholarship

Open to Vietnam veterans who were New Mexico residents at the time of entering military service and are currently New Mexico residents for the ten years. Must attend a New Mexico postsecondary school.

Amount Tuition, fees and books
Application Due Date On-going

Honorably Discharged, Separated or Retired Veterans Who Move to Texas Tuition Waiver Program

Tuition waiver program that pays for the difference between resident and non-resident tuition for non-Texas resident veterans who have recently moved to Texas and will attend a Texas postsecondary public institution.

Amount Varies- Partial tuition waiver
Application Due Date Ongoing

Colorado Technical University Wounded Warrior Scholarship

Open to U.S Armed Forces (including National Guard and Reserve) Active Duty members or veterans currently receiving medical treatment for injuries (over 30%) suffered in the line of duty. Scholarship for use at Colorado Technical University only.

Amount Full tuition, approximately $15,000/year
Application Due Date September 15

Veterans United Foundation Scholarship

Applicant must be Active Duty member or veteran, or spouse, child or surviving child of member or veteran.

Amount $2,000
Application Due Date April 30 and October 31

Sports Clips Help a Hero Scholarship

Offered to retired, honorably discharged, or Active Duty military, or member of the National Guard or reserve who are separated with or currently hold an E-5 or below rank. Applicants must show financial need.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date April 30 and November 15

Woman Marines Association (WMA) Scholarships

Eligibility open to candidates who are currently serving, or have served, in the United States Marine Corps. Applicant must be nominated by a WMA member. Requires an essay demonstrating the applicant's community service and career goals.

Amount $1,500 to $3,000
Application Due Date February 28

Donaldson D. Frizzell Scholarship

Available to active, guard, reserve and retired members of the U.S. uniformed services, their spouses and dependents. Selections are based on merit, strength of applicant's recommendations and applicant's essay.

Amount Varies
Application Due Date March 31

Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) Scholarships

Open to current AAAA members, their spouses, children, grandchildren and unmarried siblings. Graduate students are required to submit a short essay on personal work history, experience and aspirations. Awards are merit-based.

Amount $1,000 to $4,000 annually
Application Due Date May 1

AMVETS National Scholarship Program

Open to veterans who are U.S. citizens and can demonstrate financial need.

Amount $1,000 annually, for a maximum of four years
Application Due Date April 15

506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association Scholarships

Applicant or applicant's parent, grandparent, spouse or sibling must have served with the 506th Airborne. Criteria considered for award includes financial need, applicant's overall academic excellence and quality of the applicant's chosen postsecondary institution.

Amount $1,000
Application Due Date April 30

Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) Member Scholarships

Open to current FRA members and their spouses, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. FRA membership requires affiliation with the U.S. Navy, Marines or Coast Guard. Several FRA scholarships give preference to those candidates applying for post-graduate programs.

Amount $5,000
Application Due Date April 15

Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) Non-Member Scholarships

Candidate must be affiliated with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines or U.S. Coast Guard either past or present. Membership in the FRA is not required.

Amount $3,000 and $5,000
Application Due Date April 15

Featured Online Schools

The Graduate Management Admissions Council’s 2015 Corporate Recruiters Survey found the median salary for MBA graduates in the U.S. exceeds $100,000 and 92 percent of U.S.-based companies surveyed expected to hire MBA graduates in 2015.

One of the most common concerns prospective students have about enrolling in an MBA program is the cost of their education. Data from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business reveals the average annual MBA tuition is slightly more than $44,000, with top schools charging more than $60,000 per year to attend their program.

Real reservations exist about how to finance the degree and graduate with as little debt as possible. A 2015 survey from the Graduate Management Council reports that most MBA candidates expect to pay for their degree through personal earnings/savings and loans. In fact, the survey found there is increasing reliance on spousal or parental support to cover the cost of attending business school.

After all the miles and the memories of the last two years, now I see the biggest sign of hope: You, my friends, my fellow graduates, not because of what we have done, but because I know we have more work to do. In your hands as well as mine lies the hope for a new generation of business leaders in which each of us becomes a pioneer, in which each of us commits our time and talent not just to the treasures of today, but to the frontier of tomorrow where new dreams and new hopes and new possibilities are waiting.

Casey Gerald

During Harvard Business School’s 2014 commencement ceremony, Casey Gerald stood before about 900 of his graduating classmates and without notes, gave one of the most inspirational speeches to date.

Let his moving speech help inspire you when you begin working on your scholarship applications.

Get Noticed: Craft a Stellar MBA Scholarship Application

Scholarships can relieve the financial pressure of attending graduate school, which means students need to be prepared and develop an organized process for submitting applications. While no single formula exists for a successful scholarship application, applications should tell the candidate’s story and weave a strong narrative about that applicant’s candidacy.

Typically, applications consider three major elements: academic background; personal qualities; and professional experiences. Taken together, these elements allow scholarship organizations to paint a picture of the applicant as both a student and professional.

Below is a list of tips for compiling a strong scholarship application and steps to take to make an application stand out.

  • Motivational Profile

    Before starting the application process, students should take the time to create a motivational profile—to take stock of why they want to earn an MBA and why they would be a good candidate to receive a scholarship.

    This process includes developing a personal portfolio of information, including background on their undergraduate education, income, race and demographics, disabilities, professional certifications, and future career interests. The portfolio will be relied upon heavily when searching for scholarships, writing personal statements, and compiling individual scholarship application sections.

  • Academic Profile

    Although it is an important part of the application, it is not the only factor considered during the scholarship application process. Because MBA curriculum is extremely rigorous, students must demonstrate they have the academic preparation required to be successful in the classroom.

    • Undergraduate Preparation. Measures of academic success may include the student’s undergraduate degree, GPA, class rank, and post-graduate coursework.

    • Test Scores. The General Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is the most widely used standardized test used in the business school application process. GMAT scores are evaluated, which means students should endeavor to achieve a competitive score. Some schools may require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores or TOEFL scores for international students.

    • Credentials. Data from Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) shows the average MBA applicant applies to graduate school approximately four and a half years after graduating from college. That means they should demonstrate a certain level of professional development in that time, including earning certifications and credentials in their field. Example credentials include Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or Professional Engineer (PE).

  • Personal Profile

    The personal profile is the applicant’s opportunity to speak directly to the scholarship and application committee. Here, candidates discuss their reasons for attending graduate school, why they are a good fit for the scholarship, and provide supporting evidence from other individuals about their scholarship candidacy.

    • Personal Statement. A concise, yet comprehensive personal statement allows applicants to tell the committee why they deserve to be awarded a scholarship. Personal statements traditionally ask students to discuss their work experience, short- and long-term educational goals, demonstrate their fit for the scholarship program, and explain how they will use the scholarship funding.

    • Essays. Some scholarships may ask applicants to write an essay on a specific prompt. The essay should adhere to the guidelines and be unique. Example prompts include “How do you bring diversity to an MBA program?”; “Why are you applying for an MBA?”’ and “Describe a professional situation where you demonstrated leadership.”

    • Recommendations. Beyond a personal essay, scholarship committees typically ask for multiple letters of recommendation. Select individuals that can speak about professional achievement, leadership qualities, and academic aptitude. Recommendations should provide real-world examples of the applicant’s qualities and are typically two- to three-pages in length.

    • Resume. A properly formatted resume that discusses the candidate’s professional experience, job skills and management abilities demonstrates what the applicant has learned in the workplace and indicates the potential for future academic success in an MBA program.

    • Activities & Honors. In this section, applicants have a chance to share about their activities outside of the classroom. These include charitable, community, professional, athletic and civic interests. Additionally, applicants should also list their academic or professional activities for which they received recognition or awards. It’s important for applicants to list the most important activities and honors first

  • Organization Process.

    MBA candidates are encouraged to start the scholarship process as early as possible. GMAC advises students develop a targeted list of scholarship programs at least eight months before taking the GMAT examination. Below is a list of tips for preparing and staying organized when applying for MBA scholarships.

    • Start applications early. Students are recommended to start compiling scholarship materials at least three to four weeks prior to the deadline to ensure they have time to complete their application.

    • Get organized. Students should develop an organizational system (e.g. spreadsheet or binder) to maintain a list of targeted MBA scholarships. Each scholarship should include the name of the sponsoring organization, the website, scholarship award amount, eligibility requirements (e.g. race, financial income), application materials (e.g. personal statement, GPA), and deadlines.

    • Request transcripts and test scores. MBA scholarship applications traditionally ask students to include transcripts of their undergraduate degrees and official test scores from the GMAT and GRE. Scholarship candidates should request these materials as early as possible in the process.

    • Read application criteria. Before applying for a scholarship, students should examine the eligibility criteria. Does the student meet demographic requirements? Does the student meet financial requirements?

    • Review the application. Before submitting the application, candidates should proofread each section, looking for spelling and grammatical errors. In addition, they should make sure each section is complete, all required documentation is included, and any required signatures have been made.

    • Make copies of the application. Depending on the award, students may be able to secure multiple scholarship awards. Keeping a copy of the scholarship application can speed up the process when submitting for a renewal of the scholarship.

Additional MBA Scholarship Resources

Because earning an MBA is an investment, prospective students should due their due diligence to make that investment as affordable as possible. Locating potential scholarships takes time, research and effort. The sites below include searchable scholarship databases and offer a variety of advice and resource information for students considering a graduate education in business.


    After creating a personal profile, students can search’s database to find scholarships that match their educational interests. The site also provides a range of information about MBA programs, from application tips to steps to finding the right business school.


    Peterson’s scholarship database includes 5,000 scholarship providers and more than 1.5 million grants, scholarships, and fellowships. Prospective MBA students can search the database by keyword or conduct a targeted search using filters such as area of study, citizenship, military service, and religious affiliation to find scholarship opportunities.


    A financial aid resource site, provides a variety of information on funding a graduate education, including overviews of federal and state financial aid programs, insight into finding and winning scholarships, and ways to avoid scholarship scams.

  • College Board

    The College Board offers a database of scholarship, internship and financial aid support from more than 2,200 programs. Scholarship information is collected through the organization’s annual survey of financial aid programs at colleges throughout the country.


    An online resource, Fastweb provides free access to scholarship information. Prospective students can use a matching system that locates scholarships based on the student’s academic interests and skills, or search the comprehensive scholarship database by theme, deadlines, and program of study.

  • is an online hub of college-related information, ranging from reviews to scholarships. The site offers a database of 3.6 million scholarships and a personalized matching service. Students may review opportunities in numerous ways, such as academic specialty, demographic (e.g. minority, women), or financial need.