MBA Scholarship Opportunities: How to Apply and Win

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Scholarships for MBA Students

If you’re pursuing an MBA degree, you may be looking for ways to fund your education. Fortunately, there are many scholarships available to MBA students, including those that are open to all students, those for minorities, those for women, and those for military/veterans.

Keep in mind that scholarship requirements and deadlines can change from year to year, so be sure to carefully review all details and deadlines before applying.

MBA Scholarships Open to All Students

Here are some scholarships that are open to all students pursuing a graduate degree, including MBA students:

ScholarshipAmountDeadline
AICP Scholarship Program$1,500June 2
Dan M. Reichard Jr. Scholarship$2,500 to $5,000June 16
Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award$10,000December 15
Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Scholarships$5,000 to $15,000January 26
HubShout Internet Marketing Scholarship$1,000March 1 and November 1
Lance Surety Bonds Scholarship$1,500December 15
Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship$2,000February 15
Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program$1,000 to $10,000January 29
Staver Law Group National Scholarship$5,000December 1
Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs FellowshipUp to $37,000 annuallyJanuary 12

MBA Scholarships for Minorities

Here are some scholarships that are specifically for minority students pursuing an MBA degree:

ScholarshipAmountDeadline
Boomer Esiason Foundation (BEF) General Academic Scholarships$500 to $2,500March 31, June 30, September 29, and December 29
Hispanic Scholarship Fund$500 to $5,000April 26
Kosciuszko Foundation Tuition Scholarships$1,000 to $7,000January 16
The Lagrant Foundation Graduate Scholarships$3,250February 28
Lighthouse Guild Graduate School Scholarship$10,000March 31
National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) Scholarships$1,000 to $5,000 (depending on specific scholarship)Varies by specific scholarship
National Black MBA Association, Inc. (NBMBAA) Collegiate Partnership Program$1,000 to $50,000 (depending on specific scholarship)Varies by scholarship
Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New AmericansUp to $90,000 over two years of studyNovember 1
Reaching Out LGBT MBA FellowshipMinimum of $10,000 per academic year or $20,000 totalNo general application or deadline
Robert Toigo Foundation MBA Fellowships$5,000 annually, plus additional benefitsApril 9

MBA Scholarship for Women

Here are some scholarships that are specifically for women pursuing an MBA degree:

ScholarshipAmountDeadline
AAUW Selected Professions Fellowships$5,000 to $18,000January 10
Chicana/Latina Foundation (CLF) Scholarship Program$1,500Cu

MBA Scholarships for Military/Veterans

Here are some scholarships that are specifically for military/veterans pursuing an MBA degree:

ScholarshipAmountDeadline
Pat Tillman Foundation ScholarshipVariesFebruary 28
Service2School FellowshipVariesRolling deadline
Veterans United Foundation Scholarship$20,000April 30

These are just a few of the many scholarships available to MBA students. Be sure to research all of your options and carefully review all requirements and deadlines before applying. Good luck!

How to Improve Your Chances of Earning an MBA Scholarship

Earning an MBA scholarship can be competitive, but there are ways to stand out from the rest. Here are some tips to help you improve your chances of winning a grant.

MBA scholarships
MBA Scholarship Opportunities: How to Apply and Win 4

Work towards a 5-year plan

Planning your professional future is key when it comes to MBA scholarships. Most scholarships require proven interest in pursuing a business-related career. Whether your plans are to become an entrepreneur or to become a C-level executive at an existing company, make sure everything you do – from the courses you take to the organizations you join to the volunteer work you do – is aligned with your business career goal.

Think big and small

Scholarship awards come in all shapes and sizes, from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars and from big-name companies to small local organizations. Big awards are great, and if you meet all requirements, you certainly should apply for them. But keep in mind the bigger the award, the more competitive it is. Don’t rule out smaller scholarships, and remember, small amounts can add up.

Know your audience

Pay close attention to the information provided by the scholarship provider. Many scholarships are created in memory of someone or have a distinct stated purpose. Find a way to incorporate it into your application, particularly if an essay or interview is required. Scholarship providers like to reward applicants who best fit their program’s intent or mission.

Check out past winners

Most scholarship websites list past award recipients. Read what’s written about them and see what they all have in common. More likely than not, that’s what the award committee will be looking for in the next recipient. You might also want to consider contacting past winners for advice.

Join a hobby club

If you’re a big hobbyist, find a club that offers a scholarship to its members. You’ll be stunned how many hobby groups offer scholarships to their fellow enthusiasts. You’ll probably be looking at a relatively small pool of applicants, too.

Talk to current and past employers

Many companies provide funding to employees who want to pursue an industry-related advanced degree and are interested in remaining with the company once the degree is earned. And an MBA is almost always industry-related. These funds often come in the form of a scholarship, and some of these scholarships are open to former employees as well. It never hurts to ask.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of earning an MBA scholarship. Remember to plan your professional future, consider both big and small awards, know your audience, research past winners, join a hobby club, and talk to current and past employers. Good luck with your scholarship applications!

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When applying for an MBA scholarship, there are some common mistakes that you should avoid to increase your chances of success. Here are some of them:

Only searching for scholarships online

While it is convenient to search for scholarships online, it is not always the best option. There are many scholarship opportunities that are hard to locate online. Therefore, it is advisable to visit your school’s financial aid office and talk to community members and organizations. They may have the inside scoop on smaller, locally-sponsored scholarship opportunities. Other places to try include your local library, job fairs, and business events or conventions. Arkin Buyukozturn notes that “a lot of times scholarships and other opportunities are announced at these events.”

Not taking your essay seriously

Your application essay is an opportunity to demonstrate your uniqueness and suitability for the scholarship. Therefore, it is essential to take it seriously. The mistake most people make is to use the same essay, with a few modifications, for every application. This may be the faster option, but if you don’t tailor your essay to every application, the committee won’t see why you’re the right fit for the scholarship. It will require more work, but be sure to write a new and thoughtful essay for each application, taking into close account the specific essay requirements and scholarship’s stated purpose.

Not taking the interview seriously

If your scholarship requires an interview, prepare for it like you would an interview for your dream job. Consider the questions you’ll likely be asked and prepare your answers ahead of time. And dress appropriately. That goes for online interviews as well.

Being afraid to toot your own horn

Applying for an MBA scholarship is not the time to be shy. Scholarship committees like applicants with a lot of academic and extracurricular accomplishments, but they won’t know about them if you don’t tell them. You don’t want to be arrogant, but you do want to highlight major accomplishments, awards, and memberships that make you qualified for the scholarship. The business world is all about confidence and the ability to make a sale – what better way to show you’re ready for this industry than by selling your strengths to land a scholarship.

Not maintaining a good GPA

Your grade point average is almost always a primary consideration for MBA scholarship committees. If your GPA starts to drop, meet with professors and advisors to see what you can do to get back on track immediately.

Not cleaning up your social media

Everyone has access to everything you put online, including scholarship programs. Therefore, it is crucial to clean up all your social media accounts, deleting and avoiding anything that may be inappropriate or otherwise damaging to your scholarly and professional image before sending in your applications.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you increase your chances of winning an MBA scholarship. Remember to take your application seriously, tailor your essays to each application, prepare for interviews, highlight your accomplishments, maintain a good GPA, and clean up your social media.

Additional Expert Tips

When it comes to funding your MBA, there are several expert tips that you can follow to increase your chances of success.

Tips for MBA Scholarships
MBA Scholarship Opportunities: How to Apply and Win 5

Here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Start thinking about scholarships as soon as you start thinking about your MBA. It’s important to not leave the issue of funding your MBA until after you’ve chosen your program. Make funding discussions a top priority when speaking with recruiters at the colleges you are considering. Having open conversations about funding can help you identify programs that align with your financial needs and goals.
  • Be genuine in your pursuits and the awards will follow. While you should apply to as many scholarships as possible, it’s also important to really focus on awards that are aligned with your own personal values and goals. This should hopefully make the process of applying less stressful and lead to better, more meaningful opportunities.
  • Seek out mentorship opportunities. Many MBA programs offer mentorship programs that can provide you with valuable guidance and support as you navigate your studies and career. These programs can also help you build valuable relationships with experienced professionals in your field.
  • Develop ethical leadership skills. Many scholarship organizations are looking for candidates who demonstrate a commitment to ethical leadership and social responsibility. Consider participating in extracurricular activities or volunteer work that aligns with these values.
  • Consider state or local government finance opportunities. Many state and local governments offer scholarships or loan forgiveness programs for students pursuing degrees in fields that are in high demand. Check with your state or local government to see if there are any opportunities available to you.
  • Be aware of fraud examination. Unfortunately, scholarship scams are common, so it’s important to be vigilant when applying for scholarships. Be wary of any scholarship that requires an application fee, or promises to guarantee you a scholarship in exchange for payment. Always research the organization offering the scholarship to ensure that it is legitimate.

By following these expert tips, you can increase your chances of securing the funding you need to pursue your MBA. Remember to stay focused, be genuine in your pursuits, and seek out opportunities that align with your values and goals.

Drew Gilbert

Drew is a passionate writer at Degree Tribe, dedicated to making higher education topics easy to understand. You'll often find Drew immersed in books about degrees and higher learning, simplifying complex concepts for everyone to grasp. When not crafting informative content, Drew has a soft spot for exploring new destinations and finds joy in cruising around town in their car.

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