So you’ve decided that you want to get a management qualification and you’re researching what business school you think will give you the best chance of future career success. Then you look at the cost! It can be a really daunting prospect when you first realise the financial implications of getting in to your chosen business school and it is not a decision that anybody should take lightly.
Before you even consider getting financial aid to enable you to get in to your first choice business school, you must make sure you are being realistic and that you have taken all other costs, not just fees, into consideration.
If you have your heart set on a top business school then here are the top 10 business schools ranked by ‘value for money’ according to the Financial Times Top 100 Business Schools Global MBA Ranking 2011:
1. University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, South Africa
2. University of Strathclyde Business School, UK
3. Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Belgium
4. INSEAD, France/Singapore
6. IMD, Switzerland
7. Durham Business School, UK
8. Texas A&M University: Mays, US
9. SP Jain Center of Management, Dubai / Singapore
10. University College Dublin: Smurfit, Ireland
Once you have decided upon your preferred business school and are confident that you have a good chance of gaining admission you need to start thinking about how you are going to fund your MBA or other management qualification. You may be lucky enough that your parent’s can afford the fees and are willing to provide financial aid as an investment in your future. Unfortunately for many of us this is not an option and so here are the most common ways of getting financial aid for your chosen business school:
Grants and Scholarships
This will differ from country to country but there many kinds of grants and scholarships available to students offered by government, private institutions and business schools themselves. Sometimes these are merit based and other grants and scholarships are awarded to students with specific circumstances or from certain religious or ethnic backgrounds. The great thing about a grant or scholarship is that it does not have to be repaid, however, this makes competition for such financial aid very high!
Examples of grants and scholarhsips:
US & UK
Fulbright Commission (visit website)
Minority Welfare Scholarship System run by the Indian government (visit website)
Students from developing countries wanting to study in Europe
Erasmus Mundus Scholarships (visit website)
For Executive MBA students already working it may be possible to get an employer to fund all or part of an MBA program. Obviously this is more likely to happen with a larger organization and they will probably want you to commit to staying with the company for a set number of years. You should consider this carefully as you may feel that you want to spread your wings and embark on a new challenge once you have your MBA!
Indian Oil Company offers over 2,000 scholarships to talented students across India every year. For more information click here.
Even with a scholarship or corporate sponsorship it still may be necessary to take out a loan to fund your management education. Our advice here would be to speak with an independent financial advisor and do your research thoroughly before committing to any kind of loan.
Finally, if the costs associated with business school are prohibitive and you are unable to secure financial aid then a cost-effective alternative is an online or distance learning program.