American MBA programs are the cream of the crop, offering their students the best resources imaginable. Admission to these programs is incredibly valuable, a fact that is reflected in their cost. Many international students do not even consider American MBAs a viable option, due to their famously high costs. This is a shame, as these students give up on their dream schools without even exploring funding options. I would like to take this opportunity to provide some insight into how one may fund an American MBA.
Scholarships Scholarships that cover up to 100% of expenses are available for MBA programs. Coming from a humble background, I funded my own MBA through a scholarship. These scholarships are, typically, merit-based and their availability and extent depend on the exact same factors that govern admissions. However, not all schools are scholarship friendly. A candidate must thoroughly research scholarship opportunities, while short-listing schools.
The candidate must also study the profiles of previous scholarship winners and realistically assessment of their chances while finalizing their preferred schools. Here are some prominent scholarship friendly US schools- Olin, Carey, Boston University, Owen, Jones, Smeal, Broad, and Irvine. Collateral Free Loans Most of the US Top 20 schools have tie-ups with American financial institutions that offer loans to the school’s students, without collateral or a co-signer. These loans cover tuition and living expenses, at an attractive rate (around 5%).
These loans are a great option for those who plan on working in the US, after graduation. All programs that have these loans are fiercely competitive, though. The candidate must carefully research the availability of such loans and their chances of admission in such, premier schools. Some of the schools with this loan option are Harvard, Wharton, Booth, Stanford, Stern, Duke, Yale, and Cornell. A Co-Signer Based in America US Citizens and Green Card holders, with healthy credit histories, can co-sign education loans for international students.
If you know anyone in such a position, who is willing to vouch for you, this is a good option. These loans are quite cheap (around 5%) and very common, most of the US top 75 MBA programs have them. Affordable Programs Not all US programs are expensive, nor is affordability synonymous with a low ranking. Consider BYU Marriot, a US Top 35 school whose total expenses, for international students, comes out to only 65,000$. With careful research and due deliberation, it is not hard to find a program that is both prominent and affordable.
To do so, use resources such as the US New Rankings to understand each program’s fee structure, employability, average starting salaries etc. Earn while Studying MBA students can earn quite well while studying. In fact, most MBA students earn their living expense and only arrange for their tuition fees. The American University ecosystem and program structure provide ample opportunity for candidates to earn.
International students may work for up to 20 hours per week; various Graduate Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, and Campus jobs are easily available. In addition to this, most MBA programs involve a three-month internship period during which candidates can earn up to 6,000$. The main takeaway here is that there are many options for funding an American MBA. Aspiring candidates should not spend an undue amount of time worrying about them and should focus on what is in their control- GMAT, profile and applications.