News, advice and resources for business school applicants

Financial Aid

A go-to source for information about financing an MBA education. Learn more about graduate business school loans, scholarship opportunities and more.


A Guide to Student Loans for MBAs

The following sponsored content was provided to Clear Admit by CommonBond. For more information about sponsorship opportunities with Clear Admit, contact us here.

First off, congratulations to all the new admits! Whether you’re starting your first year this fall or returning for your second year, you’ll need to answer the following question: How will you pay for the next year of school? If the answer is “all or partially with student loans,” we’ve got you covered with the information you need to make an informed choice on the right loan for your situation. CommonBond is a student lending platform founded by three MBAs who created the company based on their own experiences with the unnecessarily expensive and confusing student loan system. We know the experience can be overwhelming and are here to help, so let’s get started.

If you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, your options are federal student loans and private student loans. Continue reading…

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Economist, GMAT Tutor Launch $25,000 Scholarship Competition for MBA, EMBA Applicants

econonmist_gmat tutorThe Economist and test prep firm GMAT Tutor have once again partnered to offer a $25,000 scholarship to the prospective MBA or EMBA student who scores highest on a simulated GMAT exam. Called the Brightest Minds MBA Scholarship Contest, the competition is open to prospective MBA or EMBA students anywhere in the world. The first competition ran in 2014, drawing more than 4,500 entrants, The Economist reported.

To take part in the contest, applicants simply complete The Economist GMAT Tutor simulation test, which uses adaptive technology similar to the real GMAT so that the difficulty level adjusts according to the test-taker’s ability. The simulation test requires the completion of a 75-minute Verbal section and a 75-minute Quant section. Participants should have the available time to complete the test in a single sitting and will not be able to pause once they begin. Continue reading…

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Yale School of Management Announces New LGBT Scholarship

reaching outClass of 2017 students at the Yale School of Management who demonstrate both strong academic skills and a capacity for leadership within the lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer (LBGT) community will now be eligible for a new scholarship opportunity, the school announced this week. Through its partnership with Reaching Out MBA, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering LBGT MBA students, Yale SOM will award two Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowships to incoming Yale SOM students.  

Recipients of the fellowships will receive a minimum of $10,000 in scholarship aid for each academic year, as well as access to a range of Reaching Out programming, mentoring and leadership opportunities, including some developed especially for the Fellows. Continue reading…

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IESE Becomes Latest Business School to Ink Deal with Prodigy Finance for International MBA Loans

IESEbusinessschoolopusdeicorporatework3Spain’s IESE Business School has reached an agreement with U.K.‒based Prodigy Finance that will enable it to offer a new loan to international MBA and Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) students to help them finance their studies, the school announced this week. In other words, financing an IESE education just became much easier for students who live outside of Spain.

The new deal expands IESE’s existing loans and scholarships, which help students cover tuition fees and living costs. International students, though, have faced hurdles because existing loan programs offered by IESE have required co-signers. Continue reading…

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UPenn’s Wharton School Debuts New Online Business Foundations Series, Associated MBA Scholarship

wharton onlineThe University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has expanded its online offerings of foundational MBA courses to now include a Business Foundations Specialization series that adds a capstone project in which participants can apply what they learn to help solve real-world business issues, the school announced last week. And in another new twist, Wharton will invite top performers in the online series to apply to one of the school’s graduate programs, waiving the application fee, and will award up to five $20,000 scholarships to applicants who are admitted.

As with the initial four courses in Wharton’s Foundation Series – Accounting, Finance, Marketing and Operations Management – the new Capstone Project component is available through online education platform Coursera. Wharton was one of the first leading business schools to present the building blocks of its MBA curriculum in online form to a world audience. Continue reading…

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Prodigy Finance Offers No Co-Signer Loans, Helping Solve Funding Challenges Facing MBAs Studying Abroad

prodigy financeStudying outside of the country of your nationality or residence can present many benefits to prospective MBA applicants. See the world, improve language skills, expand horizons, learn first-hand how increasingly global the business world has become. And yet, one major hurdle can sometimes prevent ambitious, talented prospective MBA applicants from pursuing their education abroad. That pesky little detail of funding.

Traditional banks are reluctant to lend across borders because tracking and enforcement of those loans suddenly becomes more difficult. Many U.S. banks, for example, won’t lend to foreign students without a U.S. co-signer, someone local the banks can go after to recoup their debt if the borrower fails to repay. Continue reading…

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NYU Stern School of Business Woos Top College Seniors with Generous MBA Scholarship

300px-NYU_SternThough many leading business schools prefer MBA applicants who have acquired at least a few years of work experience after college, NYU Stern School of Business features a special scholarship designed specifically for exceptional college seniors who seek to pursue a full-time MBA immediately after graduation.

The William R. Berkley Scholarship Program, established in 2013, covers the full two-year tuition and fees for NYU Stern’s full-time MBA program. It also provides a housing stipend of $18,000/year and an additional $10,000/year stipend for books and other expenses. Successful entrepreneur William R. Berkley (BS 1966) created the program that bears his name with a $10 million donation. He pursued his MBA at Harvard Business School immediately after graduating from Stern and wanted to provide similar opportunities for other aspiring young students like himself. Continue reading…

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Admissions Tip: Thinking About Financing

Admissions Tip: Thinking About Financing

Though many business school applicants know exactly what they want to do—and how much they hope to make—after they graduate from an MBA program, a surprising number apply to school without thinking about how they’ll pay for this expensive degree.  While some students do foot the entire bill themselves or receive scholarship support from the school or an outside institution, the vast majority of MBA students borrow funds to cover their tuition and living expenses.  With this in mind, we wanted to cover some very basic information on loans for the benefit of both recent admits entering school this fall and early birds just beginning to think about their applications for Fall 2014.

The primary source of funding for U.S.-based applicants will be federal loans or alternative education loans.  The main federal loans, available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents, are the Direct Unsubsidized Loans, the Direct PLUS Loan and the Federal Perkins Loan.  Full-time students, usually those enrolled in two or more courses per semester, can borrow as much as $20,500/year through the Direct Unsubsidized Loan program.  The Direct PLUS Loan can be used to pay for the total cost of attendance less any aid you’ve already been awarded.  Meanwhile, the Federal Perkins Loan program is school-based program for students with exceptional financial needs.  Perkins Loans are low-interest, a rate of 5 percent, with a maximum annual loan amount of $8,000/year for graduate students or $60,000 in total. Those interested in applying for federal student aid should check out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  When federal loans are not enough, private loans can help bridge the gap in education costs.  Students might contact their local bank or look into lender programs, such as SallieMae or Access Group, for details on borrowing eligibility.

International students are not eligible for federal loans but may consider private loans as a financing option.  InternationalStudentLoan.com, for instance, offers a credit-based loan to international students who are looking to finance their education in the U.S.  However, as with most private loans, this loan requires a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to co-sign.  International students can also visit International Education Financial Aid (IEFA) to search for funds, as can U.S. citizens planning on studying overseas.  Finally, most of the leading MBA programs offer private loans to their students in partnership with a particular financial institution—some of which do not require a co-signer—so this might become an option after one is admitted.

Typical timelines of loan repayment can extend up to 25 years, depending on the lender’s conditions of deferral and the amount of funds borrowed.  After graduation, students usually have a six-month grace period before monthly repayment begins.  While schools’ admittance packages usually include detailed information about financing the MBA, incoming students and applicants should not hesitate contact the school’s financial aid office for further information on available need- or credit-based loans.

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MIT Sloan School of Management Announces New LGBT MBA Fellowship

reaching outAs part of its commitment to fostering a diverse MBA class, MIT Sloan School of Management will award a new fellowship for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students to one or more members of the class of 2017, the school announced last week. The new Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship will be worth at least $10,000 per year.

“This is the first year that MIT Sloan will award this specific fellowship,” Jeff Carbone, associate director of admissions, said in an article on the MIT Sloan website. He added that the decision to offer the fellowship was a simple one, “because we look for diversity in all forms.” Continue reading…

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London Business School Awards Two £30,000 Scholarships to Female Business Execs

30 percent clubLondon Business School (LBS) has awarded two female business executives £30,000 scholarships for the school’s Senior Executive Program, concluding an initiative launched in August with the 30% Club, an organization devoted to increasing female representation in the C-suite of leading corporations.

Andreea Moldova, general manager (Czech Republic and Slovakia) at Avon Cosmetics, and Yasmin Becker, assistant director at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, so impressed the judging panel that LBS increased its commitment and provided two scholarships, though the completion was originally intended to have a single winner. Continue reading…

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Indian School of Business to Award 10 Merit-Based Full Tuition-Fee Waivers

isbAs part of a new initiative this year, Indian School of Business (ISB) is offering 10 full tuition-fee waivers to the school’s top 10 applicants this admissions season. These full waivers – valued at INR 2 million (roughly $66,000) – complement a range of other merit scholarships the school awards to applicants based on leadership potential, past academic performance and personal attributes.

No application is necessary for these new full tuition-fee waivers. Simply complete the ISB application. The Admissions Committee will select the recipients based on its evaluation of all of the candidates. The top 10 candidates, as measured by a combination of academic strength, leadership potential, work experience and other attributes, will be awarded the full tuition-fee waivers. Recipients will be notified of this decision at the time of admission. Continue reading…

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