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For the majority of MBA students, funding the cost of their chosen programme will mean digging into hard
earned savings, pulling in favours from sympathetic relatives, or taking out some form of loan. However, for a
lucky minority, a scholarship can make all the difference to the business school experience.
According to Rose Martinelli, Dean of Admissions at Chicago GSB, USA, \u201cEvery year there are millions of
dollars of unclaimed scholarships for MBA and graduate education, often from government agencies which
have no marketing budgets to promote their schemes. Applicants have to search out these scholarships.\u201d But
Many business schools award their own scholarships to outstanding MBA candidates and your chosen school
should consequently be your first port of call. These scholarships vary in amount and normally take the form of
fee remission, with some including contributions to living expenses. Qualification criteria vary from school to
school, but the most common are nationality, academic excellence or, the all-embracing term, merit. Lauren
Tracey, Financial Aid Director at Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University explains: "We offer
merit scholarships, which require no separate financial aid application. Simply put, the admission application
alone makes applicants eligible for consideration for a merit scholarship." In 2004, 76% of full-time MBA
students were awarded institutional grants or scholarship awards at Tepper, Carnegie Mellon. Their awards
ranged from US$2,500 to the full tuition cost.
Another US school, University of Chicago GSB, offers scholarships to approximately 30% of the incoming MBA
class each year. These are available to US citizens and international students. Candidates are automatically
considered for a scholarship if admitted to the MBA program. Recent graduates applying to Harvard Business
School are eligible to apply for Frank Knox Fellowships, while international candidates securing a place at the
University of Pennsylvania are eligible to apply for Thuron Scholarships. In Europe, London Business School
and INSEAD communicate their scholarship portfolio to successful candidates, when they have been offered a
Business schools increasingly seek to create truly international classes by encouraging applications from
countries where there is little or no tradition of management education, or where the cost of studying abroad
would be prohibitive. As a result, scholarships targeted at participants from particular countries is becoming
more common. The business school of the University of South Dakota, for example, offers a US$5,000
scholarship for students originating in East Asia, while Edinburgh Business School, UK has developed four
scholarships for applicants from South America and Africa. Other schools use scholarships to improve student
diversity in a different way. The Indian School of Business has two awards sponsored by the Anand Group and
Novartis, which are only available to women. Northeastern University College of Business Administration, USA
has the Martin Luther King Jr Graduate Fellowship to attract students from the African-American community.
Details of scholarships offered by over 200 major schools are available through the online selection tool,
Scorecard, which allows potential MBAs to search and evaluate programmes depending on their personal aims,
abilities and circumstances. (visit www.topmba.com)
Schools, however, are not the only source of scholarships. In recent years, some enlightened employers have
developed scholarship programmes to support potential students from within their ranks. Iain Corby, a
consultant at the London office of Deloitte, received funding from the firm for an MBA program at UCLA,
California, despite the fact that scholarships were normally only available for European study at the time. \u201cIt
took some negotiation,\u201d he says, \u201cbut the firm eventually accepted my case that the school and the specialisms
it could offer were right for me.\u201d
Charitable institutions also provide a wide range of scholarships. Fulbright Awards, for example, offer academic
achievers help finance study in the USA. Grants are awarded on the basis of academic merit and professional
promise. Over 140 countries participate in the program and 51 bi-national commissions have been established.
The Rotary Foundation's Ambassadorial Scholarships is the world's largest privately funded international
scholarships program awarding more than 1,100 scholarships to candidates from 64 countries for study in 69
countries. Awards total approximately US$26 million.
Christian Kanu obtained a Rotary International Scholarship to pursue an MBA at Cranfield, UK. He advises, \u201cIn
order to enhance your chances of getting a scholarship, be informed about all scholarships and try to be better
or different from the other applicants." Michel Berthelin received a US$22,000 two-year Rotary scholarship to
study for an MBA at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and offers pointed advice. "My
feeling is that people who stand a good chance in general of getting a scholarship have the following
characteristics: they have set clear goals for their careers, they express a strong desire to meet other cultures,
they understand the ideals of the Rotary Foundation and they are genuinely looking for ways to contribute to a
One of the newest sources of scholarships is the international business school information fair, the World MBA
Tour. In addition to meeting Admissions Directors of over 300 of the world\u2019s top business schools, candidates
who visit the World MBA Tour in 2006 will qualify to apply for over US$1,300,000 of exclusive scholarships.
Partner schools offering scholarships during 2006, include: The Wharton School, Politecnico di Milano, Instituto
de Empresa, Nijenrode and Ashridge Business School.
Instituto de Empresa awarded theirUS$36,000, 2005 World MBA Tour scholarship for a female applicant to
Raluca Balanescu, a Romanian national who had worked around the world and met IE at the World MBA Tour in
Toronto in September 2004. Raluca had studied at Bentley College, US where she graduated Magna Cum
Laude. She then combined work experience assisting experienced executives in contract negotiations, as well
as mentoring under privileged children in her spare time.
QS, the organiser of the fairs, offer seven scholarships of their own, for study at any major institution. Winners
of the QS Scholarships for 2005, who were selected from over 900 applicants, included nationals of Hungary,
India, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland and the USA. According to the scholarship sponsors, Nunzio
Quacquarelli and Matt Symonds of QS, the purpose of the awards is to enable talented individuals to attend
leading business or graduate schools so that they may acquire further skills in leadership, teamwork and
corporate governance and thereby be able to change and make a meaningful difference to the world. The
selection panel also try to ensure geographic diversity in the mix of winners.
age of 26, Nadja successfully led an international client team of eight individuals from France, Germany, Spain
and the Netherlands during a post-merger integration. \u201cThe QS scholarship has made a big difference to my
life. I now have a great MBA and can stay and work in the US.\u201d
The Joseph Wharton Fellowship is awarded to the student that best exemplifies the values of the Wharton
community. It acknowledges demonstrated achievements in scholarship, proven leadership, a commitment to
professional excellence, and an impact on an organization and/or group. The Wharton School, in association
with the World MBA Tour, is making one such fellowship available to one admitted student who has registered
for a World MBA Tour event. The scholarship is worth US$10,000 per annum (awarded each year the student is
enrolled, subject to the student remaining in good academic standing).
The New-York based Instituto de Empresa Foundation, IE Fund, and World MBA Tour, are to award an annual
scholarship for the Instituto de Empresa International MBA Programme to a woman with an outstanding
academic record and a high potential for leadership and professional advancement. The US$36,000 scholarship
covers 100% of programme fees.
Ashridge Business School Female Scholarship
This UK based business school offers an exclusive full scholarship for women, through the World MBA Tour.
Wim Kok Scholarship at Nijenrode
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