Winning an MBA scholarship will reduce the funding you need for your MBA studies, speed up the return on your investment and bring you prestige.
The good news is that many business schools provide scholarships. However, all of them are highly competitive. With the support of your application portfolio and interview performance you need to become a dream candidate for the school. Thus, the school will want to have you in their MBA class because of your potential contribution, experiences, personality and post MBA goals.
Here are the 7 factors that can help you win an MBA scholarship:
1. Adequate school selection
School selection is the major factor that improves your chances of winning an MBA scholarship. First, you need to be a strong applicant for the school and meet all requirements at a level above the average. Second, the school must provide scholarships for which you are eligible. Add these two criteria to your wish list. Then, get all the details while researching and short-listing schools to which you will apply.
2. Realistic budget
Make realistic calculations for the budget you will have at your disposal for your MBA. Research all options for possible increases in that budget, if required. Look for schools where the amount of the scholarship will leverage your budget. Thus, you will make it financially possible to attend the programme and pay for tuition plus living and travel expenses. This also means that you can target schools which initially seem to be over your budget, but which offer scholarships.
3. Secure the budget in advance
It is important to know that scholarships cover tuition fees, seldom living expenses, and you should not to work during your full time studies to cover your expenses. You need to have the budget secured in advance. Plan to have the finances in place by the time the decision for admission is announced. You will need to make some early payments to the school to confirm your admission and scholarship.
4. Make sure you meet the scholarship requirements
Research in as much detail as possible the eligibility requirements for MBA scholarship. Some of them are very clear – e.g. based on a certain GMAT score, nationality or gender; others are more difficult to evaluate – leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, etc. The first step is to communicate with the admissions or financial aid office of the school for details. Then you may wish to contact an MBA admissions consultant to discuss the fit of your profile to the requirements.
5. Study in detail the scholarship application process
You may be required to provide additional documents, application or essays when you apply for an MBA scholarship. The deadlines may also be different to those for admission. If the MBA scholarship application is incorporated into the admission process you have no chance of applying for a scholarship after you have been admitted. In most cases, the overall quality of your application for admission will be a major factor in your scholarship applications.
6. Be competitive
Remember that competition is always tough. Make sure you prepare a really outstanding MBA application portfolio. Also, perform at your best during the tests and interview. Many applicants who compete for scholarships use MBA admissions consulting services to prepare their application package – CV/resume, essays, recommendations, and drill for the interview.
7. Scholarships make you an achiever
MBA scholarship awards will bring positive light to your profile. This is especially true if you are awarded a scholarship based on your academic or professional merit and achievement. So, it may be wise to apply for merit scholarships even if you have the full funding to afford the programme.
This post was originally posted on prepadviser.com.