Many students take out loans to enjoy the benefits of a master's degree. The master of business administration (MBA) is one of the most popular degrees. In June 2022, Payscale reported an average salary of $92,000 for MBA graduates.
However, the total national student loan debt continues to increase each year. According to the Education Data Initiative, over half of master's degree holders owe an average of $70,000.
Individuals can enjoy that lucrative salary without substantial student debt. Other financial aid options exist — like scholarships.
Start your scholarship search with our lists below. You can explore academic, identity, and need-based MBA scholarships. Though the 2022 deadlines for some have passed, we chose popular programs likely to open for new applicants in 2023.
For extra financial aid resources, check your state government's website. You can also consider federal aid or general scholarships.
The most common MBA scholarships include need and merit-based awards. Some options below require a specific MBA concentration. Other scholarship programs accept applicants from various degree programs.
SEE: What MBA should I get? Choosing your MBA concentration
Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 6, 2023 (application opens September 15, 2022)
Eligibility limitations: Full-time graduate student studying business administration, criminal justice, finance, or accounting; taking at least six credit hours; enrolled through 2024; interested in an anti-fraud career
About: Applicants must show interest in fraud examination. They can share career goals, extracurricular activities, or fraud-related interests. Students submit transcripts and recommendation letters with the online application.
Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals (AICP) scholarships
Deadline: June 2023
Eligibility limitations: Undergraduate/graduate student with a declared major in risk management, finance, economics, management, actuarial science, math, statistics, or business; 3.0 minimum GPA; completed two years of full-time college coursework
About: The AICP requests transcripts and a recommendation letter. Applicants must also write about their plans in the insurance field. Other application materials include a description of extracurricular and academic achievements.
Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship
Deadline: Application opens fall 2022
Eligibility limitations: Full-time graduate student; plans to pursue a career in local or state government finance
About: Applicants submit recommendation letters and transcripts. They must show a connection between their studies and a future in government finance.
GFOA Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship
Deadline: Application opens fall 2022
Eligibility limitations: Part-time graduate student studying business administration, finance, accounting, economics, or public administration; focused on government; two years of work experience with the local or state government
About: GFOA awards four scholarships. Students must show transcripts and proof of work experience. They should submit recommendation letters from an employer and someone who can confirm their commitment to the public sector.
Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship
Deadline: January 31, 2023
Eligibility limitations: Full-time MBA student; 3.25 minimum GPA
About: Students complete an online application form through the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. While not required, applicants can include GRE scores with their transcripts. The scholarship is a one-time award, but recipients can reapply each year.
Many scholarships serve students with a particular identity. The following list includes identity-based scholarships that benefit specific groups.
Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) scholarships
Deadline: May 2023
Eligibility limitations: ALPFA premium member; full-time undergraduate/graduate student; 3.0 minimum GPA; any major
About: ALPFA scholarships amount vary. Donors include Bank of America and Deloitte. Applicants must submit an online application and essays. Scholarships sponsored by individuals may require extra application materials.
The Consortium fellowship
Amount: Full tuition and fees
Deadline: October 15, 2022 (early application); January 5, 2023 (traditional application)
Eligibility limitations: U.S. citizens with a four-year bachelor's degree; any race or ethnicity, but committed to increasing representation of Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans in MBA degrees and management positions
About: The Consortium allows students to apply to six MBA programs at once. Upon acceptance, The Consortium considers applicants for membership and full tuition benefits.
GFOA Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship
Deadline: Application opens fall 2022
Eligibility limitations: Minority student studying business administration, accounting, public administration, political science, finance, or economics; focused on nonprofit or government management
About: Applicants must submit transcripts showing excellent academic performance. They also need a recommendation letter that proves their commitment to public government.
Military MBA Merit Scholarship
Deadline: June 30, 2022
Eligibility limitations: U.S. resident who has served in the military; has a bachelor's degree; attending member school; pursuing graduate business degree
About: Applicants fill out an online application and write three short essays. They submit transcripts and two recommendation letters from the military.
National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Graduate Scholarship Program
Amount: Up to $5,000
Deadline: May 15, 2022
Eligibility limitations: Financially active NBMBAA member; full-time MBA student; 3.0 minimum GPA; participates in community service
About: The NBMBAA looks for candidates with leadership potential who serve their communities. Applicants must prove academic excellence. They submit an online application, resume, and essay.
PPG Foundation scholarship through the NBMBAA
Deadline: July 31, 2022
Eligibility limitations: Active NBMBAA member; 3.0 minimum GPA; full-time master's degree student; MBA concentration in supply chain management or data science; active in the community
About: PPG awards two scholarships to students. Recipients demonstrate academic excellence and community involvement. Students complete an online application. They must show their experience with data science or supply chain management.
Reaching Out MBA LGBTQ fellowship
Amount: $20,000; free registration for Reaching Out and professional development events
Eligibility limitations: LGBTQ+ individuals and allies; attending or planning to attend a ROMBA Fellowship school; MBA students or candidates
About: Students must be nominated by their school. While they cannot apply directly, they can fill out an online form expressing interest in becoming a fellow. Individuals must show academic excellence and passion for leading the LGBTQ+ community.
Only 7.4% of Fortune 1000 companies have female CEOs. Several organizations aim to increase female presence in business by offering identity-based MBA scholarships specifically for women.
American Association of University Women (AAUW) focus professions group fellowships
Deadline: December 1, 2022 (application opens August 1, 2022)
Eligibility limitations: Woman of color pursuing an MBA, law degree, or doctorate in medicine; full-time student; identifies as Black/African American, Native American/Alaska Native, Asian American/Pacific Islander, or Latina
About: Applicants must prove academic excellence and financial need. They submit a proposal explaining why they want to pursue their degree and how they will use it to advance women. AAUW also requests transcripts and recommendation letters.
Forté MBA fellowships
Eligibility limitations: Woman MBA degree candidate; studying at a partner school; committed to advancing women; exceptional leadership skills
About: The partner institutions select Forté fellows. Recipients enjoy conferences, mentoring, and networking opportunities. Each fellow must act as a Forté ambassador at her school and promote the advancement of women in business.
Zonta International Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
Deadline: Varies — generally between April and June
Eligibility limitations: Woman studying a business program with an approved specialization; undergraduate (no first-year applicants) or graduate student; studies or lives in a Zonta district/region
About: Students apply directly through their local Zonta club. Each club then nominates one candidate for the 37 available international scholarships.
As an international MBA student, you can apply for various scholarships through governmental agencies or corporations. The following options offer full or partial funding.
Keep in mind that some scholarships have residential restrictions.
Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) International Scholarship Program
Amount: Tuition and living expenses (50% grant, 50% loan)
Deadline: March 2023 (exact dates vary by country); application opens January 2023
Eligibility limitations: Nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, or Uganda; academic excellence
About: Applicants must show potential for success in a foreign program. They also submit their career goals. Students' plans and studies should align with one of AKDN's focus areas. Two examples include financial inclusion and enterprise development.
Fulbright foreign student program
Eligibility limitations: Varies
About: Each country manages the Fulbright scholarship differently. Students select their country on the Fulbright website for application details. In some countries, the application is available through the U.S. embassy website.
READ THIS: Is an MBA worth it?
MPOWER MBA scholarship
Amount: $2,000 or $10,000
Deadline: July 15, 2022
Eligibility limitations: Full-time MBA student at an MPOWER partner school; has valid U.S. visa or is a DACA recipient; not a U.S. citizen
About: International students complete a simple online application. They write one essay about their career goals. MPOWER looks for budding leaders and entrepreneurs with mastery of English.
Onsi Sawiris scholarship program from Orascom Construction
Amount: Full tuition, travel, living expenses, health insurance, and materials
Deadline: July 31, 2022
Eligibility limitations: Potential Egyptian graduate student at approved U.S. university; studying business administration, construction management, or engineering; 3 years minimum work experience; 650 minimum GMAT score; 100 minimum TOEFL iBT score; 3.5 minimum GPA
About: Orascom Construction looks for candidates who have not spent an extended time abroad and who wish to return to Egypt. Applicants submit test scores, recommendation letters, and a resume.
Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) International Peace Scholarship
Amount: Up to $12,500
Deadline: March 1, 2023 (enrolled graduate students); April 1, 2023 (students not yet enrolled)
Eligibility limitations: Woman from outside the U.S. and Canada looking to study within the U.S. or Canada; has at least one year left of study
About: The PEO determines scholarship amount based on financial need. Students should include proof of financial need. They must also show how they will use their education to promote global peace.
An MBA may open doors to lucrative management and executive positions. If you wish to enjoy the benefits of an MBA without significant debt, consider the MBA scholarships above.
Review the eligibility requirements and select the scholarships that suit you. Start your applications early. Ensure you have all the necessary materials, including recommendation letters and essays.