Unlock Your MBA Dreams with Scholarships: Explore tailored opportunities and expert insights for a debt-free business education.

Are you dreaming of pursuing an MBA but worried about the financial burden? Don’t let the cost deter you from achieving your goals. There are numerous scholarships and fellowships available to help business students cover the expenses of an MBA program. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various MBA scholarship opportunities, providing you with valuable insights from scholarship recipients on how to increase your chances of securing a grant. Whether you are a minority student, a military veteran, or a woman in business, there are scholarships tailored to your specific needs. Let’s dive in and discover the top MBA scholarships that can turn your dreams into a reality.

Scholarships Open to All Students

When searching for MBA scholarships, it’s essential to consider both school-specific awards and those open to any graduate student. Here are some opportunities that are not tied to a particular business school:

AICP Scholarship Program

  • Amount: $1,500
  • Deadline: June 2

The AICP Scholarship Program is open to students pursuing a degree in an insurance or business-related field. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and demonstrate an interest and dedication to the insurance industry. This scholarship, sponsored by the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals, considers GPA, extracurricular activities, and industry involvement.

Dan M. Reichard Jr. Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,500 to $5,000
  • Deadline: June 16

The Dan M. Reichard Jr. Scholarship is available to sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and demonstrate an interest in a business administration/management career in the public transportation industry. Additionally, applicants must be sponsored by a member organization of the American Public Transportation Association.

Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: December 15

The Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award is open to full- and part-time students pursuing a post-baccalaureate or professional studies degree. This scholarship can be used at accredited universities worldwide. To be eligible, applicants must be members of the Golden Key honor society.

Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Scholarships

  • Amount: $5,000 to $15,000
  • Deadline: January 26

The GFOA sponsors several scholarships for students interested in careers in state or local government finance. These scholarships are available to both full- and part-time students. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and cannot be past winners. Individual scholarships may have additional requirements.

HubShout Internet Marketing Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: March 1 and November 1

The HubShout Internet Marketing Scholarship is open to students with at least one year of college, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and a demonstrated passion for internet marketing. This scholarship rewards students who show potential in the rapidly growing field of digital marketing.

Lance Surety Bonds Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,500
  • Deadline: December 15

The Lance Surety Bonds Scholarship requires applicants to write an essay on one of three given topics: motivation to start a small business, the U.S. economy’s benefit from surety bonds, or an essay on auto dealership, freight brokerage, construction, or mortgage brokerage. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a U.S.-based degree program.

Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,000
  • Deadline: February 15

The Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship is a Daughters of the American Revolution-sponsored award specifically for full-time MBA students. This scholarship is renewable only with reapplication and requires a minimum GPA of 3.25.

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program

  • Amount: $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000
  • Deadline: January 29

The Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program is designed for students currently enrolled in a full-time degree program with a desire to pursue a career in fraud examination or a similar anti-fraud profession. Recipients are selected based on academic excellence, financial need, and commitment to the field.

Staver Law Group National Scholarship

  • Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: December 1

The Staver Law Group National Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an accredited U.S. degree program. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and demonstrate a commitment to their education and future success.

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

  • Amount: Up to $37,000 annually
  • Deadline: January 12

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship is open to students enrolled in a two-year master’s degree program related to the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service, including business administration. This fellowship program requires two summer internships and employment in the Foreign Service upon graduation.

In the next section, we will explore MBA scholarships specifically designed for minority students.

MBA Scholarships for Minorities

Minority students pursuing an MBA degree can take advantage of various scholarships tailored to their specific needs. Here are some top scholarships available for minority students:

Boomer Esiason Foundation (BEF) General Academic Scholarships

  • Amount: $500 to $2,500
  • Deadline: March 31, June 30, September 29, and December 29

The Boomer Esiason Foundation offers scholarships to students diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. These scholarships are awarded quarterly and are based on academic accomplishment and financial need.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

  • Amount: $500 to $5,000
  • Deadline: April 26

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund provides merit-based scholarships to students of Hispanic heritage with a minimum GPA of 2.5. This scholarship is open to U.S. citizens, permanent legal residents, DACA recipients, and eligible non-citizens.

Kosciuszko Foundation Tuition Scholarships

  • Amount: $1,000 to $7,000
  • Deadline: January 16

The Kosciuszko Foundation offers a variety of national, regional, and local scholarships. These scholarships are open to full-time graduate students, including those studying business or business administration, who are of Polish descent. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

The Lagrant Foundation Graduate Scholarships

  • Amount: $3,250
  • Deadline: February 28

The Lagrant Foundation Graduate Scholarships are available to full-time students with a minimum GPA of 3.2. Applicants must be African American/Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American/Alaska Native, majoring in a field with an emphasis in advertising, marketing, or public relations.

Lighthouse Guild Graduate School Scholarship

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: March 31

The Lighthouse Guild Graduate School Scholarship is open to blind students pursuing a graduate degree. Applicants must provide proof of legal blindness and U.S. citizenship, as well as documentation of academic achievement and three letters of recommendation.

National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) Scholarships

  • Amount: $1,000 to $5,000 (depending on specific scholarship)
  • Deadline: Varies by specific scholarship

NABA offers national and regional scholarships to students of African-American or African descent. Graduate students must be full-time and currently enrolled in or accepted into an MBA program. Applicants must also be active student members of NABA.

National Black MBA Association, Inc. (NBMBAA) Collegiate Partnership Program

  • Amount: $1,000 to $50,000 (depending on specific scholarship)
  • Deadline: Varies by scholarship

Through its Collegiate Partnership Program, NBMBAA offers a variety of business/business administration scholarships for students at nine colleges. Applicant requirements vary by specific scholarship, so it’s essential to visit the program’s website for more details.

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

  • Amount: Up to $90,000 over two years of study
  • Deadline: November 1

The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans are available to immigrants and children of immigrants pursuing a graduate degree. Applicants must be under 30 years of age, legally in the U.S., and have parents who were both born outside the U.S. as non-citizens. Fellows can study any graduate-level degree program, including business administration.

Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship

  • Amount: Minimum of $10,000 per academic year or $20,000 total
  • Deadline: No general application or deadline. Contact participating school for more information.

The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is available to LGBTQ students enrolled at over 40 participating business schools across the U.S. Selected fellows also receive mentorship and leadership development through Reaching Out.

Robert Toigo Foundation MBA Fellowships

  • Amount: $5,000 annually, plus additional benefits
  • Deadline: April 9

The Robert Toigo Foundation MBA Fellowships are designed for minority students applying to or accepted into a two-year full-time MBA program. Recipients must plan a career in finance and meet the U.S. Department of Labor’s definition of minority.

Now let’s explore MBA scholarships specifically aimed at supporting women in business.

MBA Scholarships for Women

Women pursuing an MBA degree have access to numerous scholarships specifically designed to support their educational journey. Here are some top scholarships available for women:

AAUW Selected Professions Fellowships

  • Amount: $5,000 to $18,000
  • Deadline: January 10

The AAUW Selected Professions Fellowships are open to women of color pursuing a master’s in business administration, as well as women pursuing other programs in historically male-dominated fields. These awards are restricted to applicants in their second year of study and are sponsored by the American Association of University Women.

Chicana/Latina Foundation (CLF) Scholarship Program

  • Amount: $1,500
  • Deadline: Currently closed but deadline is always in March (visit site at the beginning of 2018 for details)

The Chicana/Latina Foundation Scholarship Program is open to women of Chicana/Latina heritage enrolled in a college program located in one of 13 Northern California counties. Graduate students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and be currently enrolled in a graduate program. Applicants must commit to attending the CLF Leadership Institute and completing 10 hours of CLF volunteer work.

Forté Fellows Program

  • Amount: Varies; includes a package of additional benefits
  • Deadline: Varies. Contact school for more information.

The Forté Fellows Program grants scholarships to women pursuing full-time MBA degrees at participating schools. Recipients are chosen by the schools based on their exemplary leadership and commitment to women and girls through personal mentorship and community involvement.

Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000 (U.S. regional) and $7,000 (international)
  • Deadline: Varies. Contact local Zonta club for deadline information.

The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship is open to women of any age pursuing a business or business-related program and demonstrating outstanding potential in the field. This scholarship is offered by the Zonta International Foundation.

Mary Macy Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,500
  • Deadline: June 15

The Mary Macy Scholarship is awarded to students pursuing careers in the grocery industry. To be eligible, students must be in good standing with a GPA of 2.0 or higher. This scholarship is sponsored by the Women Grocers of America (WGA).

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship

  • Amount: Up to $12,500
  • Deadline: December 15

The P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship is open to full-time students working toward a graduate degree in the U.S. or Canada with a full year of coursework remaining. This scholarship is awarded to women from other countries who are dedicated to the promotion of international peace and understanding.

Scholarships4Mom

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: December 15

Scholarships4Mom provides funds for educational opportunities, including tuition, books, and paying off student loans. The award is given to the winner of a random drawing of eligible applicants.

Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP)

  • Amount: $250 to $2,000
  • Deadline: Applications must be submitted at least two months before the start date of the education program.

The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program is open to female survivors of intimate partner abuse who have been separated from their abuser for a minimum of one year and a maximum of seven years. Demonstrated financial need is also required.

In the next section, we will explore MBA scholarships available specifically for military personnel and veterans.

MBA Scholarships for Military/Veterans

Military personnel and veterans pursuing an MBA degree can take advantage of various scholarships designed to support their educational journey. Here are some top scholarships available for military personnel and veterans:

AMVETS Scholarships

  • Amount: $1,000 to $12,000
  • Deadline: May 1

AMVETS offers a variety of scholarships for active duty members, members of the National Guard and Reserve, veterans, and their children and grandchildren. Applicants must demonstrate financial need to be considered for this scholarship.

Fleet Reserve Association Scholarships

  • Amount: Up to $5,000
  • Deadline: April 15

The FRA Education Foundation offers a variety of scholarship opportunities for Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard service members and their families. Some scholarships do not require FRA Association membership.

Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,000
  • Deadline: April 21

The Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship open to dependent children, grandchildren, and spouses of blinded active duty service members or veterans. This scholarship is sponsored by the Blinded Veterans Association.

PNC Serving With Integrity Scholarship

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: November 4

The PNC Serving With Integrity Scholarship is open to individuals honorably discharged from active duty or currently serving in the National Guard or Reserve pursuing a degree in finance, business administration, or a related field. This scholarship is sponsored by PNC Bank and the Student Veterans of America.

Sports Clips Help a Hero Scholarship

  • Amount: Up to $5,000
  • Deadline: April 30 (fall semester), November 15 (spring semester)

The Sports Clips Help a Hero Scholarship is open to retired, honorably discharged, active duty, or National Guard and Reserve members with a military rank of E-5 or below. This scholarship is sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Tillman Scholars Program

  • Amount: Varies ($10,000 average per academic year)
  • Deadline: March 1

The Tillman Scholars Program is open to active duty military, veterans, or spouses pursuing a degree as full-time students at a public or private U.S.-based school. This scholarship honors the legacy of Pat Tillman and supports scholars who demonstrate leadership and service in their communities.

Woman Marines Association (WMA) Scholarships

  • Amount: $1,500 to $3,000
  • Deadline: February 28

WMA offers a variety of scholarships to current or veteran members of the USMC or Reserve, their descendants, siblings, or descendants of siblings. Students who have participated in a Marine Corps JROTC program are also eligible. These scholarships can be used at any accredited college.

506th Association Scholarships

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: April 30

Several scholarships are available to those who have served in the 506th Infantry and their families, including parents, grandparents, spouses, and siblings. Awards are based on academic excellence, financial need, and the quality of the academic institution.

How to Improve Your Chances of Earning an MBA Scholarship

Applying for MBA scholarships can be highly competitive, but with the right approach, you can improve your chances of securing a grant. Here are some valuable tips from scholarship recipients on how to stand out from the crowd:

1. Work towards a 5-year plan

When it comes to MBA scholarships, having a well-defined career plan is crucial. Most scholarships require applicants to demonstrate a genuine interest in pursuing a business-related career. Whether your goal is to become an entrepreneur or a C-level executive in an existing company, align your academic choices, extracurricular activities, and volunteer work with your business career aspirations.

2. Think big and small

Scholarship awards come in various sizes, from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars, and are offered by both large corporations and small local organizations. While big awards may be tempting, they also tend to be highly competitive. Don’t overlook smaller scholarships, as they can still make a significant difference in funding your education. Remember, every dollar counts.

3. Know your audience

Many scholarships are created in memory of individuals or have specific purposes. Pay close attention to the scholarship’s stated purpose and find a way to incorporate it into your application, especially if an essay or interview is required. Scholarship providers often favor candidates who align with their program’s intent or mission. Take the time to understand what they are looking for and tailor your application accordingly.

4. Check out past winners

Most scholarship websites provide information about past award recipients. Take the time to read about their achievements and accomplishments. Look for common qualities or experiences among past winners, as this can give you valuable insights into what the award committee is looking for in the next recipient. You may even consider reaching out to past winners for advice and guidance.

5. Join relevant clubs or organizations

If you have a particular hobby or interest, consider joining a club or organization related to that field. You might be surprised to learn that many hobby groups offer scholarships to their members. By applying to these specialized scholarships, you are likely to face less competition compared to larger, more general scholarships. Plus, it’s an opportunity to showcase your passion and dedication to your chosen field.

6. Talk to current and past employers

Many companies offer funding opportunities for employees pursuing advanced degrees, especially if the degree is industry-related. If you are currently employed or have past work experience, inquire about scholarship programs or funding options available through your employer. These scholarships are often open to former employees as well, so it’s worth reaching out and exploring the possibilities.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While it’s important to know what you should do to increase your chances of earning an MBA scholarship, it’s equally important to avoid common mistakes that can take you out of the running. Here are some less obvious but critical mistakes to avoid:

1. Only searching for scholarships online

While the internet is a valuable resource for scholarship opportunities, it’s not the only place to find them. Many scholarships, especially local and niche awards, may not be widely advertised online. Visit your school’s financial aid office, talk to community members and organizations, attend job fairs and business events, and explore local resources like libraries. These avenues may reveal hidden scholarship opportunities that are hard to find online.

2. Not taking your essay seriously

The application essay is your chance to stand out from the competition and showcase your unique qualities. Many applicants make the mistake of using the same essay for every application, with minor modifications. However, scholarship committees can easily spot generic essays. Take the time to write a new and thoughtful essay for each application, addressing the specific requirements and aligning with the scholarship’s stated purpose. Tailoring your essay shows your dedication and attention to detail.

3. Not taking the interview seriously

If a scholarship requires an interview, treat it with the same seriousness as you would a job interview. Prepare by researching common interview questions and practicing your answers. Dress professionally and make a good impression. Remember, the interview is an opportunity for the scholarship committee to get to know you better and assess your potential as a scholarship recipient.

4. Being afraid to toot your own horn

When applying for an MBA scholarship, it’s essential to highlight your accomplishments and strengths. Don’t be shy about showcasing your academic achievements, awards, and memberships relevant to your field of study. Scholarship committees want to see applicants who have excelled in their endeavors and have the potential to make a positive impact in their chosen field. Strike a balance between confidence and humility to present the best version of yourself.

5. Not maintaining a good GPA

Many scholarship committees consider GPA as a primary factor in their selection process. If your GPA starts to decline, take immediate action to improve it. Meet with professors and academic advisors to discuss strategies for getting back on track. Your GPA is a reflection of your academic performance and dedication, so it’s crucial to maintain a good standing throughout your MBA program.

6. Not cleaning up your social media

In today’s digital age, scholarship providers often conduct online research on applicants. Ensure that your social media presence portrays a positive and professional image. Clean up your social media accounts by deleting or avoiding any content that may be inappropriate or could damage your scholarly and professional reputation. Remember, your online presence is an extension of your personal brand.

By following these tips and avoiding common mistakes, you can significantly improve your chances of earning an MBA scholarship. Remember to stay proactive, research opportunities, and present yourself in the best possible light throughout the application process.

In conclusion, pursuing an MBA should not be hindered by financial constraints. With the wide range of scholarships available, there is ample opportunity to secure funding for your business education. Explore the scholarships mentioned in this guide, tailor your applications to fit each opportunity, and don’t hesitate to reach out to organizations and individuals who can provide guidance and support. With determination and strategic planning, you can turn your dreams of attaining an MBA into a reality.

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