Like all graduate programs, pursuing an MBA is a big commitment. There is time, effort, and a significant amount of money involved.Just like your undergraduate financial aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. This form is the only form you need for federal aid and is most likely the only form you will need for your MBA program.
Financial aid for MBA programs comes in the form of grants, loans, tax credits, work study, state aid, and scholarships.
- Grants- While you are no longer eligible for Pell Grants like when your where and undergraduate student, that does not mean free money no out there. The amount of grants or fellowships available varies by school. Once you are admitted to a program, contact your school's financial aid office to see what is available because this money is given on an as-needed, first-come, first-serve basis.
- Loans- Fill out that trusty FAFSA. MBA students can borrow up to $18,500 a year in Stafford loans. $10,000 must be subsidized and up to $8,500 can be unsubsidized. Other options for loans are Perkins and private loans. Perkin's loans are only available to students with the exceptional need for financial aid. These loans have a very low interest rate and carry no fees. Contact your school's financial aid office if you think you qualify for a Perkins loan. Private loans are available for students in the event all other loan and grant money do not cover the cost your educational expenses. Once again, your school's financial aid off can guide you in the right direction. These loans include MBA Excel and Citiassist.
- Tax Credits- The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit is available to graduate students. This tax credit can be claimed during any year of schooling, including graduate. This credit is determined by summing up your educational expenses. Yourself, your dependents, or your spouse can be claimed for this tax credit.
- State Aid- Unfortunately, the only state aid that is generally available for MBA students is the tuition rate available for in-state residents. However, aid varies by state and your financial aid office will be able to guide you in the right direction.
- Work Study- Work study programs are available at almost every school. If you are full time MBA student, work study and your course load may be difficult. Work study programs are funded by the school and the federal government. Most work study programs are part time and on campus. They work around your class schedule and allow you to work in the business school itself.
- Scholarships- Run a quick search for “MBA Scholarships”, I bet you did not find much. Scholarships are extremely rare for MBA programs and full scholarships are almost unheard of. Why you ask? Most business schools are extremely confident that you will be easily able to repay your students loans with your post graduate MBA salaries. Colleges and Universities generally allocate more of their scholarship fund money to programs with lower paying salaries. However, do not let this discourage you from achieving your goals! Try to get in contact with professionals who possess an MBA, they will tell you this degree was an excellent financial investment.