An international MBA can be a great value addition to your profile. Apart from being a great value addition, an international MBA also provides students with diverse experiences, unparalleled access to world-class faculty, networking opportunities, chance to study with the best minds etc., which help them build a comprehensive leadership personality. While an international MBA provides all these excellent benefits, the flip side to it is that this experience usually costs a lot.

One of the most sought after avenue for the students to fund their MBA is through scholarships.

There are quite a few MBA scholarships available for Indian students who want to study aboard.

Almost all universities and B-schools offer scholarships based on the strength of an applicants profile. These scholarships range anywhere from 10% – 100% and it totally depends on the application and the interviews. However, the percentage of students who would be awarded a scholarship would be very less when compared to the number of applicants.    

Scholarships are not only given on the basis of educational excellence and professional prowess, but they are also given on the basis of gender, nationality and financial background, so that the B-Schools can assemble a diverse classroom.

The students not only have the option to apply for merit-based scholarships, but they also have the option of applying for need-based scholarships.

SOURCE: General Education

Special preference is also given to students coming from military backgrounds and unique professional backgrounds. Applicants who have showcased leadership skills and come from different profiles are considered for scholarship programs.

 As scholarships are awarded to only a few students, there is generally a strict selection criterion that students have to meet in order to get a scholarship. Few of the common requirements any foundation, institution or fund would have before awarding a scholarship are as follows:

Educational Requirements:

  • A high GMAT score or any other relevant score.
  • A good score in TOFEL / IELTS.
  • A good undergraduate GPA.

Professional Requirements:

  • Excellent letters of recommendation from managers.
  • Outstanding professional growth throughout years of work experience.
  • Proof reflecting leadership initiatives and skills.
  • Professional certifications acquired during work experience.
  • Clear and high-level career goals.
  • Evidence to show great reasons to pursue an MBA.

Few of the scholarships would require you to apply for the scholarship separately from your MBA application. You might need to produce essays and letters of recommendations separately for those scholarships.

There are many international B-schools offering scholarships for which Indian students are also eligible. Apart from these, there are few foundations which provide scholarships specifically to Indian students aspiring to pursue MBA aboard.

Here are few top scholarships for which Indian students are eligible:

  • The Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship: This scholarship is awarded to the students who are granted admission into Stanford Business School for MBA program. This scholarship program is funded by the Reliance foundation for Indian students who are admitted to Stanford GSB.
  • The scholarship has a separate application process and it covers tuition, fees, and few other living expenses. After completion of the course, the scholarship awardees need to return to India and work for an Indian organization for at least two years.
  • Harvard MBA scholarship:
  • There are many fellowship programs that are offered to the MBA students of Harvard Business School. Two of the major fellowships offered here are Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship (non-profit), Life Sciences Fellowship (for students interested in a science-based career) and The Robert S. Kaplan (MBA 1983). The business school too offers need-based fellowships up to $34,000 per annum.  Students coming from unique interests, profiles and backgrounds can avail the special interest fellowship.
  • Columbia Business School MBA scholarship:  
  • Columbia offers both need-based and merit-based scholarship programs.
    • $7,500 to $30,000 is awarded as need-based scholarship and there is a provision to renew it.
    • Toigo Fellowship (under-represented groups pursuing finance careers) and Forté Foundation Scholarship (for women) are the merit-based scholarships offered in Columbia Business School.
  • Wharton MBA scholarship:  
  • Wharton MBA offers a host of scholarships for its MBA students. The following is the list of few scholarships offered at Wharton.
    • Forté Fellowships(female students)
    • Social Impact Fellowships (public or not-for-profit sector)
    • The emerging economy fellowships (students from emerging economies)
    • Howard E. Mitchell Fellowships (outstanding students from under-represented backgrounds)
    • Joseph Wharton Fellowships (outstanding achievements)

The above listed scholarship programs will merely give you a snapshot of the range and types of scholarships offered at top international Business Schools. 

Every Business school has its own scholarship programs that are offered in a variety of ranges. Do research well in advance about all the scholarship programs available in the universities and colleges you are applying to.  

The best place to research is to go to the schools’ website and look out for the available scholarships. Contacting the ADCOM through email is also a good idea to understand the requirements and the details of the scholarships.

A scholarship can be a make or break decision in pursuing your MBA, so make sure that you are doing your due diligence and putting in appropriate hard work to secure a scholarship.