How Business School Financial Aid Works

Business School Aid

The price tag on your business degree can look a lot less intimidating with financial aid.
The price tag on your business degree can look a lot less intimidating with financial aid.
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If you're going for that MBA, there are some special forms of financial assistance that can help fill in the holes that a typical award letter would leave out.

First, in addition to other federal student loans, you can apply for the federal Graduate PLUS loan program. These loans are meant to supplement Stafford loans, but they have higher interest rates. Your eligibility for these will also be determined through completion of the FAFSA [source:].

Several private lenders offer loans tailored to graduate school students and even to business school graduate students. However, due to the credit crunch that preceded the most recent economic recession, many private lenders have withdrawn popular loan programs, including those targeting MBA students [source: Business Week].

Banks such as Citi offer CitiAssist loans to graduate students, while large private lenders such as Sallie Mae offer their Smart Option student loan [source: Citi, Sallie Mae]. These loans have variable interest rates based on credit-worthiness.

Scholarship and grant opportunities geared toward business school students can help make up the difference as well. Groups such as the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management offer merit-based assistance to promote diversity and inclusion in business [source: The Consortium].Other groups such as the National Association of Black Accountants,the American Association of University Women and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs target underrepresented groups for assistance [Source: Harvard Business School].

Civic groups such as Rotary Club, Jaycees and Kiwanis may offer business school scholarships, as do many professional organizations such as the American Marketing Association, American Accounting Association and the National Business Association [source:]. Your employer could also help with the cost of tuition, including up to $5,250 of tax-free tuition reimbursement per year [source: FinAid!].

Prospective business school students can even find financial help with preparing for or taking the GMAT exam to get into business school. The Graduate Management Admission Council that administers the exam offers a fee waiver program to schools, as well as free test-preparation software [source: Graduate Management Admission Council]. Educational publisher Kaplan provides a free sample GMAT test for joining its free business school network [source: Army Times].

For lots more information on financial aid and business school, see the links below.

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More Great Links


  • Army Times. "GMAT Test Prep." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Citi. "Student Loans for Graduate Students." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • College "6 Things You Didn't Know About College" 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • College "Educational Grant Benefits and Opportunities." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • The Consortium. "About The Consortium." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010).
  • Damast, Alison. "Loan Crisis Hits the MBA World." Business Week. Jan. 22, 2009. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • "Finding Business School Scholarships." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Federal Student Aid. "Dependency Status Worksheet." Jan. 30, 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Federal Student Aid. "Welcome to Student Aid on the Web." Feb. 16, 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • FinAid!. "Employer Tuition Assistance." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Florida Department of Education. "How to Apply for a Student Loan." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Gerdes, Lindsey. "Return on Investment: Public Business Schools Rock." Business Week. March 2, 2009. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Graduate Management Admission Council. 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Graduate Management Admissions Council. "2009 Application Trends Survey." 2009. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Graduate Management Admissions Council. "Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) Posts Record Volume in 2009." Dec. 17, 2009. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Harvard Business School. "Outside Sources of Funding." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Lavelle, Louis. "Business School Costs on the Rise." Business Week. Oct. 17, 2008. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • "Campus-Based Loans." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • "Graduate PLUS Loans." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • "Private Education Loans." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • Sallie Mae. "Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan." 2010. (Feb. 19, 2010)
  • U.S. Department of Education. "Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program." Nov. 23, 2009. (Feb. 19, 2010)