Savings And Loans: How Should You Finance Your MBA?

There are many ways to fund a b-school education, and the rewards will almost certainly far outweigh the costs. However, if you’ve put in the hard work to make yourself a strong candidate for a top business school, cost should not be the deciding factor in getting an MBA. Business school financing typically comes from company sponsorship, scholarships and fellowships, government loans, private loans, and personal savings. While the return on investment for business school is generally strong, students must evaluate which funding option makes the most sense for their life and career goals. Here are four questions to ask yourself when thinking about funding your MBA:

If you can make it work, company sponsorship is one of the best ways to finance an MBA. Not only does it free you from worrying about where to come up with the money for business school, but it also eliminates the worries of a post-graduation job search. It signals that your organization values your work and is willing to invest in your future.

Of course, you must carefully weigh the pros and cons of sponsorship. You may be required to sign a retention contract that leaves you on the hook for tuition if you go within a given timeframe after earning your degree. And company sponsorship is rarely an option for students seeking an MBA to switch careers. It’s relatively rare for students to pay for a business school education out of pocket. However, there may be more self-funding options available than you initially thought.



Self-funding is the way to go for many entrepreneurs who are getting an MBA as a tool to help grow an existing business. They view it as an investment in a growing company and are committed to doing what it takes to expand. Other b-school applicants may live very frugally in the run-up to an MBA program to save as much money as possible for their schooling. Finally, some applicants can tap into funds within their family by asking relatives for a loan or having an inheritance paid out early.

Private and governmental loans are the most common forms of MBA funding. Despite rising interest and tuition rates, student loans remain a good bet when they are entered into with significant forethought. However, it is vital to do your due diligence in advance. Before taking out a loan, understand the interest rate, repayment schedule, and monthly payment. Some loans do not begin accruing interest until after your graduation date, but some start charging interest from day one.

Your school may or may not offer guidance for finding loans to cover MBA tuition and expenses. Some students start their research with Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Graduate PLUS Loans for US citizens. In addition, many private loan options from lenders like SoFi Finance and Discover Student Loans exist. Non-US citizens typically have fewer loan options, but financing may be available with a co-signer who is a US citizen or through institutions that cater specifically to international students.

Looking for the lowest possible interest rate will save you significant money over the loan’s lifetime. However, it’s also important to consider your monthly payment in the context of your post-graduation career outlook. Student loan payments can range from several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars every month, so you must consider how to handle that payment once you’re done with school. When it comes to MBA funding, you don’t always have to go it alone. Many schools offer generous scholarships for business school students through partial and full-tuition awards. Investigating these options fully could result in thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars towards your tuition without the stress of repaying the funds.