To manage today’s rising tuition costs, students must take a “leave no stone unturned” approach when it comes to locating viable sources of free money. Besides poring over hundreds of federal, state, organizational, and corporate sources of assistance, students should explore all of the programs their chosen school has to offer. Many schools offer access to multiple scholarship programs, while others offer opportunities that most students don’t realize exist. Some of these opportunities have requirements, while others extremely specific. A good example is a unique program offered through Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) that pays a whopping $160,000 toward your MBA.
Stanford estimates that its two-year MBA program will cost a single, on-campus student $218,436. This includes tuition, living allowance (rent, food, and personal expenses for a moderate lifestyle), books and supplies, instructional materials, transportation, medical insurance, and the health fee. Even if you manage to cut the living allowance in half, the program will still cost more than $185,000. With help from the program we’re about to tell you about, you will only end up paying a fraction of the cost for one of the world’s top five MBA programs.
The Stanford USA MBA Fellowship launched in 2016 and will select its finalists in May 2017. Though the goal is to offer the Fellowship to other regions in the U.S. over time, the program focused on the Midwest in its inaugural year. The Fellowship pays tuition and associated fees (approximately U.S, $160,000 over two years) for Stanford MBA students who demonstrate financial need and strong ties to the Midwest. Examples of strong ties to the Midwest include, but are not limited to:
- Current residency in one of the eligible states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin)
- Prior residency for a minimum of three consecutive years in one of the eligible states
- Graduation from a high school in one of the eligible states
- Experiences that demonstrate a strong commitment to, and interest in, the development of the region
In addition to $160,000, Stanford GSB says it will contribute to room, board, and other living expenses, if the Fellow demonstrates additional need in their financial aid application.
Besides having strong ties to the Midwest, within two years of graduation, Stanford USA MBA Fellows are required to return to the Midwest for at least two years to work for, invest in, or create organizations with significant operations and impact in the region. The professional role must contribute to the region’s economic development.
Stanford does not take this requirement lightly. Per the school, the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship Program “allows you the flexibility to gain experience and knowledge anywhere in the world for a two-year period after graduation from Stanford GSB. Within four years of earning your Stanford MBA, however, you must have worked in the Midwest for at least two consecutive years. If you do not satisfy your commitment, you will be required to repay the Fellowship funding you received.”
The Stanford USA MBA Fellowship and others offered through the school were created to “attract and provide financial assistance to talented leaders from countries, regions, and populations that are underrepresented in the MBA Program. In turn, these leaders increase the diversity of experiences and perspectives within the Stanford MBA class.”
"Cost Summary MBA September 16 2016 thru June 14 2017." Stanford Business. Stanford Graduate School of Business, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.
"Global MBA Rankings." FT.com. The Financial Times LTD, 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.
Kessler, Zara. "Here's $160,000 Toward Your Stanford MBA. And Here's the Catch." Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 23 Sept. 2016. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.
"Stanford USA MBA Fellowship." Stanford Graduate School of Business. Stanford Graduate School of Business, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.
"The Best MBA Programs in America, Ranked." U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.