How do you pay for your MBA?

Do you think you need an MBA? I am sure you have heard the phrase “with an [tag]MBA[/tag] under your belt, higher salaries are likely to come your way“. But is that only reason why you go for an MBA? The average annual salary, according to the 2005 Global [tag]MBA Graduate [/tag]Survey was $88,600. If you decide that you really need the MBA, how do you come up with upwards of between $40,000 and $60,000 a year to finance your way through [tag]business school[/tag]?

The moment you make up your mind that you are going to business school, you are faced with the finance challenge. Always remember that you may not have access to your salary through out the period you are in school except your company is sponsoring you. So, what are the finance options available to you? You may need to consider waiting till you have enough money in your savings account otherwise you may consider exploring the options you have from federal loans to private loans, scholarships to corporate sponsorships.


I will like to break down financing to three chapters—life before an MBA, life during business school, and the aftermath with rewards but, likely, a lot of debt if you go the loan route. Before you embark on the path of getting an MBA, you have to ensure that you put your financial house in order. If you have existing existing consumer debt, your first step is to ensure that you pay them off and avoid incurring any other major expenses.

Financial aid options vary from school to school. So once you decide on which school you want to attend, your best bet is to visit the financial aid office or check out the school’s website. For instance, some business schools have arrangement with Banks in which students (both international and domestic) can borrow the total expected student budget without a co-signer. But consider the implication of the debt you will have to pay after your MBA program before you sign the agreement.

Going into debt isn’t the only way to get your MBA. There are a host of [tag]MBA scholarships[/tag] and fellowships that are available. You can do a web search to see what kinds of scholarships are out there. I believe you will find great help from the respective school financial aid office. Once you’ve secured your loans, your main concern during school is proper debt management which means making intelligent spending habits. Once you graduate, you’ll soon have to start paying back those loans. And the payback options available vary.

With proper planning and research, you can find a myriad of ways to finance your MBA. Do you see MBA as an investment? Is it the kind of investment you want to make at this stage of your life? “One of the intangibles that is difficult to measure—in purely quantitative terms—is: How do you put a price on the kinds of opportunities that are available to you, after you have this credential, that weren’t available to you before you went to school? That’s what really makes you with an MBA different from who you were before your MBA program.