The HBS Forward Fellowship helps support students from lower-income backgrounds who have carried significant financial burdens or obligations. We hope to ensure that students from all socioeconomic walks of life continue to be part of the rich diversity that fuels our community. Fellowships will be awarded beginning with the Class of 2020.

Acknowledging just how far an individual has come.

Every Harvard Business School student is ambitious, talented, and shows unique promise for becoming a leader who will make a difference in the world. The case method and our participant-centered learning approach uniquely prepares them for this challenge—but these models can only succeed when there is diversity of thought, experiences, and backgrounds in our classes. This is why HBS actively seeks out students from a wide range of cultural, professional, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

We established the Forward Fellowship to acknowledge not just where individuals are now, but also how far they have come. And we do not want someone’s ability to pay for the MBA to prevent them from applying to HBS.

This fellowship is designed for students from lower-income family backgrounds who may carry significant financial burdens or obligations. These include (but are not limited to) those who:

  • Grew up in a lower-income household
  • Provide parents with financial support during their MBA program
  • Plan to provide primary financial support to parents beyond their MBA

We award Forward Fellowships in addition to—not instead of—HBS Need-Based Fellowships to further assist students during their transformative two years at HBS. The award is intended to alleviate some of their financial concerns and to help them make an investment in themselves.

Forward Fellowship awards and evaluation criteria

The Forward Fellowship grants awards ranging from $10,000–$20,000 per year. Unlike regular HBS need-based fellowships, we consider students’ family circumstances and financial history in addition to their individual financial situation.

To apply, admitted students must complete the HBS Financial Aid application and a separate Forward Fellowship application that provides parent and family information. This helps us identify incoming students from lower-income backgrounds and ensures that the grant goes to those who need it most.