When prospective students consider applying to an MBA program, funding the degree is usually top of mind. There's no getting around the fact that pursuing an MBA can be costly, but financial aid at HBS is designed to make the degree accessible to everyone, no matter their financial situation. As you do your research you'll also discover that financial aid is unique here in a few important ways.

1. HBS Fellowships are Need-Based

While admission to the program is merit-based, access to HBS Fellowships is need-based. We've made this commitment for two reasons: to increase access and opportunity for promising students regardless of their economic backgrounds—but also to enhance the learning environment for everyone, because understanding different perspectives is truly essential for today's leaders.

We want HBS to be accessible to all admitted students. To do this, HBS offers financial aid to students who demonstrate financial need. When determining fellowship amounts, we approach financial aid as a shared investment in your future—and a shared responsibility.

HBS Fellowships do not have to be repaid; about 50% of the Class receives a fellowship award. The average HBS Fellowship is approximately $37,000 per year, or $74,000 total over the course of the two year program.

Every financial aid package is different. Packages may include a combination of your fellowship award, savings, and a student loan. HBS will help you meet your full financial need through a combination of these resources. HBS Fellowships are calculated based on your income from the last three years, along with any assets you have.

Along with need-based awards, HBS offers a few additional fellowships based on student backgrounds or interests.

2. HBS Financial Aid is Alumni Funded

Alumni generously provide the funds used for HBS Financial Aid. It is a significant commitment driven by the fact that HBS many of the alumni donors were fellowship recipients themselves when they were students at HBS.

Students who receive an HBS Fellowship often have the opportunity to meet their donor – which students and donors alike find very meaningful. There is also an annual fellowship dinner in the spring where students and donors come together to celebrate and connect.

3.HBS Financial Aid is Available No Matter When You Apply for Admission

You are eligible for financial aid no matter what application round you apply in. If admitted to HBS, you do not receive your financial aid package along with your acceptance notification. Instead, you apply for aid in the weeks and months afterwards. You must apply by June 1 before each academic year.

When considering funding your MBA, it's also important to remember the financial position of recent HBS graduates. For the Class of 2017, the average debt was $87,300. The median starting salary at graduation was $135,000 and the median signing bonus (for students who received a bonus) was $25,000. This income to debt ratio is very strong and a strong indicator that many HBS graduates may be able to pay off their loans quickly.