At HBS, we are committed to ensuring that an MBA is both affordable and accessible to students from all backgrounds. First off, don’t worry, you do not need to apply for financial aid until after you have applied and been admitted to the MBA Program. That being said, we know financing the MBA is something that is already on your mind. To help you get the information you need, we connected with the Financial Aid team to help answer the most frequently asked questions about financing an MBA.

1. What is HBS doing to make an MBA more affordable and accessible?

Harvard Business School is committed to providing you with options and support to help finance your MBA. Even as the long-term earnings of a Harvard MBA continue to increase, we continue to work on making our MBA Program affordable for all. This includes offering the largest need-based scholarship program of any MBA program in the world, increasing those scholarships year after year, and introducing a need-based application fee waiver.

Most recently we announced that beginning in Fall 2022, 10% of our student body – those with the greatest financial need – will receive full-tuition scholarships. At the same time, HBS will offer new scholarships to students from middle income backgrounds, building on the approximately 50% of students who already receive scholarships.

2. How much does an MBA cost?

With an annual MBA financial aid budget exceeding $45M, HBS provides need-based assistance to approximately 50% of its students. Students can also work with the Financial Aid team to get help securing the loans required to cover the full cost of the MBA.

With this support in mind, please visit the Cost of Attendance page to view an overview of the costs of the program that includes tuition, health insurance, course and program materials fees, room and utilities, and estimated living expenses.

3. What scholarships are available at HBS?

While admissions are based on merit, financial aid is awarded based on demonstrated need. HBS has need-based scholarships available for admitted students who qualify. HBS Scholarships are gifts that do not need to be paid back. The average HBS Scholarship is approximately $46,000 per year, or $92,000 over the two years of the program. All students are encouraged to apply for an HBS Scholarship after being admitted to the program.

In addition to need-based HBS Scholarships, HBS offers Complementary Fellowships designed to support you throughout and beyond your MBA. We call it the MBAid journey.

4. When do I need to apply for financial aid?

Students will fill out the HBS financial aid application after they are admitted to our MBA program. Once admitted, students will be able to have access to the financial aid application and all the specific information about how to apply. We encourage admitted students to apply for need-based financial aid as soon as they are able.

5. What do I need to qualify for need-based scholarships at HBS?

HBS will look at your full financial picture when determining eligibility for our need-based scholarships. We will collect income tax information from the previous three years as well as other information about your assets, student debt, and socioeconomic background.

6. Can I apply for financial aid as an international student?

The need-based HBS Scholarship formula is the same for all students. Once you are admitted, you are able to apply for our need-based financial aid. After you submit your financial aid application we will work with you on your I-20 paperwork and securing student loans. You do not need a US co-signer, and there are lenders who work with our international students.

7. Do I have to apply again each year?

Yes. MBA students are required to re-apply in their second year in order to confirm eligibility for their second year award. Unless your personal situation has changed (you’ve gotten married, or had a child) you can expect your second year need-based HBS Scholarship to be similar to what you received in your first year.

8. What is the difference between a scholarship and a loan?

An HBS Scholarship is a need-based award made possible by real donors that does not need to be paid back. Loans, also part of financial aid, can be acquired by either applying to a private educational lender or applying for a Federal loan.

9. Does HBS offer any other funding?

The HBS Summer Fellows program allows students to explore career options during the summer between their first and second year. Funding is available for students joining existing organizations, as well as for those founding new ventures who have not yet raised significant capital. Summer Fellows receive up to $650 per week and may also be part of a peer exchange network of students committed to similar goals.

In addition, we have several Career Support & Exploration funds that students may apply for upon graduating from the MBA program. These funds include loan forgiveness programs as well as fellowships that support your salary after graduation.