Financing an MBA may feel complicated – and it’s something prospective students have a lot of questions about. We connected with the Financial Aid team to find out where questions most often arise - and provide some insights and answers.

1. How much does an MBA cost?

Even though thinking about the fees and tuition associated with getting your MBA can feel overwhelming, Harvard Business School is committed to providing you with options and support to help you get the funding you need. With a $43 million total funds awarded in FY20, HBS provides need-based assistance to about 50% of its students. Each student will 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 living expenses.

2. 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 $42,000 per year, or $84,000 total. 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.

3. 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.

4. When do I need to send in my financial aid application?

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

The need-based HBS Scholarship formula is the same for all students. As an international student, 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 U.S. co-signer, and there are lenders who work with our international students.

6. How long does it take for me to receive my financial aid package after submitting my materials?

Financial Aid packages are processed for admitted students starting in February. Once all materials are submitted, it will take 3-4 weeks for you to receive your decision letter by email. 

7. Do I have to apply again each year?

Yes. 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.

10. How can I get in touch with the Financial Aid office?

We understand prospective students may be anxious to figure out how to finance an HBS education, but please know, you will have plenty of time to put everything together after you receive your admissions decision. As soon as students are admitted, the Financial Aid office is here to help every step of the way.

Download our Financial Aid 101 Flyer to learn more.