16 Aug 2022

Chad Losee Full-Tuition Scholarship Q&A


HBS is announcing new funding for financial aid that will provide full-tuition scholarships for the students with the greatest financial need—roughly 10 percent of the student body. In addition, the School will offer new need-based scholarships to more students from middle-income backgrounds. We sat down with Chad Losee, managing director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, to ask more about the announcement, how it came about, and what it means for the School and our students.

Why did the School decide to offer this new full-tuition scholarship?

Our mission to educate leaders who make a difference in the world guides us to offer these new scholarships. We want talented future leaders from all socioeconomic backgrounds to consider, apply to, and enroll at HBS. Too many great potential applicants opt out of applying to business school because they are concerned about the cost of tuition or the prospect of debt. We hope these new full-tuition scholarships, together with our comprehensive financial aid program, will inspire many to apply in the future.

Who will benefit from today’s announcement?

To award need-based scholarships, the HBS financial aid team takes an inclusive approach to understanding student need by considering a number of factors including pre-MBA income, assets, socioeconomic background, and undergraduate student debt. Using this approach, the financial aid office has identified the 10% of students with the greatest financial need and will augment their scholarships to fully cover tuition and course fees—$75,990 per year.

In addition, we are simultaneously expanding who is eligible for a need-based scholarship from HBS by offering small scholarships to students who were just on the cusp of need-based eligibility before this announcement.

Beyond these two groups of students, the entire student body and community will benefit as HBS attracts and supports a socioeconomically diverse student body. A diversity of life and work experience in our student body enhances the ability of everyone to learn and prepare to be leaders who will make a difference in the world.

How do current and future students apply for this scholarship?

Students from the Classes of 2023 and 2024 have already submitted their financial aid applications and will benefit from this new offering immediately. There is nothing else they need to do. Students who are eligible for more funding will receive an email from the financial aid office later today informing them of their new financial aid package.

Future students apply for financial aid after they have been admitted. One of the great strengths of the HBS admissions process is that admission is based on merit. A candidate’s ability to pay is not part of the admissions decision. After students are admitted, they submit a financial aid application. The financial aid team will award full-tuition scholarships to the 10% of students with the greatest financial need and continue to offer need-based scholarships to roughly 50% of students overall.

Will this decrease other students’ need-based scholarships?

No. The School has dedicated new money to fund these scholarships rather than reallocate existing funds.

Is this type of scholarship offered at other business schools?

It is unusual for graduate business schools to offer need-based aid, and HBS offers the largest need-based scholarship program of any MBA program in the world. We are able to do this thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends of the School. You can see this in the group of 750 named fellowship funds supporting our scholarships.

To our knowledge, providing full-tuition scholarships to 10 percent of students based on need is not matched by any other business school globally. This is another testament to the School’s commitment to advance financial accessibility.

Are these new full-tuition scholarships part of broader affordability efforts at HBS?

Yes, today’s new commitments build on efforts over the past four to five years to increase financial accessibility and affordability. For example, HBS has held tuition flat for four years while continuing to increase need-based scholarships year after year. In addition, we implemented a need-based application fee waiver and launched the Forward, RISE, GO: Africa, and Search Fund Fellowships. In 2020, we expanded our approach to financial aid to also consider socioeconomic background. All of this has been possible thanks to dedicated alumni and friends who generously support the HBS financial aid program.

How else does HBS support socioeconomic diversity and inclusion?

The student-led socioeconomic task force, started in 2019, is a key locus for advancing this work at HBS. The task force gathered data and generated a report that we are continuing to utilize throughout the campus. There is also a new First Generation Students Club, the Financial Aid team has added new financial wellness seminars, and the Student Association continues to promote ways to make the student experience financially inclusive. In addition, Alicia Thomas is serving in a new role in MBA as director, diversity and inclusion—working closely with students to enhance these efforts across the program. We hope that potential applicants from every background will recognize that socioeconomic inclusion is a priority in our classroom and community.

Will the School’s affordability efforts continue in the future?

Absolutely. HBS is committed to increasing financial accessibility to attract future students from every background. The School’s investment, along with additional support from alumni, will allow us to increase scholarships and enhance affordability for all of our students with demonstrated need into the future.

Who was involved in this process?

Developing these affordability initiatives has been a true team effort. A committee of staff and faculty came together from across the School starting in 2018-19, met regularly, and commissioned external market research to better understand the barriers that keep potential applicants from applying. With this understanding, the committee has shaped several pilots and new initiatives to advance financial accessibility at HBS, including the new commitments made in today’s announcement. Throughout, the committee has received invaluable input from students, alumni, other staff and faculty, and outside experts. Here are the current and past committee members:

Kate Bennett, Richard Bennett, Janet Cahill, Mark Cautela, Kerry Cietanno, Angela Crispi, Jean Cunningham, Srikant Datar, Terrill Drake, Fritz Foley, Susan Gilbert, Lara Gund, Brian Kenny, Jana Kierstead, Chad Losee, Emily Magruder, Rick Melnick, Brian Murphy, Das Narayandas, Nitin Nohria, Ron Peracchio, Julie Raimo, Jan Rivkin, Vai Schierholtz, Matt Weinzierl, and Alison Wood Brooks.

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