Funding an MBA

By Kevin Branigan - Last update

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Anyone interested in going for an MBA program or any other program related to the Masters in Business Administration should be ready to pay a high price.  Funding for MBA programmes can be very difficult to find, compared to what pertains in other disciplines.

If you want to enrol on a full-time MBA, for example, you may have to pay up to €30,000 per annum. Some other colleges may, however, charge  between €13,000 and €14,000 per annum; the amount you end up paying depends on the college you wish to attend. The mode of the MBA programme you want to apply for can also determine how much you pay. The MSc is relatively cheaper than the MBA; this trend prevails in many of the colleges offering these advanced degree programs.

For a prospective MBA student to get funding for these programmes, you may have to consider various sources of funding, like employers sponsorship, loans, bursaries and even scholarships.

Several organisations offer students scholarships and bursaries to help people study for MBA programs. The amount provided as scholarship or bursary is determined by what the particular institution can offer. Do not also forget that each of these scholarships is available at a specific period of the year; they equally have a specific period during which the students cannot access them anymore.

Some universities and business schools have scholarship programs for MBA students. For a student to benefit from such a scholarship, he/she must have been given admission to study for MBA in that particular institution. The student can apply after successful admission; it is now left for the institution to decide if that student qualifies for the scholarship or not.

Many of the scholarship programs for 2017 have closed since schools are already in session.  Be that as it may, there are still few scholarship programs that will be available for few more weeks. There is a very tough competition for scholarships that provide generous financial support to students.

High achievers            

Individuals with an excellent academic will have access to more scholarship opportunities. Some of these scholarship programmes can pay for approximately 30% of the student’s fees for the MBA program. Some other pay 100% of the student’s fees.  These scholarships can be given by non-governmental organisations, governments and the concerned institutions.

Also, some MBA scholarships are gender-focused; some scholarships are for women interested in enrolling on MBA programmes. On the other hand, some scholarships focus on students studying in a particular field of the MBA degree. The student needs to liaise with the college authorities to determine the parameters; it would be wise to find out if the college offers a scholarship before applying to the school for MBA degree.

Aside from scholarships for MBA students, many institutions provide funding for PhD students, MSc students and even undergraduate students. The particular level of education, as well as the field of study, can determine the value of the scholarship accessible to the student.

Some scholarships cover up to 50% of the students’ fees. Some even go beyond covering fees and also pay for the student’s other needs while studying for the MBA degree. Closing times differ for each of these scholarship programs. As a result, it is better to apply promptly once the application process opens for any of the scholarships. You can liaise with current students of that college, the tutors and other educational resources for information on when these scholarships usually open for application.

The scholarships offered for MBA programs are more common for full-time MBA program than a part-time program. However, some institutions and organisations provide scholarships, or other funds of funding, for students registering for the Executive MBA program. In most instances, it is required that the MBA course the student registers for is related to the business field; this is, however, not always the case since many business schools want to encourage individuals from other fields of study, aside from business, to also register for MBA program in their institutions.

Another form of funding available to MBA degree students is more or less an affiliate marketing initiative in which the student is asked to refer international students to the business school, after which he/she will be rewarded financially for his effort. The financial reward can then be used to settle MBA program fees and other expenses. Students can also apply for loans to fund their MBA programs.  It is generally better to get credit union student loans than bank loans, if possible; they tend to be cheaper, with lower interest rates.

Employer sponsorship

Your employer may sponsor you; this has become one of the most popular means of getting finance for MBA degree. Even at that, the rate at which employers are sponsoring their students for MBA programs has reduced in recent years.  Many multinational companies still provide support in certain circumstances.

While some employers may pay in full for the student, other employers will only give the student a certain percentage of the total cost. Some employers do not limit the educational programs sponsored to just MBA; they can also sponsor their workers for masters, certificate and even diploma programs.

Kevin Branigan

Part-time MBA
Cost of an MBA in Ireland


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