As you consider an MBA, you will naturally attempt to calculate your return on investment. GMAT recently released an article based on survey results about the value of an MBA and they discovered, “Ninety-six percent rate the overall value of their degree ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’, and 91 percent say they would pursue their degree again if given the choice.”

Scholarships and loans are options to offset the cost of an MBA. At Vanderbilt, 60 percent of our MBA students receive scholarship funding on average. Scholarships are available—you just have to put in effort. One of the best resources for scholarships are pre-MBA programs that support prospective students from specific affinity groups pursuit of graduate business education.

Here are a few groups that we recommend:

  • Forté Fellows Program for women—if you are selected as a Forté Fellow, you will receive a scholarship from the school. Click here for more on the benefits offered by the Forté Foundation. Become a member of the Forté Foundation (it’s free) by clicking here
  • Management Leadership for Tomorrow is for underrepresented minorities such as African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans who are interested in pursuing graduate business education
  • Graduate Horizons is specifically for Native Americans pursuing an MBA or other graduate education, and it can help connect Native Americans with funding resources
  • The Prospanica Foundation has a scholarship and support program for Hispanic/Latino U.S. citizens and legal residents
  • Reaching Out MBA has a fellowship program with scholarship dollars for those who show strong support of, or identify as, LGBTQ
  • MBA Veterans Network offers scholarship dollars for prospective students who refer new companies that register for their conference
  • Military MBA has scholarship information for those who have served in the U.S. armed forces

Finding the right loans and scholarships means investing time to do the research.

Beyond these affinity related scholarships, there are many organizations that offer scholarship dollars both independent of the specific university as well as every university typically has named scholarships available at that institution. For Vanderbilt, you can view our many MBA scholarship offering here. As a private university, our scholarships are funded by alumni and corporate donors who specify that funding should go to candidates with strong academic potential.

There are also many loans available with varying interest rates. We have a list here of financial institutions that you may want to investigate. If you are considering Vanderbilt, please reach out to our Office of Student Financial Aid. For non-U.S. citizens, please see this page for resources.

However you decide to fund your MBA, our students would tell you the return on investment for their careers and life is well worth it. On average, our Vanderbilt MBAs pay off their loans within five years.