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How Do You Go About Getting An MBA Scholarship To A US Business School?

Shaifali Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Ivy Groupe, answers your Applicant Question of the Week

By  Heather Fallon

Thu Apr 18 2019

It's time for another Applicant Question of the Week at BusinessBecause!

Every week, we give you the opportunity to ask one of our chosen admissions experts anything you want to know about getting into business school. One question each week is chosen for our expert to answer.

This week, our question comes from Seshagiri Tammina, a final year mechanical engineering student from India.

Their question is answered by Shaifali Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Ivy Groupe, an admissions consulting company.

Applicant Question of the Week:

Dear BusinessBecause, 

I am an Indian student and currently in my final year of a mechanical engineering course. Can I have some advice on getting a scholarship to a US MBA program?

The Answer:

As an international applicant, there are a couple of types of MBA scholarships that you should consider if you would like to pursue an MBA in the US.  The first is a merit-based scholarship and the second is a fellowship.

Merit-based scholarships are exactly that – scholarships that business schools provide depending on the strength of a candidate’s application.  The amount can be a partial scholarship or a full scholarship.  To get these scholarships, it will be important to score well on the GMAT/GRE, show strength in your academic performance, and emphasize your accomplishments (both professional and extracurricular) through your application materials.  Any awards should be highlighted as well.  In addition, your essays and recommendation letters will have to be very compelling.  Beyond that, demonstrating fit and why the MBA program is the right one for you can also help to boost your chances of getting a scholarship.

The second type of scholarship to consider is a fellowship.  For example, Stanford Graduate School of Business offers the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship, which was created by Reliance Industries “to support Indian nationals living in India who need financial assistance in obtaining an MBA at Stanford.”  You should conduct research to see the fellowships that US MBA programs offer international students and what the criteria are to be eligible; this will give you a leg up with respect to understanding what you need to do over the next few years to put yourself in a strong position to be considered for those fellowships.

As you can see, applying to US MBA programs and getting a scholarship is a very competitive process!  It’s important to ensure each element of the application is the strongest it can be, and that holistically, you are painting a compelling picture.

Since you are still a student, there is a lot of time on your side; keep these things in mind over the next few years in order to bolster your profile and improve your odds of gaining a scholarship to a US MBA program.

Ask an Admissions Expert a Question!

Next week, you'll have the opportunity to ask Rodrigo Porto director of admissions at UBC Sauder School of Business.aqotww

Rodrigo has worked at the school for over seven years and has a wealth of experience in post graduate business education. He has also previously worked for the MBA careers team at UBC, helping in career development. 

Got a question you'd love Rodrigo to answer? Submit your question on our TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn pages, send us an email to, or simply post a comment below!