This guide focuses on the special scholarship initiatives aimed at women who want to do an MBA. Figures reveal that more women than ever are interested in going to business school and the percentage of female business students is on the rise. However, there is still an imbalance of the sexes in boardrooms, on business school faculty and in classrooms.
Fortunately, b-schools are responding to this imbalance by trying to make it more appealing for women to attend business school. Several of the top schools have set specific quotas for women students and are proactively encouraging female applicants with substantial scholarships and tuition waivers.
Organizations such as the Forte Foundation are also partnering with an increasing number of corporations and schools to offer scholarships to women.
So, what’s on offer and where?
This scholarship is aimed to support female MBA candidates with significant international exposure and unique intercultural perspectives. Candidates of all nationalities and backgrounds are considered and the award is up to 15% of the ESADE full-time MBA tuition fees.
ESMT offers full tuition scholarships for female candidates who have been accepted onto the MBA programme and fully rely on self-funding. Candidates must have outstanding professional records. The awards are full tuition fees for one Executive MBA scholarship and two full-time MBAs.
The Forte Foundation provides an international infrastructure for women to gather essential information and resources they need for entering or re-entering the business world. It works with a consortium of corporate sponsors, influential nonprofits and has scholarship schemes in over 39 business schools in North America and Europe. To apply see the list of partner schools on their website and apply through the schools.
This scholarship is for women who can show accelerated career development or who have had diverse experiences in their former positions. Some of the successful applicants in the past have included a woman working in automotive design and a woman working in public health in Ethiopia.
This scholarship is available for women from Asian or African countries affected by natural disasters, drought or famine. Recipients are top-caliber female candidates who have been admitted to the HEC MBA program and who can demonstrate exemplary leadership skills in community work, charity engagement and sustainable development practices. Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to solving some of the social and economic issues affecting their countries while working for the long-term security of the people living there. The award is for €20,000 each and there are two scholarships per year.
- IE 85 Broads Scholarships - 85 Broads is a global network of 20,000 trailblazing women who are inspired, empowered, and connected. Over the past decade, 85 Broads expanded its membership to include women who are alumnae and students of the world's leading colleges, universities, and graduate schools worldwide. Three scholarships will be granted to applicants as follows:
- One scholarship of €10,000 for an Executive MBA program
- One scholarship of €5,000 for any of the master programs offered by different IE faculties
- One scholarship of €5,000 for an Advanced Management Program (AMP) – Blended Format (English AMP) offered by the Executive Education division at IE Business School
- IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Scholarships - IE Foundation is partnering with the IEEE’s Women in Engineering (WIE) initiative to bring top women engineers from Europe, Middle East and Africa to Madrid for advanced studies in management. The collaboration includes various joint initiatives, including a scholarship program which will see 2 or more IEEE Women in Engineering members receive scholarships worth a combined total of 50.000€
- Master Scholarships for Chinese Women - Scholarship aimed to support Chinese women who wish to advance their career at the Master level. While these scholarships do apply to MBA programs, they also apply to other specialized master programs at IE. Ten scholarships will be granted as follows covering up to 50% of tuition fees for postgraduate degrees at IE Business School
- Supporting Women Leaders Scholarships - The aim of this scholarship is to provide candidates with advanced opportunities to expand both their global outlook and professional network, apart from the benefits of the education received through IE programs
- INSEAD Alumni fund women’s scholarship - The IAF Women's Scholarships support INSEAD's commitment to bring outstanding women professionals to the MBA Programme and to increase representation of women in leadership positions in the business community. Some 10 to 15 awards are made per class and most are allocated at the time of admission based on merit. Awards are between €5,000 to €15,000
- INSEAD Groupe Galeries Lafayette Endowed Scholarship for Women - The INSEAD Groupe Galeries Lafayette Endowed Scholarship targets women participants at INSEAD who embrace the Groupe Galeries’ values of commitment to serving customers, regardless of their social background and ethnic origin. Experience and/or an understanding of this sector of the retail industry, that delivers fashion and quality at affordable prices, will be appreciated. Preference will be given to women from Western Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. The amount of the award is €10,000
- INSEAD Judith Connelly Delouvrier Endowed Scholarship - One award is made in each class to a deserving woman of any nationality. Women applicants who are admitted to the programme and who have also applied to the INSEAD Alumni Fund will also the considered. The amount of the award is USD 15,000
- INSEAD Mette Roed Heyerdahl Memorial Scholarship - One scholarship will be awarded per academic year to a woman from Palestine or other countries in the Middle East (including Turkey), or Uganda or Nepal, who are committed to a career in women’s rights in their country/region. The amount of the award is €12,000
- Women in Business Club Scholarships - This scholarship is open to all successful female MBA applicants who plan on supporting the work of LBS to increase the number of women joining the business sector. There are two awards of £15,000 each. Applicants who receive an offer for the class of MBA 2014 will automatically be considered.
- Deutsche Bank Women's Scholarship Programme - This scholarship is open to all successful female MBA applicants who have an interest in the financial services industry. There are four awards for £20,000 each. Candidates applying who receive an offer for the class of MBA 2014 will be given details on how to apply for these awards.
- Forté Foundation Fellowships - This award is open to successful female MBA applicants The award is up to £20,000 and candidates who receive an offer for the class of MBA 2014 will be automatically considered for these awards. They offer scholarships at over 39 Business School including IE Business School, Spain.
- The Carlsson Family Scholarship - This is open to all successful female MBA applicants. There is one award for £20,000 and candidates who receive an offer for the class of MBA 2014 will be automatically considered.
- Citi Foundation Scholarship - This is open to all successful female MBA applicants who have an interest in the financial services industry. There is one award for £20,000 and candidates who receive an offer for the MBA 2014 class will be given details on how to apply for this award.
There are awards for £5,000, £10,000 or £20,000 for female candidates who are able to demonstrate good academic credentials and outstanding professional experience and achievements. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis as offers are made therefore candidates who apply early in the admissions rounds are more likely to receive an award.
There is one scholarship for CHF 25, 000 to a candidate who has already applied to the full-time IMD MBA programme and can demonstrate financial need. Preference is given to candidates from developing countries.
SDA Bocconi is offering one merit based tuition waver of € 30,450 (70% of the tuition fee) to a female candidate with an outstanding profile. This waiver can be combined with any other scholarship or financial support from public or private organizations of the total amount received does not exceed the total tuition fees.
This award is open to candidates who can demonstrate the ability and drive to become successful leaders in the future. The maximum amount awarded per candidate are CHF 28,000 for candidates holding citizenship and currently based outside of Western Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia and CHF 18,000 - For candidates holding citizenship or based in Western Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia.
If you would like some more tips on how to apply for scholarships please see our guide to scholarships.