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Top MBA Scholarships For Women In The US

Several women-only MBA scholarships are available at business schools in the US aiming to achieve gender diversity in their cohorts

Fri Mar 8 2024

Even in today’s world, gender diversity continues to be an issue within business schools. While some schools such as Wharton have reached gender parity, there is still a way to go for many. 

In 2023, women accounted for just 40% of applications to business schools worldwide, and there has not been much movement since 2014, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) Application Trends Survey

The good news is that there was an increase in the number of programs reporting growth in applications from women in the United States year-on-year, though male applications increased at a similar rate.

Access to business education makes a significant impact on women’s ability to reach executive level status. Forté Foundation research reveals that almost half of the women CEOs at leading companies, inclusive of the Fortune 500 and S&P 500 lists, hold an MBA or equivalent advanced degree in business. Additionally, an MBA can boost the salary of female graduates by around 57%, says the foundation

In an effort to promote a more diverse business school cohort, many US schools and independent organizations offer MBA scholarships for women only. 

Here are some of the top MBA scholarships for women in the US. 

UCLA Anderson School of Management

There are two women-only scholarship programs available for students on UCLA Anderson School of Management’s MBA program. 

The International Peace Scholarship is awarded by the Philanthropic and Educational Organization (PEO) and is available for female international students looking to study at UCLA, offering one year of financial aid worth $10,000. 

There are also career grants available for female applicants, awarded by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). These aim to empower women to be independent leaders in the business world. Separate scholarships are given for both international and domestic students, worth $20,000 each.

NYU Stern

NYU Stern offers full-tuition for outstanding female applicants. 

Established in 2017, The NYU Stern Advancing Women in Business Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship that is awarded to students entering the two year Full-time MBA program that demonstrate a deep and abiding commitment to advancing women in business. 

This scholarship covers full tuition and mandatory fees for the two years of the Full-time MBA program.  

Yale School of Management

Like UCLA, Yale School of Management partners with the AAUW to offer financial assistance to its women students. Fellowships are available for students in their final year, ranging from $5,000 to $12,000 in financial aid. 

International female applicants to the Yale MBA can also apply for the AAUW International Fellowship Program, which supports women who have shown commitment to improving women’s livelihood through community or professional work. 

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business 

The University of Virginia Darden offers a number of women-only scholarships. In addition to third-party and independent scholarship opportunities, the Darden scholarships are competitively awarded based on a variety of metrics and considerations.

Scholarships include the DC Women’s scholarship and the Virginia M. Kincaid scholarship. 

The DC Women’s scholarship was established in 2016 to award scholarships for female students at the Darden School from DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Recipients of the DC Women's Scholarship are chosen based on the merit they display in a variety of factors, including exceptional academic performance, leadership, professional accomplishments, service and the ability to contribute to the diversity of the Darden community. 

The Virginia M. Kincaid scholarship was established in 2001 by a charitable trust to provide assistance to a female student admitted to the University of Virginia Darden School of Business MBA program.

Independent MBA scholarships for women           

Forté Fellowship

The Forté Foundation has worked hard to increase women enrollment at its partner schools—including the likes of Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, and Stanford Graduate School of Business and 55 other global institutions 

Women’s enrollment in full-time MBA programs at Forté partner schools reached a record 42%, marking an increase from 41% in 2022, 38% in 2018, and 34% in 2013, according to the foundation’s 2023 report

Across Forté’s partner business schools, 34 out of 58 have 40% or more women enrolled, demonstrating a substantial increase from 27 in 2022 and 19 in 2018.

In fact, five partner schools achieved gender parity in 2023, four of which are in the US: George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, and Penn State University.

C200 Scholar Awards 

The Committee of 200, whose members include some of the most successful female entrepreneurs across the world, offers scholarships to women MBA students with leadership potential. 

Those who distinguish themselves receive up to $10,000 for business school. They also get to use the exclusive C200 Scholar Network, which may help them learn from the greats as they connect with others.

C200 Scholar Award candidates must be enrolled in MBA programs that host C200 Reach Outs. The scholarship fund caters to candidates who support other women and display entrepreneurial acumen.