Online MBAs are more affordable than in-person programs, with the world’s highest-rated course according to the Financial Times – Warwick Business School’s Distance Learning MBA – $47,000.
But even the most affordable online MBA programs are still a great investment, and you may not have the money allotted for it.
Here are five options available for funding an online MBA program.
Many companies are willing to help their employees fund a degree if it will help them become a better asset to the company.
Some employers may be more likely to sponsor an online MBA because of the flexibility of these programs, which allow you to continue working either full-time or part-time during your studies.
Consulting firms and financial services firms often have tuition reimbursement programs, with funds earmarked for employee education in business.
Small businesses that may not have sponsored an MBA before may need more convincing, but if you can provide a good sponsor, they may be motivated to fund an online MBA.
To increase your chances of success, focus on the benefits of your chosen online MBA, such as how the schedule will allow you to juggle study and work, and how you will apply the skills you learn during the program to your current job.
By helping fund your studies, your employer is investing in you, so show them the return they can expect.
An average U.S. MBA student gets $62,000 in student loans a year, according to loan firm Juno, which helps students negotiate group deals on student loans.
Although distance learning is often less expensive than an in-person program, loans are often necessary to fund an online MBA.
You can get a loan either from the bank or through a student loan provider like Prodigy Finance.
Prodigy Finance was founded by three MBAs to provide affordable loans to international students. Students are allowed to take out loans without collateral, guarantor or co-signer, and you only need to start repaying six months after the end of classes.
Depending on your financial situation and academic record, you can secure a need- or merit-based scholarship that covers part or all of your tuition fees.
If you are from an underrepresented demographic, you can apply for the Diversity or Gender-focused Scholarships, which aim to improve gender equality and increase the representation of students of all backgrounds in the MBA class.
There are thousands of scholarships available, either offered by business schools or by an outside organization.
For example, the Forté Foundation, an organization that works to increase the number of women applying to and enrolling in MBA programs, offers fellowships to women pursuing an MBA at one of the schools it sponsors.
Meanwhile, IE Business School, which offers one of the best online MBA programs in the world according to FT, has launched a scholarship fund with a grant of €2 million to support students affected by the pandemic.
Do your research on scholarships you may be eligible for, and reach out to previous recipients to learn more about the application process, and how the scholarship can help you fund an online MBA.
Many MBA students take advantage of their savings to fund their program. The advantage of pursuing an MBA online is that you can continue to work during the program rather than having your income paused, which makes self-financing a lot easier.
Some students go on to work full time, choosing to attend online MBA courses in the evenings and weekends, while others turn to a part-time schedule.
In any case, the flexibility of an online MBA means that you do not have to forego your entire salary and empty your personal savings.
If you are looking for a more authentic way to fund an online MBA, you can consider crowdfunding.
On sites like GoFundMe or Crowdfunder, you can create a donation page that allows friends, family, and even strangers to contribute to funding your education.
In 2019, Sarel Van Palen He was able to attend his dream school, Oxford Said Business School, thanks to crowdfunding.
Sarel has designed a bespoke reward-based system, with different donation amounts giving access to different perks. For example, with a donation of £5, you will get a monthly Oxford newsletter, and with a donation of £1,000, Sarel will help you build a website.
To fund an online MBA, you might want to get creative, and delete a page from Sarel’s book.
Make sure that you consider several different options for financing your degree, and don’t be afraid to mix different approaches until you have a chance to attend the online MBA program of your dreams.
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