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Paying for grad school: A guide to Full-Time MBA scholarships

Friday, February 23, 2024

Pursuing an MBA is a major investment of time, effort, and money. Scholarships help make this investment more accessible to all. In this guide, we’ll break down the different types of scholarships and discuss their availability for the Carlson School’s Full-Time and Management Science MBA programs. Don’t forget to check out other options and strategies for funding your graduate business degree.


Types of Full-Time MBA Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships

Merit-based scholarships for Full-Time MBA programs are usually based on previous academic, professional, and/or leadership achievements. Programs have their own criteria for determining the amount awarded and some may require a separate application process. Merit-based scholarships from the program may be awarded to both U.S. and international students. In addition to the program you’re applying to, businesses, civic groups, foundations, and other organizations may offer these scholarships.


Specialty scholarships

Specialty scholarships may have specific requirements or be for specific purposes related to your previous experience or use of the scholarship. For example, your school of interest may offer scholarships to those seeking an industry-specific specialization, like supply chain. They may also have scholarships specifically for studying abroad. Other specialty scholarships may require you to have a particular background, such as military veterans.


Find Scholarships

Don't wait to start your scholarship search. You'll find more scholarships the sooner you start looking for them.

Here are some places to get started and considerations to make:

  • The school/program you’re interested in
  • Professional organizations
  • Corporations or businesses, like your place of work
  • Local/regional/state scholarships
  • Your background: race and ethnicity, gender, military, LGBTQ+, parent/caregiver
  • Your interests: finance, marketing, supply chain, etc.

Read on to learn about scholarships for the Carlson School's Full-Time and Management Science MBA programs.


Full-Time and Management Science MBA Scholarships at the Carlson School

The Carlson School offers merit-based scholarships and a variety of specialty scholarships for its Full-Time and Management Science MBA programs.

All U.S. and international applicants are considered for merit-based and specialty scholarships after being admitted to the MBA program. There is no separate application process for these scholarships. However, all scholarships are awarded holistically on a first-come, first-served basis. To be considered for the best scholarship package, we recommend you submit your application in the earliest round possible.


Merit-based scholarships

Amount: Ranges from a few thousand dollars up to full tuition

Eligibility: U.S. and international applicants

Criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic achievements like previous degrees and test scores*
  • Professional accomplishments
  • Interview performance
  • Quality of personal statement/essay (part of the program application)

*GRE or GMAT test score submission will not impact your merit-based scholarship eligibility or consideration.

Term: Renewable, must remain in good academic standing

How to apply: No additional action is required other than program application submission


Specialty scholarships

There are several specialty scholarships available depending on your background and interests.


Affinity Conference Funding

Fellowships for MBA affinity groups are available to help cover the costs of participating in affinity-based conferences. You'll be given information on how to apply for these fellowships after your admission to the Full-Time or Management Science MBA program. Note that students of any background or identity are able to attend and may be eligible to receive funding for these conferences.

Examples of affinity conference sponsors:


Finance Specialization

The Financial Leaders of Tomorrow: A Funds Enterprise Scholarship provides support for diverse talent who are interested in and seeking careers in finance and asset management.

As a recipient, you’ll participate in the David S. Kidwell Funds Enterprise. The Funds Enterprise offers students the opportunity to manage over $50 million of real investment money.

Amount: Full tuition

Eligibility: Full-Time and Management Science MBA (also open to MS in Finance applicants)

Criteria: Must pursue finance specialization within the Full-Time or Management Science MBA program

Term: Duration of the MBA program

How to apply: As part of your application, you must include a one-page statement expressing your interest in specializing in finance during your MBA program and answering the following question: “Why are you interested in the Finance of Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship, and how would your participation in the David S. Kidwell Funds Enterprise help you reach your career goals?”

Learn more about the Carlson School’s enterprise programs.


Global Experience

All students at the Carlson School are required to complete a study abroad experience to develop essential business skills for success in a globalized economy. The Global Experience Scholarship aims to help you fulfill that requirement.

Amount: Cost of your study abroad experience and a small stipend for other expenses

Eligibility: U.S. and international students

Criteria: Preference for those open to participating in a global experience abroad

Term: Your chosen international experience 

How to apply: As part of your application essay, state your interest in education abroad. No additional essay or action is required to be considered.

Learn about education abroad programs for Carlson School graduate students.


Military Veterans

The Full-Time and Management Science MBA program offers scholarships to students with a U.S. military background. This is not part of your GI Bill benefits or the Yellow Ribbon program.

Amounts: Ranges from $7,500 to full tuition with stipend

Eligibility: U.S. applicants with a military background

Criteria include:

  • Quality of your application
  • GI Bill benefits and coverage

Term: Renewable, must remain in good academic standing

How to apply: No additional action is required other than program application submission

Learn more about the military student experience at Carlson.


Deferred Entry MBA Scholarship Guarantee

The Deferred Entry MBA program is for domestic students (U.S. Citizens or permanent residents) in their senior year of college. Once you’re conditionally admitted to the Full-Time MBA or Management Science MBA program, you’ll begin fall term in two years from your original application date. For example, if you applied in 2024, you’ll start the program in fall 2026 if you meet the conditional admissions requirements during this time.

In this program, you’re guaranteed a $25,000 minimum scholarship as long as conditional admission requirements are met.

Amount: At least $25,000

Eligibility: Conditional admission to the Deferred MBA program

Criteria: Materials submitted for your full admissions review one year before the program starts

Term: Renewable, must remain in good academic standing

How to apply: No additional action is required other than program application submission

Learn more about the Deferred MBA program


Other things to know about Carlson School scholarships

  • Carlson School scholarships are applied directly to your tuition.
  • Scholarship award amounts are dependent on the applicant pool each year.
  • The scholarship deadline is the same as the application deadline. No additional application materials are needed for scholarship consideration, with exception of the Financial Leaders of Tomorrow: A Funds Enterprise Scholarship (beginning in Fall 2025).


Have an application question?