Planning for Your MBA Expenses

Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how to pay for it, even if you are not thinking of applying until a year or two from now. Fortunately, …

Paying for your mba

Business school is an expensive investment, and it’s never too early to start figuring out how to pay for it, even if you are not thinking of applying until a year or two from now. Fortunately, schools want to work with students to find a solution to financing school through a combination of loans and scholarships.

The MBA admissions blog at the Chicago Booth School of Business recently posted a great article with tips from the Financial Aid Office that will help orient potential b-school applicants no matter where they ultimately plan to apply. The first step is knowing what expenses to expect.

Begin by checking out the tuition rate at your target schools online, and take note also of the typical cost of attendance on top of tuition, which includes housing, textbooks, health insurance, living expenses, etc. that all students need to pay for.

While the school’s published cost of attendance is a clear starting point that factors in tuition as well as cost of living estimates, you may need to cover additional costs before, during and after your program.

To address the before costs, you’ll want to assess your personal financial situation carefully to see what your cost of attendance really entails. For example, it might cost you money to relocate to a new city or commute to campus.

You also might still have recurring bills that can’t be changed, such as an installment loan on a large purchase. Even updating your business wardrobe to prepare for interview season can amount to several hundred dollars if you’re not planning carefully.

Prior to even starting their MBA, many students create a savings goal for how much money they want to set aside by the time school begins. The rationale being that every extra dollar you save now is one you won’t have to borrow.

“Your MBA costs, however, won’t be limited to tuition and the necessities mentioned above,” the article notes, since “Many programs also offer endless travel opportunities – academic, career-related, and purely social.”

In fact, the travel and networking experiences that MBA students have at their fingertips is just one of the many amazing benefits of business school. Whether the motive is a tech trek to Silicon Valley, an finance industry conference in New York, or a trip bonding with peers in Belize, these adventures can make quite a dent in a student’s wallet.

And don’t forget that “You will also likely get involved with several student groups, which generally have fees to join,” the Financial Aid Office adds.

While it can be daunting to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to earn an MBA, most business school graduates experience a substantial salary increase. The vast majority report having greater job satisfaction and the ability to advance quickly and, therefore, earn more in shorter time.

“Your lifestyle during your time as an MBA student can vary wildly based on your choices and, ultimately, you can control how far your money will take you,” the Booth financial aid team notes. “Be mindful in choosing the right balance for you and plan to be strategic with your spending. “

The article concludes with advice on other funding options for MBA hopefuls, so click over for more information that’s Booth-specific.

If you have any financing questions at all, you should contact your prospective school’s financial aid office. You can also get advice through admissions events. Financial aid officers are an amazing resource; they’ve seen it all before, and they want to ensure qualified candidates can pay for a degree.

Starting early – about three months before applying – is also really helpful if you’re pursuing scholarships, fellowships or grants. Since scholarships are free money, competition can be fierce, and you’ll benefit from having the extra time to create strong scholarship applications and from knowing the key deadlines so that opportunities don’t pass you by.

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Wharton School Creates New Opportunities in Global Real Estate Education

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has announced the establishment of the Grayken Program in International Real Estate, a major new asset to the school’s Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center and …

wharton school new program

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has announced the establishment of the Grayken Program in International Real Estate, a major new asset to the school’s Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center and Real Estate Department.

This leadership gift from alumnus John P. Grayken, which will fund the new program, will significantly enhance the global real estate offerings and impact of the Wharton School. Grayken is Founder and Chairman of Lone Star Funds, a prominent private equity firm that invests globally in real estate, equity, credit and other financial assets.

The comprehensive Grayken Program in International Real Estate will fund academic programming for students; industry events and outreach; and faculty research. Mr. Grayken’s support enriches Wharton’s entire real estate community, first by nurturing students who will go on to innovate and effect change in real estate globally.

It will also expand Wharton’s real estate program’s reach, enabling connections with leading investors around the world that will complement its domestic network. Finally, the program enhances Wharton faculty’s ability to conduct and publish influential international real estate research, as well as interact with leading industry professionals.

“We’re honored by John’s partnership with and generosity to Wharton,” said Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise Geoffrey Garrett. “He is helping us expand the depth and reach of our programming in global real estate – from students who aspire to become real estate leaders, to alumni and executives around the world driving and defining the industry, to faculty whose research is shaping how academics and professionals understand one of the world’s most important industries.”

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Mark Your Calendars for Kellogg’s Military Preview Day

Current and former members of the armed forces possess numerous skills that admissions boards value in an MBA candidate. Real-world leadership experience, the ability to strategize and think on their feet, and being able to …

Kellogg military preview ay

Current and former members of the armed forces possess numerous skills that admissions boards value in an MBA candidate. Real-world leadership experience, the ability to strategize and think on their feet, and being able to work well under high-pressure situations are just a few of the advantages a veteran brings to the table when applying for business school.

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has a long track record of support for students from the armed forces, and every year hosts a Military Preview Day to show what sets Kellogg apart from other elite MBA programs, and provide support and information to help applicants transition from the military to business school.

Military Preview Day, coming up on Friday, April 28, 2017 in Kellogg’s brand new Global Hub, is your opportunity to visit the school, meet current veteran students and learn why Kellogg is an unparalleled opportunity to advance your next career. Programming will include a mock class with Kellogg faculty, current student and alumni panels, an Admissions and Financial Aid session, and dinner with the Kellogg Veterans Association.

Northwestern participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides additional financial assistance for veterans beyond the educational benefits they receive through the federal government, which are capped at approximately $22,000 per year. Northwestern’s schools contribute additional financial aid funds, which are then matched by the Veterans Administration. As a result, veterans in some of the schools have all of their tuition expenses covered while in other schools, the cost is reduced significantly.

Even if you don’t plan to apply to Kellogg this year, you should still attend this event because information gathering is a critical part when you’re trying to decide which MBA programs are the best fit for you.

Attendees can combine this event with Kellogg’s campus visit program to attend additional events on Thursday, April 27th and the morning of Friday, April 28th. The event is free but space is limited, so reserve your spot today. More details can be found here.

Image credit: Mike Willis (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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INSEAD Revamps MBA Curriculum to Strengthen Big Data, FinTech

After two years of extensive review, INSEAD faculty has approved a new MBA curriculum that will launch in September 2017. The focus will now include a more personalized approach with professional coaching and career advisers, more …

new curriculum at INSEAD

After two years of extensive review, INSEAD faculty has approved a new MBA curriculum that will launch in September 2017. The focus will now include a more personalized approach with professional coaching and career advisers, more electives covering digital transformation, and an innovative “big picture” course about business and society.

In a statement announcing the changes, Urs Peyer, INSEAD Dean of Degree Programs and Associate Professor of Finance, says, “With this, we look forward to creating an exceptional MBA learning experience for our participants, cultivating all facets of their personal and professional growth to be a well-rounded, world-class business leader and entrepreneur. ”

Core enhancements to INSEAD’s MBA Curriculum

Personalized Learning Journey: A Personal Leadership Development Program will guide MBA students towards new heights of self-awareness, interpersonal skills and communication effectiveness through professional and peer coaching. It will also enable them to develop lifelong skills that continually fuel their talents as they become world-class leaders, managers and entrepreneurs.

Content Innovations: Core courses have been adjusted to include a new “super course” to prepare students to better address pressing global issues. This new cluster of courses, titled “Business and Society,” will cover three main topics: Ethics, Political Environment and Public Policy, with the underlying theme of “Business as a Force for Good”, for students to appreciate the complexity of interactions between business and society.

New Electives, Personal Career Advisers and a Culminating Capstone: The curriculum now includes new electives on digital initiatives and ethics such as Digital Transformation, Digital Disruption Strategies, FinTech, Social Media Analytics and Big Data. It will refocus courses based on the Technology Venturing Practicum, Media and Internet.

In addition, personal career advisers will be assigned to each student to guide them throughout the MBA journey. Furthermore, a new culminating capstone course that simulates a business crisis will be launched. To succeed, students will have to draw upon strong analytical skills, apply the quintessence of their learning, as well as tap on insights from their Personal Leadership Development Program.

A New Digital Start: The program will offer an early start to the MBA journey by leveraging new technologies with online content, “integrated” digital cases, and industry-specific orientation videos for participants to be well-prepared in advance for the accelerated 10-month MBA. This also aids in reducing pre-knowledge gaps between participants.

The INSEAD MBA Program will maintain key innovations that the school is known for – its 10-month schedule and multi-campus learning structure. The innovative curriculum will create an even stronger INSEAD MBA experience by providing an extraordinary learning experience, opening doors to exciting career opportunities and building an unrivaled global alumni network.

“In recent years, we have seen a drastic transformation in the global market place,” says Ilian Mihov, INSEAD dean and professor of economics. “It is important for us to constantly innovate and to provide our MBA students an academic education of the highest standards. While our ultimate goal remains the same, we trust the new curriculum integrated with timely content will better prepare them to build, grow and lead businesses that are a force for good.”

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The Gamble of Applying in Round Three

It probably comes as no surprise, but round three is the most competitive one at most business schools, since the vast majority of acceptances happen in the first two rounds. If you weren’t able to …

Round 3 MBA deadlineIt probably comes as no surprise, but round three is the most competitive one at most business schools, since the vast majority of acceptances happen in the first two rounds. If you weren’t able to apply earlier because you were busy studying for the GMAT, dealing with a family crisis or completing an all-consuming work project, you’ve got to bring your A-game if you hope to land a seat at the end of the admissions cycle.

With fewer slots available, fine-tune your focus on schools where you’ll be a compelling candidate. A strong, well-thought-out application is critical. Make sure your academic profile aligns with the school’s median GMAT and average GPA and that you add something special to the class that the admissions committee didn’t see earlier in the season.

Special means unusual work experience, substantial community service, a diverse background, compelling leadership examples, unique or uncommon interests outside of business or entrepreneurial success of some sort.

You should definitely use the required or optional MBA admission essays to explain to the admissions committee your reasons for waiting until the third – or final – round to apply. You don’t want anyone to jump to the conclusion that you are using round three as a last-ditch effort to get into business school in the fall after receiving rejections from other schools in earlier rounds.

It’s worth noting that being admitted to some schools is not as challenging in round three as others. Elite European business school INSEAD has four rounds, and provides options for a January start date in addition to the traditional September intake. This allows later applicants who don’t mind waiting to start school to have a stronger chance at admission.

The University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School has five rounds, and Columbia Business School also offers a January intake for candidates who don’t need an internship between the first and second year.

Finally, it’s important to have a Plan B in case things don’t go your way. You can always apply to a set of schools in round three knowing there is a good chance you will need to reapply to them and add in some new ones next season.

Though the initial rejection may sting, you’ll be in a great position for round one in the fall with your essays, recommendation letters and transcripts already in hand. Or, you may find that the soul searching required for an MBA application sets you on a different path altogether. Perhaps you will decide to make a career switch now and pursue higher education later.

Round three is certainly a gamble, but you just might be that missing element the admissions committee is looking for to spice up the mix.

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