Paying for a Harvard MBA

HBS financial aidIn his recent update to the Director’s Blog, Harvard Business School‘s head of admissions and financial aid Chad Losee shared a few important points of how financial aid works at HBS. The inspiration for the post came after attending the school’s annual “Fellowship Dinner” for current students who have received need-based aid to study and the donors who make it possible.

“I intellectually know that 50% of all HBS students receive an average fellowship of $74,000 over the two years (money that doesn’t need to be paid back), ” Losee writes, “But seeing everyone together—filling up three basketball courts in the HBS gym (Shad Hall)—I was struck by how many people’s lives are impacted for good.”

Alumni donations to HBS don’t go into a large pot to be divided up among students with need, Losee explains, adding that fellowships are not provided as an anonymous way of discounting tuition for some students.  “The funds are real money from real people, and each donor’s contribution goes to a specific student,” he explained.

“At the Fellowship Dinner, those giving and those receiving sit next to one another, and students are able to personally thank their benefactors. At my table last night, I saw great conversations, genuine heartfelt gratitude, and budding mentor relationships take hold. It was moving,” he shared.

“These are busy people with busy lives all over the world,” Losee writes, “But here they are on campus to support these students. Many were fellowship recipients themselves as HBS students and feel an enduring connection to the School.”

Cash-strapped applicants can take heart when they hear what Harvard Business School dean Nitin Nohria said in this Bloomberg interview in 2015: “What we’re looking for is the brightest people with great leadership potential. And I promise you, if you apply to Harvard Business School you will be able to attend irrespective of your financial needs.”

Some very worthy applicants become scared off of applying to a school of this caliber for fear that the expense will be too great to bear. Losee’s post therefore is extremely important to keep qualified candidates from self-selecting out of the HBS applicant pool next season.

For more information about the financial aid process at Harvard Business School, take a look at this webinar on the school’s website.

Image credit: Chris Han (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


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