If you’ve been accepted into business school, congratulations and bravo! Soon it will be time to get serious about planning for your next two years. On the financial front, people will tell you that you will find the money you need to go, but we know that thinking about all those zeros can get overwhelming and intimidating.
Luckily, there are hundreds of thousands of resources that will point you in the direction of loans, scholarships, and how to apply for all of them. But, before you become too entrenched in the micro-details attached to funding your MBA, take some time to zoom out and consider the big factors.
Most students use multiple sources
You’re unlikely to use only loans to fund your MBA. Candidates also approach family members, dip into savings, charge books to their credit cards, and feel relief when scholarships appear out of nowhere. It’s more a financing package than a single source of funding.
You can never start too soon
You should definitely enjoy an evening (or more) celebrating the success of your acceptance with friends and family. But, don’t wait too long to begin the hunt for your MBA funding.
Some sources are limited or competitive; others require lengthy processing times. There are so many reasons to start as quickly as you can, including the time it takes to crunch and splice your budget with your financing options until you can make it work.
Don’t underestimate your costs
Every program provides estimated attendance totals, but you shouldn’t take those numbers at face value. Clubs and associations charge membership fees, drinks with study groups aren’t free, and there are always at least a few international treks planned.
Don’t underestimate your budget for the sake of securing the lowest possible student loan. Though you may have the option to increase your financing if you must, it’s not always easy and takes time away from your b-school experience. Find the money you need the first time around.
Schools want you to find funding
Universities haven’t put that hefty price tag on their education to keep you away. They want you there—but they also want to offer the best possible education. That makes the university’s financial aid office your new best friend.
You’ll find scholarship opportunities, as well as uncover school loan products, flexible payment terms, and trusted independent sources of financing. It’s your first and last stop as you put together your funding package.
When all’s said and done, you’ll probably realize “they” were right: finding the financing isn’t as difficult as expected, even with all those zeros.