Scholarships for International MBA Students in the United States

MBA students posingScholarships for International MBA Students in the United States

Have you always dreamed of pursuing an MBA in the United States but saw it as an unrealistic pursuit due to financial issues? While the truth of the matter is that an MBA is an expensive endeavor in the United States, there are options out there to help international students get their foot in the door without finances getting in the way.

Take the time to weigh out your options in order to help you apply for the scholarships that will provide the most valuable assistance in the long run.

Do Your Research

Since many companies are aware of the international demand to attend business school in the United States, there are a plethora of illegitimate scholarships out there that try to scam prospective students. As a rule of thumb, a legitimate scholarship will never ask you to pay for finding or applying to a scholarship. You’ll immediately know if it’s a scam, as these websites tend to ask for credit card or other financial information before doing anything. Although this is a common occurrence, there are plenty of search engines available to help you find reputable scholarships.

Consider Establishing Residency

If business school is something you plan to do in the future, consider moving to the United States before it’s time to apply. Public colleges and universities are actually the best source of financial aid for students, and provide the most assistance for students who reside in state. This makes sense for students who plan on living in the United States after they complete their degree. Start by applying for citizenship or permanent residency so you can begin to reap the benefits ahead of time. Most states require out-of-state residents to establish residency for at least one year before being able to receive discounted tuition from the state college or university of their choice.

Scope Out Your Resources

If moving to the United States isn’t a viable option for you, the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education provide ample information on colleges and financial aid. These organizations maintain an updated list of financial aid opportunities, as well as a guide to advising centers in countries across the world. These centers house education experts that assist prospective international students in searching for schools, applying for a student visa and translating the information found in order to help students make educated decisions. The best websites to find the aforesaid information are EducationUSA, Scholarship Experts, and

Turn To Your Schools of Choice

Although international students aren’t eligible for government assistance loans, most colleges and universities offer international scholarships to prospective students to meet the demand of interest. Check out each school’s website and contact its financial aid office to obtain more information about qualifications, deadlines and other specificities. This is a must because the guidelines can be quite confusing in which some scholarships are only geared towards students from certain countries or fields of study, while some are offered to students worldwide. Contacting an admissions officer will help mitigate some of those oversights to ensure you’re time is used wisely, as it relates to the application process.

Find Opportunities Within Your Country

Getting the best assistance possible is contingent upon how many outlets you choose to utilize. As mentioned before, international education advising centers will be able to point you in the right direction regarding scholarships available within your country. Furthermore, whichever department deals with educational opportunities within your home country will also be able to help you learn of what’s available.

With that said, there are special organizations that are designed for this sole purpose, depending on your geographic location. For instance, the Organization of American States Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund maintains a comprehensive guide that outlines interest free loans for prospective students residing in countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. This fund exists to support the economic and social advancement of developing within the Americas as a means to achieve the benefits of intellectual and educational exchange.

While not as extensive as the Rowe Fund, the Aga Khan Foundation offers a limited number of scholarships to students residing in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Madagascar, France, Portugal, UK, USA and Canada. While the roster changes from time to time, their goal is also to provide financial assistance to exceptional students from developing countries that have a lack of means for financing their studies. Their scholarships are awarded on a 50% grant: 50% loan basis once year in June or July, giving preference to Master’s students.

Specifically designed for non-U.S. female graduate or post grad students, the AAUW International Fellowship is one of the world’s extensive funding sources for women who want to pursue higher education to make a difference in their home country. Potential applicants must have a specific research interest in mind that is geared toward improving their schools and communities.

For more information about the aforesaid programs, visit,, and, respectively.


Regardless of which route you choose to take in your quest for a valuable scholarship, every student, especially international students, must develop a sensible budget for their MBA degree. Important factors to consider when planning your short and long-term school budgets are currency exchange and living expenses that include housing, transportation, food, clothing, books and other personal items. If you’re unsure as to how your currency matches up against the US dollar, refer to university financial aid offices, as well as city government commerce and tourism offices for current analyses.

Try to Cut Costs

If you’re still worried about the cost of an MBA, even if you’ve managed to obtain a scholarship, be sure to choose colleges and universities that offer cost effective programs. The easiest way to do that is to choose schools in less expensive geographic locations, as well as choosing programs that are accelerated, meaning they take one year to complete instead of two. Some programs will also allow you to take some of your courses at participating community colleges as a way to cut costs. Lastly, international students can cut their tuition and housing costs by volunteering to be a resident assistant in a dormitory for international students. Students also have the option of living off-campus with a relative or friend.

Contact FNU’s Financial Aid Office Today!

For more information about financing your MBA at Florida National University, contact one of our admission officers today to map out your resources and budget!


An international student’s guide to u.s. scholarships. (2012, March 22). Retrieved from

Educational funding and awards. (2013). Retrieved from

International scholarship programme. (2013). Retrieved from

Organization of American States, Department of Human Development. (2013). Financial guide for higher education in the americas. Retrieved from Organization of American States website: