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New funding opportunities for international students applying to MBA programs abroad

New funding opportunities for international students applying to MBA programs abroad

By Sergiy Papuk (EIC "Osvita", Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine)

It is not the secret that one of the most popular graduate majors among international students applying to American universities is MBA (Master of Business Administration). According to statistics listed in summer NIS newsletter (Vol. I: no. 3) from all visitors coming to NIS advising centers 22 percent express their interest in that field of study. People whose chosen profession requires further study, those who want to change their careers and improve chances of finding competitive jobs, those who want to enhance marketability and salary or committed to further study in current discipline or a new discipline - typically think about pursuing an MBA degree.

New funding opportunities for international students applying to MBA programs abroad

By Sergiy Papuk (EIC "Osvita", Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine)

It is not the secret that one of the most popular graduate majors among international students applying to American universities is MBA (Master of Business Administration). According to statistics listed in summer NIS newsletter (Vol. I: no. 3) from all visitors coming to NIS advising centers 22 percent express their interest in that field of study. People whose chosen profession requires further study, those who want to change their careers and improve chances of finding competitive jobs, those who want to enhance marketability and salary or committed to further study in current discipline or a new discipline - typically think about pursuing an MBA degree. 

But the most possible question that will appear after your decision to apply is "How will I finance my education?" Not many schools offer possibility of financial aid for international students. Available scholarships, grants or assistantships are also very rare and difficult to obtain. So most students are forced to obtain necessary funds from their own resources including personal savings or governmental programs (which are really rare in NIS countries). Unfortunately many qualified students still unable to attend the MBA program because he or she cannot get financing.

But there is the light at the end of tunnel! Those who constantly look for changes and news in policies of top business schools could note that interesting tendency emerged. There appeared commercial alternative to grants and scholarship funds available to finance management education. Under these programs students are encouraged to invest in their future by obtaining first-class management education which will be paid for by future earnings. Shortly, now you may get loan even if you are international student without co-signer. In the past, access to private loan programs was generally limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents with a strong credit history. New arrangement eliminates access limitations based on citizenship and creditworthiness that have discouraged a number of potential candidates from applying to the MBA program in the past. 

New loan programs offered by the top American business schools and designed to help accepted students, without regard to citizenship, meet their financial need. You may ask: "Why these schools are so trustful and sure that after graduation I will be able to pay my debt back?" The answer is simple - schools that offer this program are the best of the best in the world and if you are so good that managed to get accepted in their programs, they are sure that later you'll be able to make repayment. According to statistics reports and rankings (U.S. News & World Report, http://www.usnews.com) average starting salary and bonus of students after graduation from these top schools varies from $85,000 to $105,000 per year! This is really quite enough in order to make repayment of loan during 20 years. 

Usually accepted students may borrow up to the cost of the total student budget less any financial aid they receive. Interest rate varies from school to school. For example: Wharton loan program - prime rate currently 9.2%; Kellogg - current interest rate is tentatively 9.00% (option charges a 4.00% origination fee), etc. Usually repayment starts after four-six month grace period following graduation. Length of repayment is up to 15-20 years. Students may repay the loan before the repayment period begins without any penalties. Financial obligations vary from school to school. 

For this moment the following business schools offer loan programs for international students:

Several universities offer partial tuition loan:


or require confirmation of income equal to the borrowed sum:

Similar student loan program "Investing in an International MBA" (http://www.mbafinancing.com/) offers opportunity to cover the school's tuition fees to students accepted in top European business schools. This program became possible due to joined forces of two financial institutions, ABN AMRO Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). 
The participating business schools:

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