Fully Funded Online MBA Scholarships 2023/2024

Understanding Fully Funded Online MBA Scholarship Options

Getting your MBA from a top business school comes with substantial costs. The average total cost of an MBA program at a public business school is over $100k, while private schools can range from $150k-$250k. While funded scholarships are quite difficult to acquire for traditional on-campus programs, online MBAs have more generous scholarship opportunities that can help cover a significant portion or even the full cost of tuition. We’ll look at the top options for fully funded online MBA scholarships.¬†

Do Fully Funded Online MBA Scholarships Really Exist?

One of the main misconceptions about online MBAs is that there are no scholarship opportunities available to offset costs. However, this could not be further from the truth. An increasing number of top-ranked online MBA programs now offer generous scholarships specifically for online students.

Some key reasons why online programs have more funding available include:

  • Lower Overall Costs: Since online MBAs do not require relocation or living expenses, the total cost is significantly lower than traditional on-campus programs. This allows schools to dedicate more financial aid towards tuition.
  • Open to a Broader Pool of Applicants: Online programs have a global reach and are accessible to working professionals regardless of location. Schools want to attract the best candidates worldwide, so scholarships help make their degrees accessible.
  • Enrollment Targets: Online enrollments directly impact revenue, so schools utilize scholarships as a key recruitment and retention tool to meet enrollment number goals.

Top schools like the University of North Carolina, Indiana University, and the University of Illinois now offer full-tuition scholarships regularly for qualified online MBA candidates. The most prestigious programs may fund 75% of the tuition cost as well. So, with diligent research and strong applications, attaining a fully or partially funded online MBA is very realistic.

Top Scholarship Programs for Online MBAs

Here are some of the most generous fully funded or partially funded online MBA scholarship programs available:

UNC Kenan-Flagler Online MBA Scholarship

  • Up to 100% tuition coverage for the UNC Kenan-Flagler online MBA
  • It’s Awarded based on academic merit, leadership potential, and career goals
  • No work experience is required
  • The average GMAT/GRE score for acceptance is 600-650
  • The application deadline is January 31st

Indiana University Kelley Direct Online MBA Scholarship

  • Covers 75% of the Kelley Direct online MBA tuition
  • Minimum of 2 years of professional work experience required
  • The average GMAT score is 600 for admission with a scholarship
  • Scholarship applications are due by January 15th

The University of Illinois iMBA Scholarship

  • Awards up to full tuition for the online iMBA program
  • Minimum three years of work experience
  • Priority is given to applicants with 700+ GMAT scores
  • Scholarship decisions are made on a rolling basis after admission

Purdue Executive MBA Online Scholarship

-Ranges from 25%-100% tuition coverage for the online EMBA program

  • Five years minimum professional experience
  • The average awarded GMAT is 600
  • The scholarship deadline is April 30th

Ohio State Fisher College Online MBA Scholarship

  • Pays up to 50% of the online MBA tuition
  • Minimum two years of work experience
  • The average GMAT for consideration is 600
  • Scholarship decisions three weeks after the admission application

Some honorable mentions include the Maryland Smith Online MBA Scholarship, Wisconsin Online MBA Scholarship, and Iowa Online MBA Scholarship. These all offer significant discounts for online MBA study.

Factors That Increase Scholarship Chances

While academic qualifications are important, there are additional factors that can boost one’s chances of being selected for an online MBA scholarship:

Demonstrated Leadership

Emphasizing leadership roles held at work, non-profits, professional organizations, etc. Scholarship committees seek candidates who will enhance their programs.

Unique Background & Experiences

Highlighting an uncommon career path, living abroad, overcoming hardships, etc., makes applications stand out from others.

Strong Recommendations

Letters from supervisors, academics, etc. that genuinely endorse qualifications and fit for business school.

Detailed Essays Showcasing Goals & Impact

Painting a compelling vision for how the education and experiences will lead to impactful outcomes post-MBA.

Start Application Early

Many top programs have priority deadlines before the general deadlines. Earlier submissions get longer consideration from committees.

Express Genuine Interest in the School

Scholarship awardees prefer candidates invested specifically in their program versus simply chasing funding everywhere. Crafting a strong, well-rounded, authentic application highlighting the above can be very fruitful. Don’t hesitate to reach out to program advisors, too, for feedback to improve materials.

Planning for a Successful Online MBA Scholarship Application

Advanced planning is important to have the highest probability of scholarship success. Here are some key steps:

Research Programs & Requirements Extensively

Understand deadlines, minimum credentials, and tips particular to each school’s process. Tailor accordingly.

Request Recommendation Letters Early

Give recommenders ample lead time (6+ weeks) to thoughtfully craft meaningful, impactful endorsements.

Prepare Application Drafts in Advance

Rough draft essays, resumes, goals statements, etc., to get feedback well before final deadlines approach.

Study for Standardized Tests Vigorously

Set a study schedule to achieve targeted GMAT/GRE scores. Retake if needed to impress scholarship committees.

Arrange for Application Reviews

Have career center advisors, writing consultants, and peers proofread materials to catch any errors or areas needing improvement.

Follow Up Professionally

Thank acknowledgment letters and follow up respectfully after submission if any supplemental materials could strengthen candidacy.

The scholarship application process can take several months from start to finish. With diligent advance planning, strong credentials, and thoughtful application content, you’ll maximize your potential for funding success in an online MBA program.


Fully funded and partial tuition scholarships have become a meaningful resource for qualified professionals pursuing an online MBA. The top programs feature generous funding available every year. By understanding the different program options, prerequisite qualifications, and application best practices, ambitious candidates like yourself have an excellent opportunity to be awarded an online MBA scholarship to cover a substantive portion, if not all, of the costs of learning at a world-class institution. I hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights and strategies as you begin researching and potentially applying for one of these life-changing opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the average total cost of an MBA?

The average total cost of an MBA program at a public business school is over $100k, while private schools can range from $150k-$250k.

How much tuition can online MBA scholarships cover?

Fully funded online MBA scholarships can cover 100% of tuition costs. Many top programs also offer partial scholarships covering 25%-75% of tuition.

What are the eligibility requirements for online MBA scholarships?

Requirements vary by program but commonly include a minimum GMAT/GRE score, years of work experience, leadership experience, and strong recommendation letters. Programs also consider academic qualifications, career goals, and demonstrated potential for success.

What are some top schools that offer online MBA scholarships?

Some top schools that regularly offer generous online MBA scholarships include UNC Kenan-Flagler, Indiana Kelley, University of Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State Fisher, Maryland Smith, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

When are scholarship applications due?

Deadlines vary but commonly fall between January and April. Some top programs have earlier priority deadlines. It’s best to check individual program websites for accurate upcoming deadlines.

How can I improve my chances of winning a scholarship?

Factors that can help include showing leadership experience, having a unique background, securing strong recommendation letters early, tailoring compelling essays, starting early, expressing genuine interest in the target schools, and planning thoroughly for the application process over several months.

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