Admissions Consulting
Admissions Consulting

Insights: Application

Insights: Application


What MBA Scholarships Are Available For Finance Students?

This article first appeared on BusinessBecause.

While each university’s approach to scholarship awards differs, distinguished universities tend to have large endowments that help attract top global talent.

Some universities award scholarships based on need, like Harvard Business School (HBS) and Stanford, while others provide scholarship opportunities based on merit, like Columbia and NYU Stern.

Like the admissions approach, merit-based scholarships are determined based on a holistic review of a candidate’s profile, including personal accomplishments and professional promise. 

Since applicants compete not only for a seat in the class but also for limited scholarship opportunities, a well-developed holistic profile and application are critical to success. 

The two degrees in question—master’s in finance and an MBA—differ in their curriculum offering and the level of experience they require from applicants.

In the experience bucket, the former requires no prior work experience while the latter requires a minimum of two years of post-undergraduate work experience to be eligible to apply.

That said, there are seven top-tier US universities that offer a deferred program allowing applicants to secure a seat at their prestigious and competitive MBA programs immediately after college.

While universities offer scholarships to ensure diversity in the cohort and facilitate financing, full rides are scarce.

A typical student relies on several funding sources to support their educational pursuits and attend these distinguished universities, including scholarships, savings, loans, and various external funding. 

United States

In the United States, there are both MBA and master’s in finance programs that offer scholarship opportunities to both domestic and international students.

MIT Sloan, USC Marshall, Columbia Business School, Yale School of Management (if interested in investment finance), and NYU Stern, all offer merit-based scholarships and fellowships for their master’s in finance programs, but funding is limited and highly competitive.

The MBA programs (focusing on the deferred programs specifically) offer both merit and need-based scholarships.

HBS and Stanford both offer merit-based admission and need-based scholarships.

Stanford also provides fellowships opportunities requiring separate applications, including the Knight-Hennessey, Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship, and Partnership for Diversity (P4D) fellowships. 

Merit-based scholarships are offered to admitted, deferred MBA students by MIT Sloan, Chicago Booth, and Yale, some of which require a separate application.

Columbia Business School offers both need and merit-based scholarships and fellowships; while, Darden’s Future Year Scholars automatically receive a $15,000 award per year ($30,000 in total) and are also eligible for additional merit-based scholarships determined at the time of enrollment. 


In Canada, merit-based scholarships are dominant.

Universities with reputable master’s in finance programs include HEC Montreal, Rotman, DeGroot, and Concordia’s John Molson School of Business.

HEC Montreal distributes $1.6 million (CAD) in scholarships for MSc students, including those enrolled in the financial engineering program.

Although it offers fewer scholarship opportunities, the MSc in Finance at John Molson also offers merit-based scholarships and awards to outstanding students to facilitate their study. 

In Ontario, Rotman's master's in finance students are eligible for scholarships as well as teaching and research assistantship opportunities.

DeGroot School of Business at McMaster offers merit-based scholarships for students in the master's of finance program.

The scholarship ranges between $1,000 (CAD) and $20,000 (CAD) annually.

It’s worth noting that tuition to Canadian universities, even for international students, can be significantly lower than Ivy tuition rates.


In the United Kingdom, some of the top universities offer merit-based scholarships for master’s in finance programs.

Imperial College offers several merit-based scholarships for a master's in finance students, some of which require separate applications.

While Oxford Saïd provides a £10,000 scholarship for students pursuing a master's in financial economics, London Business School offers several merit-based scholarships for students pursuing a master's in finance degree. 

While not in the UK, I could not leave out the prestigious HEC Paris’ master's in international finance, which is also worth considering.

They offer several merit-based scholarships and 'local' scholarships for successful candidates. 

Overall, to be scholarship competitive, an applicant must demonstrate academic excellence, a strong GMAT/GRE score, and exhibit superior quantitative metrics in their candidature.

Furthermore, successful award recipients are often engaged global citizens who not only bring diversity to the classroom but also lead with a vision for the future.

The opportunities provided by superior education and the increased competition for access to it makes securing a seat at these esteemed institutions the number one priority. 

While universities try to facilitate the cost of attendance, both need- and merit-based scholarships are welcome and important sources of funding for many.   

About Sia Admissions:

Sia Admissions Consulting is a boutique firm based in New York City. We specialize in coaching students of diverse background navigate university admissions process. Our goal is to partner with students to help them characterize and reflect their individuality in all areas of the admissions application. 

At Sia, we firmly believe that “one-size” does not fit all—each student has his or her story that, if communicated properly, a university admissions committee is eager to hear; therefore, we coach each student in originally telling his or her story. Our partnership with each student consists of  – (i) recognizing the student’s story by asking poignant questions which help us (ii) identify the quintessence of his or her strengths and aspirations, so we may (iii) build an idiosyncratic strategy that helps the student distinctively present his or her story. Our aim is to coach student in showcasing a unique application that communicates their individuality as an ideal candidate for the field and institution of choice.