Scholarships up the ante in fight for top MBA students

Scholarships up the ante in fight for top MBA students First, as a teenager, she emigrated from Zimbabwe, which at the time was plagued by economic undertainty and instability, to Germany, where she completed her undergraduate studies.

Her African roots provided her with a second piece of good fortune for business school, since they qualified her for a full scholarship under the Kofi Annan Fellowship programme, named after the former UN director-general. This bursary covered the €25,000 fees for her masters in management at Berlin’s European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), plus money to cover food and rent.

Ms Ndlovu insists she did not choose the school for the scholarship. But she cannot deny that securing financial aid has made studying a comfortable experience — even more than her undergraduate existence, when she had to work part-time to pay her living costs.

“I feel the difference now a lot because I know the pressure you have to fund your own studies,” she says. “It is pretty excellent.”

Scholarships have traditionally been seen as a way of enabling those who would otherwise struggle to get a postgraduate education to achieve their dream. It is why alumni are often more willing to give to support financial aid rather than a new campus building.

However, business school endowment strategies are increasingly being driven by the use of financial aid as a carrot to lure the most promising students rather than to enable access to education for the most needy.

Sarah Brown, a former financial consultant from San Francisco, received substantial offers from Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Ms Brown, who asked for her real name not to be used in this piece, admits the generous scholarship offered to her by Wharton, more or less covering her fees, was key to her decision to accept a place there.

“If I hadn’t got financial aid I would have had to think harder about my decision [to go to business school] because it is a lot of money,” she says, noting that her plan is to start a second career after graduation in a social enterprise, paying much less than her previous job....

Read full story: Financial Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *