How to Get Harvard MBA Scholarship

Imagine getting an email on that cool evening, that you have been offered admission to the 2nd best business school in the World, also imagine another follow-up email a week later, telling you that you were offered a Harvard MBA scholarship.

How would you feel, how would that email impact your life, how would you scream, and who would you call to celebrate with you. 

Ok, stop imagining, it’s time to work for it. Yes, Harvard is not easy to get, so you really have to fight very hard to study for an MBA in the school.

But, once you have gotten admission, then getting a Scholarship could be easier than you think. In fact, Harvard Business School offers need-based scholarships to approximately 50% of its students, and you can get up to the $80,000 scholarship award.

In addition, Havard also made it easy that you can still choose to study in one of their MBA programs online, which helps you to take some MBA courses wherever you are. At the same time, you can see some other online MBA scholarships that are not from Harvard but are worth applying for.

Harvard MBA scholarship is not just for the US students alone, international students do take advantage of this opportunity, too. In fact, international students still get the same privilege a U.S resident gets.

About Harvard MBA scholarship

Before I enlighten you about the Harvard MBA scholarship, let me share with you a glimpse of what you’ll be getting by studying at Harvard Business School.

I know you have been hearing of Harvard, or you even went to Harvard for your Undergraduate (congrats if you did) but sometimes we don’t understand the level of impact this school gives to their students that makes MBA graduates earn about $150,500 as their median starting salary.

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They train their students to see themselves as CEOs of big conglomerates, then they train them to think and solve problems as CEOs of these companies would. They even go ahead to invite the CEOs of these big companies to speak with Harvard’s students, you are asked real-life questions in real-life events, which sparks your critical thinking.

The interesting thing is, that all of the students want to contribute to any question asked, the classes are fun, and you will improve better even by listening to your fellow classmates. Even if you’re hesitant to respond in classes, your fellow classmates’ participation will make you start flowing and want to speak out (this is the fact).

Now, let’s jump back to giving you some details about the Harvard MBA scholarship. 

You should know that HBS (Harvard Business School) doesn’t award merit-based scholarships, all their scholarships are based on need-based.

That means you have to declare interest in their scholarship, or interest in financial help.

For you to qualify for their need-based scholarship, HBS will carefully go through your financial statement to determine if you’re eligible for the scholarship. In this assessment, they want to verify that you’re indeed in need of a scholarship, which means, they are not looking for a strong bank statement.

They will also access your income tax statement for the past 3 years, and other information regarding your assets.

Note that, the only time you will need to submit an application need-based scholarship or any other financial aid, is after you have been admitted to the school. Immediately after you’re admitted, you will be given access to the Harvard MBA scholarship application, and you’ll see other information on how you can apply.

As I mentioned earlier, even if you’re an international student, you can still apply for financial aid and you get the same opportunity as U.S residents. In addition, you will need to apply for financial aid again in your second year, this helps to confirm your eligibility.

Moreover, they also offer other financial aid outside Harvard MBA scholarship, you also get  – Student Loans and HBS Complementary Fellowships. 

To even help increase your scholarship award, you can go for external scholarships, and these external scholarships don’t affect the scholarship HBS will offer you. Except if the external scholarship you were awarded is more than $30,000, then the Harvard MBA scholarship will reduce, to help channel those funds where it is needed the most.

Harvard MBA Acceptance Rate

In the 2020–2021 academic year, an average of 9,700 students applied for MBA at Harvard Business School, and approximately 1,000 students were admitted. Harvard MBA acceptance rate circulates around 10% to 12%.

46% of those that were admitted were women, and 37% of those admitted are international students. Also, to be admitted, you need to have an average GPA of 3.69, and this is based on U.S schools that use a 4.0 grading system.

In addition, you need to have an average work experience of 5 years.

Harvard MBA fees

Most students don’t outrightly pay for their fees from their pocket, they mostly go for Harvard MBA scholarship because the 5th Best School in the World has an expensive fee. There are both direct fees and indirect fees charged by Harvard Business School, tuition is among the direct expenses, whereas living expenses are among the indirect expenses.

Their 2022-2023 tuition fee is $73,440 for any kind of person, whether you’re single, married, you have kids, or even if you’re an international student. That said, in some other fees like room utilities and living expenses, what a single pays is different from what a married person and a married person with kids pay. A single pays a lot lower than others. You can check out other expenses at HBS here.

Harvard MBA requirements

Here are the requirements to be eligible for Harvard MBA

  • You must have completed a 4-year Baccalaureate degree or degree equivalent to that, from an accredited college in the U.S. or an international accredited college. International degrees offering a 3-year program are also welcomed.
  • Submission of bachelor’s degree transcript from an accredited university, whether in the U.S or internationally.
  • Submission of a transcript from all graduate degrees.
  • You have to submit a GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test result.
  • If you attended college in a school whose major teaching Language is not English, then you’ll need to submit proof of English Proficiency in form of TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo test results.
  • Submission of 2 letters of recommendation, there is no set formula to who should be your recommender, focus on who knows you well over who has a higher qualification. Your colleague that knows you well can be your recommender, your direct supervisor can also be your recommender.
  • Submission of current business resume, or Curriculum Vitae.
  • Non-refundable application fee of $250, but this fee is not for those currently serving in the military, and Harvard’s Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP). If this fee is a financial burden to you, you can also apply for their application fee waiver.
  •  If your applications are reviewed and accepted, they will invite you for an interview.

Harvard MBA scholarship

Steps to Get Harvard MBA Scholarship

Once you’re admitted (congratulations by the way if you were admitted), now the question is, how do I pay for all of these? You should apply for a Harvard MBA scholarship immediately after you’re admitted, you should speak to your financial officer first to be wisely guided.

The financial officer will show you all the documents you will need and share them, their system is made in a way that it can work with you. You should understand they really want to help you, they want to see the best assortment of resources that is best for you.

It must not be only the Harvard MBA scholarship that you can take advantage of, that’s why I advised speaking to your financial officer because he/she will tell you which financial aid is best. If you apply for a loan, you should panic because through their Social Enterprise Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) you can complete it without it affecting other financial budgets in your life.

If you’re an international student, the type of loan you can apply for depends on whether you’re or you’re not a U.S. cosigner. If you have a U.S citizen as a cosigner, you have higher chances of student loans, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t rooms for International students without a cosigner.

If you’re an international student, you can also check for a source of funding, or scholarships from your home country, some home countries provide amazing financial aid to their students that want to study abroad.


You have seen that Harvard is not just the Best Business School in the world, it also provides you with an amazing scholarship that is up to $80,000 plus other external scholarships and financial aid. They are ready to help you from when you have gotten admission till the very time you have graduated.

Don’t forget that, you also need to apply for a Harvard MBA scholarship in your second year to verify your eligibility. Make sure you take advantage of any financial aid, whether from Harvard, your home country, your employer, external, HBS Complementary Fellowships, Student loans, etc.

Harvard MBA scholarship – FAQs

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