A guide to financing your MBA study

For the many South African’s wanting to study an MBA, cost is a big consideration given the state of our fluctuating Rand, more so when considering studying abroad. Even if the cost for the course is manageable, there is still accommodation and living expenses to consider, not mentioning sacrificing permanent employment.

The MBA Tour, with insights into more than 250 international business schools, provides a few guidelines on how to finance your MBA studies.

Talk to the right people

Talk to the business schools’ admission departments about scholarships and bursaries available to potential students. There are many organisations that offer scholarships to prospective and current MBA students both domestic and international.

The financial aid officers are there to help you learn what options are available to you, and to offer valuable advice – providing a realistic picture of the overall costs should you decide to attend.

Talk to your employer as well to see if they are prepared to assist financially. Employers are often willing to assist as long as you return to work for them for a pre-determined number of years after studying.

Do the research

Browse the internet, or search the business school’s website to see if they recommend any particular scholarships. Find out from family, friends and colleagues if they know of any opportunities.

In addition research study loans, many banks offer study loans and consult on how much you may need.  Students are also often offered loans to cover the entirety of their programme, including living expenses. Think about the fact that once you’ve completed your MBA, the chances of you securing a higher paying salary to pay off your loans is strong.

Also enquire about paid work within the school that you might be eligible for.

Start saving

Consider your current budget and cost of living in the area of the schools you’re considering. Consider tuition as well as the cost of books, living expenses, networking events, health care, etc. Start looking at ways to cut costs now so that you can save and afford business school later.

Other than saving money it’s also helpful to begin to think about other ways in which you can generate a secondary income be it through dividends, or smart investment choices.

Choosing to further your studies by doing an MBA is a smart choice but not always one we can afford. Choose wisely when picking a school and consider the above pointers to help with finances.
For your interest, here is a link to some funding advice from a representative at UCLA Anderson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSqjMxtfVhQ&list=PL7eRJALtLv8TxNki9e2BF9eYYTK6OTZVi&index=3 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSqjMxtfVhQ&list=PL7eRJALtLv8TxNki9e2BF9eYYTK6OTZVi&index=3>


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