Funding is the most important and the most neglected aspect of an MBA plan.
How will I arrange the funds?
This is the primary source of funding. If you have 3-5 years of experience then you would have taken care of at least 40% of your fees. I am assuming that you are targeting Business Schools with fees above $60k. If you were a well-informed investor, 3-5 years of playing in the stock market would give you an additional 10 %. But savings alone would not completely take care of your Business School funding.
Friends and Family
Family and friends can contribute anywhere between 30-40% of your fees. If your parents are wealthy, you might receive 100% of your fees. Give your parents a clear plan on how you are going to repay the loan. However, if they cannot afford to risk their savings to pay 30-40% of your fees then contact your best friend. Sign an agreement with your friend on future payments. Although your friend trusts you, the agreement can reassure the return on his investment.
Normally, scholarship covers between 40 to 100% of the entire fees. However, do not count on your scholarship. The number of scholarships awarded each year can give you an idea on your chance of getting one. Call your school representative and get a clear picture on the criteria that they follow in awarding a scholarship.
Since alumni from your business school would have conducted a similar research,
they might be able to give you some valuable information.You would have a better chance of receiving a scholarship if you have scored 700+ in GMAT.
For example, my friend VinG of AskVinG fame scored 740 in his GMAT. He received his MBA from MIP, Italy.
MIP GMAT statistics as follows :
(Use http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/full_time_mba_profiles/mip... or topmba.com for your research)
Applicants required taking the GMAT? Yes
Middle 80% range GMAT scores: From: 530 to 660.
The factor that supported VinG was the Middle 80% range. The max range is 660 and his score was 740, a score at 80 points above the upper limit. His probability to get in with a scholarship was very high.
Now let us check the percentage of MBAs receiving financial aid
Full-time MBAs receiving financial aid through school: 50 %
This can be tricky, even a small concession of $2k is also a financial aid, so don't be confused with this stat.
Relative importance: Application Elements
GMAT Score: Very Important
Resume/Work Experience: Important
Application Essays: Important
Undergraduate Transcripts: Important
Which element in the statistics has "Very Important” as an attribute?
He had a GPA of 3.5 with good extra-curricular and leadership experiences. The Business School representatives did not have to think hard to award him a scholarship. He received around 40% of the fees as scholarship.
If you are planning to go back to your previous company after your MBA, then discuss this with your HR manager and ask for corporate sponsorship. Normally, companies with more than 1000 employees would be ready for corporate sponsorship. However, you have to be in the good books of your managers.
Most of the school would offer you a 10-15% refund if you pay a lump sum on the first deadline. If you are not able to pay the amount on time, you can still get a discount. You have to assure them that you would join the Business School.
With recession, the loan officers would be extra careful in assessing your profile. So keep your credits clean. Pay your credit card bills on time and present a plan - on how you will repay the loan. You can back your plans with the placement and average salary statistics of your Business School. Negotiate on the terms.
Third Party Financial Institutions
Ask your Business School whether they have any tie-up with third party financial institutions. These institutions can cover 50-60% of your fees.
P.S: Negotiate on the terms and conditions offered by the bank.