Funding Your Business Degree

Understanding and finding the financial sources to pay for your college education
Expert Contributor
Amy Mistric
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When it comes to return on investment, a college degree in business is a pretty good bet. Business and economic degrees offer a solid 20-year annualized return of 8.7 percent. There are other ways of valuing a business degree as well, including higher than normal starting salaries, high demand in the job marketplace, and great breadth in career opportunities and versatility. Before you can benefit from a college business degree, you have to earn and pay for one.

Seven Ways to Pay for Business School

What happens when smart business students face ever-rising college education costs and the potential of burdensome loan debt? They get creative. Most people have at least a basic idea how student loans work, as well as scholarships and grants. There are, however, a few more potential sources of education funds that students may tap into that are either free or, more precisely, do not have to be paid back. Here’s a brief look at the most common traditional ways to pay for business school, along with a few less traditional ways:

Scholarships

Scholarships are also considered “free money.” There are literally thousands of scholarships available annually to college students in the United States, and each one has its own purpose and eligibility requirements. Common eligibility factors include degree level and major field of study, student merit (GPA, standardized test scores, demonstrated extracurricular activities and community service, academic and artistic talents), specific background (gender, ethnicity, gender) and, in some cases, financial need. Scholarships programs are sponsored by government agencies, non-profit organizations, professional associations, private companies, firms and individuals, and academic institutions themselves. Go online or consult your school’s financial aid department to begin your scholarship search.

Grants

If you read about college grants, you will inevitably run across the term “free money,” and that’s a fair description. The money received from a grant does not have to be paid back. The biggest difference between a grant and a scholarship is that most scholarships are awarded either fully or partially on the basis of merit while the vast majority of grants are based on financial need. State government and even private grant programs exist, but the biggest source of college grants is the federal government, and the most popular type of federal grant is the Pell Grant.

Fellowships

The distinctions between scholarships and fellowships can get a bit fuzzy but, generally speaking, a fellowship is a continuation of the “free money” concept into post-baccalaureate academics. That being said, not all scholarships are undergraduate level only and not all fellowships are graduate level only. Fellowships focus on the professional development and training of the individual normally involving in-depth research and analysis of a specific issue or area within the degree major course of study, development of specific field-related skills like grant writing and other fundraising methods, leadership, public speaking and others. Financial compensation comes in the form of a living allowance or stipend. Fellowships are commonly found through a school’s financial aid department or, more likely, the relevant academic department.

Crowdfunding

One of the newest and most unique methods of college funding. Crowdfunding, in simple terms, is the practice of raising money for a project or venture (like going to college) by soliciting small contributions from a large number of donors. The crowdfunding process is typically carried out online through crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe and Indiegogo. Crowdfunding provides a convenient platform for students to solicit donations for their educations from family, friends, neighbors and coworkers without the uncomfortable task of soliciting face to face. Students may also receive funding from complete strangers if they are able to make a compelling enough case in their online presentations.

Assistantships

A close relative of the graduate-level fellowship is the graduate assistantship. Graduate assistants work closely alongside faculty and staff in teaching, research and administrative roles that allow them to gain further experience and expertise in their chosen fields as well as develop interpersonal and leadership skills. Compensation commonly takes the form or tuition reimbursement, stipend and supplemental benefits, such as health care insurance. As with fellowships, students can look for assistantship opportunities at their campus financial aid and human resources offices or directly through their academic departments.

Employer Assistance

An often overlooked source of education funding is one’s own employer. Employer funding normally takes the form of a tuition reimbursement plan. Under the federal tax code, employers can deduct tuition reimbursement payments up to $5,250 a year per employee and the benefit is not taxable for the employee either. Why would an employee be willing to pay for an employer’s college education? Simple — employers see it a great tool for retaining good employees while improving and adding to an employee’s skills set. While employer tuition reimbursement is mostly the practice of larger corporations, any company of any size can take part.

Loans

Student loans are offered by the federal and state governments as well as banks and other private financial institutions. By far the most prevalent student loans are made through the federal government, which offers lower interest rates and more flexible payment options than other loan sources. Students must complete the FAFSA application in order to qualify for federal student loans.

Scholarships and Grants for Business Students

Aside from family funds, the biggest sources of college financing, along with student loans, are scholarships and grants. The graphic below allows users to quickly browse the scholarship and grant opportunities best suited for them:

Undergraduate
  • A&F Scholarships

    $1,000

    See Description

    • A&F Scholarships
      • $1,000
      • Abbott & Fenner Business Consultants
      • June 10

      Available to high school juniors and seniors as well as current college students at a four-year institution interested in pursuing a business-related degree.

  • Bulkofficesupply.com Scholarship

    $1,000

    See Description

    • Bulkofficesupply.com Scholarship
      • $1,000
      • Boxofficesupply.com
      • Feb. 1

      Offered to high school students, college freshmen and sophomores. Applicant must submit a brief essay explaining how he or she developed interest in teaching, art or owning a business and how the scholarship will help in attaining the student’s goals.

  • EWISP Scholarship

    Up to $5,000

    See Description

    • EWISP Scholarship
      • Up to $5,000
      • Executive Women International
      • Not specified.

      Offered to both men and women and open to high school seniors. Candidates first compete on the on the EWI Chapter level, where awards vary in amount, then advance for Corporate level awards of $1,000 to $5,000.

  • A&F Scholarships
    • $1,000
    • Abbott & Fenner Business Consultants
    • June 10

    Available to high school juniors and seniors as well as current college students at a four-year institution interested in pursuing a business-related degree.

  • Bulkofficesupply.com Scholarship
    • $1,000
    • Boxofficesupply.com
    • Feb. 1

    Offered to high school students, college freshmen and sophomores. Applicant must submit a brief essay explaining how he or she developed interest in teaching, art or owning a business and how the scholarship will help in attaining the student’s goals.

  • EWISP Scholarship
    • Up to $5,000
    • Executive Women International
    • Not specified

    Offered to both men and women and open to high school seniors. Candidates first compete on the on the EWI Chapter level, where awards vary in amount, then advance for Corporate level awards of $1,000 to $5,000.

  • GreenPal Business Scholarship

    $1,000

    See Description

    • GreenPal Business Scholarship
      • $1,000
      • GreenPal Co.
      • Feb. 28

      Open to graduating high school seniors, college freshmen or sophomores who own and operates their own small businesses or have put together a business plan to start a business while in college.

  • Insureon Small Business Scholarship

    $2,500

    See Description

    • Insureon Small Business Scholarship
      • $2,500
      • Insureon
      • March 31

      This program awards three $2,500 scholarships to full-time undergraduates. Applications must submit 500 to 750 word essay about his or her favorite small business and why it is important.

  • NFIB Young Entrepreneurs Awards

    $2,000 to $25,000

    See Description

    • NFIB Young Entrepreneurs Awards
      • $2,000 to $25,000
      • National Federation of Independent Business
      • Jan. 3

      Open to graduating high school seniors who own and operate their own businesses entering a two- or four-year college or tech/vocational school.

  • GreenPal Business Scholarship
    • $1,000
    • GreenPal Co.
    • Feb. 28

    Open to graduating high school seniors, college freshmen or sophomores who own and operates their own small businesses or have put together a business plan to start a business while in college.

  • Insureon Small Business Scholarship
    • $2,500
    • Insureon
    • March 31

    This program awards three $2,500 scholarships to full-time undergraduates. Applications must submit 500 to 750 word essay about his or her favorite small business and why it is important.

  • NFIB Young Entrepreneurs Awards
    • $2,000 to $25,000
    • National Federation of Independent Business
    • Jan. 3

    Open to graduating high school seniors who own and operate their own businesses entering a two- or four-year college or tech/vocational school.

  • Patriot Education Scholarship Fund

    Up to $5,000

    See Description

    • Patriot Education Scholarship Fund
      • Up to $5,000
      • Maine Community Foundation, Inc.
      • June 1

      Open to Maine high school graduates currently pursuing a degree in business, full-time or part-time, at a college or university in Maine.

  • Richard J. Seif Technical Sales & Marketing Scholarship

    $3,000

    See Description

    • Richard J. Seif Technical Sales & Marketing Scholarship
      • $3,000
      • American Welding Society
      • Feb. 15

      Open to college juniors or seniors pursuing a bachelors degree in engineering or business with a sales or marketing emphasis. Must have a 2.5 GPA and be a U.S. or Canadian citizen.

  • Small Business Scholarship

    $1,500

    See Description

    • Small Business Scholarship
      • $1,500
      • SuretyBonds.com
      • March 31

      Available to college students with small business experience who will be attending a full-time program as an undergraduate (or graduate) student. Essay on how small business ownership has shaped him or her into the person they are today is required.

  • Patriot Education Scholarship Fund
    • Up to $5,000
    • Maine Community Foundation, Inc.
    • June 1

    Open to Maine high school graduates currently pursuing a degree in business, full-time or part-time, at a college or university in Maine.

  • Richard J. Seif Technical Sales & Marketing Scholarship
    • $3,000
    • American Welding Society
    • Feb. 15

    Open to college juniors or seniors pursuing a bachelors degree in engineering or business with a sales or marketing emphasis. Must have a 2.5 GPA and be a U.S. or Canadian citizen.

  • Small Business Scholarship
    • $1,500
    • SuretyBonds.com
    • March 31

    Available to college students with small business experience who will be attending a full-time program as an undergraduate (or graduate) student. Essay on how small business ownership has shaped him or her into the person they are today is required.

  • The Dreamer Scholarship

    $1,000

    See Description

    • The Dreamer Scholarship
      • $1,000
      • RentDeals.com
      • March 31

      College students currently enrolled in a regionally accredited post-secondary institution who are majoring in either business or science are eligible.

  • The Dreamer Scholarship
    • $1,000
    • RentDeals.com
    • March 31

    College students currently enrolled in a regionally accredited post-secondary institution who are majoring in either business or science are eligible.

Graduate
  • Brightest Minds MBA Scholarship Competition

    $25,000

    See Description

  • Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship

    $1,000 to $10,000

    See Description

    • Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship
      • $1,000 to $10,000
      • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
      • Feb. 5

      Applicants must be full-time (6 semester hours for graduate students) with a declared major or minor in accounting, business administration, finance or criminal justice and demonstrate a desire to pursue a career in fraud examination or similar anti-fraud profession.

  • Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellowship

    Full tuition and mandatory fees.

    See Description

  • Brightest Minds MBA Scholarship Competition
    • $25,000
    • The Economist
    • April 25

    Open to prospective MBA and EMBA students. Award made to person who scores the highest on the Economist GMAT Tutor simulation test.

  • Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship
    • $1,000 to $10,000
    • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
    • Feb. 5

    Applicants must be full-time (6 semester hours for graduate students) with a declared major or minor in accounting, business administration, finance or criminal justice and demonstrate a desire to pursue a career in fraud examination or similar anti-fraud profession.

  • Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellowship
    • Full tuition and mandatory fees.
    • The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management
    • Jan. 5

    The Consortium offers 420 fellowships for MBA study. Awards are for tuition and fees for two years of full-time students.

  • Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship

    $13,000

    See Description

    • Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship
      • $13,000
      • Government Finance Officers Association and Girard Miller Foundation
      • Feb. 19

      Full-time graduate students pursuing a graduate degree and preparing for a career in state or local government finance are eligible for this award.

  • HIMSS Foundation Scholarships

    $5,000

    See Description

    • HIMSS Foundation Scholarships
      • $5,000
      • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Foundation
      • Oct. 15

      Awards one master’s level and one doctoral level scholarship annually to student interested in a career in healthcare information and management. Business administration students welcome.

  • Richard D. Wieger Scholarship

    Up to $1,000.

    See Description

    • Richard D. Wieger Scholarship
      • Up to $1,000.
      • Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation
      • April 1

      Open to Illinois residents pursuing study at an Illinois college or university. Graduate students majoring in business are eligible to apply.

  • Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship
    • $13,000
    • Government Finance Officers Association and Girard Miller Foundation
    • Feb. 19

    Full-time graduate students pursuing a graduate degree and preparing for a career in state or local government finance are eligible for this award.

  • HIMSS Foundation Scholarships
    • $5,000
    • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Foundation
    • Oct. 15

    Awards one master’s level and one doctoral level scholarship annually to student interested in a career in healthcare information and management. Business administration students welcome.

  • Richard D. Wieger Scholarship
    • Up to $1,000.
    • Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation
    • April 1

    Open to Illinois residents pursuing study at an Illinois college or university. Graduate students majoring in business are eligible to apply.

  • Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship

    $2,000

    See Description

  • QS World MBA Tour Scholar Award

    $5,000

    See Description

    • QS World MBA Tour Scholar Award
      • $5,000
      • Golden Key International Honour Society
      • Nov. 15

      Applicant must a Golden Key member and enrolled in business school during the academic year immediately following the granting of the award.

  • John L. Carey Scholarship

    $5,000

    See Description

    • John L. Carey Scholarship
      • $5,000
      • American Institute of CPAs
      • April 1

      Available to liberal arts and non-business degree holders pursuing both a graduate degree in accounting and the CPA licensure.

  • Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship
    • $2,000
    • Daughters of the American Revolution
    • Feb. 10

    Eligible applicants must be enrolled full-time in a MBA program with a minimum 3.25 GPA. Financial need is a factor.

  • QS World MBA Tour Scholar Award
    • $5,000
    • Golden Key International Honour Society
    • Nov. 15

    Applicant must a Golden Key member and enrolled in business school during the academic year immediately following the granting of the award.

  • John L. Carey Scholarship
    • $5,000
    • American Institute of CPAs
    • April 1

    Available to liberal arts and non-business degree holders pursuing both a graduate degree in accounting and the CPA licensure.

  • The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program

    Up to $37,500.

    See Description

    • The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program
      • Up to $37,500.
      • The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
      • Jan. 15

      Applicants must enroll in a two-year, full-time master’s degree program in an academic field (such as business) relevant to the work of the Foreign Service. Requires a five-year service commitment in the U.S. Foreign Service.

  • The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program
    • Up to $37,500.
    • The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
    • Jan. 15

    Applicants must enroll in a two-year, full-time master’s degree program in an academic field (such as business) relevant to the work of the Foreign Service. Requires a five-year service commitment in the U.S. Foreign Service.

Working Professionals & Part-Time Students
  • Angela DiPietro Women in Business Scholarship

    $500

    See Description

    • Angela DiPietro Women in Business Scholarship
      • $500
      • Angie DiPietro Attorney At Law
      • May 1

      Available to any female student who is pursuing post-secondary education. Must possess interest in business or entrepreneurship as demonstrated by past and present volunteer, professional, and educational experiences.

  • Forte Fellows Program

    Varies

    See Description

    • Forte Fellows Program
      • Varies
      • Forte Foundation
      • Varies by MBA program

      For women pursuing a full-time or part-time MBA or executive MBP degree at a sponsored business school. Fellows enjoy a host of non-financial benefits as well, including mentoring and networking opportunities.

  • Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship

    $8,000

    See Description

    • Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship
      • $8,000
      • Government Finance Officers Association
      • Feb. 19

      Open to part-time students pursuing a graduate degree in public administration, accounting, finance, economics or business administration. Must be an employee of a state or local government preparing to continue a career in state and local government finance.

  • Angela DiPietro Women in Business Scholarship
    • $500
    • Angie DiPietro Attorney At Law
    • May 1

    Available to any female student who is pursuing post-secondary education. Must possess interest in business or entrepreneurship as demonstrated by past and present volunteer, professional, and educational experiences.

  • Forte Fellows Program
    • Varies
    • Forte Foundation
    • Varies by MBA program

    For women pursuing a full-time or part-time MBA or executive MBP degree at a sponsored business school. Fellows enjoy a host of non-financial benefits as well, including mentoring and networking opportunities.

  • Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship
    • $8,000
    • Government Finance Officers Association
    • Feb. 19

    Open to part-time students pursuing a graduate degree in public administration, accounting, finance, economics or business administration. Must be an employee of a state or local government preparing to continue a career in state and local government finance.

  • SILA Post Secondary College Scholarship

    $2,500

    See Description

    • SILA Post Secondary College Scholarship
      • $2,500
      • Securities and Insurance Licensing Association Foundation, Inc.
      • May 31

      Applicants who are employed full-time and studying part-time in finance or accounting, education, business administration, insurance studies or marketing are eligible.

  • TAPPI Corrugated Packaging Division Scholarships

    Varies.

    See Description

    • TAPPI Corrugated Packaging Division Scholarships
      • Varies.
      • Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, Inc. (TAPPI)
      • Feb. 15

      Available to applicants working full-time or part-time in the corrugated paper industry and attending day or night school for an undergraduate or graduate degree.

  • SILA Post Secondary College Scholarship
    • $2,500
    • Securities and Insurance Licensing Association Foundation, Inc.
    • May 31

    Applicants who are employed full-time and studying part-time in finance or accounting, education, business administration, insurance studies or marketing are eligible.

  • TAPPI Corrugated Packaging Division Scholarships
    • Varies
    • Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, Inc. (TAPPI)
    • Feb. 15

    Available to applicants working full-time or part-time in the corrugated paper industry and attending day or night school for an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Women
  • Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

    $1,000 – $7,000

    See Description

    • Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
      • $1,000 – $7,000
      • Varies, check individual Zonta club for deadline
      • May 1

      For women of any age pursuing a business or business-related degree who demonstrating outstanding potential in the field and living or studying in a Zonta district/region.

  • NAPS National Scholarship

    $2,000

    See Description

    • NAPS National Scholarship
      • $2,000
      • Forte Foundation
      • Dec. 31

      Open to women pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a U.S. college or university. Applicants must submit an essay on overcoming challenges in academic, personal or business environments.

  • NARBW Scholarship

    $1,600

    See Description

    • NARBW Scholarship
      • $1,600
      • National Association of Railway Business Women
      • March 1

      Applicants must be either a NARBW member or relative of an NARBW member. Awards based on financial need, scholastic achievements, potential and ambition. Open to women only.

  • Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
    • $1,000 – $7,000
    • Zonta International
    • Varies, check individual Zonta club for deadline

    For women of any age pursuing a business or business-related degree who demonstrating outstanding potential in the field and living or studying in a Zonta district/region.

  • NAPS National Scholarship
    • $2,000
    • American Business Women’s Association and North American Production Sharing, Inc.
    • Dec. 31

    Open to women pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a U.S. college or university. Applicants must submit an essay on overcoming challenges in academic, personal or business environments.

  • NARBW Scholarship
    • $1,600
    • National Association of Railway Business Women
    • March 1

    Applicants must be either a NARBW member or relative of an NARBW member. Awards based on financial need, scholastic achievements, potential and ambition. Open to women only.

  • Walter Reed Smith Scholarship

    Up to $1,000

    See Description

    • Walter Reed Smith Scholarship
      • Up to $1,000
      • United Daughters of the Confederacy
      • March 15

      This is an undergraduate only degree for women studying one of a number of subjects including business administration. Applicant must be a direct descendant of an “eligible Confederate.”

  • Women in Public Finance Award & Scholarship

    Up to $3,000

    See Description

    • Women in Public Finance Award & Scholarship
      • Up to $3,000
      • Women in Public Finance
      • Aug. 1

      Open to female college-bound high school seniors interested in a public finance related career in finance, government, non-profits or law, and demonstrated scholastic achievement and demonstrated leadership skills.

  • Walter Reed Smith Scholarship
    • Up to $1,000
    • United Daughters of the Confederacy
    • March 15

    This is an undergraduate only degree for women studying one of a number of subjects including business administration. Applicant must be a direct descendant of an “eligible Confederate.”

  • Women in Public Finance Award & Scholarship
    • Up to $3,000
    • Women in Public Finance
    • Aug. 1

    Open to female college-bound high school seniors interested in a public finance related career in finance, government, non-profits or law, and demonstrated scholastic achievement and demonstrated leadership skills.

Minority Students
  • Accenture American Indian Scholarship Fund

    Varies

    See Description

    • Accenture American Indian Scholarship Fund
      • Varies
      • American Indian Graduate Center
      • Jan. 30

      Scholarships under this program are awarded to incoming undergraduate freshmen pursuing degrees in a number of subjects including management, finance, marketing and other business-related fields. Eligibility restricted to American Indian and Alaska Native community members only.

  • LAGRANT Foundation Scholarships

    $2,500 Undergraduate; $5,000 Graduate

    See Description

    • LAGRANT Foundation Scholarships
      • $2,500 Undergraduate; $5,000 Graduate
      • LAGRANT Foundation
      • Feb. 29

      Candidate must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program with an emphasis on advertising, marketing or public relations, and member of one of the following ethnic groups: African American/Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino or Native American/Alaska Native.

  • Accenture American Indian Scholarship Fund
    • Varies
    • American Indian Graduate Center
    • Jan. 30

    Scholarships under this program are awarded to incoming undergraduate freshmen pursuing degrees in a number of subjects including management, finance, marketing and other business-related fields. Eligibility restricted to American Indian and Alaska Native community members only.

  • Dr. Abdus Saleem Family Scholarship
    • $10,000
    • Islamic Society of North America
    • March 1

    Applicant must be an entering freshman majoring in one of several designated subjects including business administration. Open to Muslim American students or students with permanent residency.

  • LAGRANT Foundation Scholarships
    • $2,500 Undergraduate; $5,000 Graduate
    • LAGRANT Foundation
    • Feb. 29

    Candidate must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program with an emphasis on advertising, marketing or public relations, and member of one of the following ethnic groups: African American/Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino or Native American/Alaska Native.

  • Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

    $7,000

    See Description

    • Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship
      • $7,000
      • Government Finance Officers Association
      • Feb. 1

      Open to upper-division undergraduate and graduate students in business-related program who belong to one of following groups: Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

  • UNCF/Koch Undergraduate Scholarship Program

    Up to $5,000

    See Description

    • UNCF/Koch Undergraduate Scholarship Program
      • Up to $5,000
      • United Negro College Fund
      • May 1

      Open to African American high school seniors of planning to attend a four-year college or university and majoring in one of a number of subjects including accounting, business and economics.

  • Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship
    • $7,000
    • Government Finance Officers Association
    • Feb. 1

    Open to upper-division undergraduate and graduate students in business-related program who belong to one of following groups: Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

  • UNCF/Koch Undergraduate Scholarship Program
    • Up to $5,000
    • United Negro College Fund
    • May 1

    Open to African American high school seniors of planning to attend a four-year college or university and majoring in one of a number of subjects including accounting, business and economics.

Special Focus
  • Alan H. Conklin Business Aviation Management Scholarship

    $5,000

    See Description

  • Dan M. Reichard, Jr. Scholarship

    $2,500

    See Description

    • Dan M. Reichard, Jr. Scholarship
      • $2,500
      • American Public Transportation Foundation
      • June 16

      Open to college sophomores through advanced degree students working toward a career in the business administration/management area of the transit industry. Applicant must be sponsored by, and complete an internship with, an APTA member organization.

  • Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship

    $2,000

    See Description

    • Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship
      • $2,000
      • Blinded Veterans Association
      • April 15

      Must be enrolled or accepted for admission as a full-time student in a business, secretarial, or vocational school program. Dependent children, grandchildren, and spouses of both blinded veterans and active-duty blinded service members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible.

  • Alan H. Conklin Business Aviation Management Scholarship
    • $5,000
    • National Aviation Business Association
    • July 31

    Available to full-time undergraduate students studying aviation or aerospace and pursuing a career in business aviation management at a NBAA or UAA institution.

  • Dan M. Reichard, Jr. Scholarship
    • $2,500
    • American Public Transportation Foundation
    • June 16

    Open to college sophomores through advanced degree students working toward a career in the business administration/management area of the transit industry. Applicant must be sponsored by, and complete an internship with, an APTA member organization.

  • Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship
    • $2,000
    • Blinded Veterans Association
    • April 15

    Must be enrolled or accepted for admission as a full-time student in a business, secretarial, or vocational school program. Dependent children, grandchildren, and spouses of both blinded veterans and active-duty blinded service members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible.

  • National Poultry & Food Distributors Association Scholarships

    $2,000 – $2,500

    See Description

  • Robert H. Rumler MBA Scholarship

    $3,000

    See Description

    • Robert H. Rumler MBA Scholarship
      • $3,000
      • Holstein Association USA
      • April 15

      For full-time MBA students with a demonstrated interests in the dairy business. Applicants must be at the beginning or second year of their degree program.

  • National Poultry & Food Distributors Association Scholarships
    • $2,000 – $2,500
    • National Poultry & Food Distributors Association
    • May 31

    Candidates must be full-time college students in their upcoming junior or senior year pursuing a poultry or agriculture business related degree.

  • Robert H. Rumler MBA Scholarship
    • $3,000
    • Holstein Association USA
    • April 15

    For full-time MBA students with a demonstrated interests in the dairy business. Applicants must be at the beginning or second year of their degree program.

Tips for Getting a Business School Scholarship

One of the best pieces of advice for students looking for ways to fund their education is to avoid loans if possible. And one of the best sources of debt-free college funding is scholarships. Finding and applying for scholarships that meet one’s needs requires some time and effort. Below are some tips for making your research time more efficient.

  • Extensive ResearchThere are seemingly endless scholarship opportunities for business students. Unfortunately, they aren’t always easy to find and there isn’t one search engine or resource that provides all the leads a student may need. Fortunately, there are several search engines that, when used together, allow users to quickly identify the majority of scholarships open to them. Start with the online search tools, like the one above, but also check with your school’s financial aid office for access to proprietary search engines and resources.
  • Think Outside the (School) BoxEvery college and university will has its own selection of in-house scholarships and grants funded by its own group of alumni and other interested donors. But these scholarships are only a fraction of the total available. The outside scholarship opportunities are in the thousands, and each has its own set of targeted applicants and eligibility requirements. School financial aid departments are normally happy to help students identify these outside programs, but it is up to the student to follow through and apply.
  • Timing is ImportantStarting a scholarship search as early as possible is a very good move, and applying as soon as possible is also normally a good thing. But be careful not to apply too early, that is, long before you know that you have been accepted into your academic program. Scholarship sponsors are going to want to see proof of program enrollment before making their awards, so be sure you are well into the degree program application process as you apply for scholarships and grants.
  • More is BetterOne big scholarship myth is that it’s one per customer. In other words, a student can only receive one scholarship award at a time. While this may (or may not) be the case when it comes to in-house scholarship programs, it is not the case for of outside scholarships. It is true that you cannot receive more funding than your school has estimated your cost for attendance, but your in-house financial aid package will normally only be adjusted downward if your total aid higher than that estimated attendance cost.
  • Submit a Strong ApplicationMost business school scholarships are awarded either fully or partially on merit. That means the applicant must impress with their application. GPA can be an important factor, but do not overlook the often major influence of standardized test scores (like the GMAT), solid letters of recommendation, impressive work experience and well-written, compelling essays. In other words, don’t rely on good grades to land a scholarship, it’s going to take much more than that.

Business School Scholarship Application Timeline

Two Years Before Start of Degree Program

High school students and parents should start thinking about scholarships and doing some preliminary research.

18 Months Before Start of Degree Program

Put together list of potential scholarships and a calendar of important application deadlines. Connect with professors, teachers and anyone else you wish to use for letters of recommendation. Write a draft personal statement essay and keep reworking it right up until submission with your application.

One Year (or More) Before Start of Degree Program

Take SAT (undergrads) or GMAT (grad school). Do the math. If you need to apply for a scholarship one year before starting a degree program and supply SAT scores at the same time, you need to take your SAT earlier than a year before your degree program starts.

One Year Before Start of Degree Program

Start applying for scholarships. Scholarship deadlines vary substantially with some coming a year before starting a degree program.

One Year Before Start of Degree Program

Make sure all required supplemental documents (transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, etc.) are submitted by their specific deadlines.

One Year Before Start of Degree Program

About two weeks after submitting your scholarship application, send a follow-up email or letter to the scholarship sponsor or committee to confirm that your application has been received. Don’t bother them after that, though.

January before Start of Degree Program (Fall Semester)

Submit fully-completed FAFSA application at the earliest time allowed, currently January 1. School financial aid and in-house scholarships use FAFSA info.

After Starting Degree Program

Rinse and repeat. That is, once you’ve started your academic program, keep looking for and applying to scholarship opportunities for your coming academic terms, both undergraduate and graduate.

Scholarship Tips from the Expert

Expert

Amy Mistric is assistant director in the University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. She has worked in student financial aid for 13 years and oversees an office that awards $34 million in scholarships and grants annually. 

Q

Is there a difference or distinction between financial aid opportunities for business students and those for college students generally?

ANo, in terms of the types of loan programs or how to go about getting a scholarship. As far as students themselves go, business students are quicker to ask, “How am I going to save money?”

Q

Are there any differences between undergraduate and graduate students, in terms of funding their education?

AThere’s quite a bit of difference simply because graduate students have very little free money available. The only federal aid they can get comes in the form of unsubsidized Stafford loans, or the Teach Grant if they’re interested in teaching, but that grant could turn into a loan in not followed through with properly.

Q

Are students on their own when it comes to finding scholarship opportunities?

AAbsolutely not. We have a scholarship search engine on our website (https://utm.academicworks.com/). You’ll find several business scholarships that are funded by donors specifically for UTM. We also have several search engines for outside scholarships.

Q

Are scholarships a viable option for graduate students?

ASure. There are some scholarships that are for graduate students only, for students who are going after their MBA, for example. They just have to get out there and search and put in the information needed such as where they’re from, what their interests are, what their grades are. And this will filter out the donor scholarships that they can apply for.

Q

What are the biggest issues funding issues that students have when they come to you for help?

AThe big one is, “How much can I get to pay for my school without having to take out student loans?” They are going to do everything that they can to avoid taking out loans. And that’s what we are going to help try to do. We are going to do everything we can to help them avoid loans.

Q

What is your biggest piece of advice for those students?

AThe first thing we’re going to tell them is to fill out their FAFSA as soon as it’s available. The reason to do it as soon as possible is that all schools have a limited amount of certain federal and state funds that must be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis based on need and other specific factors.

The second big piece of advice that we have is to apply for as many scholarships as possible.

Making the Most of a Student Loan

Taking out a student loan is a serious endeavor, one that can have an effect on the borrower’s life for years, even decades, after graduation. That’s why it is important to weigh all factors when searching for the right loan and to be smart when it’s time to pay it back. Here are a few good student loan tips:

  • Borrow only what you needDon’t take the full loan amount that is offered to you if you don’t need it all.
  • Consider working while in schoolA job while in school cuts down on the amount one will need to borrow and/or help get started on loan repayment.
  • Consider making payments on your loan before you graduateStarting early means less to pay later.
  • Pay more than the minimum due each month if you can afford itYou’ll could save a bundle in total interest payments over the life of the loan.
  • Don’t ignore your loanIt’s not going away just because you pretend it’s not there. If you foresee repayment issues, contact your lender immediately. There’s good chance you’ll be able to work something out.