Finding the Best Online MBA Program with Scholarships

An online MBA provides flexibility and opportunities for career advancement, but the cost can add up without scholarships. This guide will help you find accredited online programs that offer merit-based and need-based scholarships to offset tuition expenses.

Why Pursue an Online MBA?

Online MBAs have grown tremendously in popularity due to their accessibility. By taking courses online, you can earn your MBA while also balancing work, family responsibilities, geographic constraints, and more. Some key benefits of online MBA programs include:

  • Flexibility. Online programs allow you to learn on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. You don’t have to commute to campus or arrange your life around class times.
  • Career advancement. An MBA is a valuable credential that can help you move up the career ladder or transition to a new industry. Online MBAs give working professionals this opportunity without having to leave their job.
  • Skill development. Whether your focus is marketing, finance, operations or general management, an MBA enhances your business acumen. Online programs deliver the same rigorous curricula as traditional MBAs through digital learning platforms.
  • Networking potential. While some networking happens in person at campus programs, online MBAs still provide opportunities to connect with faculty and fellow students through online class discussions, projects and social media groups.

An online MBA gives you career-boosting skills without disrupting your current responsibilities. However, the affordability of online programs varies greatly depending on the scholarships available.

Factors to Consider for Online MBA Scholarships

When evaluating programs, consider these factors that determine scholarship potential:


Accreditation Status

Programs accredited by AACSB or ACBSP are most likely to offer merit-based scholarships. Regional accreditors like MSCHE also increase scholarship opportunities. Unaccredited programs rarely provide funding.

Program Reputation and Rankings

More prestigious schools typically offer larger and more competitive scholarships to recruit top students. Check rankings from US News, Bloomberg Businessweek and CEO Magazine.

Standardized Test Scores

Strong GMAT/GRE scores open the door to bigger scholarships at selective programs. Prepare well in advance to maximize your score.

Undergraduate GPA

Higher GPAs demonstrate academic achievement and increase eligibility for GPA-based scholarships. Aim for a 3.2 or above for the best odds.


Demand for the Program

Highly sought-after programs in business analytics, marketing and healthcare administration may offer more generous funding to attract applicants.

Financial Need

Schools evaluate financial information like income, debts, dependents through the FAFSA form to determine need-based aid eligibility.

Let’s explore top online MBA programs with the most generous merit and need-based scholarships.

Top Scholarship Programs for Online MBAs

University of Illinois iMBA

  • Scholarship Amount: Up to 60% tuition
  • Requirements: GMAT 570+/GRE equivalent, 3.2+ GPA
  • Accreditation: AACSB

The U of I iMBA is one of the most affordable online MBAs due to its sizable presidential and academic excellence scholarships. It’s a front-runner for data analytics online.

University of Florida Online MBA

  • Scholarship Amount: $6,000-$10,500 per year
  • Requirements: GMAT 540+/GRE equivalent, 3.0+ GPA
  • Accreditation: AACSB

UF Online MBA scholarships can cover half of the tuition, and the program lands in the top 25 for affordability. Course modules are 8 weeks allowing flexibility.

Indiana University Kelley Direct Online MBA

  • Scholarship Amount: Up to 50% tuition
  • Requirements: GMAT 570+/GRE equivalent, 3.2+ GPA
  • Accreditation: AACSB

Kelley Direct is consistently ranked in the top 10 for online MBAs. Merit scholarships hinge on test scores, experience and essays, while need-based aid is available too.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Online MBA

  • Scholarship Amount: Up to 50% tuition per year
  • Requirements: GMAT 570+/GRE equivalent, 3.2+ GPA
  • Accreditation: AACSB

UW-Madison awards scholarships based on transcripts, work experience, and a personal statement or video. Modules are 12 weeks allowing a good pace for working professionals.

Georgetown University Online MBA

  • Scholarship Amount: $5,000-$20,000
  • Requirements: GMAT 570+/GRE equivalent, 3.2+ GPA
  • Accreditation: AACSB

Georgetown’s program in DC is globally ranked in the top 20 and also offers need-based financial aid. Performance-based renewable scholarships aid between half to full tuition.

How to Apply for Online MBA Scholarships

The application process generally involves submitting:

  • Online application form and application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • GMAT/GRE scores (some accept GRE)
  • Resume showcasing work experience
  • Personal statement on objectives and fit for program
  • Recommendation letters (1-2 required typically)
  • Financial documents like tax returns for need-based aid

Most deadlines for scholarships occur in early spring or late fall preceding the program start. Apply early and make a strong case for why you should receive funding. Follow up if asked for an interview. Financial aid packages often arrive with acceptance decisions.

Some programs also offer additional internal or donor-funded scholarships throughout the year to currently enrolled students. Maintain good grades to remain eligible. Networking can uncover other potential funding too.

Alternative Scholarship Sources

Besides each school’s program, also research these supplemental scholarship opportunities:

  • Employer tuition reimbursement – Many large companies offer up to $5,000 annually in tuition assistance for approved degree programs.
  • Industry association awards – Groups like the American Marketing Association provide member scholarships.
  • Free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – FAFSA determines eligibility for federal loans and grants like Pell grants.
  • External scholarship databases – Websites like Fastweb, and College Greenlight list privately funded awards from non-profit groups.
  • Military & veteran scholarships – If you served, explore GI Bill education benefits and Yellow Ribbon Program funding matches.

An online MBA gives you the option to earn a world-class degree while meeting work and family responsibilities. With scholarships and alternative funding sources, it’s possible to offset much or even all of your tuition costs to maximize this career-advancing educational investment. Start researching programs and applying early.

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