What types of financial aid are available for an Online MBA program?

  • November 28, 2022
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 4 minute read

Financial aid dominates prospective students’ questions and concerns before they arrive on campus or log into their first virtual class.

As you consider whether an online MBA is for you, you’ll probably weigh the cost of an online MBA and wonder what financial-aid options are available to you. It’s important to know where to go and whom to speak to as you try and find answers to those questions.

How much does an online MBA cost, and how does financial aid work?

The online MBA is a unique program because it is entirely online. It comes with its own network of specialized resources, but it also belongs to Olin’s broader collection of course resources. The good news for prospective students is that the course’s online nature doesn’t preclude them from financial-aid options.

The online MBA program has a flat cost associated with it. How students balance that cost depends on the financing options available to them, where they’re coming from and what support they have access to.

For instance, some students will be connected to corporate support, and part of their arrangement in attending an MBA program will be that their employer will pay a portion of their tuition. For students with corporate support, they will still need guidance from the Olin team to get the right documents and tuition statements to their employer’s financial team. They may also need other forms of financing if the corporate sponsor can only pay off tuition fees after grades are posted.

This is just one example of a student’s pathway to funding; our job at Olin financial services is to find out what your best pathway will be and help you discover and apply for the options that make the best sense for you.

For everyone, the quest for financial aid begins at the application stage. A quick eligibility check will consider citizenship status and other factors and prepare a collection of options for you. Then, you’ll want to visit the Graduate Programs Financial Services website, where we can guide you through your particular pipeline toward funding your program—whether it’s through corporate support, loans, external scholarships, or a combination of all of those things.

What are your options for financial aid?

If you’re a prospective or incoming student attending the online MBA program, there are several financial-aid options you can explore.

• Federal student aid

The Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first port of call for many graduate students. You can explore grants, loans and scholarships that are available through the government at the student aid website, but you’re not alone while seeking these options—the Olin team will help guide you through them, too.

• Private sponsorships

Some employers may offer support for employees looking to get their MBA online. Asking for sponsorship can be a little daunting if it’s not freely offered, so on Olin’s website, we have a letter template you can download and adapt to your situation.

• External scholarships

Scholarships are available from outside sources and charities such as the Aga Khan Foundation, which offers a limited number of scholarships each year to students from developing countries. Depending on your circumstances, we can help you find opportunities outside the university.

• WashU Olin Business School scholarships for MBA

We have several forms of in-house support available for individuals in the online MBA program. If you’re dedicated to using your career to help others, you might be eligible for our Nonprofit Scholarship. If you’re a woman building leadership skills through the MBA, you might qualify for the Women’s Leadership Scholarship. Or you might qualify for the Military Scholarship; the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Scholarship; or the Entrepreneurship Scholarship.

What’s the first thing you should do when seeking financial aid?

With a process like financial aid, the steps involved can feel a little big and scary until you know what you’re doing. Before you navigate the different financial-aid options available to you, set up an appointment to talk about the process ahead.

The financial aid team is ready and available to talk to students—both through group presentations and one-on-one sessions—so make use of this resource. University staff has seen every possible financial situation, so they can individualize their responses to your particular needs and worries.

In short, don’t let concerns about financial aid keep you from leaping into MBA life. Get all the help you possibly can from people who think about financial aid day in and day out. After all, figuring out finances is just one of the necessary steps in the rewarding journey toward getting an MBA. Once that’s settled, the sky is the limit.

About the Author

Washington University in Saint Louis

WashU Olin Business School

Firmly established at the Gateway to the West, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis stands as the gateway to something far grander in scale. The education we deliver prepares our students to thoughtfully make difficult decisions—the kind that can change the world.

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