If you decide in favour of an expensive Master in Management (MiM) program the question of financing will inevitably arise. Before the program you will pay tuition fees and during the program you will have living expenses, at leat for a full-time program.
After all, most students are not able to put aside a fortune during their Bachelor studies and they may even still have to pay off tuition fees for their first degree. Therefore you will find some advice on the financing issue and how to get aid for financing your master below.
- TIP: Please visit our Financing the Master in Management Forum: Scholarships and Financial aid to ask questions or read the Q&A's about financial aid from other forum members.
1. Financial Aid for Masters: Side jobs normally don't work
Bad news first: Supplementary jobs and academic studies for a Master in Management are difficult to juggle. Although some universities offer their students jobs on the campus, most universities advise against having a job alongside Management Masters.
2. Financial Aid for Masters: Which opportunities do I have?
- Delay financial burden
Some universities offer their students a sort of reversed intergenerational contract. That means that students do not have to pay tuition fees during their studies. When they start working later on, they pay a certain percentage of their wage dependent on their salary. The great advantage of this kind of aid is that it is much easier for most alumni to do with an adequate salary than it would have been for them to come up with high amounts during their studies.
- Loans of local banks
Many banks offer loans at university locations to students. The rate of interest often varies dependent on securities such as loan guarantee by parents or other valuable securities. Mostly pay back does not start immediately after graduating because the banks also know that the alumni first have to find a job and need to pay for many commodities connected to the beginning of working life. Usually you find more information about this on the university website ("Financial Aid") or personally through the admissions officers. A good advice is also to get in contact with alumni of the respective program and ask them about their financial aid strategy.
- Financial aid through university scholarships
Most universities award scholarships to talented students. From a small tuition fee waiver up to aid through scholarships everything exists and may provide valuable aid. In general, applicants from low-income countries could have better chances to get aid such as scholarships as many Business Schools also act in accordance to the financial neediness of their applicants. Concerning the kind of scholarships the universities are very imaginative. For instance scholarships are awarded for great GMAT results, outstanding advanced academic achievements, internationality, country of origin or verified leadership ambitions. In addition, scholarships often do not cover all costs. There may be full scholarships, part scholarships, scholarships covering living expenses, scholarships covering tution fees etc. Usually you find information about scholarships on the university websites ("Financial Aid", "Scholarships"). By the way, usually schools offer many different scholarships, scholarships that sometimes are granted from different donators - usually you are free to apply for several scholarships separately.
Not everyone gets scholarships, and not all scholarships cover the total costs. Some people manage to save some money before their studies and use their savings now instead or in addition to scholarships.
- Support from family
In addition to scholarships, savings, or loans, some Master in Management students might get financial aid from their families which they might or might not have to pay back later. Having an interest free loan may be very helpful aid, especially in the absence of a university scholarship.
- Company support
Whereas MBAs often get financing aid from their companies while doing an MBA, Master in Management students might be in a more difficult situation. They either have no employer and join the program directly after their bachelor graduation or might not yet be long enough in their job to let the employer be willing to invest in them. However, it may be an idea to inform yourself about financial support form your company, for example combined with a mutual agreement that binds yourself to the company for some years after the MiM.
3. Financial Aid for Masters: A mix of several financing options
A common case is that students finance their Master in Management studies with a mix of several financing sources. They might have some savings, get scholarships, and accept a loan that they pay back within a year after graduation. The important point for you and also for the schools is that you make up a financing plan or strategy to show that you thought about this aspect carefully - and by this increase the likelihood to get university financial aid or other support for your studies.
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By Thomas Graf