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Show Me the Money! How does scholarship distribution work?

April 14th, 2008 by Niki da Silva

There’s no getting around the fact that the MBA is an expensive investment. While most schools try to help out where they can (including Ivey), the hard cold truth is that there just isn’t enough funding to go around for everyone. So – who gets the money and how do we decide?

Some key background information to note. First of all, about 50% of Ivey students receive some scholarship funding. This could be anywhere from $5000 upwards to a half-tuition scholarship. Scholarship money generally comes from individual donors or corporate sponsors who want the contribution to go to an incoming student who matches specific criteria (for example, interest in a certain specialty or demonstrated aptitude in a subject area), or to candidates who stand out as being exceptional or above average relative to the rest of the class. Scholarships are also awarded to students based solely on academic merit or financial need.

What makes an outstanding candidate? Special scholarship consideration is given to those who have excelled in all areas of their application (interviews, academics, work experience, references, and essay questions), and who demonstrate strong potential for class contribution and leadership. The amount awarded is based on the overall strength of the candidate’s entire application package in relation to other submissions. Here’s the hard part for us – everyone who gets accepted to the program is impressive and accomplished! The application process is very competitive and our screening process incredibly rigorous. In an ideal world, we could distribute full and half scholarships to all of our candidates. Even though half the class receives some kind of scholarship and everyone has an impressive background, we do have to be selective.

So how can you set yourself up for the strongest scholarship opportunities? Candidates who apply to the program early have the best chance at receiving scholarship money. Since applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, we are consistently distributing scholarship money throughout the year. So – although we may get an exceptional candidate who deserves a high-value award, if he/she applies too late there may be nothing left to give out. Bottom line: the earlier you apply, the higher the chances of receiving scholarship money.

However, in addition to scholarships, there are several options for financing your MBA to address the gap between personal savings and tuition. Ivey has developed the MBA Loan Program in partnerships with the following Canadian banks – BMO Bank of Montreal, ScotiaBank, Royal Bank, and TD Canada Trust to create attractive loan packages for Ivey MBA candidates. For more information on Financing Options and additional scholarship eligibility details, please visit our Tuition and Finances site.

Ultimately, remember that cost should only be one piece of your MBA consideration set – don’t decide to go to a Program solely because of a scholarship – there are lots of ways to support your MBA pursuit financially and ensure you end up in the Program you want. Your MBA planning should include evaluating finance and funding opportunities to ensure you can accept the admission offer from your top choice – with or without a scholarship!

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