Harvard University’s Business School (HBS) announced on Tuesday that it would award full need-based tuition and fee scholarships to its MBA students with the greatest financial need – representing approximately 10% of its student body.
The current tuition sticker price for Harvard’s tw0-year MBA is $76,000 per year, but about 50% of students receive a need-based scholarship from HBS, with scholarship awards averaging $42,000 in 2021-2022. In its announcement of the new support, HBS said its annual MBA financial aid budget exceeds $45 million, thanks in part to more than 750 named fellowship funds from HBS alumni and donors
HBS will also offer increased scholarship support to more students from middle income backgrounds, adding to the approximately 50% of students who already receive scholarships.
The new aid increases will benefit both current and future students and represent what HBS claims is the “largest need-based scholarship program of any MBA program in the world.”
In addition to the scholarships, HBS has taken other steps to control student costs, including revising its financial aid formula (to consider pre-MBA income and assets, socioeconomic background, and undergraduate debt), holding tuition flat since 2019, and introducing a need -based application fee waiver.
“We know that talent is much more evenly distributed than opportunity,” said HBS Dean Srikant Datar in the announcement. “Harvard Business School should be a place where the most talented future leaders can come to realize their potential. We want to remove the financial barriers that stand in their way and alleviate the burden of debt so they can focus on becoming leaders who make a difference in the world.”
HBS has also expanded outreach to first-generation college graduates and applicants from diverse backgrounds. According to the announcement, it has formed a student-led Socioeconomic Inclusion Task Force comprised of students, faculty, and staff, and it started a First-Generation Students Club. In 2021, HBS expanded its financial wellness offerings, including personal financial management events and workshops for prospective and current students.
“We recognize that financial concerns may keep exceptional potential applicants from considering business school as an option,” said Chad Losee, Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid at HBS. “Given the impact they are having in their companies and communities, that is a loss not only for them, but also for society as a whole. By funding the full cost of tuition for students with the greatest financial need, we aim to ensure that prospective students from all socioeconomic backgrounds, industries, and parts of the world have access to the HBS experience.”
Harvard’s 2023 MBA class consists of 1010 students, 46% of whom are women, and 37% of whom are international. Of that class, 47% are white, 24% are Asian American, 12% are Black/African American, 11% are Hispanic/Latino, and 4% identify as multi-racial.