HBS (Harvard Business School) has announced a new scholarship “Forward Fellowship” to support MBA Students from lower-income background. Beginning with the HBS MBA Class of 2020, HBS ensure that students from all socioeconomic walks of life continue to be part of the rich diversity that fuels the HBS community and the case-method classroom learning experience. The Forward Fellowship’s application process will take into account the student’s family background and financial history in addition to their individual financial situation.
According to data from an accrediting body AACSB International, “So far business schools have largely focused their diversity efforts on creating gender equality in their MBA programs, which have remained male-dominated for the past decade. But new Fellowship announcement by HBS suggests that elite schools are beginning to think more carefully about what they can do to attract people from lower-income backgrounds who may be put off by high tuition fees.”
An HBS MBA student points out that while “things like race or gender can be readily apparent,” it’s also important to acknowledge “a dimension of diversity that isn’t so evident, the socioeconomic one.” The fellowship means for students who are trying to balance investing in their education with financial responsibilities like supporting their parents.
However the business school’s dean, Nitin Nohria, told Bloomberg that 60% of its students are offered financial aid, which covers about half the cost of the MBA annual tuition at HBS is US$72,000. Forward Fellowships would be awarded in addition to HBS Need-Based Fellowships to further assist students during their transformative two years at HBS.
The new Forward Fellowship is designed for students who carry significant financial burdens because of their family background and circumstances. Applicants who are awarded a Forward Fellowship will receive between US$10,000 and US$20,000 per year, on top of any need-based aid given by HBS.
Chad Losee, Managing director of admissions and financial aid said, “At HBS, we are intent on and proactive about maintaining the diversity of our student body and supporting individuals from all backgrounds. We believe it is important to acknowledge both where each of our students is now and how far they have come. The information we gather in the Forward Fellowship application will enable us to identify incoming students for whom this additional aid will go a long way.”
Unlike regular need-based fellowships, which consider a student’s individual financial situation, the Forward Fellowship’s application process will take into account the student’s family circumstances and financial history, so the available funds can be distributed to those who need it most.
The awards are intended to alleviate some of the financial concerns associated with earning an MBA, HBS said in a statement. The announcement comes as prospective students increasingly question the cost of an MBA, and consider more carefully their expected return on investment (ROI).
The Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) in a recent survey revealed that, around 50 per cent of prospective students of business school have raise concern about the fees and money available with them to pay for their education. Potentially having to take on large debts, may prevent them from pursuing a graduate business degree.
The amount of scholarship funding awarded to MBAs to help them saddle the cost of obtaining the degree along with living and other expenses has ballooned in recent years over US$100,000.
According to the GMAC study the number of employers who are willing to sponsor their employees to get an MBA has fallen from 36% in 2009 to 28% today. The GMAC study also found that the number of prospective business school students using grants, fellowships or scholarships to pay their fees has risen from roughly 15% to roughly 27% over the past five years.
For more information, regarding Forward Fellowship . We AfterGraduation appreciate the Harvard Business school for supporting the bright MBA students/Aspirants from lower income family background students irrespective of Caste, Creed, Race, Religion for etc to complete their degree and family responsibilities. If you have any feedback or comments regarding above article, please post on our Aftergraduation Forum. Connect with us also through Facebook and Twitter.