How to Apply for the Harvard MBA Scholarship and Boost Your Career 2024

I want to provide helpful information for those interested in applying for the prestigious Harvard MBA Scholarship program. A Harvard MBA can open doors to lucrative careers, but getting accepted is highly competitive.

In this blog, I’ll cover key questions on eligibility, required test scores, essay tips, tuition costs, networking opportunities, career prospects, and more.

Whether you’re just starting the application process or putting the final touches on your materials, my goal is to address the common concerns of prospective Harvard MBA candidates. Let’s begin exploring how to put your best foot forward.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Harvard MBA scholarship?

To be eligible for Harvard Business School’s various scholarship programs, you must first meet all the core application requirements.

This includes having an undergraduate degree, GMAT or GRE test scores, professional experience, essays, recommendations, and an interview.

Additionally, financial need and academic merit are top considerations for scholarships. Those with exceptional grades, leadership qualities, and potential for impact will have a leg up.

Applicants from underrepresented backgrounds may have access to diversity scholarships. Overall, HBS seeks candidates who will contribute meaningfully to the school community and utilize the MBA experience to create positive change.

Showcasing how financial assistance will enable your goals to have maximum benefit is key.

What GMAT score is recommended for the Harvard MBA scholarship?

Harvard’s average GMAT score for incoming students is around 730. However, to be competitive for Harvard’s MBA scholarships, which are merit-based, a GMAT score of at least 740+ is recommended.

The higher your score compared to the average, the better chance you have of securing grant money.

That said, your GMAT score is just one component of your application.

Strengths in other areas like work experience, interview performance, and essay quality also play a role.

With an exceptional profile, a score slightly below the school average may still suffice for scholarship eligibility.

But aiming as high as possible on the GMAT gives you a boost.

How much can I expect from a Harvard MBA scholarship?

Harvard awards scholarship funds that range from $5,000 per year to cover the full two years of business school.

The amount depends on each candidate’s academics, leadership potential, future goals, and financial situation.

Those granted full scholarships essentially attend HBS for free, a package worth over $200,000.

On average, scholarship recipients at Harvard receive around $38,000. This significantly reduces costs, but additional student loans are still needed in most cases.

Non-need-based merit scholarships above $10,000 are rare.

If you desire higher aid, be sure to highlight socioeconomic hardship in your applications.

What tips can you share for writing a compelling HBS scholarship essay?

An effective HBS scholarship essay accomplishes three things:

1) Explain your career goals

2) Show how an MBA enables those aspirations and

3) Describe why financial assistance is necessary for you to attend. Develop one cohesive story from these elements.

Specifically, discuss how Harvard is the perfect place to acquire the knowledge and connections to further your aims. Convey why you are a deserving investment.

Use vivid examples of obstacles overcome and be genuine about financial realities.

Stay focused on the positives of how scholarship funding facilitates bright futures rather than just hardships.

Word limits are tight, so carefully craft an essay that reveals key character strengths.

Pursue multiple revisions until the narrative flows seamlessly and packs an emotional punch. With insight and effort, your writing can truly stand out.

What career options are available to Harvard MBA scholarship recipients post-graduation?

Harvard MBA scholarship recipients have an expansive choice of career options post-graduation.

HBS consistently ranks among the top feeder schools to elite companies in consulting, finance, technology, healthcare, entrepreneurship, and more. Scholarship students have full access to the incredible alumni network.

Specifically, over 25% of Harvard MBAs enter consulting at places like McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. About 30% choose roles in the finance sector.

Banking, private equity, venture capital, and Wall Street beckon.

Meanwhile, brand-name technology firms like Google, Amazon,, and Facebook court talent.

And 15% of graduates become startup founders, leveraging business education to launch innovative ventures.

In short, a Harvard MBA scholarship paves the way for rewarding, high-impact work across industries.

The flexible curriculum enables students to gain skills relevant to diverse functions.

From C-suite executive to social justice pioneer, you can chart your course.

What networking or mentorship opportunities are available during the Harvard MBA program?

Among the greatest assets of Harvard Business School are the networking and mentorship opportunities that shape students’ trajectories. HBS hosts many high-profile guest speakers and CEOs of major corporations visit campus frequently. There is regular engagement with venture capital and private equity partners too.

Through classes, club activities, conferences, and alumni events; Harvard MBAs build strong bonds with influential figures. There is also access to the HBS’s vast mentorship program which matches students across industries and interest areas. Fellow students themselves form a powerful network as over 80% of alumni donate to the school yearly.

Simply put, Harvard places its members within the epicenter of global business leadership. Scholarship students can leverage these privileged connections during their studies and into their post-graduation roles. The relationships made unlock doors for a lifetime.

Do I need work experience before applying for Harvard’s MBA scholarship?

While work experience is not an absolute requirement, having around 3 years of professional experience boosts candidacy for Harvard’s MBA scholarship. Demonstrating success in roles shows your capability to handle business school’s rigors.

However, some deferred admission exceptions exist for candidates who display remarkable potential straight out of undergrad. For these individuals, Harvard guarantees future MBA enrollment if they gain some work credibility first.

However, most scholarship recipients have management-track jobs on their resumes when admitted. If you apply while still early in your career, communicate transferable skills clearly.

Highlight accomplishments showing work ethic, leadership, and upward mobility. Portray raw potential that foreshadows the heights you will reach with an HBS boost.

As an international student, am I eligible for Harvard’s MBA scholarship?

Yes, international students are eligible for merit-based and need-based scholarships at Harvard Business School and make up over 35% of the student body.

Applicants from all countries and backgrounds are encouraged to apply if they meet core admissions standards.

As an international candidate, be prepared to take TOEFL or other English testing alongside GMAT exams. You must also secure an appropriate Visa.

Importantly, communicate how studying at Harvard helps you gain skills to uplift your home country and region after graduating.

Share global aspirations beyond just individual advancement. While the competition is intense, stellar international applicants have a shot at Harvard MBA scholarships.

Several past international scholarship recipients have gone on to impactful entrepreneurial ventures or leadership roles transforming their communities. Underscore this change-maker potential in your essays.

Can I still get financial assistance if I’m not awarded an MBA scholarship originally?

Yes, those admitted to Harvard Business School who did not initially receive scholarships can still obtain financial assistance later on.

By completing the proper forms documenting economic hardship, students can qualify for federal grants and subsidized loans with favorable terms.

HBS also offers emergency assistance for enrolled students facing crises impacting their finances.

Those affected by family matters, medical issues, or other unforeseen circumstances can appeal for help.

Additionally, some external scholarship organizations cater aid specifically to current MBA candidates.

That said, applying for Harvard’s MBA scholarship from the start gives you the highest chance for a free ride.

Winning those coveted spots means no borrowing burdens during school or post-graduation.

But backup options do exist if unforeseen budget issues arise down the road.

What careers allow recipients to make a positive impact on the world?

Harvard MBA scholarship recipients are empowered to better the world across business sectors.

Many pursue careers combating social injustices, advancing healthcare, or protecting the planet.

For example, by working in economic development, graduates can craft solutions to alleviating poverty.

As healthcare executives, they facilitate access to quality medical services. Leadership roles in sustainability enable positive environmental change.

Additionally, Harvard MBAs create widescale improvements via the innovation economy.

Recipients working in technology build apps that educate millions. Some found startups increasing connectivity. Others champion equal opportunity in investment firm positions.

Essentially, HBS scholarship students garner skills to enact systemic change however they choose. They can uplift humanity through nonprofits or elevate voices within mass media. The privilege of attending Harvard is a gift to create justice. Recipients carry that torch for lives transformed.

Scholarship Details

The Harvard MBA Scholarship offers more than just financial assistance. Here’s what you stand to gain:

  • Full Tuition Coverage: A significant financial support of US$102,200 (US$51,100 annually) for tuition.
  • Travel and Accommodation Allowance: An additional $10,000 per year for internships or projects related to the scholarship.
  • Networking Opportunities: An invitation to join the Boustany Foundation network of scholars and mentors.
  • Exclusive Gala Dinner: Attend a prestigious gala dinner with members of the foundation and Harvard Business School faculty.

Why Apply for the Harvard MBA Scholarship?

  1. Access to Cutting-Edge Resources: Immerse yourself in cutting-edge research and innovative teaching methods offered by HBS faculty.
  2. Skill Development: Enhance your analytical, strategic, and interpersonal skills, preparing yourself for any career challenge.
  3. Exploration Opportunities: Explore diverse industries, sectors, and regions through internships or projects supported by the scholarship.
  4. Networking and Mentorship: Connect with influential alumni and mentors from the Boustany Foundation, gaining valuable guidance and opportunities.
  5. Real-World Impact: Make a difference in your community and society by applying your acquired knowledge and skills to address real-world problems.

Application Process

Admission to HBS
  • Apply for admission to Harvard Business School through the online portal, submitting academic transcripts, test scores, essays, letters of recommendation, and a resume.
  • Pay the application fee of $250.

Interview with the Admissions Committee

  • If accepted, you will be invited to interview with the admissions committee, either in person or via Skype.

Final Decision and Enrollment

  • Receive the final decision from HBS after the interview.
  • Upon admission, confirm enrollment and pay a deposit of $2,000.


  • Apply for the Harvard MBA Scholarship by sending your curriculum vitae and a photograph to [email protected].
  • Submit an essay (500 words or less) explaining why you are applying for the scholarship and how it aligns with your goals.

Application Deadline

  • The deadline for scholarship applications is May 31st of the intended study year. The scholarship is awarded every two years, with the next cycle in 2025.

Apply Here

Key Takeaways

  • Harvard MBA scholarships require meeting eligibility standards like exceptional grades, test scores, work experience, and application materials demonstrating leadership potential.
  • Average scholarship amounts reduce costs by about $38,000, but additional student loans are still needed in most cases. Full rides covering tuition for two years exist for truly standout applicants.
  • Compelling scholarship essays clearly state career goals, how an MBA enables success, and why financial assistance is essential. Tight word limits demand focused emotive narratives.
  • Harvard opens doors to rewarding careers in diverse sectors like consulting, finance, technology, healthcare, and entrepreneurship. Membership in an unparalleled global network is invaluable.
  • Networking opportunities and mentorship programs give students access to elite business leaders. Bonding with alumni, executives and fellow MBA candidates creates relationships lasting a lifetime.
  • While work experience boosts candidacy, some exceptions allow recent undergrads with exceptional potential to gain acceptance if they defer enrollment for a few years.
  • International applicants from all countries are encouraged to apply for Harvard MBA scholarships if they meet the requirements. Communicating potential for global impact is key.
  • Backup financial assistance is available through federal grants, loans, and emergency funds even for those not earning initial MBA scholarships. But applying from the start gives the highest chances for maximum aid.
  • Harvard MBA scholarship recipients are empowered through business leadership roles, technological innovation, or entrepreneurial ventures to create positive change by addressing humanity’s greatest problems.


  • A Harvard MBA scholarship represents an immense opportunity to gain skills powering your career aspirations and ability to improve lives.
  • With financial assistance, you can focus on students without debt burdens lingering post-graduation.
  • Showcase in applications why you are ready to immerse in the Harvard community and how an MBA propels your journey.
  • The competition is intense, but taking time to craft a compelling profile and persuasive essays can earn you admission.
  • Stay determined through the process – the ultimate reward of joining HBS will be life-changing.


What is the deadline to apply for Harvard’s MBA scholarship?

The deadline aligns with the general application deadline, which is April 1st for entrance in the fall class of the following year. All required materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm EST on that date.

Which standardized test is required for Harvard’s MBA scholarship – the GMAT or GRE?

Applicants can submit either GMAT or GRE scores. The GMAT exam is still more common, but Harvard accepts GRE performance equally. Aim high on whichever test you take.

How many recommendation letters do I need for the Harvard MBA scholarship application?

You will need three recommendations – typically two from managers who supervised your work and one personal recommendation highlighting strengths beyond academics and career.

Can I reapply in the next cycle if I don’t earn the Harvard MBA scholarship on my first try?

Yes, those who are not accepted or did not receive aid can go through the full process again in the next application cycle. Strengthen areas of weakness to improve candidacy. Don’t get discouraged!

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