In today’s business world, MBA programs can provide potential career advancement opportunities to women who wish to get a high paying job in their preferred field, progress in their existing career, make a career pivot or start their own MBA programs are a promising avenue for developing the network, leadership skills, and confidence needed for success in the business and management arena. Pursuing a Master’s program helps women build connections with other women running a successful business venture or leading businesses from top managerial positions.
MBA aspirants must take the GMAT exam for admission to MBA colleges across the globe. GMAT, or the Graduate Management Admission Test, is a computer-based adaptive exam conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). It helps set an evaluation parameter for students who wish to get into MBA programs throughout the globe, including in India. When you add the tuition fee to the living expenses, it becomes a sizeable amount. Sometimes financial barriers prevent women from pursuing their dream of enrolling in an MBA program abroad. This is where scholarships come to the rescue for women who demonstrate outstanding leadership and stand out with a GMAT score.
Why GMAT is important for an MBA scholarship
GMAT helps open several doors for women who can make their dream come alive, assisted by a scholarship. This exam gives you a better chance of getting a scholarship than the GRE. Several business schools offer scholarships that depend entirely on the applicant’s GMAT score. The Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business awards scholarships and additional benefits to outstanding women applicants through the Forte MBA Fellowship. However, eligibility for this scholarship requires a valid GMAT score.
Most B-schools consider the GMAT score, a crucial step in the MBA application process, as one of the critical parameters in awarding scholarships. Applicants to business schools come from different cultures, countries, academic backgrounds, and levels of work experience. GMAT scores give colleges a consistent, comparable eligibility measure.
MBA scholarships for women from B-schools across the globe
Several B-schools across the globe offer targeted MBA scholarships to women candidates to create a balance. These scholarships provide financial aid to women who wish to pursue a degree in management but are held back by financial barriers. With these scholarships, women do not have to rely on loans, facilitating quicker returns on the investment made in education. It is crucial to find the right MBA program that matches your aspirations while also giving you a chance to get a scholarship.
Along with financial assistance, these scholarships allow women recipients to get a chance to join a network of fellow women in business and receive mentoring opportunities.
Let’s look at some of the best MBA scholarships available for women taking the GMAT exam:
The Chicago Booth School of Business offers the Wallman Fellowship to women MBA aspirants. Preference is given to women from underrepresented minority groups for this full-tuition scholarship.
INSEAD is a premier business school that accepts GMAT scores and offers several scholarships to females. Here are some of the scholarships offered by INSEAD:
- Women with experience in fashion retail are eligible for the Groupe Galeries Lafayette Endowed Scholarship, which offers US$12,000 to women committed to serving customers irrespective of their racial or social background. This principle is in line with the Groupe Galeries Lafayette’s values.
- One female student in every MBA class at INSEAD is eligible for the merit-based Judith Connelly Delouvrier Endowed Scholarship worth US$15,000.
- For female engineers who apply to the MBA program, there is the INSEAD Piet and Wina Van Waeyenberge Endowed Scholarship worth $15,700.
London Business School
- Female students at London Business School can apply for the 30% Club Scholarship, which awards up to 50 per cent of tuition fees. Women who can make an impact in society and business are eligible for this scholarship.
- Another merit-based open to women MBA candidates at LSB is the Carlsson Family Scholarship worth US$28,000.
- Women MBA applicants from Australia or New Zealand are eligible for the Kearney Australia New Zealand Women’s Scholarship Program worth up to US$11,700.
- A Higher Education Advancing Diversity or the AHEAD Scholarship worth US$35,000 is another merit-based scholarship open to women MBAs and Masters in Finance applicants from developing countries.
*These scholarships are open to all women who secure a spot in the MBA program.
Other GMAT scholarships for women along with the required GMAT score:
ESMT Women’s Academic Scholarship
INSEAD Christina Law MBA ‘91D Endowed Scholarship for Asian Women
Forte MBA Fellowship for Women
Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
Tips to secure an MBA Scholarship
How can you improve your chances of receiving these women-only scholarships? The answer is simple. A GMAT score and preparing your application diligently is the key. Since most of these scholarships are merit-based, a good GMAT score can tilt the scales in favour of the female applicant and improve her chances of being awarded such a scholarship.
Securing the scholarship requires a two-pronged strategy: GMAT score and College Application. Let’s look at how to ace these two:
Strategies to get a good GMAT score
- Maintain a consistent study schedule and plan out your study plan for at least three months.
- Evaluate your progress several times during this period way with practice tests. Your evaluation will help you alter your study plan if required.
- Use the highest quality GMAT practice materials, which are closer in difficulty, tone, format, and content to the actual GMAT.
- To get a strong GMAT score, take several timed practice tests in a computerized adaptive format, like the actual exam. This will familiarize you with the length of each section.
Strategies while applying to colleges accepting GMAT scores
1. Gather all the details of the application process
It is important to familiarize yourself with the application process. Find out which colleges offer women-only scholarships and their eligibility criteria. Understand why the fund was created as this would help you put together an impressive application essay required to be submitted when applying for the scholarship.
2. Tailor your application
In several colleges, women candidates admitted to a good MBA program automatically become eligible for several scholarships. As mentioned before, finding out the principle behind the scholarship helps with the application. For instance, the Forté Foundation prefers women who show promise of becoming ambassadors for gender equality in the MBA program and beyond. In their application essay, female applicants who want to be considered for a scholarship at Forté partner school should highlight how the MBA program will help them build and support a network of fellow women in business.
3. Apply early
It is advisable to apply for these scholarships as early as possible since most B-schools have a limited amount of funding available and limited spots. Applying early reduces the competition pool substantially. It also gives you more time to curate the application essays.
4. Showcase who you are
Let your application tell your story. Your application essay must emphasize the importance of networking and building relationships with other successful women in business. You should be able to convey how the scholarship-assisted MBA program can help facilitate these connections.
It is quite evident that many women are quite keen to pursue an MBA degree, as the popularity of this degree program continues to rise among women. The GMAT is one of the most important criteria on which the admission committee will judge the application, and hence, it is important that women understand how to ace this exam so that they can get into the business school of their choice.