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Financial Aid at Harvard Business School, Straight from the Admissions Director

300px-Aerial_of_the_Harvard_Business_School_campusNEWS FLASH: Business school, especially at top schools, costs a ton. Okay, so that’s not really news. More notable is the fact that top schools want to make the MBA affordable, at least according to the most recent post on the Director’s Blog at Harvard Business School (HBS).

Earlier this week, HBS Admissions Director Dee Leopold devoted a post on her blog to the topic of financial aid, noting that HBS last year awarded $26 million in need-based financial aid and has plans to increase that amount for the Class of 2017.

HBS alumni are incredibly generous and are eager to give back – especially through financial aid – to an experience that they feel was “transformational in both professional and personal ways,” Leopold writes. Leopold stressed in her post that the HBS admissions process is need-blind. “Although we ask for your income, this is more for us to understand different industries/paths vs. anything to do with evaluation,” she writes.

At HBS, financial aid is need based, but the school does not award full fellowships, she says. To be clear: No  student will be fully funded by HBS. Underscoring the point that admissions is need-blind, Leopold notes that applicants do not apply for financial aid until AFTER they receive an offer of admission. Finally, HBS does have a loan program for international students which does not require a U.S. co-signer.

Applicants will receive an awards package from HBS only after they have completed a financial aid application. “In making our awards, we rely on a formula which takes into account whether you are single or married and can be adjusted for documented exceptional circumstances,” Leopold writes, noting that parental income and assets are not considered in the calculation.

“We want to make HBS affordable,” she writes. “We want you to make post-MBA career decisions based on your dreams and aspirations, not a burdensome debt repayment obligation.

Read more about financial aid at HBS.