Harvard Business School (HBS) seeks to remove cost as a barrier to higher education with the announcement that they will provide scholarships to cover the total cost of tuition and course fees for those with the greatest financial need. This will apply to approximately 10 percent of the HBS MBA student body. While students will be responsible for their own living expenses, the funding from the school works out to $76,000 per year for the two-year program. More scholarship support will also be made available to middle income students.
“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.”
Chad Losee, Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, adds through a Q&A, “The entire student body and community will benefit as HBS attracts and supports a socioeconomically diverse student body. A diversity of life and work experience in our student body enhances the ability of everyone to learn and prepare to be leaders who will make a difference in the world.”
The school has made myriad efforts in recent years to increase accessibility to the leading business program. And, they are quite rare among top schools due to their use of need-based aid (most schools use a merit-based approach to awarding scholarships). Approximately half of HBS students already receive scholarships with awards ranging from a few thousand dollars to more than $60,000 per year. The cost of tuition has been held flat since 2019. The school has also launched the Forward Fellowship, which offers additional funding to students who provide financial support to family members while attending business school. Additionally, HBS has revised the financial aid formula to factor in socioeconomic background in addition to personal income, assets, and undergraduate debt. Application fee waivers are also available based on need.
“We recognize that financial concerns may keep exceptional potential applicants from considering business school as an option,” said Losee. “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.”
See the official announcement here.