MBA Finances – Financing an MBA

When I started down the application process I expected sourcing finance to be the hardest part of the whole process. Once you take into account fees, living expenses, rent, study materials and the inevitable laptop purchase you’re looking at a significant sum. In my case about £30 – 35 000 for a single year. This is a lot of money.

Fortunately (in the UK anyway) plenty of people seem willing to give it to you. The association of MBA’s run a loan scheme which offers

  • Course fees
  • Up to two-thirds of your pre-MBA salary per year
  • Repayments starting 3 months after your course ends

The AMBA loan scheme is administered through a number of high street banks, but as it turned out not mine. Fortunately my bank (HSBC) offered an almost identical package as part of their career development loans with the added bonus of another three months before repayments start.

I used to think that this generous state of affairs would be the norm in most developed countries, but apparently not. In Australia for instance banks are much less generous, but you can borrow your fees from the government and pay back through taxes… I guess the rule here is talk to someone who knows, probably before you start applying.

Rather than go horribly into debt I’ve cut back on my lifestyle considerably since being accepted. While this has been good for my health (less pubs, less takeaways) its had its downsides, and after I graduate the repayments are going to be pretty steep. So be aware, there’s more commitment involved in all this than a year or two of your life spent slaving over the books.