Five Ways To Pay For Your MBA

    how to pay for an mba

    The benefits of completing an MBA are undeniable.

    From learning fresh skills to advance your career to growing your professional network and increasing your earning potential, the motivations for committing to such studies are as varied as they are valid.

    That said, there is an aspect of signing up for an MBA that is a reality check for many – the cost.

    Nearly a third of respondents to MBA Motivations & Aspirations Survey indicated that paying for their course was the biggest hurdle to starting and completing their MBA, with ‘work commitments’ the only greater obstacle for those who responded.

    While 40 per cent of those polled expect to rely on government finance schemes such as FEE-HELP to finance their MBA dream, such an avenue is clearly not the only option as more than half are considering other strategies.

    To help them – and you – decide the best way to pay for an MBA, we’ve come up with this guide covering everything from loans and scholarships to good, old-fashioned patience.


    Study Loans is Australia’s first student loan provider, offering a bespoke product that provides students with an alternative, flexible and more affordable way to pay for their course.

    They do this by providing a facility that you draw on as you need to fund your course. You only pay for what you have drawn, so payments start low and only increase as you progress through your studies. There are no fees or charges on your unused facility or if you payout the loan early.

    Compare this to the FEE-HELP scheme where the more you earn, the faster you are required to repay the debt regardless of how much you owe. As you would expect with a fintech company, the application is paperless, student-friendly and with loans of up to $50,000, Study Loans is the clever alternative to fund your postgrad education.



    With more than $10 million worth of scholarships on offer across Australia’s business schools, you’d be crazy not to consider putting your hat in the ring.

    Most application processes consist of multiple stages, with an initial submission normally followed by interviews with judging panels for those who stand out from the crowd.

    The Queensland Business Monthly and Griffith University MBA Scholarship is one such prize that has changed lives, with aspiring leaders given the chance to receive a full scholarship worth more than $50,000.

    Scholarships aimed to support women in advancing their professional careers are also prevalent, with the Monash MBA Australian Women in Leadership Scholarship a highly sought after example. Awarded by the Monash Business School Leadership and Executive Education team, the scholarship may be awarded to up to six MBA students per cohort with valued at up to $16,000.

    For more, including recent offerings, visit here.


    This may well be a delicate conversation for some but there has never been a better time to approach the parents for a loan.

    With many older workers and retirees earning just a few percentage points for savings in the bank, the chance to invest in their child’s future is increasingly appealingly, especially given the untold benefits that flow from holding an MBA.

    Be sure to highlight that the vast majority of MBA graduates report strong salary growth after completing their degrees, meaning repaying the loan won’t be a concern, and if all else fails, point out that people with MBAs are three times more likely to regularly visit their parents than non-MBA holders*.

    * OK, this fact is not statistically proven but surely worth a try


    Did you know that most institutions that offer MBAs don’t charge upfront for an entire degree? That’s right – students only need to pay for each course as they sign up, costing about $3000-4000 per subject depending on where they are studying.

    Not having to outlay tens of thousands of dollars in one hit means you have the option of taking your time and starting each new course as you save enough money to proceed.

    While taking that approach might mean it’s a little longer before you graduate, you’ll be the one smiling when you’re walking away with an MBA and no debt.


    Pursuing an MBA is a personal choice but there is often someone else who may benefit greatly from your new skills and thus be prepared to help contribute financially – your employer.

    Broaching the subject with your boss can be tricky but taking the time to do a little research and prepare a solid pitch can result in success.

    This includes investigating your organisation’s formal policies, attitudes and commitment to employee development and education, while getting to know your company’s key decision-makers and their motivations will also prove beneficial.

    It’s all about building a strong business case for why your company should invest in you and what their return on investment would look like.

    For more, including advice from The University of NSW’s Business School, visit here.

    Ben Ready
    Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (