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MBA Fee Waivers

July 19, 2019

Getting your MBA degree is an investment. That investment starts when you begin filling out applications. With most top business schools charging over $200 dollars to apply and with many applicants applying to 5 or 6 schools, you can expect to spend over $1,000 in application fees.


While application fee waivers exist, they are mostly geared towards a very specific group of MBA applicants. They include:


  • Members of the military

  • Peace Corps participants

  • Teach for America participants


Looking at the top 20 MBA programs, it is not surprising to find that Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton are the least accommodating when offering fee waivers. With high demand for those business schools, they have no need to offer fee waivers to applicants. In addition to those programs, Haas, Tuck, and Anderson offer very few instances when a fee waiver would be given.


Most Restrictive Schools



Then you have the schools that offer more options for getting a fee waiver: Columbia, Emory, MIT, Northwestern, UNC, Chapel Hill


MIT Sloan is the only program for which you could participate in an event in order to get a fee waiver. There are 4 different events that would lead to a fee waiver and they are listed below. If you qualify to attend any of these events, it would be a great way to interact with the school and to learn more about the program before potentially applying.


  • Diversity Alumni Panel (Once a year)

  • Women's Alumnae Panel (Once a year)

  • Diversity Visit Day (In the spring and fall)

  • Women's Visit Day (In the spring and fall)


Moderately Generous Schools



Finally, there is a set of schools that is relatively accommodating in providing the fee waivers. Those schools are Cornell, Duke, NYU, the University of Chicago, the University of Virginia, and Yale. 



Duke is the most generous in terms of fee waivers. They are also very unique in that they offer fee waivers to applicants who have interacted with the business school in one of the following ways.


  • Campus visit

  • Open house

  • Information session or informational luncheon

  • Meet and Greet

  • Multi-school informational session

  • Virtual informational session


This application fee waiver criteria demonstrates that Duke really wants to encourage interaction with their business school in some way. If you are an applicants who is not able to attend an in-person event, you should make every effort to attend a virtual information session. They are making it really easy for applicants to get to know the business school. If you are an applicant, you should make every effort to interact with the school in one of the ways listed above.


Most Generous Schools




Rona Aydin has multiple years of experience advising clients on their MBA applications, both in the United States and internationally. As a full-time admissions consultant, Rona provides highly personalized services that fit into your busy schedule. She is a graduate of Oxford Said's MBA program.


The Oriel Admissions team also includes Lauren Levine, a former NYU Stern admissions officer with over ten years of experience. Lauren has read over a thousand MBA applications for NYU Stern and has interviewed hundreds of candidates. 


For more information about Oriel Admissions services and how we can help you with your applications, please contact Rona at rona@orieladmissions.com.


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