MBA Application Fee and Application Fee Waivers at US and European Business Schools

By admitStreet Team

When considering applying to MBA programs, one of the initial costs prospective students face is the application fee. These fees can vary significantly among different business schools, both within the United States and in Europe. Additionally, many schools offer fee waivers for applicants who demonstrate financial need or meet certain criteria. Let’s delve into the details of MBA application fees and fee waivers at top business schools in the US and Europe.

MBA Application Fees at US Business Schools

Below is a comprehensive list of MBA application fees at various US business schools:

S. No.Business SchoolMBA Application Fee (USD)
2Harvard Business School$250
3Stanford GSB$275
4Booth School of Business$250
5Kellogg School of Management$250
6MIT Sloan School of Management$250
7Columbia Business School$250
8Dartmouth Tuck$250
9UC-Berkeley – Haas$200
10Yale SOM$250*
11Michigan Ross$200
12Duke Fuqua$225
13Virginia Darden$250
14Cornell Johnson$200
15UCLA Anderson$200
16NYU Stern$250
17CMU Tepper$200
18UT Austin McCombs$200
19UNC Kenan-Flagler$150
20Indiana – Kelley$75
21Washington – Foster$85
22Georgetown – McDonough$175
23Rice – Jones$200
24USC Marshall$155
25Georgia Tech – Scheller$75 (domestic), $85 (international)
26Washington – Olin$0
27Michigan State – Broad$85
28Arizona State – Carey$70 (domestic), $115 (international)
29Minnesota – Carlson$75
30Wisconsin School of Business$75
31Vanderbilt – Owen$175
32Ohio State – Fisher$60 (domestic), $70 (international)
33Penn State – Smeal$65
34Purdue – Krannert$60 (domestic), $75 (international)
35Maryland – Smith$75
36Boston – Questrom$125
37Texas-Dallas – Jindal$100 (domestic), $150 (international)
38Texas A&M – Mays$125 (domestic), $200 (international)
39Boston College – Carroll$100
40SMU – Cox$0
42Emory – Goizueta$175

*Note: Some schools offer fee waivers or reduced fees for certain applicants.

  • Variability in Fees: The MBA application fees in the US range from $0 (for schools like Washington – Olin and SMU – Cox) to $275 (Wharton and Stanford GSB). This indicates a significant disparity in costs among top MBA programs.
  • Common Fee Range: Many prestigious business schools like Harvard, Booth, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, and Columbia charge around $250 for their application fees.
  • Fee Waivers: Several schools offer fee waivers for applicants facing financial constraints or for specific demographics. For example, Washington – Olin and SMU – Cox offer their applications for free.
  • International Applicants: Some schools differentiate fees between domestic and international applicants, with higher fees for international candidates. Georgia Tech – Scheller, Texas-Dallas – Jindal, and Texas A&M – Mays are examples of this.

MBA Application Fees at European Business Schools

In Europe, the application fees for MBA programs also vary:

Business SchoolMBA Application Fee (EUR/GBP)
Oxford Saïd£150
Cambridge Judge£165
London Business School£200
HEC Paris€200
IE Business School€150
  • Comparable Fees: The application fees at top European business schools generally fall within a similar range, from around €130 to €250, with some exceptions.
  • Fee Waivers: IMD stands out by not charging any application fee. This could be a strategic move to attract a larger pool of applicants.
  • GBP vs. EUR: Schools like Oxford Saïd and Cambridge Judge charge their fees in GBP (£), whereas most others use the Euro (EUR).
  • Consistency in Fees: Unlike some US schools that have varying fees based on residency, European schools generally have consistent fees for all applicants.

How to get an MBA Application Fee Waiver

When applying to MBA programs, the cost of application fees can quickly add up. However, there are several avenues you can explore to secure fee waivers, making the application process more affordable. Here are eight ways to obtain an MBA application fee waiver:

Financial Hardship

  • Reach out to the admissions office of your desired business school and request a fee waiver if you’re experiencing financial hardship.
  • Yale SOM explicitly offers fee waivers for applicants facing financial difficulties, with the standard application fee being $250.
Income LevelApplication Fee
< $30,000$175
< $15,000$125

High GMAT Score

  • Some schools may grant fee waivers to applicants with high GMAT scores. While not explicitly mentioned, you can inquire about this option with the admissions office.

Attend Webinars or Visit Campus

  • Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools offered full or partial fee waivers to applicants who attended webinars or visited campus.
  • Schools like Cornell Johnson and Duke Fuqua provide fee waivers in exchange for participating in their events.

MBA Admissions Events and Fairs

  • Attend MBA fairs and admissions events, where you can inquire about fee exemptions.
  • Events like The MBA Tour, Forté Forums, and Forté MBALaunch (for women candidates) can offer valuable opportunities for fee waivers.

Forté MBALaunch Program

  • Forté Foundation’s MBALaunch program supports women candidates in their MBA journey and offers fee waivers for participating schools.
  • Eligible candidates can apply for the program and receive waivers from various business schools.

US Ethnic Minorities

  • Organizations like The Consortium and Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) aim to increase the representation of ethnic minorities in MBA programs.
  • The Consortium enables applicants to apply to multiple schools with waived fees, while MLT fellows receive fee waivers from participating schools.

US Military

  • Active-duty military personnel and veterans of the US military often qualify for fee waivers at most business schools.
  • Harvard Business School, for example, waives fees exclusively for active-duty military members.

Teach for America, Peace Corps, and AmeriCorps

  • Some schools offer fee waivers to current or former participants of Teach for America, Peace Corps, or AmeriCorps.
  • Yale SOM and NYU Stern are among the schools providing waivers to current corps members or alumni of these organizations.

MBA Application Fee Waiver Policies at Top US Business Schools

Business SchoolFee Waiver Policies
Harvard Business School– Active-duty military applicants and past SVMP participants do not pay the application fee.
Stanford GSB– Reduced Fee: $100 for qualified candidates. – Waived Fee: For active-duty U.S. military service members or veterans: – Provide proof-of-service statement or letter, dated within the last 45 days – Copy of most recent enlistment contract, dated within the last 365 days – Copy of TA form showing date of separation (if applicable) – Copy of most recent Leave and Earnings statements showing Estimated Time of Separation, dated within the last 45 days.
Chicago Booth– Enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program (non-University of Chicago student) – Summer Business Scholar Graduate – Teach for America Instructor or Alum – Forté MBALaunch Member – Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Fellow – Member of the Jumpstart Advisory Group – U.S. Veteran – University of Chicago Employee – University of Chicago Student (all programs)
Kellogg– Active duty U.S. military applicants or U.S. military veterans within three years of applying – Candidates employed by Teach For America or the Peace Corps within the past three years
MIT Sloan– Current college seniors who are U.S. citizens and graduating from a U.S. university in 2019 – Active U.S. military personnel – Teach for America members and alumni – Peace Corps members – Forté MBA Launch participants – MLT MBA Prep Fellows – Attendees at special events: – Women’s Alumnae Panel: Creating Ideas Made to Matter – Diversity Alumni Panel – Diversity Visit Day – Applicants must submit the fee waiver form at least ONE week before the application deadline
Columbia– Full-time students – Active-duty US military personnel – Peace Corps members – Teach For All network partners currently in service – Applicants must email a fee waiver request and proof of service to and explain their need for a fee waiver in the optional essay.
UC Berkeley-Haas– U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are active participants of AmeriCorps or Peace Corps, U.S. military service members, or those qualifying based on financial need as determined by Estimated Family Contribution.
Dartmouth Tuck– Automatically waived for Tuck Business Bridge graduates and U.S. military personnel. – Waived upon request for Forté MBA Launch program completers.
Yale SOM– Sliding-scale application fee structure based on annual compensation. Standard fee: $250. – Fee waivers for: – Active U.S. military members or veterans – Current Teach for America, Teach for China, or Teach for India members or alumni – Current or former Forté MBALaunchers – Current or former Forté Rising Stars – Current or former Peace Corps volunteers – Current Yale graduate students – Current Yale undergraduate students – Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) MBA Prep Fellows – Applicants must request a fee waiver within 48 hours before the application deadline.
Michigan Ross– Waived for active members and veterans of the U.S Military (provide military orders or DD-214). – Waived for Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Teach for America volunteers who have served within the past three years. – Waived for currently enrolled students in a University of Michigan graduate degree program.
Duke Fuqua– Eligible for fee waiver if: – Member of any nation’s military (active duty, active reserve, or honorably discharged/completed service within three years) – Active participant or alumnus/alumna of Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Teach for America – Approval from Fuqua Admissions Committee – Attendee of specified events – Recommendation from current Fuqua student or alumnus/alumna – Member of qualifying organizations: Forté, Posse Foundation, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, Riordan Fellows Program, Choctaw Nation, Graduate Horizons, JumpStart Advisory Group – Member of Diversity Events: The Duke MBA Workshop for Minority Applicants, The Duke MBA Weekend for Women, The Duke MBA LGBT Weekend, The Duke MBA Veterans Symposium
Virginia Darden– Eligible for fee waivers: Teach for America corps members and alumni, Peace Corps volunteers, Education Pioneers fellows, Forté MBALaunch members, U.S. military members, and citizens of UN’s least developed countries. – Proof of service is required.
Cornell Johnson– Provided to U.S. military service members and veterans, Forté MBALaunchers, MLT MBA Prep Fellows, current or former Peace Corps volunteers, alumni of Teach for America, and current Cornell students applying for admission to a Cornell MBA dual degree program.
NYU Stern– U.S. military members or veterans – Teach for America and Teach for India program alumni – Forté MBALaunch alumnae – Severe economic hardship cases considered on a case-by-case basis
UT McCombs– Qualifying criteria: Veteran or current U.S. military service member, Teach for America participant, Forté MBA Launch participant
UNC Kenan Flagler– Active duty U.S. military or veteran; active participant in Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Teach for America
Georgetown McDonough– Automatically waived for: active duty, reservists, or veterans of the United States military; MLT Fellows; Forté MBA Launch participants; Consortium for Graduate Study in Management (CGSM) members; and current and returned Peace Corps Volunteers. – Reduced fee ($100) for members of Women in Technology, Forté, re-applicants, AmeriCorps and Teach for America participants or alumni. – Application fee reduction codes provided for certain event attendees.
Rice Jones– Waived for: United States military personnel (active duty or veteran), MLT MBA Prep Fellows, Forté Foundation MBALaunch members, Fulbright Scholars, MD/MBA dual degree program applicants, Rice University alumni, prospective students referred by alumni through Build the Class program, and prospective students who met a recruiter at an MBA fair or event outside of Houston.

MBA Application Fee Waiver Policies at Top European Business Schools

Business SchoolApplication Fee Waiver Policy
INSEADNo Waiver information
LBS– Application to the MBA is free to London Business School alumni and current active military candidates.
Oxford Saïd– Residents of low-income countries listed in the application form can request a fee waiver within their online application. – Eligible countries include Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Korea (DPR), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia.
Cambridge Judge– Some applicants exempted from paying application fee as part of the University’s commitment to widening access at postgraduate level. – International applicants from certain countries listed in OECD’s DAC list of ODA recipients, World Bank list of low-income countries, and UN’s list of LDCs may qualify for fee waiver.
IESE Business SchoolNo Information on Application fee waiver
IE Business SchoolNo Information on Application fee waiver
HEC ParisNo Information on Application fee waiver
ESSECNo Information on Application fee waiver
ESADENo Information on Application fee waiver

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, navigating the MBA application process can be both financially and logistically challenging. However, by understanding the landscape of application fees and fee waiver options, you can make the process more manageable.

When applying to top US business schools, be prepared for a wide range of application fees, reflecting each school’s prestige and processing costs. Some schools, like Wharton and Harvard, have higher fees, while others offer more affordable options. Additionally, consider exploring fee waiver options based on financial need, high GMAT scores, or attending events like webinars or campus visits.

The application fee landscape for European business schools varies, with some offering waivers to alumni or applicants from specific countries with financial need. Whether it’s through alumni status, military service, or residency in certain countries, there are avenues to explore to lessen the financial burden of applying.

Remember to review each school’s individual fee waiver policies carefully and take advantage of any opportunities available to you. By doing so, you can maximize your chances of gaining admission to your desired MBA program without breaking the bank.

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