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Do income factors influence scholarship awards?

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Do income factors influence scholarship awards? [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2014, 12:52
I've got a question for the group that I think might be interesting for people to think about as they apply to MBA programs:

Many B Schools require applicants to report their income. Does having a high income (say above $130k/year) actually hurt an applicants chance of getting scholarships/fellowships? Do other proxies for wealth have an influence?

I would like to think that schools are simply jockeying for the best students, period. And that schools make decisions independent of students salaries. But looking at the fundamentals, and through personal experience, I suspect this may not be the case.

We can all agree that B Schools want to raise their yields and use scholarships as a means to entice students to enroll. A little game theory and data crunching may reveal (though I am only hypothesizing) that certain students are more sensitive to scholarship offers. One of the factors for this sensitivity could be pre-MBA salary (wealthier students may tend to chose their preferred school over the highest scholarship because they can afford it), another could be age (older students may have more savings to afford their preferred school) and a third could be married/partnered students (students who have support from a partner may be able to afford a school because their partner can help them with living expenses and possibly tuition).

What do you think? Do you feel like these factors play in financial committee decisions? Or do you think they try to be means blind when making decisions? Why?
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Re: Do income factors influence scholarship awards? [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2014, 07:37
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It varies by school. Booth, for examples, gives merit-aid only. Nothing is need-based. Other schools, like HBS, give tons of need-based aid.
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Re: Do income factors influence scholarship awards? [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2014, 16:22
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brandon432 wrote:
It varies by school. Booth, for examples, gives merit-aid only. Nothing is need-based. Other schools, like HBS, give tons of need-based aid.


Agreed. Almost all schools give a majority of their aid based on Merit. Some schools have decent need based aid, some have no need based aid. The schools that had no need based aid still have you fill out a FAFSA for loan reasons. What I'm unsure about is, how much is based on salary and how much is based on savings. I have a high salary but almost no saving. Wondering how Kellogg will treat me.
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Re: Do income factors influence scholarship awards? [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2014, 06:28
Thanks for the post MGH. I am definitely with you (hopefully Kellogg treats you well!). Another factor that may not be uncovered by the admissions committees, besides savings, is current student loans or loans for those individuals to whom the applicant is married/partnered. These certainly play a role in a decision to enroll, but may not be uncovered by the committees.

We have acceptance letters to Darden, Anderson, Marshall and Kenan Flagler but have not gotten an offer of aid. All other factors equal, the applicant's salary is quite high. She has solid experience, >700 scores and a high GPA from a well known top 20 school, which makes us think there might be something else at play in their scholarship decisions. And certainly, we can all agree that the schools have an incentive to use their limited scholarship resources as efficiently as they can to attract the best applicants.

If what we think is true, then we actually think the current approach to awarding aid may be slightly flawed and in need reform. If we're right, schools should probably consider more financial factors when they evaluate candidates for scholarships. Agreed?

Either way, these all fall under the category of "good problems" to have :).
Re: Do income factors influence scholarship awards?   [#permalink] 26 Mar 2014, 06:28
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