If you are like most students preparing to attend graduate school, you probably have a lot on your mind. You are still an entire year away from finishing your undergraduate studies, or maybe you’ve been out of the scholastic system for a while and you have a full-time job in finance or business, but you want to push your career a bit further with an MBA. You have a lot to prepare for, not least of which is the extensive financial costs. With tuition fees for MBA programs costing on average 600% more than a degree in engineering, and 900% more than a typical humanities degree, business students have a little extra to think about before they apply for grad school. For those who live in Ontario, the good news is that there are a number of internal and external funding options available to assist you as you take the next step toward your dream job in business or finance.
The Ontario Graduate Scholarship, or OGS, is one of Ontario’s most well-known financial award options. The award is designed for students who have completed at least one undergraduate degree, and is available to those who are planning on studying at a graduate level. The OGS is a merit-based scholarship available to students of any academic discipline, and the scholarship is jointly funded by the provincial government (which provides two thirds of the finding) and the student’s university (which provides the other third). The OGS is available for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. The value of the scholarship is $5000 per term per annum, which means that recipients will receive $5000, $10,000, or $15,000 depending on their number of active academic terms per year.
Whether you choose to apply for the OGS or another financial award such as the SHRR, be aware that each Ontario University has its own application process, and many applications are due in the fall a full year before study begins. This tight application window and early deadline is the first screening process universities use to determine eligibility; if you aren’t ambitious and well-organized, you will miss the boat on this very helpful scholarship.
Top business universities, such as Wilfrid Laurier, award Graduate Incentive Scholarships which complement financial support from other sources. Their graduate department also offers a number of top-up awards, which are given to top students to pad existing funding from financial awards such as The OGS or The Canadian (Master’s) Graduate Scholarship. For students in the highest academic standing, there is The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Scholarship which is awarded on a competitive basis to students entering or continuing full-time studies who meet the most rigorous standing in their respective disciplines.
To further support graduate school candidates, many business schools offer financial incentives to ambitious students who pursue extracurricular training. Wilfrid Laurier University awards travel support for conference presentations, helping them to engage in scholarly discourse outside the lecture hall, as well as offering travel and research awards, which allow students to conduct research training or attend workshops abroad.
If the only thing stopping you from pursuing an MBA and all the perks that come with it is financial worry, finding the help you need is easier than you think. For more tips on financing your Canadian MBA, hop online and look into the grants, bursaries, and scholarships that may be available to you. The research will pay off, and you’ll be investing in your own education in no time.