How can I fund an MBA?

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South African money in coins and rands

How can I get funding for my MBA?

Once you have decided to do an MBA, the first thing you should do is decide how you are going to pay for it.

  • Are you going to pay for it yourself?
  • Will you ask your employer to contribute?
  • Are you going to apply for a bursary?
  • Will you borrow the money to fund your studies?

Once you have decided how you will fund your MBA, you have to start planning.

  • Have you saved enough to pay your fees or do you still have to get the money together?
  • If you ask your employer to contribute, have a look at what is required to apply for study fee assistance.
  • In applying for a bursary, where will you apply and what are the requirements?
  • If you will borrow the money, do you have a good credit record to qualify for credit?

Piggy bank - Saving for an MBA


Also make sure that you know how much must be paid at enrolment and how much at each interval, such as the option we have at MANCOSA, where you can pay monthly. You can even get a discount if you pay in advance and if you have the money saved already, this will be the best option.

You can fund your studies by using your savings or completing an online programme while you continue to work. If you use your own money to pay your study fees, you also have to look at additional costs, such as unpaid leave and books. Talk to other students who have completed an MBA to find out what other hidden costs they encountered.

Employer Funding

If you ask your employer to contribute, keep in mind that you are usually required to work for the company while you are completing your degree and for a certain period of time after you complete your studies. You have to decide if it will be worth it to restrict your freedom to move to another employer.

Bursaries or Scholarships

If you choose to apply for a bursary or scholarship, you must remember that the competition will be very fierce, because you do not have to repay your fees. Bursaries and scholarships are available from business schools, national education endowments and a wide variety of organisations. Again you will have to do some homework to see where you will be able to obtain a bursary.

Traditional Loans

All major banks offer loans for educational purposes with lower interest rates and the option of repaying the loan after you have completed your studies. You can also investigate the possibility of a loan from the business school where you will study, government or a special educational loan programme. Just remember to make sure that you will be able to meet the repayments.

Investing in your future

Your MBA will be one of the best investments you will ever make and you can be sure that however you obtain the funds to pay for the programme, it will be value for money.