Deciding how to fund your Executive MBA programme can seem challenging at first. Having decided to invest in your future and further expand your skillset, the question then becomes: how do I pay for it?
What to consider
Before thinking about the funding options available to you, it’s important to consider the total cost of studying for the Executive MBA. Of course, there are the fees, which for our February 2021 intake are £60,500 (which includes a deposit of £3,025 paid to secure your place upon receipt of an offer). The remainder of the tuition fees are split equally between the two years of the programme. You can pay your tuition fees in one instalment per year when the programme starts in February or, if you are self-funding, in two instalments as set in a Regulated Credit Agreement.
The programme fees cover your tuition for the two years of the programme, any core reading texts and accommodation during any study tours and global residencies you undertake as well as first-class catering for all your on-campus visits. Other costs you’ll need to consider through the duration of your studies include:
- Travel to reach London if you live and work outside the city
- Flights for the study tours and global residencies
- Supplementary texts and study materials
- Any additional costs you may incur e.g. additional time away from work to study, childcare, etc.
What are the options?
It’s important to know that there is no ‘right’ way to finance your Executive MBA, and it is in fact extremely common for students to pay for their MBA through multiple funding sources, combining personal resources with company sponsorship, education loans and scholarships.
The first source of funding to consider is your own personal resources. Consider what is available to you in terms of your income, assets, and lifestyle expenses. The ability to fund yourself using personal resources is in no way a requirement for studying the Executive MBA, and accessing this option is simply a means of reducing your dependency on loans and other financing options.
Another route to consider when determining how to fund your MBA is applying for scholarships. There are a number of significant scholarship options on offer to our most talented Imperial Executive MBA candidates, which can be incredibly helpful to self-funded applicants wishing to pursue this programme of study. These range in value based on the type of scholarship and circumstances in which they are awarded, and are worth taking into consideration when you are reviewing funding options for the programme.
Self-funded candidates are automatically considered for scholarships, but only if they apply before the scholarship deadlines, which for the February 2021 intake are:
20 November 2020 - Inspiring Women scholarship
8 January 2021 - all other scholarships
A number of students on the Imperial Executive MBA receive either full or partial sponsorship through their employer, which is an extremely attractive method of funding. This will always be dependent on your personal circumstances as well as those of your employer, but there are several things you can do to create an effective proposal which will demonstrate to your employer the value of your education to both you and the organisation.
The most crucial element is developing a business case which outlines details of your goals and the programme you wish to undertake, as well as reasoning for how these align with the goals and objectives of the business. Other things to consider include:
- Identifying your company’s policy on sponsorship and any formal training/development opportunities they may offer. This will also help you identify who might need to receive your business case (line management, senior management, HR, etc)
- Speak to colleagues who’ve been sponsored and uncover the benefits this brought to them/the business. You can then reference these in your business case
- Decide what level of commitment you want to ask for from your employer, and the level of commitment you’d be prepared to give in return. Students usually receive financial assistance from their organisations by means of full or part-sponsorship. However, support doesn’t have to be financial. Other forms of support you could ask for are flexible working or study leave (often known as “time sponsorship”).
I was fortunate enough to be fully funded by my employer. I used my professional development plan as the vehicle to achieve this and demonstrated how the programme aligned to both my personal development and the company’s corporate objectives.
Loans are an essential consideration for many students looking to fund their Executive MBA, whether they have received partial sponsorship or are looking to self-fund, a loan can help cover anything from 1% to 100% of the cost. In addition to standard loans from banks, building societies and other lenders, there are several other financing options available which you may not have considered:
Future Finance - an alternative source of financing for students, offering loans between £2,000 - £60,000 that are available to students studying at an undergraduate or postgraduate level, from the UK, EU, and even international students with a UK domiciled address.
Lendwise - a specialist loan provider dedicated to education finance for UK residents who are looking to fund their postgraduate studies at top universities. For Imperial College London, North American and EU nationals will also be considered for a Lendwise loan. To apply you must have received an offer of admission to a postgraduate degree programme at Imperial College Business School. The application process is entirely online. Contact Lendwise directly to apply.
Postgraduate Master’s Loan – UK and EU students who meet specific criteria can apply for a government-funded loan to help with course fees and living costs while studying a postgraduate master’s course. You then begin repaying this loan when your income is over a certain amount (the ‘threshold’ amount).
When deciding which of the above options is right for you, it’s useful to remember that choosing to pursue an MBA is one of the most important decisions you will ever make and is a substantial investment in yourself and your future. By carefully considering how you finance the programme, you can ensure that your studies remain sustainable for the duration of the programme and beyond.