A recent London Business School applicant was awarded a £25,000 scholarship based on where he received his undergraduate degree. The scholarship was set up by a British LBS alumnus and entrepreneur, who wanted to invest in the future of students from this specific country. This got us thinking, do you know how diverse merit scholarships really are?

Unlike academic scholarships, merit-based scholarships are not based on the academic achievements of a student. Rather they are granted to applicants who will promote a diverse student body. It’s worth spending time researching the various scholarships that your target school offers. Remember, many scholarships are awarded by third-parties, and not only by the schools themselves. ARINGO clients are awarded a combined value of half a million dollars in merit-based scholarships every year.

London Business School offers 85 different scholarships to incoming MBA candidates. These are based on nationality, ethnic group, gender, military personnel, and more. Some are even based on the industry that the applicant is intending to get into. For example, their LIFE Scholarship is awarded to Lebanese nationals who intend to go into financial services.

NYU states that up to 25% of MBA applicants are granted merit-based scholarships. They offer a wide range of scholarships, which help the program diversify its student body with a large number of students from different backgrounds. Every year, a small number of students are hand-selected by NYU Stern’s Dean Sundaram, to receive the Dean’s Scholarship, which covers full tuition and fees. This is one of the most prestigious scholarships that NYU offer.

Harvard Business School claims that approximately half of their students receive scholarships and that the average scholarship granted is $42,000 a year (or $82,000 total over the three years). HBS created a special program whereby alumni can donate to incoming scholarship recipients. These alumni and students are paired up based on similar backgrounds and aspirations. The students even have the opportunity to meet their donors to thank them for this generous and life-changing gift.


At ARINGO we believe that applicants can still gain acceptance to their dream schools without an 800 GMAT score. These merit-based scholarships also support this same vision.

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