MBA STUDENT STORIES
How I Paid for My MBA
Tuition and Financial Aid Information
Pursuing your MBA is an investment in yourself and in your future. Wharton is committed to helping you explore financing options so that you make informed decisions.
Tuition and Cost Breakdown
First year budget, 2018-2019
|Tuition and Fees (Includes $2,000 Pre-Term Fee)||$78,948|
|Room and Board||$22,350|
|Books and Supplies||$1,450|
|Health Insurance, Personal||$8,112|
Wharton strongly encourages you to discuss your financial options with your family or those who may provide support while you attend school to select the financial resources that best fit your needs. Understand that most students rely on multiple funding sources; financing options typically include personal resources, educational loans, external scholarships and sponsorships, and Wharton Fellowships. We encourage you to investigate all sources of funding, including government and private scholarships, prior to borrowing from any loan program. Below are some resources that may offer funding opportunities.
We do not endorse any specific lender nor do we receive compensation from any lender, and we encourage you to compare the fees and terms of all student loan products to determine which are best suited to your individual needs. Information on loan programs and links to loan applications are available on the Student Financial Services website.
Loans for U.S. Citizens/Permanent Residents
Federal Direct and Direct Grad PLUS Loans
Federal student loans available to graduate/professional students are all unsubsidized loans. Direct Unsubsidized loans will accrue interest while you are in school.
Federal Direct and Direct GRAD PLUS Loans offer fixed interest rates, low fees, favorable repayment benefits, ease of application, and electronic disbursement of funds directly to your student account.
Both loan programs require the completion of the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Private Alternative Loans
A number of private lenders and other financial institutions offer education loans for students. These loans are called private alternative loans.
Private alternative loans are not subsidized, and generally have tiered and fixed interest rates and fees based on your credit score. Cosigners may be required. Unlike Federal Direct and Grad PLUS loans, private loans do not have an income-based cap on monthly repayments. Therefore, we encourage U.S. citizens and permanent residents to first consider the Federal Direct and Direct Grad PLUS loan programs when you need to borrow. You can review a comparison of Grad PLUS and private alternative loans on the Student Financial Services website.
Loans for International Students
If you are an International student who is neither a dual U.S. citizen nor a U.S. permanent resident, we encourage you to investigate all sources of funding within your home country, including government and private scholarships and loans.
Wharton has a new partnership with Quorum Federal Credit Union that will provide a non-cosigned loan product for incoming international students. This loan program does not require a U.S. cosigner, and specific information on this program will be made available to admitted students. Some U.S. banks will also permit international students to borrow through them provided you have a creditworthy U.S. citizen cosigner.
Note 1: If you are an international student planning to borrow through the International Loan Program with Quorum Federal Credit Union, you will be limited to borrowing up to 80% of the MBA Student Budget for the first and second year of the program.
Note 2 (OFAC Sanctions): In accordance with mandatory federal regulatory guidelines, students from the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) sanctioned countries are not eligible for the private education line of credit through Quorum Federal Credit Union. If you are an applicant from these countries, please complete a thorough search of funding opportunities to help you with the cost of attendance.
Scholarships for Specific Populations
Scholarship Search Engines
The John M. Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Fund for Public Service
Created in 2005 through a grant from the Leon Lowenstein Foundation—at the recommendation of John Bendheim, W’40, and his son Tom, WG/Lauder’90—the John Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Fund for Public Service is designed to encourage Wharton MBA graduates to pursue careers in the public and non-profit sectors. The fund is managed by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.
The Loan Forgiveness Award is open to Wharton MBAs during the first five years after graduation. The application process is competitive, and award selection is determined by a team representing Wharton Social Impact Initiative, MBA Career Management, MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, the MBA Program Office, and former recipients of the award.
Eligible candidates must pursue careers in the public and non-profit sectors (and work for organizations recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code). The awards are based on a combination of activity, career goals, and financial need.
If selected for this program, we will send up to $20,000 per year to your lenders to pay down your loans. There is no limit to the number of times an alumnus/alumna may be chosen as a recipient during the first five years following graduation.
Please visit the Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) to learn more about the application process for the Loan Forgiveness Fund for Public Service.
Military Benefits – the Yellow Ribbon Program
The Yellow Ribbon Program (YRB) is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Wharton offers grant funds through the Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans and is committed to funding all students who are 100% eligible under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. You can find details and eligibility guidelines for the Post-9/11 benefits, including the Yellow Ribbon Program, at www.gibill.va.gov.
If you are on active duty or are a veteran, we will waive your application fee; Please call the financial aid office (215) 898-8728 when you’re ready to submit your application.
Eligible applicants may receive a maximum Yellow Ribbon Award of up to $12,500. The Dept. of Veteran Affairs (VA) will match the award amount that we grant. If you are eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program, you must indicate Yellow Ribbon eligibility by submitting a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to the Registrar’s Office.
Wharton Fellowship Program
Wharton provides a broad range of fellowship opportunities for many exceptional students, thanks to the generosity of individuals, corporate and foundation donors, and the Wharton School.
All admitted students are considered for Wharton Fellowship support based on the application for admission. Criteria for fellowship selection includes unique personal qualities and background, academic achievement, exceptional professional development, and community involvement.
- Awards are offered in the Admission and Financial Aid letter.
- Fellowships are two-year awards, split equally over four semesters for a typical MBA student.
- The Wharton Fellowship Committee does not offer reconsideration of fellowship support.
The information below is a select list of special fellowships available at Wharton.
Joseph Wharton Fellowships
Joseph Wharton Fellowships are named in honor of Joseph Wharton, the founder of the Wharton School. These fellowships are awarded to students with outstanding records of academic, personal, and professional achievements.
Howard E. Mitchell Fellowships
Established in 1992, in honor of former Wharton professor Howard E. Mitchell, WG ’51, this fellowship is awarded to traditionally underrepresented domestic populations, specifically Black/African American, Latino/Hispanic, Native American/American Indian or Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian/Asian Pacific Islander to provide financial support to graduate students of color, based on proven leadership, academic excellence, work experience, and/or demonstrated commitment to empowering traditionally underrepresented groups. Each year, a cohort of students receives full tuition, engages in leadership programming, and joins a large network of other Mitchell Fellows and alumni.
Emerging Economy Fellowships
Emerging Economy Fellowships are offered to support students from emerging economies throughout the world.
Forte Fellowships are awarded each year to outstanding female students who demonstrate exemplary leadership academically, professionally or creatively, as well as a proven commitment to the empowerment of women in education or the workplace.
The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship was created as a joint effort between MBA programs and Reaching Out to demonstrate that business schools are the top destination to developed the out LGBT and active ally business leaders of tomorrow. This is awarded to candidates who self-identify as LGBT and have demonstrated leadership in LBGT related roles either academically, professionally, or in the community.
Social Impact Fellowships
Social Impact Fellowships are offered to students with demonstrated leadership in the public and/or not-for-profit sectors.
Corporate and Foundation Fellowships
The following select list of corporations and foundations are fellowship supporters of named Wharton MBA fellowships:
- Alcoa Inc.
- American Express Philanthropic Program
- Bain & Company, Inc.
- Bank of America Corporation
- Bechtel Foundation
- Citigroup Foundation
- Credit Suisse
- Daimler Chrysler Corporation Fund
- Deutsche Bank
- Exxon Mobil Corporation
- Ford Motor Company Fund
- General Mills, Inc.
- General Motors Foundation
- The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
- Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
- New America Alliance Institute
- Pension Real Estate Association
- Robert A. Toigo Foundation
- Robert R. Nathan Memorial Foundation
Wharton Fellowships for Current Students
Throughout your time in the MBA Program, additional fellowship options become available to students in multiple areas. These have their own distinct application process, award amounts and criteria.
2nd Year Financial Aid Awards
Established to provide additional financial support to Wharton MBA students in their second year of the MBA Program. The fellowship support will be determined by the Wharton Fellowship Committee based on submitted application and a review of existing loan balances, prior fellowships, and other support received.
- Ford Fellowship – First year, best student
- Academic Excellence Fellowship – Terms 2 and 3, best student
- Inselbag Fellowship – First year (Top 5% eligible)
- McGowan Fellowship – First year (Top 5% eligible)
- Director’s List Fellowship – Each semester (Top 10% eligible)
- Penn Wharton Innovation Fund
- Summer Venture Award
- Startup Internship Award
- Edward B Shills / Leonard L Zeidman Fellowship
The GIP Ambassador Fellowship will provide two students from each program with fellowship support to cover the costs of their program fee. GIP Ambassadors will be academically engaged students, who hold a positive disposition to learning abroad, promote intercultural awareness and uphold the standards of the Wharton School.
- Behrman Family Fellowships (3) in demonstrated leadership and financial need.
- Recipient selection process maintained within Leadership Program.
Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center Awards: Committed to excellence in education, the Center awards fellowships and scholarships to promising real estate students.
Second-year, active member of the AAMBAA community who has demonstrated academic excellence and made outstanding contributions to the achievement of excellence by people of color in the Wharton, University of Pennsylvania and/or greater business communities.
The Toigo MBA Fellowship provides minority MBA candidates committed to careers in finance with an unmatched network of contacts, a prestigious point of difference in the eyes of employers, one-on-one career guidance, leadership training, a merit award—and more.
Additional Revenue Sources
Although a selective process by nature, there are many related work options and Fellow Programs available to current MBA Students. Beyond the compensation received, these roles provide the opportunity to enrich your personal experience in the Wharton MBA Program.
Second year students across many backgrounds, careers and interests that are available to speak with admitted students about the Wharton MBA Program.
Successful second year MBA’s that are hired and trained by MBACM to perform resume review for students, prep students for interviews and conduct mock interviews for students to prepare them for an interview in a particular industry.
McNulty Leadership Program
- Venture Fellows: Serving as a Venture Fellow is an incredibly rewarding experience with the opportunity to further develop as a leader and facilitate the leadership development of venture participants.
- Leadership Fellows: Leadership Fellows are charged with providing every first year student the opportunity to enhance their leadership potential through the development of practical tools and concrete strategies applicable in every area of their lives.
Omnicom Fellows are second-year MBA students who work with Communication Instructors to help first-year MBAs in the required communication class. They help students improve in public speaking and persuasion during their core communication courses in the fall and spring semester.
Academic Fellows are 2nd year students chosen by the MBA Program Office to serve as tutors to pairs/groups of 1st year students who are struggling academically. The Academic Fellows focus their tutoring on core classes and can be assigned to a specific subject or may also just set up general sessions where any core class can be addressed.
- Business Building Program
- High Impact Growth Consulting Program
Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants and Student Coordinators
- Student coordination with faculty member and/or department may be required.
- Offered in many academic and administrative departments.
Work-study and non-work study options available through the University of Pennsylvania Job Search tool.
All students seeking summer employment received offers, with compensation packages ranging based on industry and specific role.
Financial Aid FAQs
What is the current cost of the Wharton MBA Program?
Tuition and living expenses for first-year students for the academic year of August 2017 – May 2018 is $109,450.
Is funding available for my MBA?
Yes. MBA students typically finance their educations through a combination of educational loans, fellowships, and scholarships. These are available through external sources or Wharton.
How do I learn about my financing options?
How are fellowships awarded?
All admitted students are considered for fellowship support at the time of admission. There is no separate fellowship application. Wharton fellowships are merit based. Criteria for selection may include academic achievement, compelling leadership, exceptional professional development, and unique personal qualities. If you are selected for a fellowship, you will be notified within your admissions and financial aid letter.
How will I be notified if I am chosen to receive a fellowship?
If you are selected for a fellowship, you will be notified within your admission decision letter. You will also receive the financial aid Fellowship and Cost of Attendance Letters that detail the amount of the fellowship you have been awarded and loans you are eligible to borrow. This will be sent via email shortly after you receive your admission decision. If you are not chosen for a fellowship, the Cost of Attendance Letter will only reflect your loan eligibility for the upcoming year.
Are there any other outside sources that I should consider?
You should also consider any organizations to which you belong that might provide aid, such as: religious organizations, fraternal organizations, clubs, athletics, veteran groups, ethnic groups, unions, employers, Rotary clubs, and charitable foundations.
Are grants or fellowships taxable?
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 states that grant assistance is taxable income to the extent that it exceeds tuition, required education fees, and course-related expenses. Course-related expenses are those for books, supplies, and equipment required for your courses. For non-resident aliens, the University is required to withhold federal income tax on grants received in excess of the expenses described above.
What do I need to know about educational loans?
The University of Pennsylvania offers information on several educational financing programs to assist students in meeting their educational expenses. These programs include Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans, and alternative private loan programs. Please visit the Student Financial Service (SFS) website for more information.
Are credit cards accepted for my tuition payments?
The University of Pennsylvania allows online payment of tuition through an American Express card. There is a 2% convenience fee for students who choose this option. The fee is reflected in your American Express billing statement. Please visit the Student Financial Services (SFS) website for more information.
The Global Immersion Program (GIP) and Global Modular Courses (GMC) are not included in Wharton's student budget. Will the University provide funding to cover these expenses?
The director of the Global Immersion Program submits an official Participants List to Wharton’s Financial Aid Office. The student budget may be increased to make students eligible for additional loans to cover the cost of these programs.
Are teaching and research assistantships available to students?
MBA students are occasionally able to obtain a teaching or research assistantship through one of Wharton’s academic departments, research centers, or administrative offices. Time commitment and remuneration vary with the position. Qualified students should contact the department(s) of their choice directly. You are not limited to the Wharton School in your search for an assistantship. Your skills and expertise may be attractive to other schools within the University.