The Berkeley Haas scholarship guide for full-time and part-time MBA students

By Om Chitale

Scholarships provided by Haas give financial flexibility to students who are ready to continue pursuing their passion for business education. By awarding students gift aid, Haas is able to continue building its classroom experience with high-performing, diverse, and engaged students.

According to Jamie Hayden, Director of Financial Aid, the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business, Haas awards over $8 million in scholarship funding each year. And, approximately 75% of Haas students receive some form of financial assistance, with 40% of gift aid reserved for full-time MBA students. 

Learn what Berkeley prioritizes when it comes to giving scholarship funding, how the process works at Haas, and tips for applying and securing financing for your MBA degree.

Compare Berkeley MBA programs

Scholarships opportunities — and their criteria — at Berkeley Haas

Whether you’re considering a Full-time, Evening & Weekend, or Executive MBA, Berkeley Haas has a number of scholarships, loans, and assistantships to help bridge the gap between your tuition costs and your career goals.

All applicants, domestic and international, full-time and part-time, are considered for scholarships through the admissions process. According to Hayden, the primary criteria admissions officers look for when awarding scholarships to MBA applicants are merit, industry, commitment to diversity, and financial need.

Each MBA program has different scholarship lists and different application requirements. For example:

  • Full-time MBA: Prospective students don't need to apply for scholarships. Instead, Haas admissions will award students with funding based on the qualifying factors indicated throughout an application. 
  • Evening & Weekend MBA and Executive MBA: Prospective students will mark interest in financial assistance, and apply for scholarships by providing supplemental information within the application.

The list of scholarships at Berkeley is extensive. Scholarships at Berkeley Haas range from $5,000- $125,000, which can be applied toward tuition, and fees.

Below you’ll find a sampling of recent scholarships available at Haas for full-time and part-time students based on merit, financial need, industry, and commitment to diversity. 

Full-time MBA scholarships opportunities

Merit-based scholarships

  • Berkeley Haas Scholarships: For developing leaders who embody our Defining Leadership Principles
  • Galloway MBA Fellowship: For children of immigrants, for both undergraduate and graduate students at the Berkeley Haas School of Business
  • David Aaker Marketing Fellowship: A two-year fellowship for high-achieving graduate students pursuing careers in marketing 
  • Torres Family Fellowship: A one-year fellowship for MBA students with demonstrated leadership and commitment to diversity (*must be a U.S. citizen to apply)
  • Brian Maxwell Fellowship: For MBA students who demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit and a drive 
  • Mike and Carol Meyer Fellowship: For students with an undergraduate degree in the fields of engineering or science and for those who intend to pursue an entrepreneurial career
  • C & J White Fellowship: For MBA students pursuing careers in finance
  • Dr. Tahir Fellowship: For international students, especially for those who have completed their undergraduate education in Asia
  • Tirado Fellowship: For students who have proven their ability to promote diversity 
  • Blue Duck Scholarship: For MBA students who have received his or her undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon 
  • Song Feiqing Fellowship: For high-achieving, full-time MBA students who represent the international community, preferably China, and who intend to pursue business opportunities either in China, or in other parts of Southeast Asia, after graduation
  • Jimenez Family Fellowship: For high-achieving graduate students that are US citizens who demonstrate financial need and are in the MBA Program
  • Yellow Ribbon Fellowship: A matching fund option for U.S. military veterans who served at least 36 months and qualify for 100% of the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit
  • Center for Equity, Gender & Leadership Fellowship: Two-year fellowship for students who best demonstrate their commitment to diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces and their desire to support the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership at Berkeley Haas
  • Center for Responsible Business (CRB) Fellowship: Awarded to students who best demonstrate their commitment to responsible and sustainable business and their desire to engage with and support the Center for Responsible Business at Berkeley Haas

Needs-based scholarships

  • Berkeley MBA Grant: For students who have a demonstrated financial need to obtain their MBA
  • Haas FUNED grant: For students who have a demonstrated financial need to obtain their MBA
  • Jimenez Family Fellowship: For high-achieving graduate students that are US citizens who demonstrate financial need and are in the MBA Program

Diversity-based scholarships

  • Forte Fellowship Designation: For the empowerment of female MBA students 
  • Reach Out MBA Fellowship Designation: For the empowerment of LGBTQ MBA students
  • Tirado Fellowship: For students who have proven their ability to promote diversity 
  • Torres Family Fellowship: A one-year fellowship for MBA students with demonstrated leadership and commitment to diversity (*must be a U.S. citizen to apply)
  • Center for Equity, Gender & Leadership Fellowship: Two-year fellowship for students who best demonstrate their commitment to diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces and their desire to support the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership at Berkeley Haas
  • Consortium Fellowship: 100% coverage for all mandatory feeds covered for two years of the full-time MBA program for students who are committed to enhancing diversity in business and leadership

Industry-based scholarships

For second-year, full-time students, scholarships for the following career paths are available:

  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Healthcare 
  • Leadership
  • Management of organization
  • Real estate 
  • Social impact
  • Start-ups

Evening & Weekend MBA scholarship options

Needs-based scholarships

  • Shapansky grant: Is awarded based on financial need and will be disbursed equally across the six terms of the Evening & Weekend MBA program

Merit-based scholarships

  • Dean’s scholarships: Awarded to students based on demonstrated leadership and the overall strength of the admissions application

Industry-based scholarships

  • Nonprofit and public service scholarships: For students currently employed in the nonprofit or public service sectors

Diversity-based scholarships

  • Berkeley Haas-SF Black MBA Association Fellowship and Berkeley Haas Equity Scholarship: For entering students who demonstrate sustained commitment to increasing opportunity and access for racial/ethnic groups that are historically underrepresented in higher education and business
  • Diversity scholarships: For entering students who have a proven commitment to promoting diversity

Additional scholarships

  • Outside-of-Bay-Area grants: For entering students to mitigate expenses incurred by commuting from outside the nine-county Bay Area

EMBA scholarship options

Dean’s fellowship

  • Awarded based to exceptional admits based on various criteria like merit and industry

Beyond Yourself fellowship

  • Given to students who work in the non-profit or public sector or who demonstrate financial need

Tips for applying for scholarships that value Defining Leadership Principles

When applying for a scholarship at Haas, remember to keep the Defining Leadership Principles in mind as you start to craft your application.

It’s critical to exemplify how you embrace the principles like Question the Status Quo and Beyond Yourself as a way to show your willingness and ability to continue your business education, while fostering an inclusive culture at Berkeley.

If you’re unfamiliar with these principles, here is a recap:

  • Question the Status Quo: We thrive at the epicenter of innovation. We make progress by speaking our minds even when it challenges convention. We lead by championing bold ideas and taking intelligent risks.
  • Confidence Without Attitude: We make decisions based on evidence and analysis, giving us the confidence to act with humility. We foster collaboration by building a foundation of empathy, inclusion, and trust.
  • Students Always: We are a community designed to support curiosity. We actively seek out diverse perspectives as part of our lifelong pursuit of personal and intellectual growth. There is always more to learn.
  • Beyond Yourself: We shape our world by leading ethically and responsibly. As stewards of our enterprises, we take the longer view in our decisions and actions. This often means putting the collective good above our own interests.

Berkeley Haas also focuses intensely on the diversity of our student body. Haas defines diversity in many ways, from racial and ethnic differences, unique industry or job function, geographic location, gender, and more. A student’s ability to embody these principles, and demonstrate how the principles apply in their life during the application process increases the odds of securing financial aid from Haas. 

Tips for applying for scholarships

Additionally, consider the following tips to increase your odds of securing gift aid. 

1. Research thoroughly and match yourself with the requirements

With an abundance of options for gift aid, it’s natural for students to experience ‘application fatigue’ if they don’t limit the number of applications they send.

Rather than submitting applications to as many options as possible, take your time to select the options that match you best. Not only will you give more attention to the scholarships that are better suited for you, but you’re less prone to making mistakes on the application, which can increase your odds of receiving aid. 

2. Apply early

Funding at Berkeley is limited, so if scholarships or financing are a part of your final decision it’s important to apply early in the admissions cycle, before financing has been awarded.

Early applications will have more financing considered for all available scholarship opportunities. 

3. Present your case well

In addition to satisfying the requirements of the prompt, proofreading your work, and following instructions like word count, it’s also important your content is meaningful. 

When speaking to the Defining Leadership Principles in your personal statements go beyond simply listing how your values align with the schools. Try using narratives and case studies to show how these values resonate in your life. For need-based scholarships, use personal statements and stories to explain factors that have prohibited you from securing funds to support your MBA journey.

4. Negotiate

It’s not surprising that members in our high-achieving community often receive more than one acceptance letter for a top-ranking MBA program. This desirability can be used as a bargaining chip.

Financial aid can be a tool business schools use to woo top students away from competing schools. Try exercising Confidence Without Attitude as you negotiate for a portion of Haas’ scholarship fund. 

Non-scholarship financing options

Whether you’ve received gift aid or not, there are many ways to acquire additional funding to help finance your MBA.

1. Internship opportunities

Many Haas students obtain internships by working with career services or connecting with business leaders in the Bay Area from Berkeley’s extensive network. In some cases, second-year students work up to 10 hours per week by continuing to work for the company at which they held their summer internship.

Additionally, special groups like the Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) provide grants to first-year, full-time MBA students who accept summer internships in the social sector. Each applicant received $500 to $7,000 that could be used to pay salary, living expenses, or travel expenses.

2. Become a graduate student instructor

More common is the opportunity for second-year students to serve as graduate student instructors (GSIs). According to the Berkeley Haas’ admissions office, “nearly 20% of full-time MBA students serve in this role, which partially reduces their rate of tuition and also provides them with a small monthly stipend.”

3. Federal or private loans

The University of California, Berkeley participates in the Federal Loan Program, which allows students enrolled at least half-time (6 units) to borrow money directly from the federal government at fixed interest rates (6.08% for Direct Loans; 7.08% for the Grad PLUS Loan). 

Students should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete the FAFSA any time after October 1st for the upcoming academic year in which you will begin your MBA program.

For private loans, students should begin the process as early as May with the lender. Haas encourages students to complete the private loan application process by the end of July to ensure funds are processed in time for the fall semester.

4. Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

LRAP, which is supported by Berkeley Haas, is designed to provide financial support to graduates employed in the public or nonprofit sectors where salaries are typically lower than in the private sector.

5. G.I. Bill and veteran benefits

Because Berkeley Haas is part of a public university system, veterans with qualifying length of service can obtain funding for up to 100% of schooling fees, a monthly housing allowance, and an annual book stipend.

6. Employer funding

Some students, especially those in the executive MBA program, receive financial assistance from employers. If you’re unsure whether your employer participates in tuition reimbursement, learn the best steps for approaching your company.

For more information about scholarships and how to apply you can attend an Admissions Event. Check the list of upcoming events to find a time that works best for you.

Posted on October 13, 2020
Themes: Haas culture  |  Funding MBA  |  Applying
Om Chitale
Om was the Director of Diversity Admissions at Haas from 2019-2021, as well as a graduate of the full-time MBA program (class of 18). He started his career in consulting at Deloitte, then switched paths into education access and equity work through an Education Pioneers Fellowship in Memphis. He's now Sr. Program Manager of Inclusion Recruiting Partnerships and Communities at LinkedIn.