Free money goes a long away to limiting student loans and funding the cost of a college degree. Business student grants partially offset expenses at all levels of education, including associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. These funds are available through a number of federal, state, local, and private entities.
A grant is considered free money or gift aid because it does not have to be repaid. Many business student grants are based on financial need, which provides help to students who would not otherwise be able to afford college.
Other grants are merit-based, which means that the selection committee looks at factors other than income. The award criteria typically include high school grade point average (GPA), college GPA, SAT scores, ACT scores, and/or extracurricular accomplishments.
Many institutions use the terms grant and scholarship interchangeably. Anyone looking for supplemental financial aid should consider both sources. Some of the most common grants for business students are listed below.
Business students can take advantage of a number of funding opportunities, as long as they meet program deadlines. For example, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be filed as early as January 1 for the Fall start of the next academic year. This single application determines need-based eligibility for several public and private grants.
At the same time, many colleges and private entities require separate application forms, each with their own due dates. To gain access to no-cost funding, students must be prepared to apply for single-term, single-year, and ongoing renewal programs as quickly as possible.
Business student grant programs typically run on limited funds, so awards are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. When the money runs out, applicants must wait until the next application period.
Students must meet specific criteria in order to qualify for available grant money. In addition to financial need, the most popular criteria are major, degree level, classroom type, residency status, and personal characteristics. Although many business-related financial aid programs are offered through an institution’s college/school/department of business, students should also investigate gift aid programs that are not restricted purely to business studies.
The most popular business school grants are based on particular majors. Examples include:
These grants are often given through universities, business colleges, professional associations, and chambers of commerce. To qualify, a student must be enrolled in an approved major at an accredited college or university. Renewable awards typically end if a student changes majors.
Due to the federal government’s focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, additional grant money may be available in these fields. Students must check with each university of attendance to determine whether a particular major or dual major qualifies for extra funds.
Many business student grants are open only to individuals pursuing an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or graduate degree. More grants are offered at the undergraduate level than at the graduate level. For students pursuing knowledge beyond the baccalaureate level, Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs are typically connected to more grants and scholarships than other business-related master’s degrees and doctorates.
On a limited basis, business students can obtain a variable amount of aid based on their attendance location. For example, a student going to college in a remote area with low graduation rates may receive more grant money than a student going to class in an urban location with higher success rates.
Some institutions also differentiate between campus-based students and distance-learning students. With the boom in online learning, however, fewer business schools are targeting funds specifically for Internet-based students.
Some grants are limited to students from a particular region. The three main categories are state residents, out-of-state residents, and international students. Many colleges and universities try to keep talented individuals within the state by offering more free aid to residents. Other institutions try to attract talent from outside of the state by promoting discounts to nearby out-of-state residents or students from particular countries.
Business students are multi-faceted, and each of these facets presents an opportunity for grant funds. Students may receive money because of their:
Only private organizations can dedicate financial aid to a protected class. Federal and state governments cannot discriminate based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability.
Some organizations give funds to students who are going to college for the first time or returning after a long absence. Other organizations give special preference to active military, to students who completed particular subjects in high school, or to top-ranking members of each high school class.
While this report relays a substantial number of business student grants, learners are encouraged to search for grants that are not published online or in major directories. Many private organizations are willing to fund higher education, in full or in part, but they may not publicize these details. Popular entities bestowing gift aid include:
The entities listed below are currently involved with educational grant-making. These institutions have been categorized into professional associations, private grant foundations, colleges and universities, state governments, and the federal government. Each grant requires different qualifications for a successful application. Whenever possible, contact information or website links have been noted.
Professional associations typically fund the education of up-and-coming members in order to promote the study of a particular subject. Some organizations choose to provide business student grants to anyone expressing a career interest in the field. A portion of the major business associations offering grants is listed below.
Most chapters of the American Marketing Association (AMA) offer grants to members seeking marketing degrees in their region. Award amounts and application requirements vary by campus. To check if a specific college participates in the program, students interested in sales, advertising, public relations, and other facets of the marketing field can review this list: AMA Grants.
The American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA) and its affiliates fund a number of national and regional scholarships. For example, a graduate and undergraduate accounting student in New England can earn a $1,000 grant, a junior or senior with an accounting major in Arizona can earn variable funds, and a woman planning on becoming a CPA in the D.C. area can get a $300 education award.
More details are available at the organization’s website: AWSCPA Grants.
The Asian Women in Business (AWIB) scholarship is open to women displaying characteristics of leadership and/or entrepreneurship. Applicants must possess an Asian or Pacific Islander background, hold at least a 3.0 GPA, and be enrolled full-time in a four-year college or university. The application, deadlines, and award criteria are published each January here: AWIB Grants.
Between January 1 and April 1 of each year, undergraduate business students can complete an application for a $1,500 grant from the National Business Association (NBA). The program is open to active NBA members and their dependents. Application materials can be found at the association’s website: NBA Grants.
Five members of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) can each receive $2,500 to $10,000 to put toward full-time tuition. Members must enroll in a university accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), hold at least a 3.0 GPA, pursue a graduate degree in business or management, and be a United States citizen of Hispanic heritage.
Details, payment schedules, and an application can be found at the NSHMBA website: NSHMBA Grants.
The Rainbow Business and Professional Association (RBPA) supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender businesspeople within Maine. Each year the group grants two scholarships of varying amounts. The aid application is accepted between January and March and can be downloaded at the group’s website: RBPA Grants.
Student members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) are eligible for awards ranging between $200 and $2,500. Completed materials are due by December 1 each year. Applications must be submitted online through this link: SHRM Grants.
Private foundations lower the cost of higher education through various grant programs. Some of these organizations require membership, while others target a specific demographic through an official application process.
The Alpha Kappa Psi (AKPsi) business fraternity provides selected members with $500 to $2,500 to put toward undergraduate or graduate education. Interested candidates must submit an application, hold at least a 2.75 GPA with full-time enrollment, and demonstrate leadership within the AKPsi chapter or on the campus in general. Application materials are due by February 28. Learn more at this website: AKPsi Grants.
The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund provides money to help low-income women over the age of 34 enroll in college. Applications for the next academic year are generally published after November here: Women’s Scholarship Fund.
Each year the Missouri Bankers Foundation (MBF) gives $500 grants to high school seniors interested in a career in banking. Some of these financial aid packages require attendance at the University of Missouri. At the college level, MBF funds a $50,000 scholarship for juniors, seniors, and graduate students at the University of Missouri.
More details and applications are available on the organization’s website: MBF Grants. All materials must be received by March 16.
Native American students at the undergraduate or graduate level can apply for a Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) Scholarship of $10,000 or more. Students must be enrolled in a business-related degree program and demonstrate proof of tribal enrollment. Additional details can be found here: NAFOA Grants.
The co-ed business and economics fraternity Phi Chi Theta offers five different scholarships to its members on a national basis. For instance, the Naomi L. Satterfield Memorial Scholarship gives $1,000 to deserving leaders within Phi Chi Theta.
To be considered for fraternity grants and scholarships, business students must download and return the application by May 1. Learn more about Phi Chi Theta Grants here.
Business students attending one of the nation’s community colleges can obtain transfer student grants to a four-year public or private university. The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society coordinates a number of financial aid opportunities, including the GEICO Business Student Scholarship, Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Grants, and the Hites Transfer Scholarship. Funds range from $1,000 to $7,500.
Recipients must be Phi Theta Kappa members and submit complete applications: Phi Theta Kappa Grants.
Whether business students attend two-year community colleges or four-year universities, large public facilities or small private institutions, they can generally find supplemental gift aid if they apply early. The following is a sampling of grants offered by colleges around the country.
The AIB College of Business in Iowa provides up to $1,000 per term for non-traditional students who have earned 12 or fewer college credits. Anyone who is interested in the opportunity must complete an institutional financial aid form here: AIB Grants.
MBA students at CSU Chico are eligible for a grant to cover the cost of their Graduate Business Professional Fees. The grant is open to part-time and full-time students. The institution grants awards after receiving a FAFSA application.
Students accepted into the Ph.D. program at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business automatically receive a grant covering full tuition. Available degree concentrations include accounting, economics, information systems, marketing, operations management and manufacturing, operations research, and organizational behavior.
To learn more, students should consult the CMU website: CMU Grants.
Undergraduate business students at Emory University are eligible for the BBA Grant. Recipients must be enrolled full-time and demonstrate financial need on the FAFSA report. No additional application is required.
Jacksonville State University in Alabama offers the Mark Sentell scholarship to full-time undergraduate students who excel academically and are members of the university’s Human Resources Management society.
To receive consideration, students must complete a scholarship application: Jacksonville Scholarships.
Junior-level accounting students at Boston’s Suffolk University can apply for a $1,000 grant. This Stephen A. Baker & Co, Inc. Award is based on academic achievement. More information about this grant and other financial aid awards that do not have to be repaid is available at the Suffolk University website: Suffolk Grants.
The Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri offers a number of undergraduate grants and scholarships. For example, the AT&T Missouri Undergraduate Scholarship is awarded to financially needy Missouri residents with a minority background.
The Buffett Eisen Entrepreneurship Scholarship is available to students working part-time. The Donald M. Hicks Business Scholarship is open to undergraduate or graduate students with financial need, with a preference given to members of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
To receive this type of financial aid, students must complete the annual scholarship application available here: Mizzou Grants.
The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business offers research grants to students in the accountancy, finance, management, and marketing fields. For more information, applicants must contact the specific individuals listed on the Mendoza College of Business website: Notre Dame Grants.
The David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah offers grants to both incoming freshmen and continuing students. These business student grants typically waive tuition for one year. Applications are due by February 1. Grant requirements are listed here: University of Utah Grants.
Minority students attending the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin can receive $2,500. The Lawton Grant is open to residents of Wisconsin or Minnesota who are financially needy and fall into one of the following categories: African-American, Latino, American Indian or statutorily designated Southeast Asian.
Applications for the Lawton Grant are due by April 1. Descriptions and application materials are presented here: University of Wisconsin Grants.
Yale University offers several grants and scholarships to its business students. Examples include the Jess Morrow Johns Memorial Scholarship for Advertising and Marketing, the Edward J. De La Rosa and Elaine F. Tumonis Scholarship for Hispanic MBA students, the Janet (Ginger) Gelb Scholarship for women in the School of Management, and the Jane Mendillo YC ’80, MBA ’84 and Ralph Earle MBA ’84 Scholarship for finance students.
Awards vary based on financial need and academic merit. Applicants can view a full list of available grants at the Yale MBA website: Yale Grants.
State grants are typically smaller than their federal counterparts, but they provide free money that is worth the effort of any application process.
In most instances, states only award funds to residents who are attending one of the in-state public or private colleges. Because private business schools are often more expensive than their public equivalents, many states provide additional grant money to eligible students choosing a private university.
A limited number of grants are listed below. The state department of education may offer additional programs. During times of economic hardship, state funding may be limited. The majority of state business grants require applicants to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA.
The state of Alabama issues over a dozen different grants to qualifying individuals. Business students aged 60 and older can get free tuition at a public two-year college through the Senior Adult Scholarship Program.
Full-time and half-time undergraduate students at any university in Alabama can claim up to $2,500 per year through the Alabama Student Assistance and Alabama Student Grant programs. Interested students must file a FAFSA and/or download an application from the school’s financial aid office.
One of the grants offered to business students in Arizona is the College Access Challenge Last Stretch Scholarship. This program gives up to $2,000 per academic year to students who have completed at least 60 credit hours and are currently enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program.
Applicants must be eligible for a Pell Grant and possess Arizona resident status at least one year prior to submitting an application. Additional details are presented here: Arizona Grants.
Veterans can take advantage of free tuition at any public undergraduate or graduate program in the state. The Connecticut Veterans Tuition Waiver grant pays for course costs at UConn, Connecticut State University, and any of the 12 community-technical colleges.
Some restrictions apply. Applicants must be veterans, active members of the Connecticut Army and Air National Guard, or qualifying dependents. To apply for the grant, a student must contact the Veterans Affairs representative at the college’s financial aid office.
Business students studying in Florida have access to several grant and scholarship programs. One program is the Access to Better Learning and Education (ABLE) Grant, which provides $803 toward a first bachelor’s degree. Applicants must submit a FAFSA and contact the school of attendance for an institution-specific request form.
The Indiana Higher Education Award is a need-based grant for full-time Indiana residents. The available funds vary from year to year. Students who complete the FAFSA are automatically considered for this grant.
Any student who ages out of the Iowa foster care system may be eligible for $2,200 to $7,600. This money can be used for tuition, books, fees, housing, transportation, or any other education-related expenses. This grant is not limited to business students.
Applicants must complete the FAFSA and the Iowa financial aid application found here: Iowa Grants.
Dislocated workers and Massachusetts workers who earn 200% or less of the federal poverty level can get a degree in business or any other major. The Massachusetts Educational Rewards Grant gives up to $3,000 to eligible students for their tuition, fees, books, and partial living expenses.
All other financial aid resources must be exhausted before students can apply for this program. A description of this business student grant is presented here: Massachusetts Grants.
One of the grant programs offered to Michigan’s business students is the Michigan Tuition Grant. This program awards up to $1,512 per academic year to Michigan residents. Eligibility is based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA report.
Montana helps students improve their education through two grant programs: the Montana Higher Education Grant (MHEG) and the Montana Tuition Assistance Program (MTAP) – Baker Grant. Both of these grants are need-based, as determined through FAFSA filings. Awards average $600 to $900.
Approximately 33% of New Jersey residents receive a Tuition Aid Grant (TAG). The grant funds can be used at any participating New Jersey college or university, as long as the applicant has not already received an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree. To be considered for this award, students must list their school of attendance on their FAFSA transmission.
New York’s Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) grant gives up to $2,000 per year to part-time undergraduate students. Funds are provided on a need-based, first-come/first-served basis to New York residents. Interested parties must apply through the financial aid offices of participating colleges and universities.
North Dakota awards $800 to $1,500 per academic year to eligible students through the State Student Incentive Grant program. This program is open to first-time undergraduate students who attend a private, public, or tribal college in North Dakota full-time. Applicants must have their FAFSA reports forwarded to the college of attendance.
The South Dakota Board of Regents Bjugstad Scholarship gives Native American students a chance to study agribusiness. The program gives $500 to eligible high school seniors living in North Dakota or South Dakota. Application materials must be obtained from a high school guidance counselor.
Texas’ Top 10% Scholarship gives up to $2,000 to students who graduate within the top 10% of their Texas high school class. Students must enroll full-time in one of the state’s public colleges or universities. Funds are available on a limited basis by filing a FAFSA report with a participating institution.
Vermont offers business student grants to both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students. The Vermont Non-Degree Grant is administered on a first-come, first-served basis. The award amount is based on state funding and varies from year to year. Applications must be submitted via myVSAC: Vermont Grants.
Students who have earned an associate’s degree can use the $1,000 Two-Year College Transfer Grant to transition into one of Virginia’s four-year colleges or universities. Applicants must file the FAFSA and meet enrollment requirements.
The Hearing & Visually Handicapped Student Grant gives up to $1,800 for eligible students who want to study business or another major. The grant can be used at public and independent colleges within Wisconsin and outside the state. Interested students must complete a FAFSA and the grant application found here: Wisconsin Grants.
Each year the U.S. Department of Education distributes over $40 million in grants to students seeking additional education and training after high school. While the Pell Grant program is the most popular, other funding opportunities include the FSEOG, Iraq and Afghanistan Service, and TEACH Grants.
Pell Grants are need-based aid available to a qualified undergraduate student who has not yet graduated with a bachelor’s degree. The maximum award amount for the 2011-2012 academic year is $5,550, with reduced amounts given to part-time students and students attending less than the full academic year.
To apply for a Federal Pell Grant, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid: FAFSA.
Students who are eligible for a Pell Grant may also receive a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. This grant of up to $4,000 per year is reserved for students with exceptional financial need.
To apply for a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid: FAFSA.
A business student whose parent or guardian died as a result of service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2011 may be eligible for a $5,550 Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Students must be younger than 24, must be ineligible for Pell funds, and must have been enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of the parent/guardian’s death.
To apply for an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Business students who are pursuing teaching certification may receive up to $4,000 per year through a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant. To avoid repaying the grant funds, recipients must commit to teaching in a high-need area for low-income students. More details about the contract are available at the federal student aid portal here: Teach Grants.
To apply for a TEACH Grant, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
For the best chances of obtaining a grant, students should follow these tips:
The rising cost of higher education does not mandate a future filled with student loans. By funding their coursework through business student grants, savvy students can major in a growing field while keeping their debt burden low and their career prospects high.