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How To Pay for a Wharton MBA

Posted by Chioma Isiadinso

Wharton School of Business is known for its top-notch MBA curriculum, promising post-graduate employment opportunities, and hefty price tag.

The cost of attendance for a Wharton MBA will likely set you back at least $218,900 for the two-year program.

While many students opt to take out public and private loans to finance their MBA, there are other options available for the debt-averse. 

If you desire to attend Wharton, but are dismayed by the cost of the MBA, continue reading for more information about Wharton’s fellowships, and how you can craft an application that stands out for consideration. Be sure to visit the financial aid website to find out more information.

Joseph Wharton Fellowships 

These fellowships are given to students who have demonstrated excellence in an academic, personal and professional manner.

Get considered: To demonstrate academic excellence, you will want to highlight your academic achievements in the education section of your résumé. This could include graduating with honors, publishing an honors thesis, receiving academic citations, and the like. For professional excellence, you will want your recommenders to write detailed accounts of how your actions have directly contributed to the health and success of the workplace. Specific anecdotes are helpful. It is also helpful if recommenders can speak to your excellence in comparison to your peers. Superlative statements that are not overblown and dripping with exaggeration would serve you well. Demonstrating personal excellence requires a bit more creativity. If you are an accomplished in some area of your life (i.e. music, community service, writing), you can either mention your accomplishments in an optional essay and/or personal statement. Alternatively, you could find a way to weave them into your résumé.

Howard E. Mitchell Fellowships

These fellowships are given to students from underrepresented groups, particularly racial minorities, who have demonstrated leadership, academic excellence, relevant work experience and a commitment to empowering members from underrepresented groups.

Get considered: Be very clear about your identity if you are a member of an underrepresented group. Whether you focus your personal statement on your experiences as a member of an underrepresented group in business, or choose to share your accomplishments via your résumé, ensure that you can clearly be identified as belonging to an underrepresented group. In addition, you will want to address your commitment to empowering members from underrepresented groups. This could be done by highlighting leadership positions held within organizations that aim to empower members of underrepresented groups. This could also be done by highlighting long-term community service activities that illustrate the depth and impact of your commitment.   

Emerging Economy Fellowships 

These fellowships are offered to international students from developing markets around the world.

Get considered: Highlight your country of origin throughout your application and ensure to craft well-written personal statements and résumés that speak to your potential as a high-impact leader and change agent. Address the type of impact you wish to have in your home region in your B-School essays. 

Forte Fellowships 

These fellowships are offered to female students who demonstrate excellence in academic, professional and creative spheres, as well as female students whose backgrounds illustrate commitment to the empowerment of women in education or in the workplace. 

Get considered: Have you served on a board for an organization that empowers women? Have you donated substantial time, energy and resources to missions-driven organizations that provide support to women in education or the workplace? Maybe you have started your own initiatives or organizations. Whatever the case may be, you will want to illustrate your commitment through your résumé, optional essay and interviews.

ROMBA Fellowships

These fellowships are given to individuals who identify as LGBT and have demonstrated leadership within the LGBT community either academically, professionally or through community service oriented roles.

Get considered: Self-identifying as LGBT is only the first step. To position yourself for this fellowship, talk about how you have served as a leader within the LGBT community, via various realms. If you created an initiative on your college campus or in your place of work that had meaningful and positive ramifications for individuals identifying as LGBT, make sure to highlight that. If you serve for an organization providing support services to LGBT youth or adults, perhaps you can talk about particularly impactful experiences you have had during your time of service. Do not forget to emphasize your leadership capabilities. 

Social Impact Fellowships 

These fellowships are given to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to the public and not for profit sectors.

Get considered: Your recommendation letters are a great place to demonstrate your leadership and commitment to the public and nonprofit sectors. Have your recommenders provide specific instances of how your leadership has powerfully impacted the effectiveness of the organization. Perhaps they can speak to how your leadership has not only increased their program service revenue but also improved their program outcomes according to certain metrics. Specificity is helpful. Additionally, you can demonstrate your commitment to the public and not for profit sectors through your community service endeavors, which should be listed on your resume.


All roads lead to Rome, and there are more options to consider than public and private loans when figuring out how to pay for the MBA. With a tightly-knit, well-branded application, you can qualify for a fellowship or few. Contact us today to find out how we can help put together a compelling MBA application to Wharton.

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