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Harvard Business School Covers Full Tuition for 10 Percent of Students

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The Harvard Business School rolled out a new financial aid program earlier this month that covers the full cost of tuition for about 10 percent of its MBA students.

The scholarships provides $76,000 per year to its recipients, covering tuition and course fees. Students who receive the aid are still responsible for living expenses.

“Harvard Business School should be a place where the most talented future leaders can come to realize their potential,” Business School Dean Srikant M. Datar said in the Aug. 16 press release announcing the move. “We want to remove the financial barriers that stand in their way and alleviate the burden of debt so they can focus on becoming leaders who make a difference in the world.”

The aid increase comes after a handful of other changes in recent years that the school says are aimed at attracting students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. HBS has expanded the number of need-based scholarships it offers, revised its financial aid formula to account for socioeconomic background, and instituted an application fee waiver. In 2018, the school launched the Forward Fellowship, which offers funding to students who financially support family members during business school.

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Need-based aid assessments are made through a formula that considers pre-MBA income and assets, socioeconomic background, and debt. Currently, 50 percent of MBA students at the school receive scholarships.

The school said in its announcement that it is also offering new scholarships to previously ineligible middle-income students.

HBS’s annual budget for MBA financial aid exceeds $45 million, according to the press release.

The aid increase came after a committee was convened in 2018 “to better understand the barriers that keep potential applicants from applying,” according to a Q&A with HBS’s managing director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid, Chad I. Losee, posted by the school. The group included Dtar and former HBS Dean Nitin Nohria.

The changes are already in effect, impacting students in the Classes of 2023 and 2024.

—Staff writer Paul E. Alexis can be reached at paul.alexis@thecrimson.com.

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