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How To Convince Your Employer To Pay For Your MBA
From Our Admissions Webinar Series

There is a lot of anxiety out there about talking to employers and gaining their support for your MBA. In our recent “How to pay for your MBA” webinar series, Senior Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, James Stevens walks potential applicants through the basics of how to navigate these important conversations.

In the past as many of 2/3 of students were seeing employer support. Since 2008, we’ve seen that number fall. However, these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and we’ve seen many students gain employer support for their MBA by presenting a strong case.

what types of financial support are typically available for your MBA?

Basic Benefit

Similar to professional development stipend

Selective Support

  • Individual employees are identified as fast track employees.
  • In addition to basic support.
  • Usually an app process.
  • Can go as high as full tuition or even full tuition plus books, etc.

Special Funding

Not part of a formal program nor something that is done on a routine basis. More typical of smaller companies. This occurs when you, the student make a case to your employer of the return on investment. Sometimes this is a matter of retention. Other times it involves the advanced skill set that an MBA will bring to the table. 

Tips for Gaining financial support for your MBA

Tip 1: Department vs. Organization 

To make your best case, first find out where the funds would be coming from. Is it coming directly from your department or is it coming out of a fund more central to your organization. Knowing this will allow you to more clearly show how your MBA will benefit your organization.

Tip 2: Build a Broad Base of Support

You want to build a broad base of support from your company. Know their culture. Do they value professional development? Do they value graduate degrees? Are there other people at the firm who have an MBA? Research how many job openings there are currently at your workplace and find out how many of them require an MBA. Answering these questions and more will allow you find footholds within the organization to build a broad coalition of support.

Tip 3: What is the direct value that your MBA will bring to the company?

What are you currently working on? How will an MBA help you with this?  and ultimately what will you bring back to the company as a result of advancing your business education?

  • Qualitative Skills – Better data analysis
  • Class Projects - Built in class and focused on the employer which will provide actionable items

Tip 4: What will you be able to do faster, better, cheaper as a result of your new enhanced skillset?

An MBA will ramp up your even your current abilities significantly. By communicating this to your employer effectively, they’ll understand that they are investing in a productivity boost without needing to add additional personnel.

Steps to get the ball rolling

1. Talk to People

Manager, colleagues at your company who’ve gotten their MBA

2. Assemble the Case

Write down the specific contributions that you’ll bring to the company as a result of earning your MBA.

3. Have a conversation with the Admissions Person.

They have a lot of specific knowledge about their MBA program that will make it much easier to assemble your case, things that you may not have thought of before you’ve had a chance to sit down in a classroom.

Have additional questions about the UC Davis MBA, application process or financing your degree? Contact us today! We’ll be happy to help.