Coping with MBA Sticker Shock

Get advice from three pros about tracking down all the possible financial help you can at our next live online chat

[Note: A transcript of this event will be posted shortly]

Are you wondering how you'll pay for the MBA education you just signed up for? The cost will be a shock, but there are plenty of places to find money -- if you know where to look.

To learn more about where the cash is, mark your calendar for Wednesday, Mar. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST. That's when three experts on scholarships and loans will be joining BusinessWeek Online for a live chat on how to pay for your MBA. They'll be taking your questions on everything from filing out forms, to improving your credit score (if you don't know what that is, you'd better not miss this chat!), to giving up that SUV to pay for books and housing.

Ann Richards is director of financial aid and associate director of admissions at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management. Richards has worked at Cornell since 1982, when she joined the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office. She's a member of several national and regional financial-aid associations and has served on a number of financial-aid committees and advisory groups. She has plenty of advice on where to find good scholarships and loans, though she warns that "no school is going to be a big help" when it comes to funding the degree: The onus is on students to figure that out.

Also joining us, from Sallie Mae, the largest educational lender in the U.S., will be Karen Kurtz, manager of graduate professional loans, and Laura Hardman, manager of private credit loans. As administrators of the 17-year-old MBA LOANS program, which is run by SallieMae and sponsored by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), Kurtz and Hardman approve more than 85% of applicants that don't need a co-signer. The MBA LOANS program helped 5,400 graduate business students in 2003, with grads shouldering an average $28,000 in debt. With a U.S. co-borrower, non-U.S. students may apply for the private loans, too.

Your co-hosts for this event will be Jack Dierdorff (BWJack), consulting editor of BusinessWeek Online and former managing editor of the magazine, and Mica Schneider (MicaBW), BW Online's reporter covering management education.

Hope to see you there!

BusinessWeek Online rotates chat days and times every month so that everyone has a chance to tune in. If you can't attend a live event, you can simply read the transcript that we post afterward.

During Live Chats, BusinessWeek Online editors choose the most relevant questions from the audience. Invited guests may not have answers to all of the questions, and they may choose not to answer a question.

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