Footing the Bill for Kellogg

The director of admissions at Northwestern's B-school talks about financial aid, criteria for scholarships, and how to deal with debt

Northwestern University's director of admissions and financial aid discusses educating oneself about aid possibilities, handling debt, and qualifying for scholarships

Northwestern University's director of admissions and financial aid discusses educating oneself about aid options, handling debt, and qualifying for scholarships at the No. 3-ranked B-school

Beth Flye is the director of admissions and financial aid for Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, BusinessWeek's No. 3-ranked B-School for 2006. A tuition of approximately $41,115 per year, not to mention the recommended annual MBA student budget of $65,425—including tuition—could drain any former corporate employee's savings account. However Flye says she hopes financial concerns are the "last reason students would turn us down." Kellogg gave 70% of its full-time MBA program financial aid of some kind for the 2006-2007 academic year.

Kellogg has merit- and merit-and-need-based scholarships, and Flye emphasizes the fact that the school concentrates on offering students as much financial aid education as possible.

Flye spoke with's Erica Pelzek. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation:

Kellogg's projected tuition for the entire MBA program, according to our data, was $82,230, as of our 2006 survey, and the recommended yearlong budget for an MBA student was $65,425. This is pretty expensive, even if a student is coming from a corporate background. Approximately what percentage of students receive financial aid?

Roughly 70% receive some form of financial aid or financial assistance, as I like to call it, whether it's a loan, a merit/need-based scholarship, or a merit-based scholarship. Of the 70% of full-time MBA students that receive financial aid, about 55% to 60% of them receive aid they do not have to pay back, including corporate scholarships or our endowed grants. That doesn't mean these students don't also take out loans, however. I suppose that the remaining 10% or so finance their education with loans only.

What kind of grants do you offer?

We have what we call our merit-need-based scholarships. But technically, they are scholarships in which a donor has given money for a qualified student candidate.

Can you tell me a little more about the Austin Scholars program, since Kellogg is one of a few schools with a scholarship like it?

We bring in, on average, 20 Austin Scholars each year. We evaluate applicants to see if the candidate has potential to qualify for our merit-based or our merit- and need-based scholarships. Criteria One would be just a stellar, outstanding applicant, across the board, in all areas—evidence of leadership service to the community, service to others, meaning, someone who is going to be a high-impact leader. This particular scholarship is really a very high honor in terms of those who receive it. And it's a renewable scholarship.

Are assistantships available to MBA students?

We do not have assistantships here at Kellogg, and we're a school where students are not actively involved in terms of instructing other MBA students.

Can you tell me a little bit more about what kind of financial aid is available to international students?

There are two sources of financial aid for international students here at Kellogg. Most of our merit-based scholarships...

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