Stanford USA MBA Fellowship

GSB Outside

Stanford Graduate School of Business

The Stanford USA MBA Fellowship provides financial assistance to students who wish to obtain an MBA at Stanford GSB and are committed to economic development in regions of the United States that have been underrepresented in the MBA Program.

This year, the Fellowship focuses on the U.S. Midwest and pays for tuition and associated fees (approximately US $170,000 over two years) for Stanford MBA students who demonstrate financial need and strong ties to the Midwest.

Within two years of graduation from Stanford GSB, Stanford USA MBA Fellows must begin working in the Midwest region in a professional role that contributes to the region’s economic development. Thus, fellows must live and work in the Midwest for at least two years by the time they are four years out of the Stanford MBA Program.

In 2018-2019, Stanford GSB will award up to three Stanford USA MBA Fellowships.

Fellowship Eligibility

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. If you are a dual citizen, you are eligible as long as you hold U.S. citizenship.
  • Demonstrated financial need is preferred, as assessed through the Stanford GSB financial aid process after admission.
  • You must demonstrate strong ties to, and a commitment to the economic development of, at least one of the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Examples of strong connections with the Midwest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Current residency in one of the eligible states
  • Prior residency for a minimum of three consecutive years in one of the eligible states
  • Graduation from a high school in one of the eligible states
  • Experiences that demonstrate a strong commitment to, and interest in, the development of the region

Application Process

To be considered for the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship, you must apply in either Round 1 (by 18 September 2018) or Round 2 (by 10 January 2019) of the MBA application process. We cannot consider you for the fellowship in Round 3. If you have already been admitted to the GSB and have deferred enrollment, you must apply to the USA MBA Fellowship the year prior to your enrollment. For more information about fellowships and deferred enrollment, please visit Deferred Enrollment.

In the MBA application, you will indicate that you are applying for the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship; doing so will trigger a prompt for an additional essay (listed below). You must submit the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship essay with your completed MBA Program application by the appropriate application deadline. Suggested essay length is 250 words. Follow the formatting requirements as outlined in the Essay Instructions.

Essay Topic

Tell us about your connection(s) to the Midwest region and about your intended contributions to the region.

Evaluation Criteria

We will select Stanford USA Fellows within a month after both the Round 1 and Round 2 notification dates. Selection will be based on our general MBA admission criteria, as well as the following criteria specific to the Fellowship:

Commitment to Developing the Midwest

Stanford USA MBA Fellows must return to work in one of the states in the Midwest region within two years of Stanford MBA graduation, for a period of at least two years. Stanford MBA students pursue a wide variety of careers after graduation. Competitive applicants will demonstrate a commitment to pursue professional opportunities that foster the development of the region. As such, we require Stanford USA MBA Fellows to work for, invest in, or create organizations with significant operations and impact in the region.

Financial Need

After you are admitted to the MBA Program, you will complete Stanford’s financial aid application process, which requires information about your assets and income, including copies of your tax returns. Stanford will determine your financial need based on personal financial information you submit in this financial aid application process. For more information, visit the Financial Aid section of our website.

Stanford USA MBA Fellows receive financial support for the cost of Stanford MBA tuition and associated fees for the two-year course of study. You may be eligible for additional financial assistance if your level of need exceeds the amount of the Fellowship (approximately US $170,000). Read more about the cost of attendance.

If you are admitted to the MBA Program, but are not selected as a Stanford USA MBA Fellow, you will remain eligible to receive other forms of need-based financial aid. Your financial aid package will be based on your demonstrated need in your financial aid application and typically includes a combination of fellowships and loans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Stanford GSB offering this fellowship?

Talent is distributed broadly across the world. For this reason, Stanford GSB offers a variety of fellowships that attract and provide financial assistance to talented leaders from countries, regions, and populations that are underrepresented in the MBA Program. In turn, these leaders increase the diversity of experiences and perspectives within the Stanford MBA class.

In its inaugural year, the Stanford GSB MBA Fellowship assists leaders that will contribute to economic development in the Midwest. Our goal is to offer this fellowship to other regions in the US over time.

What costs does the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship cover? What if I still can’t pay for the remainder?

The Stanford USA MBA Fellowship covers two years of tuition at the Stanford MBA Program, plus all associated fees (approximately $170,000). Stanford GSB also contributes to room, board, and other living expenses if you have additional financial need demonstrated in your financial aid application. See the Financial Need section of this page for more details.

Do I need to live in the Midwest to apply?

No. Current residence in the Midwest region is not required to be eligible for the fellowship, but you must demonstrate ties to the region. In addition, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident, or a dual citizen who holds US citizenship. See the Fellowship Eligibility section for more details.

How many people do you admit from the Midwest? How many from my industry?

We understand that you’d like to calculate your odds of getting into the MBA Program, but we don’t know who we’ll admit in any given year until we receive applications. There are neither quotas nor targets in the admission process, and the candidates admitted depend on the applicant pool.

If I do not return to work in the Midwest within two years after my MBA--for at least two years--will I have to repay my fellowship?

Yes, and this is a big deal, so read carefully. If you do not satisfy your commitment, you will be required to repay the Fellowship funding you received. The Stanford USA MBA Fellowship Program allows you the flexibility to gain experience and knowledge anywhere in the world for a two-year period after graduation from Stanford GSB. Within four years of earning your Stanford MBA, however, you must have worked in the Midwest for at least two years.

Is Stanford accepting more students from the Midwest into the MBA Program because of the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship?

We do not have a target or quota for current or former residents of the Midwest. Through the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship, we may encourage individuals who might otherwise never have thought it possible to apply to and attend the Stanford Graduate School of Business. If that occurs, then it would be likely that more students from the Midwest would apply to and enroll at Stanford.

We continue to make admission decisions person by person, not group by group. There are no quotas or targets in the admission process. The Stanford MBA class reflects the applicant pool, so the specific number and backgrounds of candidates admitted each year varies depending on that pool. This premise will continue to apply to candidates selected for the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship Program.

What does it mean to contribute to the economic development of the Midwest? May I start my own business? What if I want to be a social entrepreneur? May I work for the government?

There are many ways for you to contribute to the growth and development of the Midwest region. Examples include, but are not limited to, working with households at the grassroots level, influencing change through local or state governments, developing sustainable energy sources, or influencing large-scale capital flows. Stanford GSB empowers people to envision what is possible and make it happen through principled leadership and creative problem solving.

There is no particular organization, industry, or sector that necessarily catalyzes change most effectively. The structure or type of the organization is secondary to the spirit and philosophy behind the Stanford USA MBA Fellowship. We expect Stanford USA MBA Fellows to apply their leadership training to endeavors that benefit residents of the Midwest. Alumni of the Stanford USA MBA Fellows would be welcome to start for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, or social enterprises as long as they aim to make a positive difference in the region’s economy.

Whom can I contact if I have further questions?

If you have questions, please send them to the MBA Admissions Office. We appreciate your interest and will do our best to answer any inquiries. Register to stay in touch with us to be notified of Stanford GSB events near you.

Last Updated 27 Feb 2019