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IIM Scholarships and Awards: Can MBA be done for free?

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

There are countless scholarships for MBA at IIMs which take the form of awards and financial aids. In a recent discussion with an Institute Scholar (I-schol), who bagged many of these IIM scholarships, I got to know that it is possible to recoup a significant portion of your MBA fee (which can be about INR 22-25 lakhs). In this post, I will share about these IIM MBA scholarships, their criteria and amount. I will share a list for IIM-A, followed by a link each for IIM-B and IIM-C scholarships.

IIM Scholarships and Awards

Financing Your MBA

Essentially, there are three ways to finance your MBA program at IIMs. These are:

  1. Education Loans for IIMs: This is the most common form of financing your MBA. I opted for this option during my admission and I've already written a post on how to avail education loan for MBA at IIMs.

  2. Sponsorship from Companies: Some companies (in most cases the current employers) are willing to finance MBA at IIMs to keep the talented employees within the organization. You can reach out to your employer to see if they offer such a corporate sponsorship. This often comes with a clause to rejoin the organization upon graduating from the IIMs.

  3. Financial Awards and Scholarships: A variety of financial aids and scholarships at IIMs are offered to students to recoup the amount they have spent during the admission. Please note that it is a provision to 'recoup' the sum. The fee remains the same for all the students.

List of IIM Scholarships

Now, we will talk about the top 3 IIMs i.e. IIM-A, B and C and discuss the scholarships for MBA that they offer:

IIMA Scholarships

There are broadly 4 kinds of scholarships offered at IIM Ahmedabad:

  1. Scholarships by IIMA

  2. Scholarships by Govt.

  3. Scholarships by Alumni

  4. Scholarships by Corporate

1. Scholarships by IIM-A

1.a. Need Based Scholarships: Offered to individuals with family income less than Rs. 15,00,000/year. The amount is decided by the Institute basis the following criteria:

  • previous year's family income

  • movable and other assets

  • number of dependents

  • other factors deemed necessary

1.b. SC/ST Scholarships: Rs. 150/month awarded for 10 months to all SC/ST students.

1.c. Entrepreneurship Scholarships: Two students are awarded Rs. 30,000/month for three years after graduating if they wish to pursue entrepreneurship. The selection is based on the business plans presented.

1.d. NGO Scholarships: Two students are awarded Rs. 3 to 4 lakhs/year for three years after graduating if they wish to join NGOs and plan to opt out of the placement process.

1.e. Doctoral Studies Scholarships: Two students are awarded Rs. 3 to 4 lakhs/year for three years after graduating if they wish to pursue doctoral studies and plan to opt out of the placement process.

2. Scholarships by Government

2.a. SC/ST Scholarships: Awarded to meritorious students with family income less than Rs. 4,50,000/year.

2.b. Minority Welfare Scholarships: Awarded to students with family income less than Rs. 2,50,000/year.

2.c. Students With Disabilities Scholarships: Awarded to meritorious DA/PWD students with family income less than Rs. 6,00,000/year.

3. Scholarships by Alumni

3.a. Endowment Funds: Nine students are offered financial assistance worth Rs. 2,00,000-Rs. 3,00,000 with an expectation of returning the sum within 5-7 years to contribute to the upcoming batches' financial assistance.

3.b. Peri Viswanath Scholarship: One student from the first year is provided this scholarship worth Rs. 2,00,000 per year on merit-cum-means basis. Merit depends on academic performance during the first year and means criteria is family income less than Rs. 15,00,000/year.

3.c. Shri GC Mital Entrepreneurship Aid: One student is awarded this scholarship worth Rs. 2,00,000 every year who wishes to opt out of the placement process and pursue entrepreneurship. The family income of the student should be less than Rs. 8,00,000 to avail this scholarship and he/she is required to submit a B-plan.

3.d. Smt. J Nagamma Memorial Award: One student is awarded Rs. 15,000 under this scholarship for academic performance in the first year.

4. Scholarships by Corporate

4.a. Aditya Birla Group Scholarships: Three meritorious students from first year and second year each are awarded this scholarship on the basis of academic performance (criteria decided by ABG). The amount awarded is Rs. 1,75,000 per year.

4.b. Dunia Scholarships: Two students from first and second year each are awarded this scholarship on the basis of scholastic excellence. The amount is Rs. 1,00,000 per year.

4.c. OP Jindal Engineering and Management Scholarship: Based on an online test and personal interview, this scholarship is awarded to one or two students from the second year. The amount is Rs. 1,50,000 per year.

4.d. T. Thomas Scholarship: A merit-cum-means scholarship awarded by HUL to a second year student. The amount of this MBA scholarship is Rs. 1,00,000.

Apart from these, there are a variety of other scholarships awarded on the basis of Institute Rank at IIM-A, performance in certain subjects (e.g. there is a scholarship for excellence in marketing), there are awards for all-rounder students, best sportsmen, etc. which offer financial aids to support IIM students' MBA fee.

Other IIMs

Similarly, you can find a list of scholarships offered by the other top IIMs as follows:


Hope this post acts like a source of inspiration for you to work hard to avail these scholarships at IIMs. These scholarships help you pay back your education loan and are often valued as strong CV points.

More posts on Life at IIM:

If you're a CAT aspirant, you can check out the CAT preparation section of this blog for some insightful articles.

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