There has been fierce debate about the absence of women in Business School. Whether the imbalance stems from concerns about unfair practices in the workplace, male dominated board rooms (only 4.2% of companies are directed by women according to Fortune Magazine), a biological clash (the average age for Business School students is late 20s/early 30s during a woman’s childbearing years and when one’s personal life typically has an uptick), remedies for closing the gender gap abound.

Some of those incentives have come in the form of scholarships for the MBA degree.

If you’re interested in earning the degree, but need help with your funding, here’s a sampling of the scholarships available to women seeking the MBA:

The Forte Fellows Scholarship ProgramThis is perhaps the most well-known of female MBA scholarships initiatives because of it’s network and the ongoing support it provides. Forte Fellows offers fellowships and school grants to full-time MBA students, part-timers, and executive-MBAs at specific schools. According to the program, to date they have awarded more than $142 million to 6,300 Forte Fellows. Any woman interested in pursuing this kind of grant must first submit an application to a participating school.

The C200 Foundation. This organization goes by the tag line, "We’re changing the face of business, one woman at a time."

To date they have awarded over $1.68 million to women.

Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship fund, (JFR). According to JRF, this fund provides scholarships for low income women 35 years and older looking to build better lives through post-secondary education.

Chicago Booth School, Enid Fogell Scholarship and William Scholarships. These are two scholarships offered to female students at Chicago Booth Business School.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Career Grant. This organization supports women advancing in their education and careers. The program notes that primary consideration is given to women of color.

Moss Adams Foundation Scholarships. Awards are provided annually to minority women pursuing graduate degrees in accounting and business.

International Options

London Business School: If you want to study across the pond, this school offers full grants to female MBA hopefuls of up to one year.

INSEAD: Highly-ranked INSEAD provides up to seven dedicated scholarships for women.

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Business: This school offers merit-based scholarships to female MBAs in both their part time and full time programs.

The MBA Scholarship Takeaway

While there are many dedicated scholarship opportunities for women seeking to earn the MBA, scholarship opportunities at many business schools abound. Some of these are merit-based, others are awarded on the bases of financial need.

However, given the shortage of women in business school, the smart female applicant might leverage her background, financial need, and gender to win a large grant package at the school of her choice.

Nedda Gilbert

Ms. Gilbert is a certified social worker and 30 year educational consultant with an interest in helping college-bound and graduate school students manage the process and stress of admissions effectively. She is one of the senior founding managers of the Princeton Review Test Preparation Company, and the author of The Princeton Review Guide to the Best Business Schools and another book, Business School Essays that Made a Difference (Random House). She is a guest contributor to Forbes Magazine on college and college life. Ms. Gilbert is also certified as a collaborative family law professional in New Jersey. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MS from Columbia University.