How She’s Paying for Her MBA

Fellowships, Federal Loans, Private Loans

Her Story

As a Lauder student, Jessica was able to receive fellowships from both Wharton and her dual-degree program.

On the Wharton Legacy Endowed Fellowship Award for exceptional professional, academic, and personal achievement, she said, “It feels like an honor to be given this award.”

She is supplementing these fellowships and awards with a mix of federal and private loans. Since the federal loan rates were particularly high this year, she opted for private loans from CommonBond. When deciding how much to take out, she based a lot of her decision on what she had read on the Wharton website last year.

She decided to borrow the maximum percentage of the student budget. She said it was best to “maximize the budget now and then once you acclimate to living expenses you can move funds around and borrow less the second year. I wasn’t sure what rates would look like my second year, I preferred to borrow more upfront.”

Jessica has a Wharton roommate, partly for the experience of living with someone else from Wharton, and partly to be sure she has the money ready when she needs it.

“As part of Lauder, I feel that I have and will experience significant travel opportunities,” she said. “However, I have money set aside for a rainy day and just waiting for the right time and place to splurge on an experience. Wharton is about the relationships and experiences during your two years here, and I want to make sure that I will be able to take full advantage of those when the time is right.”

The advice she gives to newly admitted students: “Everything will be OK! I was concerned up front when I saw this huge number and was worried I wouldn’t have the resources to pay for this education. However, current students and the Financial Aid office were extremely helpful in walking me through the options. To my surprise, there were so many options to choose from, it was just about choosing what’s right for you.”

Jessica Beckhart

Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies

Mexico City, Mexico

Previous Education
Wellesley College, BA, Economics

Previous Career
Senior Associate, Category Management,; Assistant Buyer, Kate Spade & Company