A 4 minute read

Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship is a godsend for Indian candidates aspiring for an MBA from Stanford GSB but lacking the means to do so. Karthiki was one such Indian student who worked with Admit Square Consulting for her Stanford MBA application. She wasn’t just among the top 50 students to be selected for the Reliance Fellowship but was also one of the rare Indian candidates who Stanford GSB interviewed even with a sub-700 GMAT score. Her application experience tells us that applying to the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship can have several advantages even if your application doesn’t look outstanding.

Let us first understand what this Fellowship is all about. Here is the outline of this article:

stanford reliance dhirubhai fellowship for Indian MBA applicants

How the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship came into being?

Almost 40 years back, Mukesh Ambani, then enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, had to drop out of the program to return to India and assist his father, Dhirubhai Ambani, to build Reliance. While Reliance soon became one of the largest businesses in India, Reliance Industries recently instituted the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship to support the education of 3 Indians, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

What is Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship?

stanford reliance dhirubhai fellowship for Indian MBA applicants

The Reliance Fellowship requires one to apply through the defined application process and thereafter, 50 applicants are selected as finalists, who qualify for the scholarship based on their admit decision from Stanford at a later stage. The selected 50 are required to apply for the Stanford MBA and then Stanford finally selects up to 3 admits who are offered this fellowship.

The 3 selected candidates receive financial support for approximately 80% of the tuition and other fees for each year of the two-year Stanford MBA Program – total scholarship amounting to approximately INR 1 Crore (USD145,000).

Here is an article which describes the X-factor Stanford admissions committee looks for in its applicants.

Process and Evaluation Criteria

The Reliance Fellowship application is completely independent of the Stanford MBA application. One should apply for the Reliance Fellowship now (Deadline May 28, 2019), and thereafter, apply for the Stanford MBA through the standard process once the application for 2020 intake opens.

stanford reliance dhirubhai fellowship for Indian MBA applicants

The Reliance Fellowship application does NOT require one to submit the GMAT score. One can, therefore, apply for the Fellowship even if they are still preparing for the GMAT. Following are the Application Materials to be prepared for the Fellowship Application:

  • Education history and scores
  • Awards and honors (academic or social)
  • Employment History (Recommendations not required at this stage)
  • One-page resume
  • 250-word essay
  • Individual financial information

Timeline: Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship 2019

stanford reliance dhirubhai fellowship for Indian MBA applicants

The applications for the fellowship opens up on April 22, 2019, and will close on May 28, 2019, at 5 pm (PST). Apply for the fellowship here.

Timeline of  Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship 2019
April 22, 2019 – May 28, 2019 Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship application available online
May 28, 2019 (5:00 pm Pacific Time) Submission deadline
June 20, 2019 Fellowship finalists notified
Round 1 and 2: To Be Announced Fellowship finalists prepare and submit their Stanford MBA application
Round 1 and 2: To Be Announced Stanford GSB releases admission decisions, including those for Reliance Dhirubhai Fellows

Getting into Stanford MBA program requires an envious GMAT score. We can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Write to us at acethegmat@e-gmat.com. We are the most reviewed GMAT prep company on gmatclub with more than 1825 reviews (as on May 23, 2019). Why don’t you take a free trial and judge it for yourself?

Application tips: Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship

stanford reliance dhirubhai fellowship tips

The Reliance Fellowship application is very different from a typical MBA Application in that it requires you to establish your commitment to contributing to the country, which, for obvious reasons, should be well-aligned with your career plans. You can’t be applying for the Stanford MBA with random promises on your Fellowship Application, of contributing to the country, post your MBA.

Your story, therefore, must draw the right balance between your long-term plans of contributing to the country and your short-term plans of building your own career. Further, the Resume needs to present consistent academic and professional achievements, along with strong leadership capabilities demonstrated at work and beyond.

Apply to Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship 2019

“Scoring high on the GMAT definitely helps but we would strongly encourage candidates to apply for the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship even if they do not find their profile strong enough for the Stanford MBA”, says Prashant from AdmitSquare Consulting. He also says that primarily because being selected among the top 50 not just boosts one’s chance of getting a Stanford interview invite, but also presents an exciting talking point while applying to other schools.

3 of AdmitSquare’s candidates made it to the top 50 in 2018 and they can definitely assist you with your 2019 Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship application. You may explore their Stanford Fellowship Application Builder.

Feel free to mail your profile to prashant@admitsquare.com for a detailed assessment of your candidature for the Reliance Fellowship or for top business schools.

About the author

Prashant Tibrewal is the founder of Admit Square Consulting and has mentored 1000+ MBA aspirants to get into top global universities like Harvard, Stanford, INSEAD, Oxford, HEC, ISB, etc. With a team of Consultants from top business schools such as Yale, Wharton, Duke and Oxford, Admit Square offers 100% Money-back Assurance on its services. You may send your details to prashant@admitsquare.com for a free profile evaluation.


*Stanford and Reliance logos are properties of respective institutions.

Payal Tandon
Co-founder, e-GMAT
Welcome to e-GMAT Support!
I am Payal, Co-Founder of e-GMAT.
Feel free to ask any Query.
Thank you for your query.
We will be contacting you soon on