by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: October 26, 2015

ASU Makes Getting an MBA Easy… They are Making it FREE


What if Arizona State University told you they had a program…

An MBA program…

And it was absolutely FREE…


Starting next fall, the W. P. Carey School of Business plans to offer full scholarships to all incoming full-time M.B.A. students….

The goal?

To attract students with nontraditional backgrounds and career aims, and kick off a new business curriculum, leaders say.

At the heart of the decision to eliminate tuition was school leaders’ desire to change the complexion of its M.B.A. class, said Carey’s dean, Amy Hillman.

Carey’s full-time M.B.A. student body is “a fairly traditional M.B.A. class,” in Ms. Hillman’s words, with the bulk of graduates going into technology, manufacturing and finance, according to school placement figures.

The original article in The Wall Street Journal said this:

“School leaders realized the sticker price for the two-year M.B.A. program—which runs from $54,000 for in-state residents to $90,000 for international students—deterred students who were interested in pursuing careers in nonprofits or those who felt they couldn’t afford the opportunity cost of attending. They wondered what would happen if the cost of attendance were no longer a barrier.”

So they took the $50 million donation given in 2003 from real-estate mogul and philanthropist William Carey and turned into scholarships for the next future business scholar and entrepreneur…

That money had been put toward recruiting new faculty, but Ms. Hillman said her administration agreed it was time to spend the money on students…

Some 86 first-year students are currently enrolled in Carey’s full-time M.B.A. class, but the school will cover free rides for up to 120 students starting in the fall of 2016; the school declined to provide cost estimates.

According to the Wall Street Journal article “the business school enrolls more than 13,500 students in total, including more than 12,000 undergraduates and nearly 800 students in its portfolio of M.B.A. programs, which includes part-time and online degrees.”

About 90% of the full-time M.B.A. graduates in Carey’s class of 2015 were employed three months after graduation, with average starting salaries nearing $99,000, according to the school.

The business school is launching an online-heavy marketing campaign to raise awareness of the scholarships, and admissions officers will attend more college fairs to court entrepreneurs, single parents and nonprofit professionals and others who might reconsider the full-time business school program if it were free.

“We are hopeful that Dean Hillman’s initiative will enable students who may otherwise not have considered business school to pursue an M.B.A.,” said Interim Provost Mark Searle in a statement.

In exchange for free tuition, Ms. Hillman said she expects graduates to pay it forward by hiring or mentoring future alumni, although the school doesn’t plan to formally track or enforce that guideline.

*Thank you to the Wall street Journal for the original article



Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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