Getting an MBA may be cheaper than you think

Are you thinking about a business degree? Are you worried about the cost? Relax. A number of top business schools are now doling out substantial quantities of financial aid. So says a new survey of business school financial aid offers by the business education website Poets & Quants, which found that the top 25 business schools are awarding an estimated $232.7 million in grants in the current school year. At Rice University, about 94 percent of students are receiving some financial aid, for example. And Harvard Business School is giving away about $31.5 million, spread among 65 percent of its 1,868 students, according Poets & Quants. “Every one of [these schools] is discounting, and some of them are discounting fairly aggressively,” said John Byrne, editor in chief of Poets & Quants, adding that “the scholarship game has really heated up” over the past five years. UCLA’s Anderson School of Management more than doubled its funding from $5.8 million to $12.1 million in the last five years, for example, and the average grant awarded by Washington University’s Olin Business School rose from $26,200 to $31,328. But the financial aid largesse is not limited to the top schools. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, 96 percent of full-time, two-year MBA programs offered financial aid in the 2013-2014 year. (Those awards may help offset some of the increase in business school tuition: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business reports that tuition rose an average of 23.2 percent for North American business schools between the 2007-08 and 2011-12 academic years.)…Read full story:...

Do IT leaders need an MBA?

Many CIOs don’t have an MBA. Maybe they don’t think they need one. So what is the attraction for those who have lost sleep and precious family time earning a master of business administration (MBA) qualification? For some IT leaders with highly technical backgrounds and minimal business experience, an MBA may be an important step towards gaining a better understanding of the mechanics of their organisations. Others may simply use an MBA to stand out from the crowd when competing with hundreds, possibly thousands, of candidates for that highly paid, plum CIO role. Paul Munslow, IT program manager at Tennis Australia is an aspiring CIO who is studying for an MBA at Melbourne’s Chifley Business School. He has worked in IT for more than 15 years in the public and private sectors and has been a program manager for the last nine years. “I very much aspire to become an IT leader,” says Munslow. “I’ve had some great mentors who are very successful.” Munslow says the changing nature of an industry where IT people need to understand business, and feeling unfulfilled academically because he didn’t have an undergraduate degree prompted him to pursue an MBA. “It is no longer satisfactory to understand IT only, and to gain respect and have a ‘seat at the table’, business skills are required,” he says. “My recipe for respect and success is to become knowledgeable in IT and business, and I see an MBA as a vehicle for achieving this. The modern CIO needs to have many skills in the arsenal. It is my hope that an MBA will give me a competitive advantage in the future.” Munslow says he is sacrificing social and sporting activities “to get this sucker complete” in August...

Business schools with the most billionaire alumni...

Harvard Business School’s MBA program has produced more billionaires than any other business school,according to a recent report from Wealth-X. With 64 billionaire MBA alumni, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based school has nearly three times as many as runner up Stanford University. Seven of the top 10 business schools with the most billionaire alumni are based in the U.S.. Three of them are Ivy League colleges. View the top 10 above, along with the number of billionaire MBA alumni and notable billionaire alumni. Wealth-X highlighted Philip Knight, who founded Nike Inc. after earning his MBA at Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1962. While the recent Wealth-X study focused on MBA programs, several of those colleges also appear on the list of schools with the most billionaire undergraduate alumni, released by Wealth-X in October. University of Pennsylvania took the top spot on that list, with 25 billionaire undergraduate alumni, followed by Harvard University. There are 2,325 billionaires in the world, with a combined net worth of $7.3 trillion, according to the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014. Europe is home to more billionaires than any other continent, while the United States has more billionaires than any other country. New York City has the largest population of billionaires of any city. 10. London Business School (London) Number of billionaire alumni: 4 | Notable billionaire alumnus: Kumar Mangalam Birla 9. University of Southern California (Los Angeles) Number of billionaire alumni: 5 | Notable billionaire alumnus: Ivan Glasenberg 8. International Institute for Management Development (Lausanne, Switzerland) Number of billionaire alumni: 5 | Notable billionaire alumnus: Susanne Hanna Ursula Klatten 7. New York University (New York) Number of billionaire alumni: 7 | Notable billionaire alumnus: Forrest Edward Mars, 6. INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France; Singapore campus is...

Do’s and Don’ts of Convincing MBA Programs You’re a Good Fit...

Focusing on fit is one of the most important elements of finding the right business school. This can seem like an abstract thing to determine at first glance. After all, many students assume they’d be just as happy at Harvard Business School as they would at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business or MIT Sloan School of Management. This might be true, but these top business schools really aren’t one-size-fits-all. Your job, then, is to find out what is unique about each program, determine what about the program will most benefit your career goals, and persuade the admissions committee to take a chance that you will be a vibrant addition to its community. Many schools ask a version of the essay question, “Why Us?” – so here are some do’s and don’ts for addressing that prompt either in your application essay, or later on during the admissions interview. Don’t: Regurgitate the well-known characteristics of the program as a way of explaining your interest. I’ve read countless first drafts of essays that cite the “unmatched student body, world-class faculty, and committed alumni network” as the reasons the applicant has chosen a certain MBA program. The admissions committee knows what the program’s strengths are and doesn’t want to read essay after essay of its own marketing messages. Do: Show what you’ve learned about the program, beyond what you’ve read in the brochures and website, that makes it stand out for you. Your first point of entry will often be by participating in information sessions online or in your area, but the best way to really get to know the school is by visiting the campus and sitting in on a class. There’s no replacement for spending time in that environment...

Just These 5 Lessons Made the MBA Worth the Money...

The best career decision I ever made was going back to school and earning my MBA degree. At the time, my employer footed the entire expense of that education but even if it had not, I had every intention of paying for it myself. Here’s why. My undergrad degree had been in journalism, which was the job I had for the first 10 years of my career. When I transitioned to corporate communications, I realized that there was a lot I still needed to learn about business. Earning the MBA degree has been an invaluable investment to me as a corporate professional. The education I received gave me a solid grounding in quantitative coursework such as statistics, finance, accounting and operations management. It also provided wide exposure to qualitative courses, such as organizational behavior, business ethics, project management and business writing. While many of the details for those classes have dimmed from my memory over the years, there are five major lessons learned from business school that I continue to use on a daily basis since completing that degree. 1. Teams make better decisions than individuals Almost every MBA course at the business school I attended required team projects and group accountability. This was during the early 2000’s, when the concept of teams within the workplace became the norm, and it has continued through today. Coming from a solo news reporting background, the “team concept” was a new experience for me. However, every team interaction since has reinforced this lesson that teams make better decisions than any individual in the group. Related: How Much Is An MBA Degree Really Worth? 2. Correlation is not causation Prior to my graduate courses in statistics I had thought that correlation (a mutual...

The MBA scholarship wars

Highly regarded institutions across the U.S. are increasingly providing deep MBA discounts as they fight ferociously over the most talented applicants. (Poets&Quants) — “Discount MBA degrees. Get ‘em while they’re cheap!” It’s not a sign you’ll see hanging from any respectable business school, but highly regarded institutions across the U.S. are increasingly providing deep MBA discounts as they fight ferociously over the most talented applicants. Rivers of scholarship cash are flowing from schools to candidates—well over $200 million a year from the top 25 U.S. business schools alone—drastically cutting MBA costs for many students. As the money pours forth, it’s countering the rise in tuition costs, creating a two-tier market for a business education. There’s the high sticker price for the degree, and then there’s the discounted price for the most sought-after candidates. At the moment, the battle for students has become so frenzied that several prominent schools are quietly negotiating with candidates, often competing with rival offers from other MBA programs. And some second-tier institutions have quietly contacted at least one major admissions consulting firm to present a highly unusual proposition: send your most impressive clients to us, and we’ll give them scholarship funds that we’ve set aside especially for your clients. Surging numbers of international applicants and a growing number of MBA spaces globally have ratcheted up the intensity in the battle for students. In turn, schools are spending more and more money on scholarships, says Alison Davis-Blake, dean of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Some buy candidates who will improve a school’s standing in business school rankings, which measure incoming GMAT and GPA scores and outgoing salaries and job offers. Other schools are simply hoping to land the best and brightest...

Business School Vs. Incubator: An Entrepreneurial Test Drive At Stanford To Find Which Works Best...

If you are looking to buy a new car it is only natural to test drive the models you are interested in. You’ll quickly get a sense of quality, handling, comfort, and can back up your research with comparable data on cost, mileage, reliability, resale value and much more that is easily available online. But the decision to go to business school is not so straightforward. You can visit the schools, meet with students and alumni, talk to recruiters, assess costs and check performance on the numerous media MBA rankings. But what about that test drive? How can you compare the classroom experience from one school to another? And for the would-be entrepreneur, how do you decide if business school is a better option than an incubator? Zak Allal is an Algerian-born entrepreneur and doctor, who completed clinical rotations at Harvard Medical School and Oxford University Medical School. He is also a classically trained musician who includes performances at Carnegie Hall on his resume. This diverse background has contributed to a number of start-ups including 4 Dimension Therapeutics, which repurposes drugs for rare diseases, as well as international concert tours and a teaching fellowship at Singularity University, a Silicon Valley teaching organization founded and funded by the the likes of Google, IDEO, X Prize, Linkedin and the Kauffman Foundation.Read full story:...

Highest paid graduating MBA ever? $1.8 million...

Talk about a return on investment. A graduate of the MBA program at the Sloan school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will earn $1.8 million in total compensation in the first year out of school, according to a post on the business education website Poets & Quants, which pulled the number from Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s annual B-school rankings. A spokesman for Sloan told the website that the figure could be accurate, but would not fully confirm it. “It’s $1,825,000, about 11 times the highest reported $165,000 base salary at Sloan last year,” said Poets & Quants. “And it’s not even at a hedge fund or private equity firm, these days the organizations that offer the most lucrative MBA jobs in the market. It is for an unnamed real estate company. If the self-reported number is true, it would in all likelihood be the highest first-year comp for an MBA graduate ever. The number was supplied by a graduating MBA who completed the (Bloomberg BusinessWeek) magazine’s ranking survey.”Read full story:...

10 Best MBA Programs for Minting Billionaires

Where should you go to get your MBA if you want to be a billionaire? Likely one of these schools, the top 10 when it comes to number of billionaire alumni. With 64, Harvard University is No. 1 when it comes claiming the most graduates who are now billionaires, according to a ranking by Wealth-X, a high-net-worth intelligence firm. Harvard produced nearly three times more billionaires with MBA degrees than Stanford University, the runner up and more than four times as many as Columbia University, the No. 3 ranked school. Of the 2,325 billionaires in the world, two-thirds have received a tertiary education, with approximately 21% of those getting their MBA degrees. Half of those have obtained their MBA from one of the 10 institutions named on the Wealth-X list. Top universities in the U.S. aren’t the only schools producing billionaires. Three international institutions made the Wealth-X list – France’s INSEAD, Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development and the London Business School. Curious about the MBA programs that produced the most billionaires? Click through to see which schools can make you filthy rich. 10. London Business School Number of Billionaire MBA Alumni: 4 Notable Billionaire Alumnus: Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, one of the largest conglomerates in India. Net Worth: $9.2 billion. 9. International Institute for Management Development (tied with No. 8, University of Southern California) Number of Billionaire MBA Alumni: 5 Notable Billionaire Alumnus: Susanne Hanna Ursula Klatten, daughter of German industrialist Herbert Quandt. Net Worth: $15.3 billion. 8. University of Southern California (tied) Number of Billionaire MBA Alumni: 5 Notable Billionaire Alumnus: Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore Xstrata, the Swiss commodity trading and mining company. Net Worth: $5.9 billion. 7. New York University Number...

Faculty Feared Distance Learning Course Would “Cannibalize” Traditional MBA...

The executive director of a leading business school has said that his faculty thought a shorter, cheaper mini-MBA program would “cannibalize” the traditional MBA, highlighting the challenges that business schools face in adapting their content for the modern business climate. It is becoming increasingly difficult to take two years out of work to obtain a full-time MBA degree. Many students are instead turning to flexible and distance learning programs. These formats allow managers to maintain jobs, learning skills and networking in their spare time, often through virtual learning environments. Alan Middleton, executive director of Schulich Business School’s Executive Education Centre, said he faced internal opposition from his Dean and faculty in bringing a shorter program to market: “They saw it as cannibalizing the MBA,” he said. “[They thought that] surely if somebody can get the brand, and something that said ‘mini-MBA’, that would signal that once I’ve got that, why would I need to go on and get a full-time MBA?” Alan said. He said that domestic demand for MBA programs has been flat in North America and Canada, and there was “nervousness” about the “flat market”. Demand from international students has been strong but US business schools rely more on domestic candidates to fill their MBA programs than schools in Europe, which have a higher percentage of foreign students. Alan’s comments come at a time when professionals are turning to distance learning programs, which are often cheaper or free, in huge numbers. Business schools have been forced to come up with more flexible programs to keep their numbers up, but many remain fearful of investing resources in shorter programs which typically charge participants less in tuition than full-time MBA courses. Schulich has since introduced a Mini-MBA program. At...

Slight Decline in Number of Self-Funded Executive MBA Students...

For the first time in five years, the percentage of students who fully fund their Executive MBA (EMBA) education has declined slightly, according to the results of the 2014 Membership Program Survey of the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC). “With organizations facing challenging economic times and accordingly changing their tuition reimbursement policies, we’ve seen the responsibility for financing the degree fall more on students. Even so, business leaders continue to see the value of the EMBA experience.” The percentage of self-funded students decreased from 41.2 percent in 2013 to 39.8 percent in 2014. Partial sponsorship also increased from 34.7 percent in 2013 to 35.6 percent in 2014, with full sponsorship also increasing from 24 percent in 2013 to 24.6 percent in 2014. “While this is encouraging, time will tell if it becomes a trend,” says Michael Desiderio, EMBAC executive director. “With organizations facing challenging economic times and accordingly changing their tuition reimbursement policies, we’ve seen the responsibility for financing the degree fall more on students. Even so, business leaders continue to see the value of the EMBA experience.” In addition, 53 percent of programs offered scholarships and fellowships. Total program costs rose by approximately 2 percent from $73,401 in 2013 to $74,883 in 2014. EMBAC sponsors its Membership Program Survey each year to help track industry developments. In 2014, 285 member programs throughout the world – or 92 percent – participated in the survey. Survey data also offered the following highlights: Consistent Demographics • In 2014, the percentage of women in EMBA programs remained consistent at 25.4 percent. In the past five years, the percentage has ranged from a high of 26.7 percent 2012 to a low of 25.2 percent in 2011. • The average EMBA student age is 37.5...

The Sum Of All The Business School Rankings

In the turbulent world of business school rankings, 2014 will go down as a vintage year. The mixture of celebration and howls of protest that accompanied the results of the Bloomberg BusinessWeek MBA ranking that published on earlier will endure for another two years, before the pioneer of MBA rankings publishes its next results. Biased? Maybe. Flawed? Probably. Limited? Certainly. Business school rankings are an ongoing source of controversy. And the annual Ranking of the MBA Rankings compiled by MBA50 for 2014, which combines the results of the big major MBA rankings of the last 12 months by region, is not short of surprises and upsets. There is a new #1 among the top US business schools, as well as the business schools of Canada and Asia. A snapshot of the results appears at the end of this article. Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB and Chicago Booth – which one ranks #1 in 2014? Harvard, Stanford and Chicago – which one ranks #1 across all the MBA rankings of the last 12 months? Having invested a small fortune to get your MBA from a top school, I can understand the disappointment when the business school you graduated from tumbles in business school rankings. You’ve invested in a brand name, and want that investment to endure. But as you review what each of the five major media rankings sets out to measure – and the methodologies are different for each ranking – remind yourself of their inherent shortcomings, and think about what the two years has done, or will do for you both personally and professionally. That should add up to far more than a handful of places on a media ranking. Even the editors of the rankings, who see...