MIT’s Sloan School of Management enrolled so many students to its full-time MBA program this year that it began offering incentives as high as $20,000 to get accepted applicants to defer their admission to next year.
According to The Wall Street Journal today (Sept. 26(, Sloan began asking for volunteers to delay their admission on Aug. 7. The school offered no incentives at that point, only “guaranteed admission to the class of 2015 for the first 20 admitted students who request it.” By early August, many of them has already quit their jobs and found apartments in the Boston area.
Sloan failed to get enough takers so it began dangling $15,000 scholarships that could be applied to next year’s tuition. That didn’t do the trick, either. So on Aug. 21, a day after pre-term refresher courses started, Sloan raised the ante to a $20,000 scholarship for the first ten people who responded—a nice discount from the $58,200 annual MBA tuition. Four admitted students took the deal.
The problem occurred because a larger than expected number of students decided to enroll, Rod Garcia, senior admissions director, told the Journal in an emailed statement. Sloan received 4,133 applications for the just entered class and more than 10% of them enrolled. The school enrolled a class of 413 students, up from 404 last year.
Yale’s School of Management also reported higher yield rates–the percentage of accepted applicants who enroll–this year. The Yale Daily News has reported that 46% of Yale’s accepted applicants enrolled at the school, up four percentage points than expected. The upshot: About 20 more students entered the MBA program than anticipated, swelling the first-year class to 249 from 227 last year. In an interview with The Yale Daily News, SOM Director of Admissions Bruce DelMonico attributed the higher yield numbers to greater funding for scholarships and the school’s new network of partnerships with foreign business schools — initiatives Dean Edward Snyder started since taking office in July 2011.Unlike MIT, Yale decided to live with the problem.
The Journal reported that offering money to admits to defer their enrollment is not without precedent. In 2006, Yale School of Management handed out 50% tuition rebates to accepted students for their first year to get them to defer. More than 30 admitted students ultimately took the offer, worth $21,000, allowing the school to keep its M.B.A. class at about 180.