Wharton | Mr. Data Dude
GMAT 750, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Founder
GMAT 700, GPA 3.12
Harvard | Mr. MedTech Startup
GMAT 740, GPA 3.80
Kellogg | Mr. MBB Private Equity
GMAT TBD (target 720+), GPA 4.0
INSEAD | Mr. Media Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.65
Yale | Mr. Yale Hopeful
GMAT 750, GPA 2.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. MBB Transformation
GMAT 760, GPA 3.46
Wharton | Mr. Swing Big
GRE N/A, GPA 3.1
Harvard | Mr. CPG Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Triathlete
GMAT 720, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Latino Insurance
GMAT 730, GPA 8.5 / 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Tesla Intern
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Supply Chain Data Scientist
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Global Consultant
GMAT 770, GPA 80% (top 10% of class)
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB/FinTech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Digital Indonesia
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. LGBT Social Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.79
Stanford GSB | Mr. Nuclear Vet
GMAT 770, GPA 3.86
Stanford GSB | Mr. Oilfield Trekker
GMAT 720, GPA 7.99/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. SpaceX
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Kellogg | Mr. Big 4 Financial Consultant
GMAT 740, GPA 3.94
Stanford GSB | Mr. Mountaineer
GRE 327, GPA 2.96
Harvard | Mr. Tech Start-Up
GMAT 720, GPA 3.52
Rice Jones | Mr. Simple Manufacturer
GRE 320, GPA 3.95
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77

Free MBAs for Unemployed Execs

How’s this for a post-recession special?

A Chicago-based business school is now offering 50 full scholarships to business professionals who have been laid off from their jobs in the past 18 months due to the economy.

The unusual offer by Lake Forest Graduate School of Management to essentially get a free MBA degree is an ingenious marketing ploy by an unranked school in a highly competitive market.

“What’s the catch?” asks John Popoli, president and CEO of the school, in a video announcing the contest. “There is no catch. This is a win-win.”

As the school notes, “Unemployment is lingering well beyond expert economists’ predictions. Smart ambitious people who have so much to offer our community are at a standstill. We believe that this scholarship initiative is the right thing to do for business leaders who have been affected by the economic downturn, and for our community.”

To win one of the 50 “renewable” scholarships, the school is requiring that contestants write a 750-word essay that answers the following question: “How a Lake Forest MBA will benefit my career, my future employer, and my community.” The deadline for the contest is April 30th.

Entrants must be 28 years of age or older and also must meet the school’s admission requirements to gain entry into the program. The scholarships are valued at $2,880 per course for a total value of up to $46,080. The deal is available only to Chicago-area business professionals who lost their jobs after Oct. 31, 2009, due to the recession.

The school said contestants also must have four or more years of professional work experience and must currently be seeking full-time employment. They cannot earn more than $3,000 of gross income per month. If a person was fired for cause or voluntarily left their place of employment, they are not eligible for the contest.

The Lake Forest program is not competitive with either the University of Chicago’s Booth School or Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, two world-class, premier business schools in the Chicago area. Lake Forest, for example, has what it calls “a 100% practitioner faculty” of executives teaching business courses. It also does not require an entrance exam, such as a GMAT or a GRE for applicants.

Though the school does not have an Executive MBA program, Lake Forest offers enough flexibility to allow students to attend classes on week nights or on Saturdays. Students can complete the degree in two years or take as long as four.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.