NYU Seeking Younger MBA Applicants

William R. Berkley is giving Stern $10 million to fund scholarships

William R. Berkley is giving Stern $10 million to fund scholarships

New York University’s Stern School of Business said today (Oct. 28) that it has received a $10 million gift to lure exceptional undergraduates to its MBA program immediately after their college graduation. The school will use the money to fund full-ride scholarships with generous stipends to up to ten students annually.

In common with most elite business schools, Stern has long favored MBA candidates with work experience. In fact, the average incoming student typically boasts 4.7 years of full-time work experience and is 27 years old. Out of an entering class of MBA students this fall of 392 students, only a couple are direct from their undergraduate education, including a dual degree JD/MBA candidate.

In recent years, however, Harvard Business School has been attempting to recruit younger students in a 2+2 program that allows seniors to apply, gain acceptance, and then defer their admission to the MBA program for two years while they gain work experience. Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business also offers deferred admissions to undergrads.


Stern admission officials say the scholarships will be highly selective. “I think this is going to be life changing for a handful of people,” said Isser Gallogly, assistant dean of admissions, in an interview with Poets&Quants. “The program will be relatively small and extremely selective. We’ll do a maximum of ten a year. A lot of it depends on the quality of the applicant pool. We’re looking for seniors with stellar academics and a great capacity to contribute to business and society. We are absolutely looking for exceptional people.”

The scholarships will be extremely generous. It covers the $61,274 in annual tuition and fees as well as $18,000 a year in housing and $10,000 a year stipend for books and supplies. All told, each scholarship recipient would get $178,548 as well as the likely increase in tuition and fees during the second year of study.

The Stern initiative is being funded by a $10 million grant from William R. Berkley, a Harvard Business School MBA, an insurance entrepreneur and chairman of the NYU Stern Board of Overseers as well as vice chairman of the NYU Board of Trustees. Immediately after graduating from NYU with a Bachelor of Science in 1966, Berkley pursued his MBA at Harvard Business School. Berkley has also endowed several professorships at Stern. His fortune comes from a property and casualty insurance holding company that he founded and runs as chief executive and chairman.


“Bill went direct from undergrad to his MBA,” said Gallogly. “He has a real good track record of givng back to the school. He felt like there are a lot of other young, ambitious college seniors who would like to pursue their MBAs right after graduating.”

Through the new program, Berkley hopes to create opportunities for talented seniors who want to pursue a similar path.  “At 20 years old, I had big ideas and I was incredibly eager to get started,” said Berkley in a statement. “I knew the tools of an MBA would be essential, and I had no time to lose. I had the rare opportunity to pursue my passion at a young age, and we want to bring to Stern the brightest students in the world who are ready to do the same.”

Berkley’s gift is one of the lead gifts in New York University’s recently announced “Momentum Campaign” to raise $1 billion in six years for scholarships. To date, the university said it has raised $222 million for scholarships since this campaign commenced two years ago.

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