LURING WOULD-BE STUDENTS FROM UZBEKISTAN, BOLIVIA & UGANDA
To deal with the onslaught, the school’s admissions office had to grab staff other university offices as well as student ambassadors to respond to phone calls and emails from would-be students. For every application the school has received, the admissions staff estimates that it has fielded three inquiries which would bring the total to something near 3,500–for just an entering class of 120 max. Many of the prospective students came from countries that Carney would rarely if ever see, including Uzbekistan, Bolivia and Uganda. Often times, potential applicants asked if the free MBA program was for real. Some were “skeptical,” concedes Kay Keck, program director of Carey’s full-time MBA program.
The increase is bound to drive up the average GMAT score, which was 672 for last fall’s incoming students, as well as the undergraduate grade point average of 3.37. Acceptance rates, GMAT and GPA scores are all key metrics in U.S. News’ rankings, accounging for 25% of the methodology of the influential list of the best business schools. So besides moving ahead of the likes of Harvard on selectivity, the application increase also will no doubt result in a big jump in Carey’s standing in that ranking next year. Carey is currently tied for 35th place with Michigan State’s Broad Graduate School of Management.
When Dean Hillman announced the unusual offer last October, she said that a key goal of the plan was to attract non-traditional students, including stay-at-home moms and potential entrepreneurs. With roughly half of the 120 seats in the incoming class full, Hillman now says that goal has been met. “We have seen a number of entrepreneurs, single parents and applicants from a large number of coutnries that we were not normally getting applications from. We are seeing more diversity in the countries represented by the internationals and more women, and we are seeing a slight improvement on the basic metrics: GMATs, GREs, GPAs and work experience.”
FUNDING COMES LARGELY FROM THE ORIGINAL CAREY ENDOWMENT
The admissions staff recently interviewed an Arizona entrepreneur and married father of four. After sitting for the Graduate Management Admission Test, he told the school that the full ride scholarship only make it possible for him to consider a fulll-time MBA program.
The funding for what the school is calling the “Forward Focus” MBA program largely comes from the original endowment from William Polk Carey, the real-estate investor whose foundation donated a $50 million naming gift to the business school in 2003.
Despite all the applications, it’s still possible that Carey could admit slightly fewer than the 120 student target. “The 120 is the max and we are not wed to getting to that level if we don’t find the right class,” says Hillman.”