The number of applicants to MBA programs worldwide measures in the thousands. More than 5,000 universities offer the MBA degree, and they naturally want to enhance or build their academic reputations by attracting the best students. A small number of top-tier schools-the Ivy League schools and major state universities-typically have no problem with applications. The best schools receive so many qualified applications they may have to reject 90 percent or more of them. But for many private and public MBA programs recruiting high quality MBA students is a constant struggle. The competition for good students is fierce, and MBA programs are expensive. What then are some of the strategies that schools use to get their share of qualified students?
Most MBA applicants are interested in minimizing the cost of their education. Financial aid, in the form of scholarships and graduate assistantships is an important recruiting strategy. That means that funds have to be available, or the school has to forgo tuition revenue to field a good class.
Another recruiting vehicle is having a great, highly informative, and