Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting Winning Marketing Strategy for Business School Admissions Sat, 23 Aug 2014 03:49:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Admissions Updates from Michigan Ross School of Business Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:06:54 +0000 ]]> admissions updates at Michigan Ross

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business recently shared some news for prospective applicants on Director Soojin Kwon‘s revamped admissions blog.

The admissions team is wrapping up a whirlwind recruiting tour in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea this week, and Kwon notes that Michigan Ross will also hold admissions events in Europe, South America, India, and South East Asia over the next couple of months.

The committee has also settled on the locations for this year’s optional, but highly encouraged off-campus team exercises, which will take place during Round 2 (late January/early February) in Shanghai, Seoul, Sao Paulo, Delhi and Mumbai. Ross will also hold on-campus team exercises in all three rounds in Ann Arbor.

Kwon also hinted at some exciting MBA funding news on the horizon, sharing that the program is working towards a final agreement with a lender that could provide a no-cosigner loan to international students next year. We’ll share those details here with our blog readers as they become available.

In other “Blue” news, first-year Ross MBAs recently took part in an intensive four-day session called Career Action Days. The Wall Street Journal is calling the phenomenon “career creep,” and this new effort gives students a crash course in preparation for their upcoming job search in response to growing demands for a pre-MBA job hunt.

The event includes several activities to help first-years learn about Ross career resources, “MBA-ize” their resume, sharpen search skills, and draft a career plan, so that they can focus on academics when the term actually starts.

“Many students arrive thinking they’ll get to shop for companies, but it really works the other way,” they were told on day one. “Companies come here to shop for talent.”

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Register for HBS Class Visits Now Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:19:35 +0000 ]]> HBS application

Harvard Business School has announced that registration for class visits is now open. In her latest blog post, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Dee Leopold notes that the first day to visit a class is September 10th, which is after the Round 1 deadline.

Applicants shouldn’t be worried though, as a campus visit bears no influence on the HBS evaluation process. Besides, Leopold points out, if you’re invited to interview and come to campus to do so, you’ll be able to sit in on a class at that time.

Also, the initial visits in September are for second-year classes only, in order to give new students a chance to get comfortable with the case method and their section mates. Visitors scheduled in early October will be able to observe a first-year class in action, and registration for these visits will begin in early September.

Leopold writes that second-year students begin leading HBS tours and information sessions in September, so visitors at that time can and should take advantage of hearing from current students about the MBA program, in addition to admissions staff members. You can check the events section of the Harvard Business School website for the schedule of tours and info sessions.

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US News Names 10 Most Expensive MBA Programs Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:39:49 +0000 ]]> In addition to its standard business school rankings released annually, US News and World Report occasionally releases a “short list” magnifying individual data points. This week, the news magazine takes a look at the ten most costly private MBA programs in the United States.

According to their research, average tuition fees for the 2013-2014 school year were roughly $62,000—an increase of $3,000 over the previous year and about $13,000 more than the average among all ranked schools.

Based on tuition and required fees for the 2013-2014 school year, here are the 10 most expensive private MBA programs in the United States:

  1. Harvard Business School
  2. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School
  3. Dartmouth Tuck School of Business
  4. Columbia Business School
  5. MIT Sloan School of Management
  6. NYU Stern School of Business
  7. Chicago Booth School of Business
  8. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  9. Northwestern Kellogg School of Management
  10. Yale School of Management

As you can see, seven of the top 10 programs are on the East Coast, and just one—Stanford GSB—is out west. And despite their hefty price tag, applicants aren’t dissuaded a bit from targeting these schools. US News metrics indicate that five of them fall among the 10 b-schools where accepted students are likely to enroll.

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B-Schools Battle for Top Talent Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:47:35 +0000 ]]> Competition among top MBA programs to attract the most brilliant applicants has grown fierce, according to a news piece in Business Because. With tactics ranging from launching online programs, expanding class sizes, increasing scholarship opportunities, overhauling curricula and creating ever more specialized courses, it’s clear the elite programs will continue to pull out all the stops to entice the best candidates.

Seb Murray’s article, in which I share a few of my own views related to this trend, brings up several interesting points about this intensified competition, and includes perspectives from the admissions side of top programs in the US and abroad. If you’re curious to know what b-schools are doing to lure in the top talent, I invite you to follow the link above for the whole story.

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Assess 5 Funding Options to Help Pay for an MBA Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:00:25 +0000 ]]> This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on

Getting your MBA acceptance letter is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but submitting your deposit for business school is a thrill of a different kind.

After you decide where to attend, you’ll only have a few months to get your finances in order. Before it’s too late, take a look at how to assess the following sources of funding when planning to finance your MBA.

1. Scholarships and fellowships: Scholarships are clearly a great source of funding – it’s free money – but it’s easier said than done to get them. Be aware of how your school makes scholarship offers, as you may need to prepare a separate application to be eligible.

You may also need to submit a different application for each fellowship or scholarship. Don’t lose out because of a missed deadline. Look beyond your business school, too, to organizations like the Forte Foundation or Consortium for Graduate Study in Management that offer highly valuable scholarships for MBA students.

2. Company sponsorship: If you’re one of the lucky few with a sponsorship offer, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into before you accept. Because sponsorship often comes with an obligation to return to the company after you complete your MBA, take a step back and assess whether you’re absolutely confident you want to return. Breaking such an agreement after your earn the degree can lead to not only strained relationships with former colleagues, but also a mountain of unforeseen debt.

Some lenders such as CommonBond will allow you to take out a loan to pay for an MBA even after you’ve graduated, but it’s always better to be prepared ahead of time. Meanwhile, if you plan to return to your company but don’t have sponsorship, it never hurts to ask about options. See if you’re eligible for any reimbursement given the new skills you’ll bring to the table.

3. Retirement savings: This less obvious pool of money comes with a few extra considerations, first and foremost being that you should always think hard before touching money set aside for retirement. However, those who have saved aggressively already and plan to continue doing so may find it worth it to take some money out for the short term.

You’re exempt from the 10 percent penalty for early withdrawals when you put the funds toward qualified higher education expenses, of which attending business school is one. You’ll still face income tax on this money, but the tax burden will likely be less when you’re in a graduate student tax bracket.

4. Federal loans: The U.S. government offers at least two loan options for each academic year: the Stafford Loan and the Grad PLUS Loan. The Stafford is limited to $20,500 for a year, while the Grad PLUS is available up to your school’s cost of attendance.

You can apply for these loans online via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and the Department of Education is a great resource for information on rates, fees, eligibility and more.

5. Private loans: When you’re looking for the right loan, it pays to shop around and find a lender you trust at an interest rate you like. After all, your MBA is only two years, and you’ll probably be working with your lender for 10 or 15 years.

Private loans can provide customized options to help you save, sometimes at rates even lower than the federal government’s. If you’re looking to augment your other MBA financing, seek a lender with great customer service and ask about what loan options can maximize your savings.

Finally, use an online MBA student loan calculator to organize your costs and see how loans with different interest rates can work in your favor. Your MBA is a great investment, and I hope you can make the best use of the months ahead to make sure you have all the funding you need.

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Indian School of Business Announces New Scholarships Fri, 15 Aug 2014 12:53:10 +0000 ]]> The Indian School of Business has introduced 10 merit-based full tuition fee waivers applicable to candidates applying this year to the Post Graduate Program in Management.

According to the school, the PGP admissions committee will make the selection of candidates, looking at a combination of academic brilliance, leadership potential, work experience,  and other attributes.

There is no separate application for this waiver. Applicants simply submit their PGP application before these deadlines:

Cycle 1: September 15, 2014

Cycle 2: November 30, 2014

The ISB follows a rolling admissions process for international applicants. The deadline is January 15, 2015.

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