With tuition fees skyrocketing at many times the rate of inflation for the past decade, B-schools are perfectly positioned to develop new ways of paying for higher education, says Dean Daniel C. Smith of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in a recent Economist editorial.
Smith sketches an outline of a financial support model that begins with small to mid-size businesses primed to grow and hire more talent but lacking the skills or global contacts to get the job done. Enter Kelley Business School, which has the global alumni network, corporate and government contacts, plus top-notch faculty and students, to help such client companies.
The dean proposes creating a consulting consortium in which teams of MBA students help these businesses identify, assess and capitalize on global growth opportunities. Firms would pay a fee for the student consulting services, says Smith, with a portion of the fee allocated toward the students’ tuition costs and the balance paid into an an endowment account for deserving students.
The Kelley School also envisions structuring contracts so that a portion of new revenue generated from the global ventures will, for a set period of time, add to the scholarship endowment account, Smith explains.
With the proposal, students gain hands-on experience; businesses grow and employment gets a boost; and the Kelley School of Business creates a sustainable revenue stream to offset rising tuition costs. Sounds like a win-win all around.