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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASU’s school of business to offer free MBAs starting Fall 2016

Jesus Barrera

McClelland Hall is home to the Eller College of Management at the UA. Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Buisness will offer free MBAs starting in the fall semester of 2016.

The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management has always been able to hold one fact over its rival from the north, the W.P. Carey school of Business at ASU — its low-priced MBA program. Total tuition for Eller College’s two-year full-time MBA program, currently costs around $44,000 in-state and $76,000 out-of-state. While the same program at Carey costs about $54,000 in-state and $87,000 out-of-state. 

But now, Eller College will no longer be able to hold their cheap price tag over Carey’s head. In fact, an MBA from Carey won’t have a price tag at all. Using funds donated by the late William P. Carey and others, Carey has announced that it will be giving full-ride scholarships to all full-time MBA students starting in the fall of 2016.

In the U.S. News & World Report ranking of Best Business Graduate Schools of 2016, Carey ranked 30 and Eller College 56. It would seem Carey has gained the upper-hand with its new price change, but the dean of Eller College, Jeff Schatzberg, says both UA’s and ASU’s MBA programs were heavily subsidized before ASU’s recent price cut. Not many students were paying the full sticker price at either institution.

“So that’s why in some ways what they did, which is really great of ASU to give full tuition, but it wasn’t as big of a leap as someone might think because they were already giving tuition waivers and scholarships to a large proportion of their students already – particularly the really strong ones,” Schatzberg said.

Schatzberg maintained that good students will pay the same price at UA as they will at ASU. 

“You know we’re doing the same thing as we always have done and so good students would be offered a full ride at their [Carey’s] place or our place or probably any other peer institution as well, so it’s a bit of a misnomer when you look at the pricing thing,” Schatzberg said.

Liz Warren-Pederson, director of marketing and communications at Eller College, said via email that 100 percent of full-time MBA students at Eller College receive funding assistance. No full-time student at UA is paying full price, and Eller College plans to keep it that way.

“If someone wants to go to school here and has the right profile, we want to make that happens for them and we wouldn’t want financial issues to be a limitation that would prevent that from pursuing an MBA,” said Schatzberg.

The Carey School of Business told the Wall Street Journal that their move to make their full-time MBA program free was driven by a desire to diversify the kind of students they are enrolling. 

Schatzberg says Eller College is also on the lookout for diverse students to add to its MBA program, in particular, “we’d like to have, obviously, a large proportion of females; we’d like to have ex-military involved; we want diverse groups represented so we’ll try to do whatever we can do to make that happen within the class.”

Carey already has a solid ex-military student population and their online MBA program for veterans was ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, so they are searching to diversify in a different way than Eller College is at this point.

Follow Michelle Jaquette on Twitter.

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