seeks College applicants
joins several top schools questioning the value of making students
wait five years to apply.
students face a common question their fourth year: get a job
or go to graduate school?
a third option this year at the U of C, at least for young executive
hopefuls. This winter the Graduate School of Business launched
its new Scholars Program, encouraging College fourth-years to
apply now rather than wait the usual three to five years after
GSB began the program to catch Chicago undergraduates who "mistakenly
believe that business schools won't consider them until they
have at least four or five years of experience," says Ann
McGill, MBA'85, PhD'86, GSB deputy dean. "The College offers
a very attractive pool of candidates," she adds. "[Chicago
undergrads] reason well, write well, and have great depth of
knowledge in their major fields."
the Scholars Program, College students apply during their fourth
year. Those accepted must defer admissions for one to three
years-and get a job. "Experience provides knowledge and
context for the classroom training," says McGill. "They
can contribute more in the classroom and absorb more."
new program demonstrates a nationwide shift among schools back
to recruiting young applicants. GSB associate dean William Kooser,
MBA'81, went straight from college to business school and remembers
how common that used to be. "But since the 1980s standard
wisdom has been that you need some work experience first,"
he says. "The new program is a compromise between the two."
program is also part of a trend among top M.B.A. schools to
reach out to the best college graduates. In January the Wall
Street Journal reported on similar initiatives at Stanford
University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania,
and the University of California.
hope such programs will increase student diversity in M.B.A.
programs, which are notoriously bad at attracting women. According
to the Financial Times annual rankings, the top-ten business
schools average around 30 percent women. The GSB averages 26
percent women-compared to Chicago's law and medical schools,
which average closer to 50 percent.
evidence suggests that 27 or 28 is a difficult age for women
to go back to school because of marriage and children, McGill
says. "We believe that this program has special potential
to attract a higher percentage of younger students and women
applications in general have soared this year in the sagging
economy. Applications to the GSB jumped by 100 percent. Other
universities have reported increases of up to 90 percent.
year's deadline is June 1, and the GSB plans to accept fewer
than ten Scholars Program applicants, who will make up roughly
1 percent of the 525 full-time students admitted each year.