Oops: MIT Miscounts MBA Students, Pays Them to Defer
BY Kathleen Kim
The business school miscalculated enrollment, but finally found a way to shrink the class size.
MBA applications are on the decline, but it looks like MIT is having the exact opposite problem.
Four students pursuing MBAs agreed to a $20,000 offer from MIT's Sloan School of Management to defer their enrollment, after the school miscalculated the semester's headcount, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The $80,000 expense resulted from Sloan's slip-up: It overenrolled students for its full-time MBA program by more than 10%. Seeking volunteers to defer enrollment until next year, Sloan initially offered guaranteed admission next year for the first 20 students to request it by Aug. 13.
Short of takers, Sloan then offered a $15,000 scholarship--drawn out from next year's fellowship pool--that would be applied to the following academic year (the outlet adds that this year's tuition costs $58,200 but with additional expenses, including textbooks, housing and food, the total estimates to about $89,000).
Still lacking response, Sloan raised the amount to $20,000 for the first 10 respondents. Four finally acquiesed and this year's program commenced with 413 students, up from 404 last year.
One of the deferred students who "already quit her job, rented an apartment and sold her car…will spend part of the year traveling, and work on media projects," the outlet adds.
Other schools reportedly have paid for deferrals to shrink their student surplus. In 2006, the Yale School of Management kept its MBA class at about 180 with a bargain: in exchange for deferring, more than 30 students received a 50% refund of about $21,000 for their first year.