W. P. Carey has nearly Ivy League acceptance rates after redesign, MBA scholarship

Following an increase in applicants for the 2016-17 school year,the W. P. Carey School of Business’ recent statistics show that its MBA program has become more competitive than many top business schools.

With 120 seats and over 1,000 applicants, the W. P. Carey school has seen an increase in selectivity. While Harvard's business school acceptance rate lands around 10.7 percent and Berkeley’s is 13 percent — W. P. Carey's acceptance rate stands at just 12 percent.

Dean of W.P. Carey Amy Hillman, who was recently appointed to an international business school accreditation board, wrote in an email that selectivity is only one dimension of comparing business schools.

“The other dimensions to compare graduate schools of business against are student quality (undergraduate GPA, test scores, years and type of full-time work experience), placement rates ... average starting salaries of graduates, rankings published by various media outlets, etc.,” Hillman wrote in an email.

She also wrote that she feels the increase in applicants was due to a scholarship that W. P. Carey has begun to offer for its full-time MBA program, essentially making the program free.

Ruthie Pyles, the director of recruitment and financial services, said the program recently went through a curriculum redesign last October.

“It really focuses in on the way in which the world of work is changing," she said. "We also complemented that with an opportunity for students to receive a scholarship that would cover ASU tuition."

She also said the new curriculum focused on things like building leadership skills and understanding how to present information to people with different backgrounds.

“What you are really trying to do is create a class that is going to have a lot of intellectual curiosity that is going to bring in multiple perspectives and create an environment where there is a lot of enriching and engaging discussion,” Pyles said.

Kay Keck, the director of the full-time director of the MBA program, said they are trying to enable students to deal with a world that is rapidly changing and that the prospective students that they’ve talked to so far are excited about the new curriculum.

She said they were working on revising the curriculum before the announcement of the full-time scholarship.

Pyles said the new scholarship is in line with ASU President Michael Crow’s vision of basing the school on including people, instead of excluding them.

“There are so many individuals across the United States and around the world who have such exciting potential, potential for new thoughts, new ideas,” Pyles said.

She said she feels the school has been fortunate to attract candidates, and she’s enjoyed getting to know them through the interview process.

“It’s been such a pleasure to get to know these applicants, but it’s also been very challenging to meet all these great individuals and then have to make some difficult decisions,” she said.

She said being more selective was not the program’s ultimate goal at all.

“It wasn’t necessarily what we set out to do,” Pyles said. “This was really about providing students with an opportunity and about creating that diversity of thought and perspective and background in the classroom.”


Reach the reporter at avcabral@asu.edu or follow @angeligagaa on Twitter.

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