MBA programs going beyond free tuition to attract students

Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business in Tempe recently ended its program to give all MBA students free tuition because in some cases it wasn't enough, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal details ASU's free tuition program, which started in 2015 to help open the opportunity to a more diverse pool of applicants. Applications declined after an initial surge, and the school has found students are accepting more flexible and generous financial aid packages at competing universities. For example, some packages may also cover living expenses or provide a work stipend after graduation, according to the report.

ASU is pivoting to more flexible financial aid packages this year, according to the report.

Overall, MBA programs are losing popularity due a strong economy and the high cost of tuition. The top 10 business schools observed a 6 percent decline in applications last year, the second consecutive year MBA applicant numbers have declined.

Many medical schools have also taken up a free tuition experiment, including New York University's Long Island School of Medicine, St. Louis-based Washington University School of Medicine and Pasadena, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine.


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