Applications surge to school giving away MBAs for free

A classroom at the W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
Source: W. P. Carey School of Business
A classroom at the W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.

The economist Adam Smith once said: "There is no such thing as a free lunch." A free MBA, however, is a different story.

Applications to Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business have soared a year after the school announced it would grant free scholarships to all those accepted into its master's program, said business education website Poets & Quants. Applications were up 162 percent this year to 1,160 versus 443 last year.

Of course, the school isn't making it easy to qualify, said Poets & Quants. Its acceptance rate of just 14 percent makes Carey the fourth most selective MBA program behind only Stanford, Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business. The scholarships cost Arizona State more than $10 million a year, funded largely through an endowment.

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