Dec 19, 2018

Tuck Admissions Insights: Scholarships

By Luke Anthony Peña

Luke Anthony Peña

By Luke Anthony Peña
Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

Happy December, friends! Winter has arrived at Tuck. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, many of our second-year students have been traveling the world together during a well-earned break. And just last week we toasted to our first-year students for completing Fall A and Fall B—their first semester at Tuck. The Admissions and Financial Aid team is still hard at work—we’re congratulating those of you admitted in Round 1 and encouraging and supporting those of you working on your Round 2 applications due January 7.

Whether you’re already in or getting ready to submit, many of you have finances on your mind. You’re not alone! We think and talk a lot about how we can help you finance your Tuck MBA. We care a great deal about eliminating the financial barriers that might keep you from enrolling at Tuck which is why our ongoing $250 million capital campaign includes an emphasis on scholarship support.

Scholarship Selection

Many of you ask me how we determine scholarship recipients and award amounts at Tuck. Like admissions, this is a human process; there’s no formula or algorithm that makes the final decision. We convene a Scholarship Committee that reviews the entire pool of admitted students and makes discretionary calls about how to allocate resources. We’re using lots of available data, including your applications, to inform our decision-making.

Given our emphasis on eliminating barriers, we strive to offer scholarships to enroll those of you who, absent funding, might not attend Tuck. For some of you, we anticipate that you may have attractive scholarship awards elsewhere, and we strive to compete financially. For others, we see evidence in your application—experience or career goals in lower-paying industries, family expenses, currency devaluations, etc.—that compel us to reduce your cost of attending Tuck. We really want each of you whom we admit to come to Tuck, and while our resources are finite, we award as many scholarships as we can with that goal in mind.

While we would love to enroll everyone we admit, we know some admitted students will accept other great offers from other great schools, even after we’ve awarded scholarships. So we “over-award” at the beginning of each round, offering scholarship awards well in excess of our budget. This explains why we’re not in the habit of “negotiating” scholarship awards after admission—we’re typically running a scholarship deficit. As admitted students update their decisions throughout the cycle, sometimes we end up with additional scholarship funds to deploy and sometimes we don’t. When we do, the Scholarship Committee uses discretion and judgment to reallocate.

A Meaningful Investment

Some of you are fortunate to be in a position where finances are not a barrier to a Tuck MBA. But for many of you, I know that finances are a big factor. I personally understand; finances were a significant factor for me when I applied for my MBA. There are some who might advise you to ignore the price tag and set aside the cost of this considerable investment. I know first-hand that it’s not that easy or simple. The cost matters.

I also know that, like all meaningful investments, the cost must be weighed against the return on the investment. The best MBAs are not commodities, and the rewards are not uniform. Each of you has an MBA program that best positions you to contribute, thrive, and better the world of business. And the financial and personal rewards of choosing the right MBA for you—a choice you only get once—endure for life and grow stronger as you advance in your career.

If Tuck is the right MBA for you, then the rewards are worth the cost, and you belong here. And if the cost is all that’s keeping you from applying or enrolling, then let us help! Our financial aid team is accessible, helpful, and responsive, and they welcome the opportunity to help you build a plan to finance your Tuck MBA. Call us, email us, stop by and see us—let us do all we can to help you invest in your wise leadership, and your ability to better the world of business.

If you have questions for me, don’t hesitate to write me by email or on Twitter. See you in 2019!