All Articles Tagged "business school diversity"
Business schools love to boast of their diverse student body population. They claim minority enrollment is up, with many of the top programs declaring that their ethnic and racial minorities comprise a quarter or more of their student population. But when you take a closer look at the numbers, you discover that most of it is simply an illusion. That’s not to say that these schools aren’t diverse, but when it comes to minority numbers, the Wall Street Journal reports that Asian-Americans are statistically overrepresented at business schools in comparison to their percentage of the greater US population. African-American, Hispanic Americans and Native American numbers however, continue to remain low.
“When you look at B-school demographics, you see pretty healthy numbers on overall minorities,” John Rice, founder and chief executive of Management Leadership for Tomorrow said to the Wall Street Journal. His organization is one of the largest nonprofit organizations that supports underrepresented groups business school applications. “When you unpack it a little bit, the numbers are very different.”
Take for instance, Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. This program recently released that 34 percent of its graduating two-year M.B.A. class next spring will be minorities—a three percent gain from this year’s graduating class. Once Asian-American numbers are removed from that percentage, you’ll find that underrepresented minority group numbers fell from 15 to 12 percent. Then again, 10 years ago, the school’s minority class was at 19 percent with only eight percent underrepresented minority.
University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business issued that its 2013 graduating class consisted of 28 percent minorities, but only 10 percent were African American, Hispanic American or Native American. Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business is no better, with a 27 percent minority representation with only nine percent of that group comprising underrepresented minorities. The Yale School of Management has a 25 percent minority population while its underrepresented minority population reaches only seven percent.
According to Peter J. Aranda III, the executive director and CEO of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, a nonprofit that offers application assistance and financial aid to minorities in business school, not only do schools distort their minority numbers, there’s also “a portion of the general public that think 30% is a good number.”
But low percentages are only part of the program. Schools disclose that their application pool lacks applicants from underrepresented populations. Scott Shrum, the director of M.B.A. admissions research at Veritas Prep, which is a firm that advises business-school applicants, tells the Wall Street Journal that even outstanding minority candidates lack the confidence needed to apply for the top business schools as well as mentors to encourage them.
“Sometimes they need a little more coaxing to actually pull the trigger” and apply, he said.