The 'most innovative school' in the US is now offering the world's cheapest MBA

Arizona State University Sun Devil Mascot Students Fans CrowdRalph Freso/Getty ImagesThe Arizona State University Sun Devil mascot.

Arizona State University ranked number one on the US News & World Report’s 2015Most Innovative Schools list, besting second-place Stanford for that award.

It seems the university is putting that innovation into action with a recent announcement that it will be the first school to offer its full-time MBA program completely free of charge, as first reported by Poets & Quants.

Though it would come at a financial loss — more than $US20 million annually — the school believes it is an important and necessary investment that will grow an entrepreneurial community of graduates who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend the school.

“If someone has a great start-up idea, and they know they would be more successful in their venture if they had the skills and networking that an MBA would give them, they might be concerned about spending the money because it takes away from the capital needed for the start-up venture,” Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, said in a statement.

Currently, tuition for the full-time MBA program at the W.P. Carey School of Business is $US54,000 for in-state residents, $US87,000 for out-of state residents, and $US90,000 for international students.

The funding for the free MBA — dubbed the “Forward Focus” MBA program — will largely come from the endowment from William Polk Carey, a real estate investor who donated a $US50 million naming gift to the business school in 2003.

US News & World report ranks the W.P. Carey School of Business 30th best business school in the US. The average GMAT score at Carey is 673 out of a total 800.

Its ranking is expected to improve as a result of the free MBA offering, as the school will likely see an uptick in applications, and the acceptance rate will go down. Acceptance rate is a factor of business school ranking as an indicator of selectivity.

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