To: Chris Tusa
From: David Gray
Subject: Graduate School Report
Date: 25 November 01

INTRODUCTION
For Portfolio #2, I plan to examine the full time Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs at Louisiana State University and Tulane University.

GRADUATE SCHOOL #1-LSU

School Summary
Louisiana State University began on January 2, 1860 as the Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana near Pineville. The school closed one and a half years later due to the Civil War. It reopened in 1865, but burned down four years later. In 1869, the Seminary resumed its operations in Baton Rouge, LA. A year later, the institution became known as Louisiana State University.

Louisiana State University’s MBA program is highly ranked, due to nationally competitive departments. For example, the Center for Internal Auditing is ranked #1. “LSU students have earned the highest score in the world on the Certified Internal Audit exam ten times in the last twelve years.” Students pursuing an MBA at Louisiana State University are diverse and top-ranking among the student body.

The Flore MBA Admissions Board selects well-rounded students with great professional potential. Because selection is highly competitive, the minimum admission requirements are as follows: “a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a foreign institution, a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on all undergraduate work completed and graduate attempted, an acceptable score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and acceptance by the Flores MBA Committee Admissions Board.”

Requirements in the application process include a completed and signed application form, a nonrefundable $25 application fee, transcripts from any university attended, GMAT scores sent directly to the Office of Admissions, a current one page resume, an essay, and two letters of recommendation.

Employment Opportunities
The cost to attend graduate school is approximately the same as undergraduate costs. Tuition and fees for a full-time student for the academic year are $3,465. Other costs such as housing, food, medical, transportation, books, and miscellaneous expenses average $13,000 a year. 

Because of these expenses, over 80% of MBA students receive financial aid. The most popular way to obtain financial aid is through assistantships. Assistantships require 10-20 work hours each week. Depending on what type of assistantship the graduate holds, duties may include preparing exams, grading papers, tutoring, conducting lectures, etc. The current salary for a graduate assistant is $5,400 for the academic year. Even though assistantships are the most popular forms of financial aid, fellowships, scholarships, and awards are also available. Students are encouraged to visit their academic department and also check the internet for more information.

GRADUATE SCHOOL #2 - Tulane

School Summary
Tulane University was founded in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana. Soon thereafter it merged with the University of Louisiana in New Orleans, expanding with the editions of the law and academic departments. Because of the Civil War, the University was forced to close. It reopened after the war and was faced with financial trouble. “In the early 1880s the crisis was resolved when Paul Tulane established a fund of more than $1 million ‘for the promotion and encouragement of intellectual, moral, and industrial education.’ In 1884 the Louisiana State Legislature gave the University of Louisiana to the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund. Thus the Tulane University of Louisiana, a private, nonsectarian institution was born.”

Tulane University is a very prestigious university in the heart of the Deep South, New Orleans. “Tulane is ranked as one of the top six private research institutions in the United 
States. U.S. News and World Report consistently rank Tulane in the top quarter of 200 national research universities.” The Burkenroad Reports originated in 1993 and is the only program of its kind. This program allows students to perform stock analyses on Louisiana companies followed by Wall Street.

Because Tulane is a private university, selection is highly competitive. Work experience is not required, but highly recommended. “The Admissions Committee admits very few candidates directly from undergraduate studies, and usually only into special programs.” Interviews are required and last approximately 45 minutes. “The purpose of the evaluative interview is to provide the Admissions Committee with additional information on the candidate’s academic and professional background, career goals, and interest in the Freeman School.” 

Requirements in the application process include a completed and signed application form, a nonrefundable $40 application fee, transcripts from any university attended, GMAT scores sent directly to Tulane University, a current resume, an essay, and two letters of recommendation.

Employment Opportunities
Because Tulane University is a prestigious and private university, the cost to attend is extremely high. Tuition and fees for a full-time student for the academic year are $26,885. Other costs such as housing, food, medical, transportation, books and miscellaneous expenses average $15,000 a year.

The A.B. Freeman School of Business is committed to helping every student obtain financial aid. The most common sources of financial aid are merit-based fellowships and assistantships. “All full-time MBA applicants are automatically considered for fellowships during the application process.” These fellowships vary from partial-tuition to full tuition waivers plus stipends. They are automatically renewed if a 3.3 GPA is attained after all first year courses are completed. 

Assistantships allow students to work closely with faculty and staff. Approximately half of full-time MBA students hold assistantships. A typical work week consists of 10-20 hours and earnings are $6.00 per hour. These positions are arranged at the beginning of the semester. For other types of financial aid, such as scholarships and awards, students are encouraged to visit their academic department and also check the internet.

CONCLUSION 
Even though Louisiana State University is inexpensive to attend compared to Tulane University, I would prefer to attend Tulane University. It is a prestigious institution with one of the top rated MBA programs in the United States. Tulane also has an outstanding reputation and offers more opportunities for academic and personal development.

Another advantage of attending Tulane University is the quality of professors. The professors at Tulane are well known for their academic credentials, research expertise, and global perspective. Not only are professors known for their quality, but students are as well. Tulane prides itself on having such a diverse student body. These two factors create an excellent learning environment. 

Third, the Burkenroad Reports program has attracted national media and corporate recruiters. Many of Tulane’s graduates hold executive positions in well known companies across America and around the world.

Finally, Tulane has outstanding facilities and state of the art technologies. The Freeman School is housed in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall, a seven story building complex designed and built specifically for business students. The building includes computer classrooms, an auditorium, group study rooms, faculty offices, and the Turchin Library. The environment enhances learning and development for all students.

All of these factors combined establish Tulane University as an attractive choice for graduate school. I believe I can obtain the tools needed for the competitive edge necessary for today’s job market by attending this university. The location is also beneficial because my goal is to work at a public accounting firm in New Orleans. In conclusion, I feel it is in my best interest to choose Tulane University’s MBA program.