From The Wall Street Journal:
A Decade-Long Stall for Black Enrollment in M.B.A. Programs
A lack of focus on diversity and high tuition costs have harmed the pipeline for corporate jobs, graduates and program advisers say
By Patrick Thomas
June 17, 2020 7:30 am ET
Toluwalase Oladitan [BwC Legacy Network Alumna], a fresh Harvard graduate with a degree in biomedical engineering, said she plans to apply to B-school so she can learn what it takes to run a company. But the Brooklyn native and first-generation college student said she faces several obstacles, primarily the price, which can exceed $200,000, including living expenses, at top programs.
“For my peers that have more money or from a higher income bracket, they probably have siblings or relatives who have gone through this process. I don’t have that,” she said. “I count myself very lucky, many people are not in my position. If I didn’t go to Harvard, I would be less certain that I would be applying to M.B.A. programs right now.”
Cost is among the largest obstacles keeping black students from graduate programs, said Kofi Kankam [BwC Board Member], chief executive of Admit.me, which coaches M.B.A. applicants on admissions.
Black students typically aren’t entering business school with the same wealth standing that some M.B.A. students have, he said, which means they are more reliant on student loans to fund their education. A U.S. Department of Education study in 2018 showed that a larger portion of white master’s degree students receive grant aid from their employer, compared with black and Hispanic students. Employer support for M.B.A. degrees has fallen in general in recent years.
“We are not as flush with financial assets. A lot of us are self-funding a portion of college education,” said Mr. Kankam, a 2004 M.B.A. graduate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Mr. Kankam said there also aren’t enough mentors pushing prospective black students to pursue an M.B.A. and further their careers.