The Year of the MBA Applicant

With fewer prospects and no pickup in sight, B-schools are competing harder -- and offering more perks -- to fill their classes

Until recently, Amitabh Nayak, 27, was weighing a full ride to Purdue University's B-school, with acceptances from both the Chicago Graduate School of Business and Maryland's Smith School of Business. "When I started the process, I thought that Chicago was a little bit of a stretch," he says. Nayak says he had good essays, but only a 690 Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score and a 3.1 grade-point average in chemical engineering. "I certainly didn't expect a full-tuition offer from Purdue."

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