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Finding a B-School Niche

Got a fondness for thoroughbreds or country music? Some smaller business programs may be right for you

The Penns and Virginias of the world have no problem attracting undergrads to their business programs. Each year the top schools get thousands more applications, from all over the country, for entrance into their prestigious programs than they can handle. And come graduation, business students from these schools embark on Wall Street careers with big salaries and signing bonuses to boot.

But for schools without the draw of a big-name program, and in locales closer to Manhattan, Kan., than Manhattan, N.Y., attracting students from beyond the state line can be a challenge. In an attempt to make names for themselves in the crowded undergraduate business market, a handful of schools have launched niche programs within their business schools to attract prospective students—and tuition dollars—from beyond their state borders.