3 for 3: A Scholarship Offer from MIT Sloan


Touched Before Take-off

[Location, JFK Airport, NYC en route to Philadelphia] – So I’m sitting on the runway awaiting take-off at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) almost exactly 6 hours ago.

I’m having a good day.

I’ve taken today (Thursday) and tomorrow off to attend Wharton’s Winter Welcome Weekend in Philadelphia. I’m also smiling about the fact that I’ll come back to a second consecutive 3-day work week before before following a similar routine to attend The U of Chicago Booth’s Winter Welcome Weekend as well.

The most recent thing I have to be thankful for, however, is that just two days prior I received an email from The MIT Sloan School of Management welcoming me into its MBA class of 2015. The email did not come with news of a scholarship like the phone calls I got from Wharton and Booth, but I am no less happy and excited. I didn’t apply to any safety schools, so there is nowhere that I’ve been blessed to gain admission into that I would refuse to attend without money attached.

Then it happened. I got “touched” just before my take-off to New York.

Never on Schedule, but Always On Time

MIT Sloan’s decision day was just two days ago. On that day, I distinctly remember putting my muted iPhone on a table while sitting in a meeting to make sure that I would hear it if it buzzed with a call from area code 617. It never did.

The flight crew actually called for all phones to be turned off about 2-3 minutes ago; and as usual, my rebellious self is out of order. I’m checking one last hotel reservation detail before shutting off my device; and I dare somebody to say something about it.

As I’m double-checking my connection info for my layover in New York, the phone rings with a call–from area code 617. “Oh”, I think to myself. I guess Sloan IS going to call everyone who got accepted, even if a day or two later; how nice….how official.

When I answer the phone, I’m expecting a nice little “Welcome to the MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2015” to come from the other end. I prepare myself to pretend to be super excited–which I 100% was two days ago when I first got the news; but that was two days ago, and the wine glass from that celebration has long since been empty. This will have to be a reenactment–something that a Los Angeleno should be able to pull off at least fairly well.

The admissions team works extremely hard at each school to choose a class from an amazingly qualified crop of applicants. I could just as easily have been rejected from Wharton, Booth and Sloan as I was accepted. The last thing I’d want to do is rob the adcom member of experiencing the joy of surprise when an applicant finds out that “they’ve made it” for the very first time; thus, I prepare to fake it.

A Familiar Voice and a Shock at the Buzzer

The voice that I hear at the other end of the phone is Jeff Carbone, the bright and congenial admissions officer that I had my loose, inconclusive interview with just two weeks ago [SIDEBAR: props to MIT Sloan for only making a brother wait 2 weeks before getting the final news one way or the other. #ENDSIDEBAR].

In so many words, he ends up letting me know that in addition to having been granted admission into MIT, I’ve also been chosen for a scholarship.


So naturally, I”m slightly beside myself at the moment given that all 3 of the schools that I’ve gotten into have offered me scholarships of some sort. I’m immediately taken back to a dark moment during my application process after Cheetarah1980 (BTW CONGRATS on getting your first internship offer from a HUGE, HUGE friggin dream company! You are a BEAST–ess) had just ripped yet ANOTHER set of my essay drafts to utter shreds. “You aren’t digging deep enough–nor are you being specific enough”, she said. “You don’t just want to eek out an offer of admission by the skin of your teeth. You want them to WANT you there”. That was some of the best damn admissions advice I ever received.

So thanks, Cheetarah! Oh, and there WILL be a single malt scotch in my future when I settle into my hotel room tonight–matter fact since you don’t drink, I’ll have one for the both of us!

MORAL OF THIS EPIC: If you’re over 30 and reading this, know without a doubt that many of the best business schools in the world will not only accept you, but want you there as long as you are bringing a strong and well-articulated perspective to the table to add to its next class; and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Let the Welcome Weekend festivities begin!

*boards plan to Philly!*


Would you like my help getting into your dream b-school? Well, there are two starting points for that:

1. Get a Free Profile Analysis (after receiving your information, I’ll let you know whether or not I think I can help you)

2. Get Help Now (If you already know that you want help and what you want help on, then just skip to here)

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About mbaover30

Wharton MBA and admissions expert

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40 Comments on “3 for 3: A Scholarship Offer from MIT Sloan”

  1. Dan B Says:

    I just wanted to say congrads and that I have really enjoyed reading your blog.

    I only found it a few weeks ago, and I find it refreshing to hear someone similar to me succeed. I have just begun my GMAT & MBA journey and have been shocked as to how many people (including adcoms) have said you’re doomed if your over 30. I read an interview of one adcom who says she throws out an applicant’s file with a GMAT score under 500 or the applicant is over 30 years of age without reading further. Really!? Under 500 is equivalent to being over 30?

    I’m 32 and have led a different path in life than most. After reading your blog, I feel very relieved as to my chances. Thank you for sharing your story.

    PS – I may have to bother you for tips and advice someday 🙂


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Thats great that you’re inspired Dan; and that adcom is an idiot. Tell her I said so. Definitely feel free to bother me during your journey. Good luck!


      • healthcare2mba Says:

        I couln’t agree more! That adcom is shockingly stupid! I would blame whatever school that hires her to form their MBA class; and I would be disappointed figuring out that my future classmates were selected by her.

        Millions of congrats on your MIT scholarship, Mr.30+! You’ve inspired us and, at the same time, made us feel “not worth it” – as bschool2013 said 🙂

      • mbaover30 Says:

        You’re more than worth it!

  2. Vico Says:

    This feels almost like a Blue Chip phenom choosing btwn Duke, UNC, or Kentucky for Hoops. That’s really impressive to not only get admits from those schools but to also receive scholarship offers. Good luck with the decision!


  3. gaurav Says:

    I loves the statement by Cheetarah- “You want them to WANT you there”. Creating a want requires huge amount of work, which, I am sure, you must have done!

    Go, take it, what you deserve and millions desire!


    PS: wondering ho much scholarship you got from all 3 schools. I mean, is it full tuition waiver or partial waiver…..or does it include all costs?


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Thanks! All partials; half for Whart/Booth and 1/3 from Sloan


      • healthcare2mba Says:

        MIT scholarship opportunities are very limited and the amounts are modest – less than Booth’s abd Wharton’s, I believe. Jeff Carbone said that almost the only opportinities are the Legatum ones. Given that you didn’t apply for the Legatum (I assume), your 1/3 tuition waiver is very impressive!

        I’m dying to get any mere admission to 1 of your programs!!!

      • mbaover30 Says:

        I’m certainly happy with it!

  4. Morian Says:

    Congratulations once again. I’m really glad to hear that as I am looking forward to your decision of where to attend with a relatively level playing field with scholarships from all. Enjoy Wharton’s welcome weekend 🙂


  5. bzm Says:

    Hello! Congrats!
    Do you know if you can get a Research Assistant job easily there?


  6. executionist Says:

    Hear hear !

    I was curious about your Sloan scholarship in the comment on your previous post 🙂

    From an achievement & satisfaction standpoint… Congratulations !


  7. smbasileo Says:

    You have officially killed it! My initial reaction was like somebody’s old uncle sitting on the porch slapping his knee “Hot Damn!!”. You might be mad at me…sorry I’ve dragged my behind. But have not forgotten. Hope it’s not too late! Enjoy Philly this weekend!


  8. cheetarah1980 Says:

    Congrats homie. I’ll make sure to have plenty of Shirley Temples waiting for you here so we can celebrate.


  9. Str1der Says:

    Man, you’re killing it. Awesome awesome news. Given your focus on entrepreneurship, mit sloan should be the way to go right? Plus, you’ll be in Boston making it easy for me to catch up with you during Boston visits from Tuck.

    In any case, you cant go wrong with your choice, but two schools will lose an amazing candidate! Cheers to the single malt bud!


  10. Motown Says:

    Hey there. Since you told me about the blog I figure I’d check it out. This blog is really good (wayyyyy better than mine lol) Anyways, Congrats on getting into Booth, Wharton and Sloan. Obviously I hope you pick Wharton! Lemme know if you have any questions about Wharton!


  11. Jorge Says:

    I am a 30+ MBA applicant who was recently accepted to Duke’s Fuqua School of Business (with a very generous scholarship offer). I concur with everything you wrote about including the opportunities for the 30+ crowd of applicants. It is very possible. I have enjoyed reading your blog the past couple of years and wish you well in business school. Here’s to the c/o 2015!


  12. ward2012 Says:



  13. Rachel Says:

    MBA “guru” – do you have any insights into the scholarship game? I received an offer from MIT but they said I have to accept by the March 8th deadline or forfeit the $… but I am attending another admit weekend next weekend and I want to wait to see how that goes. Is this all just a game to get people to sign on the dotted line as quickly as possible??

    I can’t wait to hear where you will be attending!


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Hey Rachel; I’m no “guru”…and yes, this is a bit of a game to get people to sign on the dotted line so that the school can solidify their classes ASAP. They need to know who is really coming, who isn’t coming, who can be taken off the wait list, etc. They are running a business; but so are YOU. My only advice is to CHOOSE WISELY as quickly as you can.


    • Jorge Says:

      Rachel, I would suggest being up front with MIT about your decision process. As mentioned before, they are running a business and they understand full well you are considering other schools. You can express your continued interest but that you are considering another school and you would like to have a little more time to decide. I have done this in the past and it works. They can always say no, but at least you can try. At this point you have been accepted and offered money so you risk very little by asking for an extension. Hope that helps.


  14. mbaover30 Says:

    Great advice Jorge!


  15. Rahul Kundliya Says:

    Nice information, website is awesome, provide good content.

    All the best.


  16. maryamn Says:

    Congrads MBA30+. Any advice on how to pitch yourself in order to get the highest possible scholarship from MIT? What do you think is the one important factor in their decision when it comes to giving grants?

    I’m a Canadian applying for Sloan but have very little financial sources to pay for my tuition. Any advice on scholarships will help. Thanks!



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