College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Scholarships Combat Weak Economy


By Sarah Small

   In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Depression, the University of Illinois College of Business is offering relief in the form of scholarships exclusive to Central Illinois residents adversely affected by the economy.

   In a press conference Thursday, Larry DeBrock, dean of the College of Business, announced the college seeks to award multiple recipients with full-tuition scholarships for the Professional MBA program. The college will provide up to two “Fresh Start” scholarships, “For people whose careers have been sidetracked by layoffs, downsizing or other corporate cost-cutting moves sparked by the recession,” said DeBrock. Another scholarship will be awarded, under the new “Community Partners” program, to one deserving Champaign County resident who is currently employed, but works for a company unable to fund advanced professional training because of the economic crisis. Applicants also must have a record of community service.

   Stig Lanesskog, acting associate dean of the MBA program describes the two scholarships: “The ‘Fresh Start’ scholarship is need-based, for people forced to explore new career paths because of the economy. The ‘Community Partners’ scholarship is for promising business leaders in Champaign County who normally might get tuition assistance from their employers, but not in today’s economic climate.”

   Each scholarship is valued at nearly $50,000, and pays the full tuition for the college’s 26-month Professional MBA program.

   Individuals interested in applying for one of these programs have until Nov. 1 to submit their applications. Applications can be found at the Professional MBA Web site,, and supplemental materials must be submitted at

   Those applying to the “Fresh Start” program must include a statement of two pages, or less, explaining how the economic crisis has upset their career paths, and how an MBA would help restore their careers.

   Applicants to the “Community Partners” programs must include a personal statement explaining why they deserve the award, and include three reference letters.

   “Many in central Illinois are suffering because of the economy, and the College of Business wants to help by providing a pathway to graduate degrees that will open new doors and opportunities,” said Larry DeBrock, dean of the college.

UIUC College of Business