From Susan Fournier, Allen Questrom Professor and Dean
Dear MBA Student Community,
By now you have seen President Brown’s announcement that BU will deliver both Summer 1 and Summer 2 remotely. In addition, the University has made the decision that summer tuition will remain as published as we continue to react to this global crisis, deliver all course content albeit virtually, and continue to offer our student support services.
We have received numerous inquiries regarding tuition reductions for summer remote teaching, many invoking as justification the BU Questrom Online MBA’s tuition rate. While we appreciate that comparisons will be made with our online MBA program, the fact is that remotely teaching courses designed for on-campus delivery in response to a global pandemic is not the same as a fully-designed online program offering such as the Questrom OMBA. The University made the decision to offer the Online MBA (OMBA) program at the lower tuition rate due to several factors that impact the costs to run the program:
- The Questrom OMBA program will be offered at scale — that is, with 300-500 students in a class and approximately 2,000 students enrolled in the program at steady state. Our online MBA offers economies of scale that are not sought in our remote classrooms.
- Students have very limited opportunity to interact with lead faculty in the Online MBA— instead, they will be working with course facilitators and teaching assistants. In contrast, in remote learning, we are maintaining relatively small classes (less than 55 and lower on average) with extensive interaction between students and faculty.
- No Elective Choices – the Online MBA program does not offer a choice of elective courses or opportunities to build depth of knowledge in a functional area. Electives that require specialized faculty and experiences are still being offered in the remote classroom.
- Limited online-only career resources – OMBA students do not have access to one-on-one career coaching, but rather have access to a variety of online materials. We continue to offer our career and advisory resources, albeit virtually, in this crisis period.
The factors above account for the tuition difference and are why many of you chose a residential program in the first place. These are also factors that we believe we are striving to deliver on, even in this unprecedented time of crisis-driven, temporary-remote teaching.
Please know that we recognize that many of you may be facing financial challenges right now which make the full tuition decision a bit more difficult. We encourage you to work with your academic advisor in the MBA Center to discuss the options you may have to mitigate these concerns, while ultimately allowing you to complete your Questrom MBA.
I know that for many of you this email will be unsatisfying. I also know that remote teaching is not what you signed up for. Honestly, we do understand. We truly are in unprecedented times. Our entire team of faculty and staff is working tirelessly to offer a temporary remote experience that we can be proud of and that satisfies our commitment to deliver a quality MBA program. Thank you for your understanding as we tread these waters. Like you, we look forward to being back on campus and in the classroom, sharing the face-to-face, interpersonal experiences that comprise our full- and part-time MBA.
I wish you continued good health and thank you for being such wonderful members of our Questrom community,