Explaining Southern California's economy

New MBA scholarship funding for veterans at USC

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Students walk across the campus of the University of Southern California.

There's a lot of ways to get an MBA, but most people agree that there are several clearly defined paths. One is to work for a few years after college and then enter a program. Another is to work at a firm that expects you to get an MBA after two years and will either assist with the tuition or cover all of it, then welcome you back when you've got the degree.

At the top programs, these two traditional paths apply mainly to graduates of Ivy League schools, along with the next educational tier or two down (major state schools and smaller privates). Typically, the professionals returning to school for an MBA have spent their time on Wall Street, at one of the three big consulting firms (McKinsey, Bain, BCG), or at a major multinational firm. But there's a another path.

Business schools like to have former members of the military in, so to speak, their educational ranks. This affection applies to active-duty military, as well as former soldiers, sailors, and airmen who've left the service. These folks often require financial support (pretty much everyone requires financial support to obtain an MBA, unless they saved enough while working to cover the cost).