Posted by: Alison Damast on March 16, 2010
The cost of taking the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) exam can be prohibitively expensive for some B-school candidates, especially those unable to scrounge up the hefty $250 registration fee. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is hoping to make a dent in that problem, starting a new program that will give business schools the option of waiving the testing fee for “underserved or economically disadvantaged” applicants, the organization announced today. Schools that participate will be able to receive up to 10 fee waivers, and in some cases more if the schools runs an admissions outreach program that targets students in these circumstances, GMAC says. Schools will then issue the waivers to students, who can use it to take one test and send out five official score reports to different business schools of their choosing. The admissions office can also give the waiver to an economically disadvantaged student who wants to retake the exam GMAC says.
“The fee waiver program reflects GMAC’s commitment to helping people with talent enter management education, whatever their financial circumstances,” said Julia Tyler, GMAC’s executive vice president of member services and school marketing.
The fee waiver program is an expansion of an existing one that helps people cover the cost of taking the GMAT, GMAC says. It may also be a strategic way for the testing administrator to compete with the Educational Testing Service, which has spent the last year or so trying to make inroads into GMAC’s domination of the B-school testing arena.
The fee for taking ETS’ Graduate Record Exam (GRE) ranges from $160 to $205, depending on where you take it, still significantly less than the fee students pay to take the GMAT. ETS also offers a fee reduction service for students who demonstrate financial need; those students pay $80 for the GRE general test or $70 for a GRE subject test, according to ETS’ web site.
Readers, what do you think of GMAC’s new fee waiver program? Do you think it will play any role in the ongoing battle between GMAC and ETS to attract B-school applicants?