Dylan Scott is a GOVERNING staff writer.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The cost of higher education has become a focal point for the Obama administration. The dean at the private University of New Haven's business school is putting his money where his mouth is: He's offering students a chance for a free undergraduate education if they impress him with their entrepreneurial idea, the Hartford Courant reports.
Larry Flanagan, the business school's new dean and a former MasterCard executive, told the newspaper that he hopes the contest will attract more top-tier students to the small private university while establishing its reputation as a incubator for innovation. "We have to zig where other schools zag and to find different ways of positioning ourselves," he said to the Courant.
Dubbed the Dean's Scholarship Challenge, the contest asks incoming freshman or transferring students to create a Facebook page outlining their business idea. Entries will be evaluated by a panel that includes Flanagan, faculty members and business executives. Up to four students could win a $120,000 scholarship, good for four years at the university, according to the Courant. Another 20 will win iPads, and 50 will receive $250 credits for the university's bookstore.
The University of New Haven is home to about 6,400 students and tuition is $30,500 per year.
President Barack Obama issued a call to decrease the cost of higher education and increase innovation at the nation's colleges and universities in his State of the Union address. His budget, released last week, furthered those initiatives, seeking funding for a $1 billion Race To The Top for College Completion and Affordability and a $56 million First In The World competition.