Toigo picks SOM for minority grants

As part of its ongoing effort to recruit minority applicants, the School of Management announced this week that it has been selected as the latest in a series of top business schools to become a partner of the Robert A. Toigo Foundation.

Each year the foundation awards a total of approximately 50 fellowships, each of which provides mentorship and networking opportunities as well as $5,000 annually toward minority students’ tuition at each of its partner institutions. The 14 other participating schools include Harvard Business School, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.

“When we go out and talk about our commitment to recruiting minorities to the Yale School of Management, I think [this partnership] lends some credibility,” SOM Associate Director of Minority Admissions and Student Affairs Nicole Lindsay said.

SOM was selected as a Toigo partner because of its selectivity, its strong emphasis on finance, and its commitment to a diverse student body, Lindsay said. She contacted the foundation and submitted a proposal for the partnership in November, and she said the school learned of its acceptance to the program January 13.

Lindsay said she expects the partnership to result in higher numbers of minority applicants and a greater accepted student yield, especially because the foundation’s recruitment efforts affect minority students who otherwise may not consider the SOM.

Minority students applying to any of the partner schools can also apply to become Toigo Fellows by submitting online applications to the foundation and participating in interviews. The fellowships are aimed at students interested in finance.

The SOM Director of Admissions Anne Coyle said applications from minorities are up 20 percent so far this year as a result of several programs the school has implemented to attract students from underrepresented groups. Coyle said the Toigo Foundation partnership is an important step in advancing the school’s goals.

“It’s an organization that has been gradually expanding, and we’ve been trying to get into it for awhile,” she said. “So this year we joined the club.”

One current program at the SOM allows prospective applicants to visit the school and meet with students, while another offers advice and assistance with the application process.

“I think there’s an overall commitment that has helped a lot,” Lindsay said of the school’s recruitment efforts. She said both Coyle and SOM Dean Jeffrey Garten have been very responsive to the perception that the SOM needs a more diverse student body. They have helped form a strategy to address the issue, she said.

In addition to its other programs, the SOM is one of five business schools that form the MBA Diversity Alliance, a group which conducts informational meetings around the country with speakers, alumni and admissions officers.

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