MBA News: Bidding for Class at Business School

Once you have been admitted to business school, the hard part is over, right? Think again. At Chicago’s two top business schools, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, students have to bid for spots in courses. At Kellogg, all students are allotted 3,000 points with which to bid on their desired classes at the beginning of the year. But just one popular course—such as Victoria Medvec’s winter 2010 negotiations course—could cost you almost half of those points. At Chicago Booth, students start with 8,000 points and get 2,000 for each course completed. You might want to carefully calibrate when you bid your points for Professor Steven Kaplan’s entrepreneurial finance class at Chicago Booth, because at both schools, a course “sells” for the price of the lowest successful bid.

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, factors such as class size, time/day of the week, topic and professor can affect the price of a course. But students are not just blindly bidding up courses—they are researching historical prices for courses, talking to former students and checking teacher ratings. This bidding system “pushes faculty to work harder on their teaching,” according to Stacey Kole, deputy dean at Chicago Booth and, in most cases, students who truly value classes are the ones who will find their way in.

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