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USF St. Petersburg MBA Wins Grant for Student Veterans Program

Student veteran Michael Partridge said the grant program makes getting an MBA possible.

A new program for military veterans interested in earning an MBA just received a $409,299 grant.

The College of Business at University of South Florida St. Petersburg is one of 12 organizations worldwide to win a grant from the Graduate Management Admission Council MET (Management Education for Tomorrow) fund.

The St. Petersburg program, “Leading in a Civilian Context: A Socially Responsible MBA for Returning Veterans,” begins in June with 20 openings for student veterans.

Michael Partridge, served six years in the National Guard including a tour in Iraq. He earns his undergraduate degree this summer would like to get his MBA, but he worries it may be too costly.

“Looking at what I would need to do before I could even start the program, the GMAT being the biggest thing,” Partridge said. “The prep course, I don’t even know how much it costs. The test alone costs around $500.”

The MBA grant only covers the cost of preparation courses, not tuition. Yet, Dr. Larry Braue, director of USF Veterans Services, sees advantages in its structure. All 20 MBA student veterans will go through prep courses and workshops together.

“Coming back from combat, there’s a lot of things you’re still working through,” Braue said. “And you’ve got somebody else that’s going to walk along with you, work through this masters’ program and walk out successfully at the other end.”

The St. Petersburg program has two goals: emphasizing corporate social responsibility and supporting veterans through expedited MBA prep courses.

“ I’m glad to see that we got this grant that’s geared toward the MBA,” said Tony Rivera, assistant director of USF Veterans Services. “The majority of our veterans working on their undergrad, one of the top three disciplines that they work on in undergrad is business.”

The other popular undergrad disciplines for student veterans are engineering and criminology.

The St. Petersburg MBA program for veterans will include courses on corporate responsibility and developing a business plan for starting a non-profit organization.

Veterans interested in details can email MBA@usfsp.edu.

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