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The Bottom Line
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Let's make a deal

And the Chapman University Tomorrow’s Leaders Flex MBA scholarship is one that guarantees a return.

By Steve ChurmPublished: May 01, 2010

Is it me, or does it feel like we’re living on the set of the TV game show “Let’s Make A Deal?” From the minute my clock radio goes off in the morning until I log off my laptop at night, I am bombarded by promotions and special offers. More than any time in memory, the steady drumbeat of discounts and two-for-one offers has become the rhythm of today’s economy. You see it everywhere: the supermarket, the Internet, the local retail center and even your bank.
   
Seasonal sales – Mother’s Day, back-to-school and year-end clearance – are nothing new. But the frequency and now the size and scope of price reductions or giveaways is mounting, as products and service providers claw and fight for our wallets. The competition is fierce, because many of us are finally saving more than spending after years of satiating our consumption addiction by turning shopping into a national pastime. Not long ago, 10 to 15 percent off was impressive. Not today. No way. If you’re not slashing prices by 30 percent or more, don’t bother saying “hello.” The number of deals in front of us has turned us numb to special offers.
   
Still, there are opportunities that come along that make me sit up and take notice. They are so ridiculously attractive that my first thought is, “It’s too good to be true.” Like the $57,500 scholarship that Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics is giving away to one lucky student. Yes, you read that right: a $57,500 free ride for its Flex MBA program, and there’s no catch. Cross my heart and swear on a stack of business books. This is the real deal. It’s not a timeshare promotion or a chance to test-drive the business school and if you like it make payments over 36 or 54 months. If selected, you get the opportunity to graduate from one of the best MBA programs in America. And the 51-unit program is ideal for working professionals because it allows students to create their own schedule, with only one evening class meeting each week. So why the generosity?
   
“The Tomorrow’s Leaders Scholarship Program aims to tap the best and brightest individuals in Orange County and give them the opportunity to make a significant, positive impact on the local business community,” says Arthur Kraft, dean of the business school. Chapman, he adds, has a responsibility to help make Orange County a better place to do business. Offering a scholarship to a talented professional who otherwise could not afford such an opportunity is the best way the Argyros School can contribute to building a better county, Kraft says.
   
Entering the giveaway is easy: Candidates for the scholarship can be nominated by clicking HERE. The nominees will then be notified and asked to submit an essay explaining how they would use their MBA to effect positive change. The deadline for entering is May 11.
   
So is this promotion self-serving? Sure it is, for Chapman and those supporting the initiative, like OC METRO and Churm Media. But it is exposure for all the right reasons. At a time when the cost of education is climbing, and there is a talent shortage in many corner offices, this is a promotion that delivers a true ROI for everyone involved – most importantly, tomorrow’s Orange County business leaders. schurm@churmmedia.com