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How GMAT Waivers Level the Playing Field for Veterans

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An Airman studies his GMAT study guide, as he prepares for an upcoming test. (Photo: Airman First Class Daniel Blackwell)

Those wishing to transition out of active military service and into a career in business, finance or management, should consider earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. MBA programs are universally recognized as a stepping stone to business career advancement and are held in great regard by hiring managers. In fact, The Graduate Management Admissions Council found in their latest report that 88 percent of corporate recruiters plan to hire recent MBA graduates in the coming years.

As you begin researching business schools to enroll in your MBA course you may notice references to the Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT is a standardized exam offered to MBA hopefuls, which business schools use alongside other tests and interviews to review the skills of prospective students.

However, a growing number of business schools are allowing prospective students with at least five years of business or military experience to apply for online MBA programs with a GMAT waiver. This is a great benefit because the test itself costs $250 and takes about three-and-a-half hours to complete. Prepping for the test can take several months and add additional expenses.

School administrators are beginning to realize that GMAT tests don’t match the scope of real-world business experience, or the leadership skills and personal responsibility gained through military service.

By offering veterans, in particular, a way to apply for an MBA degree without completing the GMAT, schools are helping to level the playing field for those who have served their country. Omitting the test from the list of requirements not only recognizes the wealth of experience and achievements gained through military service, but also seeks to help veterans by saving them time and money, while streamlining the process for acceptance onto an MBA course.

Any time spent in the military provides service members with a robust and diverse group of skill sets that transfer very well into the financial realm. Hiring managers understand that military training develops leadership qualities, discipline, responsibility and a strong work ethic. These traits make veterans attractive to admissions teams that understand the sacrifices and benefits of military life.

Offering GMAT waivers to those with business or military experience also ensures that program cohorts are representative of our society with students coming from a range of backgrounds, which helps to enhance discussions and debates in the classroom and creates a diverse community of learners.

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GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill