Babson College (outside of Boston)
Located in Wellesley, Mass., Babson College is a school for students who are focused on entrepreneurship – it is the top school in this category. On my tour in Spring, 2012, the student body president remarked that Babson is where students learn how to “turn their passion into something that’s profitable.”
Babson’s flagship program is their Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship course, which all first-year students take. Guided by professors as well as upperclassmen who have already taken the class, FME students work in teams to create businesses and vote on the most viable ones. Students on teams that are not supported join active teams so that all students play a role in this team-project. Teams then apply for funding from the college and actually launch the businesses.
Babson students all earn a B.S. in business administration, but courses in the liberal arts and visual arts are offered. Babson is also in a consortium with Olin College, located immediately adjacent, and Wellesley College, just a few miles away, and collaboration with Olin’s engineers is the norm. One recent joint project involved a Babson student conceptualizing Yoplait adding a small spoon to the lid of their yogurt container, and an Olin team engineering the implementation.
About 15% of Babson students join fraternities and many live in special-interest dorms. Most students go abroad at some point in their four years, and while the overall male-to-female ratio is 57-43%, the newest admitted class is evenly split. Students are not required to have a business background before entering, but Babson looks for leadership in activities or community service in addition to a strong emphasis on academic achievement.