Paul L. Caron

Monday, August 26, 2019

Applications Plunge At The Top 25 MBA Programs For Second Year In A Row; Expert Predicts 10%-20% Of Top 100 Will Close In Next Few Years

Poets & Quants, Apps To Major U.S. MBA Programs Plunge Again:

MBA 2According to Poets&Quants’ study of preliminary Class of 2021 profile data, for the second consecutive year even the highest-ranked business schools in the U.S. are seeing significant declines in full-time MBA applications, with many MBA programs experiencing double-digit drops.

Last year, the top 10 business schools combined saw a drop of about 3,400 MBA applicants, a 5.9% falloff to 53,907 candidates for the 2017-2018 admissions cycle versus 57,311 a year earlier. ... This year, data from more than half of the schools in P&Q‘s top 25 (see table on following page) shows year-over-year declines in all but two schools, and declines across the board going back three cycles, to 2016-2017.

“For the second consecutive year, the top ten schools all saw significant declines in applications,” William Boulding, dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, tells P&Q. “I have been hearing that some schools in the top ten are in double-digit territory, so I think it is going to be worse than last year when all is said and done.”

Applications for Dartmouth Tuck's MBA program in 2018-2019 plunged 22.5% to 2,032, their lowest level in recent memory. The decline, among the most severe for a prominent business school this year, sent the school's acceptance rate soaring to 34.5% from 23.3% only a year ago. ... In the top 25, the drop-off was steepest at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, which lost more than 30% of its application volume in one year and has shed 40% in the last three cycles. UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School each lost nearly one quarter since last year.

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