Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Hopeful Fund Manager
GMAT 770, GPA 8.52/10
MIT Sloan | Mr. Healthtech Consultant
GMAT 750, GPA 3.44
Harvard | Mr. Navy Nuke
GMAT 710, GPA 3.66
NYU Stern | Mr. Army Prop Trader
GRE 313, GPA 2.31
London Business School | Mr. LGBT Pivot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
London Business School | Mr. FANG Strategy
GMAT 740, GPA 2.9
NYU Stern | Ms. Entertainment Strategist
GMAT Have not taken, GPA 2.92
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Rice Jones | Mr. Student Government
GMAT 34 (ACT for Early Admit Program), GPA 3.75
Chicago Booth | Mr. Healthcare PM
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Ms. Sustainable Development
GRE N/A, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Mr. SME Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.55 (as per WES paid service)
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63

App Declines At Two-Thirds Of U.S. Schools

Nearly two-thirds of the full-time MBA programs in the U.S. saw declines in application volume last year, according to a study published today (Sept. 17) by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).  The most severe declines occurred at business schools in the southwest, where 73% reported drops in application volume, and the Midwest, where 71% of the schools reported a downturn.

As reported earlier, some of those declines have been surprisingly steep. Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business saw applications to its full-time MBA program plummet by 21%, Columbia Business School by 19%, Michigan State’s Broad School by 18%, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School by 17%. New York University’s Stern School applications fell by 11.5% and Yale’s School of Management experienced a 9.5% drop.

The Boom & Bust in Full-Time MBA Programs

GMAC found a significantly different picture outside the U.S., however. MBA programs in Asia-Pacific and Central Asia are booming. Applications to full-time MBA programs in Asia-Pacific, which includes Australia, China, Japan and Korea, were up at 79% of the schools while those in Central Asia, which includes India and Pakistan, increased 80%, largely as a result of domestic applicants in those countries.

Though many prominent business schools have reported their application numbers, GMAC’s Application Trends Survey is the first and only comprehensive look at worldwide application flow. This year’s study is based on reports from 359 business schools reporting on 744 different business master’s programs in 46 countries, 42 states, and the District of Columbia.

                                       Full-Time MBA Programs Reporting Change In Application Volume

Globally, 51% of full-time, two-year MBA programs saw decreasing volume for the incoming class of 2012-2013 compared with last year. However, there was some good news on this front. GMAC said that 24% of programs said the decrease was slight compared with 2011 (less than 10%), and the percentage of programs seeing increasing volume (43%) rose for the first time since 2008. In the U.S., however, only 32% of the business schools said that applications to their full-time, two-year MBA programs were up.

Respondents told GMAC that economic factors around the world are making prospects think twice about giving up a job and returning to school. “The economy is picking up and students are finding full-time jobs or have received promotions and do not want to leave to go back to school for two years,” an admissions official told GMAC researchers.

The study found that full-time two-year MBA programs worldwide received a median of 267 applications, more than twice the median of full-time one-year programs (135) and three-and-a-half times the median of part-time MBA applications (75). The median number of applications worldwide fell 22% in 2012 for the two-year degrees, after a nearly 10% decline last year. It was the fourth year in a row that median applications for two-year, full-time MBA programs declined.


Yet, while full-time MBA applicants fell at many U.S. schools, the study found that other master’s programs, especially online and specialized master’s degrees, more than offset the decline. Some 73% of Master in Management programs reported an increase in applications for the 2012–2013 class compared with 2011, and nine% reported no change. With a combined 82% of programs reporting steady to increased volume, this was the strongest year for Master in Management programs since GMAC began tracking trends for this program type.

“As the global business space continues to become more complex, there is a greater demand that business schools today offer specialized and flexible programs to meet corporate and student needs,” said David Wilson, GMAC president and CEO, in a statement. “Worldwide, these diverse graduate management programs are drawing different kinds of students.  Technology is a part of the solution to this challenge, but it is not the entire solution.  Flexibility in delivery mode, cadence of the program and the characteristics of the class cohort are now all variables in the graduate education solutions being offered.  The message students and companies are sending is clear; one size does not necessarily fit all.”

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.