Big Name MBA Program Badly Misses Projected Enrollment
A Washington DC business school has missed its projected graduate enrollment this year by nearly 30%.
The George Washington University School of Business announced that enrollment dropped by nearly 17% since 2017. The Hatchet reports the B-school projected a 19% growth. However that expectation fell short. According to information obtained by The Hatchet, roughly 500 students have enrolled in the b-school’s graduate program this year.
A Steady Decline
Out of the 17 graduate programs at GW, 13 have missed projected enrollment numbers for the fiscal year of 2018, according to The Hatchet. Over the past five years, the b-school’s overall enrollment in master’s programs has experienced a steady decline, dropping by nearly 16% since 2012, according to GW’s enrollment data.
The Global Master of Business Administration program experienced one of the highest deficits, The Hatchet reports. The program had expected to enroll 80 students for 2018, but only 50 students ended up in class. That deficit has cost the b-school more than $3 million, with tuition roughly estimated at $105,000 per student.
Jason Shevrin, a GW spokesman, says the school is continuously prioritizing its students and ensuring that it is prepared for changes ahead.
“The business school will continually examine all its programs while it strives to align its offerings with the needs of its students and the demands of the marketplace,” Shevrin tells The Hatchet.
A Striking Trend
GW isn’t the only school experiencing enrollment troubles. Overall, the full-time MBA has met some turbulence in recent years.
Enrollments to full-time programs in the US dropped nearly 20% between 2006 and 2016, according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Experts say employment is one of the biggest competitors when it comes to the MBA. With the growth in the US economy in recent years, MBA application volume has actually decreased as a result.
Today, GMAC estimates that 70% of prospective students in North America are considering alternatives to business school to meeting their goals.
“More employers are saying you don’t need an MBA,” Dawna Levenson, director of MIT Sloan admissions, tells P&Q.
To add to that, MBA tuition isn’t getting any cheaper.
“The cost of a graduate business degree and the need to take on student debt have the biggest potential impact and are the most likely to divert candidates from the B-school pipeline,” GMAC reports.
YoungKi Park, an assistant professor of information systems and technology management at GW, says the declining enrollment at GW isn’t surprising. The graduate landscape, he says, has changed.
“The general program doesn’t work anymore, so we have to make more sophisticated, more customized that reflects the changing environment,” he tells The Hatchet.