Live Updates: The Covid-19 Impact On B-Schools

Live Updates:

How COVID-19 Is Impacting B-Schools

Here’s what you need to know:

How COVID Fueled An MBA Application Surge

The coronavirus pandemic has wrought chaos on the U.S. and world economies, but for graduate business education, it has been a blessing in one very important way. Because while Covid-19 upended classroom strategies and devastated campus and co-curricular life — with a still-unknown impact on networking and career services — it has undeniably benefited B-schools by helping them turn around a prolonged slump in MBA applications. After a three-year slide, apps are up at most of the top 25 U.S. B-schools — and at some schools, they’re way up.

Coronavirus hit in March, shutting down campuses just as most schools were wrapping up their final admissions rounds of the 2019-2020 application cycle. That prompted most top schools to extend their final rounds or add new ones, as well as lower (or scratch) testing requirements — and the result for most was an app windfall: an average increase of 22.6% app volume, and more than 550 apps, at 21 schools, which in turn led to increased class sizes (in some cases record class sizes) at many.

Twelve schools enjoyed double-digit percentage increases in applications, led by USC’s Marshall School of Business, which saw an amazing 66.4% jump in apps; Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business, close behind at 63.4%; and CMU Tepper School of Business (60.2%), Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (53.8%), and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School (43.8%).

“It’s definitely one for the books,” Danielle Richie, senior associate director of MBA admissions and student recruitment at Kenan-Flagler, said of the 2019-2020 cycle. “We increased the size of the class because we had so many strong, quality candidates that we really wanted to build a diverse class out of the increased pool.”

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