Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Chicago Booth | Mr. International Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85
Ross | Mr. Saudi Engineer
GRE 312, GPA 3.48
Harvard | Ms. Consumer Sustainability
GMAT 740, GPA 3.95
Columbia | Ms. Retail Queen
GRE 322, GPA 3.6
Tuck | Ms. Confused One
GMAT 740, GPA 7.3/10
NYU Stern | Mr. Health Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Regulator To Private
GMAT 700, GPA 2.0
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
MIT Sloan | Mr. Spaniard
GMAT 710, GPA 7 out of 10 (top 15%)
Harvard | Ms. Marketing Family Business
GMAT 750- first try so might retake for a higher score (aiming for 780), GPA Lower Second Class Honors (around 3.0)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred MBA Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Colombian Sales Leader
GMAT 610, GPA 2.78
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Family Business Turned Consultant
GMAT 640, GPA 3.0
Tuck | Ms. BFA To MBA
GMAT 700, GPA 3.96

MBA Apps Surge 57% At INSEAD

INSEAD reports the highest average GMAT scores of any European business school. File photo

INSEAD reports the highest increase in applications to the Financial Times File photo

Applications to INSEAD‘s full-time MBA program have surged by 57% as an increasing number of candidates took advantage of the school’s extended deadlines due to the pandemic. Double-digit jumps in applications are being reported by a number of schools, according to the Financial Times which gathered early application data from 13 of the top 20 ranked schools by the FT.

At IESE Business School in Barcelona, applications hit a new record, rising by 12% year over year. At MIT’s Sloan School of Management, applications also rose by 12%. Several other schools that are not ranked among the FT‘s top 20 have already announced big increases in their application volumes. Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands, for example, has witnessed a more than 60% rise in applications, according to Brandon Kirby, director of MBA marketing and admissions, during a recent appearance at the CentreCourt MBA Festival.

Some of the increases are partly attributable to admissions policies that became more flexible as the COVID-19 outbreak led to the closure of GMAT and GRE test centers. Several schools waived standardized test scores during extended rounds and many applicants took advantage of that change. “We have a wider pool of applicants who are applying,” explained Kirby. “Interest has gone up significantly for us. Students on our contact list for two years are coming back. We have had individuals who applied with us that would not have applied otherwise. The GMAT was the hurdle.”

YET ANOTHER SIGN THAT 2020-2021 SHOULD BE A BIG MBA APPLICATION SEASON

The increase signals that this upcoming 2020-2021 admissions season is likely to be one of the best ever for business schools after several years of decline in applications. During recessions, applications to MBA programs typically rise as young professionals either lose their jobs or see their opportunities for advancement diminish. “Although I can’t know for sure what will happen next year, I would expect the trend of increased applications to continue,” Assistant Dean of Admissions Rod Garcia told the FT.

The increase at INSEAD, which does not disclose the actual number of applications it receives, occurred after a few years of declines for its two intakes in September and January. More typically, INSEAD receives just under 4,000 applications for its slightly more than 1,000-sized class for both intakes. Virginie Fougea, INSEAD’s global director of admissions and financial aid, who has been in the admissions industry for the past 20 years says that she has never seen an application season like the current one. “What we have been forecasting and planning for a few months is to be totally revised and thrown away,” she said at CentreCourt. “This is incredibly challenging but at the same time I love this opportunity to adapt, adjust and reinvent.”

INSEAD did not waive the GMAT or GRE but made its admissions policies more flexible, reviewing applications without the standardized test scores and expecting lower scores than typical. “We went back to the transcript of grades and their achievements outside their academic background because there are many different ways to show you can attend,” added Fougea. “They may not get the best score they aimed for because the structure of the test will be different but this is totally understandable. Nobody will require you to achieve what you had worked for and prepared for under different conditions.”

AT LEAST SOME OF THE INCREASE CAME FROM APPLICANTS WHO OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE APPLIED IN THE U.S.

Some of the increased application volume in Europe may also have occurred as greater numbers of international candidates decided to pass on U.S. business schools over concerns about a less-than-certain outlook to get jobs in the U.S. as well as the anti-immigration rhetoric of the Trump administration.

The Financial Times quoted an unnamed 29-year-old banker in Mongolia who said she had once planned to apply only to U.S. schools has since changed her mind. She intends to apply to London Business School as well as other institutions closer to home. “Last year, I was determined to apply for U.S. programs and the U.S. only. But given the current situation in the U.S., the anti-Asian sentiment and the numbers of the cases, I’m no longer a big fan,” she said. “Instead, I’ve become more interested in MBAs in the U.K. and Singapore.”

DON’T MISS: CENTRECOURT 2020 SPRING: MBA ADMISSIONS AT INSEAD, IMPERIAL, ROTTERDAM & ASIA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS or CENTRECOURT 2020 SPRING: MBA ADMISSIONS AT LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL, IESE, HEC PARIS & IMD