Applications to the full-time MBA program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management soared 22.1% in 2019-2020, causing the school to increase the size of this fall’s entering class to 484 students, up from 416 a year earlier.
The big increase in application volume to 6,350 candidates more than reverses a two-year decline. The Sloan School received 5,200 apps in 2018-2019, down 6.5% from the previous year’s 5,560 and down 10.3% from 2016-2017 when the school received 5,798 applications. The new total includes applicants to Sloan’s new ‘MBA Early’ deferred admissions option for college seniors and current graduate students without work experience.
INTERNATIONAL MBA STUDENTS DECLINED BY NINE FULL PERCENTAGE POINTS TO 33%
With a 22.1% jump in apps, MIT outdid every other M7 business school this year that has reported its class profiles. Wharton and Columbia both recorded record application volume, up 21% at Wharton and 18.6% at Columbia. Applications to Chicago Booth were up 10.7%. Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business were both flat, largely because those two schools failed to extend their application deadlines to accommodate would-be candidates impacted by COVID. The only M7 school that has yet to report a class profile for its newly entered group of MBA students is Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
The increase at MIT was mostly impacted by the school’s decision to extend its round three deadline by 66 days and to entertain applications from candidates who were unable to submit either a GMAT or GRE test score in that final round due to the pandemic. This year, the school has gone test-optional for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.
In common with many of its peer schools, MIT saw declines in the percentages of international and women students as well as median GMAT scores for the class. The percentage of international students in this year’s incoming class fell by nine full percentage points to 33% from 51 countries versus 42% last year from 54 nations. Many international candidates found it difficult to gain student visas or faced travel restrictions to come to the U.S. Some opted to defer for these reasons or because they preferred not to attend any online classes.
MEDIAN CLASS GMAT SCORES SLIPPED FIVE POINTS TO 725
To offset those anticipated deferments, Sloan accepted a higher percentage of its applicants this year: 22%, compared to 14.6% a year earlier, despite the significant increase in applications.
In its newly published class profile, Sloan also reported that the percentage of women in the Class of 2022 fell by three percentage points to 38% from 41% a year earlier.
The class median GMAT slipped five points from 730–a metric that had tied Harvard Business School’s median score–to 725 this year. The mid-80% range of those scores went from a low of 690 to a high of 760. The median undergraduate GPA for the class also edged slightly lower to 3.54 from 3.58 last year.
CONSULTANTS MADE UP 22% OF THE INCOMING CLASS, DOWN FROM 26% A YEAR EARLIER
Meantime, the mid-80% quant range for enrolled students who submitted a GRE score was 156 to 168, while the verbal range was 154 to 169.
Once again, consultants made up the single largest cohort of entering students. Some 22% of the Class of 2022 had worked in consulting, yet that was down by four percentage points from 26% a year earlier. Students from the tech industry also were down to 15% of the class vs. 18% last year. Incoming MBAs with a financial service background held steady at 17% of the class. The declines were made up of students from the automotive, transportation, and defense sectors, which totaled 4% of this year’s class, energy, and media and entertainment (see below).
And when it came to undergraduate majors, half of the new MBAs at Sloan have STEM degrees on their resumes. Some 33% majored in engineering, 10% in math or science, with 2% in computer science. The school said that 19% of its new class majored in economics, a decline of two percentage points from 21% last year, while 16% majored in business, a two percentage point decline as well from 18%.
Another 8% of the class majored in social sciences–same as last year–while 4% of the students studied in the humanities and 1% in law.