Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Digi-Transformer
GMAT 680, GPA 4
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Wharton | Mr. New England Hopeful
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. BB Trading M/O To Hedge Fund
GMAT 710, GPA 3.23
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Harvard | Mr. Army Intelligence Officer
GRE 334, GPA 3.97
Harvard | Ms. Data Analyst In Logistics
GRE 325, GPA 4
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Comeback Story
GRE 313, GPA 2.9
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Green Financing
GRE 325, GPA 3.82
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Columbia | Mr. MD/MBA
GMAT 670, GPA 3.77
MIT Sloan | Mr. Marine Combat Arms Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. MBB Aspirant/Tech
GMAT 700, GPA 3.16

Some Top Online MBA Programs See Applications Surge

The online MBA degree continues to grow in legitimacy and popularity. Top business schools like the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management have all launched programs either within the past couple of years or not much before then.

Schools such as the University of Illinois Gies College of Business, meantime, have double-downed on its $22K online MBA and have seen applications grow from a few hundred to nearly 4,000 all within the past few years. But Illinois Gies, which declines to participate in rankings, isn’t the only school to see some seriously substantial growth over the past few years. As part of our annual ranking of online MBA programs, we ask schools to report total annual applications and enrollment. For the first time, we’ve compiled three-year trends for most of the 47 schools ranked this year.

No other school has seen more growth in applications than the Jack Welch Management Institute, which has seen its application pool grow by more than 40% over the past three years. The online school named for the late and legendary CEO of General Electric has seen a three-year application increase of 3,414 candidates, surging 148% from 2,307 applications in 2018 to 5,721 this past year. Washington State University’s Online MBA program saw the next biggest increase in applications, jumping by 111% to 611 applicants from 546 in 2018 to 1,159 in 2020. This year’s No. 1 ranked school–Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business–posted the third-highest growth in applicants, going from 572 applicants in 2018 to 1,013 in 2020, a 77% jump in percentage terms.

APPLICATIONS UP AN AVERAGE OF 81 OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS

Overall, applications to our ranked programs have gained by an average of 81 applicants since 2018. Among all programs to submit data, average applications have increased from 356 in 2018 to 437 in 2020. But the real surge came between 2019 when application averages dipped to 353 to 2020 when they lept to 437. Of the 38 schools to report data for 2018 and 2020, 24 reported application increases. Some schools, however, did see significant drops during that time. Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business had 180 fewer applicants in 2020 compared to 2018. American University’s Kogod School of Business had 160 fewer applications and the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School had 130 fewer applications.

While applications grew dramatically at many schools, that doesn’t always translate to increased enrollment numbers. On average, the 38 schools to report entire three-year enrollment data had an average increase of just two students. Jack Welch Management Institute, for example, actually had 47 fewer students enroll in its online MBA program in 2020 compared to 2018 despite receiving an additional 3,400 applicants during the same timeframe. Washington State experienced the largest enrollment increase, gaining 448 more students into its program between 2018 and 2020. The University of Cincinnati had the second-highest student increase, going from 86 students in 2018 to 225 in 2020. Louisiana State University saw the next highest jump, increasing student enrollment by 118 spots.

Of the 38 schools reporting enrollment data over the past three years, 24 had enrollment increases, 13 saw decreases, and one stayed flat. Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School had the largest student population decrease, dropping 98 students between 2018 and 2020. UNC’s Kenan-Flagler had the second-largest enrollment decrease of 85 students. Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business had 69 fewer students enrolled between 2018 and 2020.

See the next two pages for the entire application and enrollment data.

The 2021 Poets&Quants Online MBA Rankings Package

THE BEST ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS OF 2021

HOW ONLINE MBA STUDENTS RATE THEIR EXPERIENCE

HOW ONLINE MBAS RATE THE IMPACT OF THE DEGREE ON THEIR CAREERS

ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS WITH THE BEST SALARY OUTCOMES 

THE BEST NO-GMAT ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS OF 2021

ACCEPTANCE RATES FOR THE TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS

AVERAGE GMAT, GRE & GPAS FOR THE 2021 TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS 

AVERAGE WORK EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS AT THE TOP 2021 ONLINE MBA OPTIONS

MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS OF 2021

VIDEO: DEANS’ PANEL — A CONVERSATION WITH LEADERS OF THE TOP ONLINE MBA OPTIONS

PODCAST: MBA ALTERNATIVES: A BUSINESS CASUAL CONVERSATION ON THE PROS AND CONS OF MBA ALTERNATIVES FROM ONLINE MBAS TO PART-TIME MBAS AND EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAMS 

VIDEO: OUR BACKSTAGE WEBINAR SERIES ON THE TOP ONLINE MBA PROGRAMS

THE METHODOLOGY BEHIND P&Q’S 2021 ONLINE MBA RANKING

 

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