Chicago Booth | Mr. Overrepresented Indian Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 8.78/10
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Biz Human Rights
GRE 710, GPA 8/10
Darden | Mr. Program Manager
GRE 324, GPA 3.74
Harvard | Mr. The Builder
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Consulting To Emerging Markets Banking
GRE 130, GPA 3.6 equivalent
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Greek Taverna
GMAT 730, GPA 7.03/10
Harvard | Ms. Biotech Ops
GMAT 770, GPA 3.53
NYU Stern | Mr. Development
GMAT 690, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Energy Operations
GRE 330, GPA 3.85
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 To Healthcare Reformer
GRE 338, GPA 4.0 (1st Class Honours - UK - Deans List)
Wharton | Mr. Steelmaker To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.04/4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Indian Quant
GMAT 745, GPA 9.6 out of 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Food & Education Entrepreneur
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Standard Military
GMAT 700, GPA 3.74
Harvard | Ms. Gay Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. International Oil
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Tuck | Mr. Infantry Officer To MBA
GRE 314, GPA 3.4
Rice Business | Mr. Future Energy Consultant
GRE Received a GRE Waiver, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Campaigns To Business
GMAT 750, GPA 3.19
MIT Sloan | Mr. Special Forces
GMAT 720, GPA 3.82
Columbia | Mr. Fingers Crossed
GMAT 730, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Egyptian Heritage
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Investor & Operator (2+2)
GMAT 720, GPA 3.85
Harvard | Ms. Harvard Hopeful
GMAT 750, GPA 3.7

Gies Achieves New Record For Applicants To Its Online MBA

Illinois Gies has five iMBA studios on campus. The iMBA has revolutionized online business education, and not just because of its $22K price tag. File photo

The $22,000 online MBA program at the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business has been the fastest growing MBA on the planet in recent years. That trend looks like to continue based on a new record of applications the school has received for its just ended deadline of Sept. 15.

Applications to Gies’ iMBA program soared by 75% to 3,272 candidates, the school announced. The boom was helped no doubt by the introduction of a new October cohort. Last fall, Gies only had an August cohort to admit to the program. The online MBA program has gone from zero to some 4,000 students in the program from 2016 to this fall.  In August, Gies passed the more than 1,000 mark for graduates of its iMBA.

The school also received 556 applications for its new iMSM program, a sum that is bigger than Gies’ first iMBA application cycle back in 2016. Those candidates are applying to be in the first cohort of the school’s online year-long master’s in management program largely for pre-experience students. The cost of that program is also disruptive: Just $11,000.

‘WE’VE BROKEN DOWN THE TRADITIONAL BARRIERS OF ACCESS AND AFFORDABILITY’

Brooke Elliott, the associate dean of online programs at the Gies College of Business, attributes the growth to both access and affordability. “When I think about what we do, and I talk about our mission, our mission is to provide accessible, affordable, high-quality business education to all who desire it and are committed to pursuing it,” she tells Poets&Quants. “We’ve broken down the traditional barriers of access and affordability to high-quality business education, and amazing things happen when you remove those traditional barriers.”

It was in the midst of the pandemic last May that Gies decided to open up a new October cohort for the iMBA. “We wanted to provide opportunities for individuals to continue to pursue this type of education,” adds Elliott. “There’s a lot of uncertainty in this environment. By increasing the number of intakes when a learner can start our program, we’re increasing access and flexibility.”

In June, Gies published a wealth of data on its iMBA program. The school disclosed that it received 3,517 applications for the 2019-2020 academic year and accepted 53% of those who applied. The average GMAT score, for an undisclosed number of enrolled students who provided that data, was 633, with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.25. On average, students brought 11.6 years of work experience with them into the iMBA program and took 2.4 years to complete the program and graduate. But work experience varied greatly, from 37 iMBA admits with less than a year’s experience and one with 43 years of experience who is actually 70 years old.

Gies iMBA age of students

The average age of an iMBA student is 37 but there is a wide variety of people in the program including a 70-year-old student

Gies has reported that the retention rate for the program is 95%, a number indicating the percentage of students who re-enroll after their initial term. The page also includes the names of Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Caterpillar, State Farm Insurance, and Abbvie, whose employees are taking or have already earned their iMBA degrees.

DON’T MISS: Gies’ iMBA: Inside A Disruptive Online MBA Option or Online MBA Rankings? No, Thank You, Says Gies