Full-time MBA Program - Application Volume Down

According to 2011 Application Trends Survey conducted by GMAC, more than 67% of participating two-year full-time MBA programs reported a decline in application volume. Of the 199 full-time MBA programs participating in the survey, accounting for 131,187 applications, the average number of applications received was 666, down from 695 reported in 2010.

The trend is worrying for Business Schools as normally with financial meltdown, a reverse correlation is observed between application volume and the health of the economy. As the economy grows weaker, more candidates take the B-School route to avoid the harsh job markets. Compared to the dot-com bust in 2001 when the application volume for full-time MBA programs increased considerably, 2011 has shown reverse trends. A Business School representative has countered this finding by pointing to the fact that application volume has been steadily growing for the past 5 years (even during the financial meltdown of 2008) and a slight slowdown is expected.

Full-time MBA Application Volume History

                    Source: GMAC Application Trends Survey 2011

Full Time MBA Application Volume 2011

                         Source: GMAC
Application Trends Survey 2011

Smaller Programs vs. Larger Programs: As expected, just 20% of full-time MBA programs with more than 100 students reported an increase in application volume. 50% of Smaller programs (50 or fewer students) participating in the survey reported an increase in application volume.

Quality of Applicants: Full-time MBA programs in the Asia-Pacific region are the worst affected with 78% of the programs reporting decline in growth. However, the falling application volume has not affected the acceptance rate of the program. The class of 2011 will have more qualified class than 2010.

Increase in International Applicants: India remains the largest contributing applicant pool for the full-time MBA program with 61% of programs reporting India as their top source of foreign applicant. However,
the Indian applicant pool for the FT MBA program has shown the the biggest drop in 2011. MBA Applicants from China is the largest growing source of foreign applicants for the full-time MBA program, contributing 39 per cent of the total foreign applicants in 2011.

Download GMAC Application Trends Survey 2011 (1.65 MB pdf)

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