Increase in B-School Applications amidst the Pandemic Records GMAC

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), an association based globally which comprises of prominent business schools released its 2020 Application Trends Survey which recorded an increased demand in the application for business schools worldwide.

This survey was to be released in mid-October, but the report was delayed for determining the impact of the COVID-19 19 pandemic on the number of applications sent in across different regions and areas of the world.

Many leading business schools and institutions all over the world endorsed various educational policies and schemes which would prove beneficial for the students and also provide international students with some relief during the pandemic.

This report evaluates the international trend in growth by analyzing the number of students who have enrolled in business schools abroad.

The report also highlights the huge influx of applications received by various business schools in regions like the Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe and the United States.

The Rise and Fall of Applications Recorded by GMAC

Out of 1000 programs offered by different colleges and universities internationally, 67% of the programs recorded a massive number of applications.

Among this, 66% per cent of the candidates registered themselves for MBA programs while 67% of students enrolled themselves for masters in business programs. 

Along with the increase in international applications, the GMAC also recorded a noticeable deferment rate.

It is evident that in some areas of the globe, there has been a substantial increase in the intake of international students but at the same time deferments are reported due to online learning, travelling during a nationwide pandemic and also securing a visa in the particular country.

The deferment rate jumped from 2% in 2019 to 6 % in 2020 due to the obvious impact of COVID-19 pandemic. 

What is Enrolment Funnel?

The Application Trends Survey 2020 highlights the differences in application trends through the lens of ‘enrollment funnel’, a term which shows the relationship between the number of applications received by the business school, rate of acceptance, rate of admission granted by the school and the deferment rate.

All these terms help the experts to find out the disparities between the increase or decrease in applications in specific regions of the globe while keeping in mind the pandemic and its impact on international students. 

Region-wise Fluctuation in Yield Rate

Globally the acceptance rate experienced a slight change from 62% in 2019 to 60% in 2020. While other regions around the globe experienced a drop in acceptance rates, in the United States, there was no change seen in the yield rate, and it remained at a constant 60%.

In Canada, the acceptance rate dropped 5 %. Similarly, Europe also experienced a 5 % drop in yield rates. The most hit was the Asia Pacific whose yield rate dropped to an alarming 51% in 2020 from 62% in 2019.  

Region-wise Analysis in Application Trends

Asia Pacific

This region was severely affected by the global pandemic along with zero deferral policies and social unrest in Hongkong, dropped the yield rate of Asia Pacific.


84% of the programs in Canada experienced growth in applications by domestic students, whereas Europe and Canada saw a 40% hike in international students from areas like East and Southeast Asia, Central and South Asia.  


72% of the programs offered in Europe experienced an overall increase in applications. Like Canada, it saw a 40% hike in international students from areas like East and Southeast Asia, Central and South Asia.


In the US 4 out of 5 MBA programs whose duration is two tears saw an overall increase in applications from domestic candidates as compared to 2019. 67% of the programs offered by the b-schools in the US also saw an increase in the yield rate as compared to the previous year. 

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