MBA Applications surge at premier B-Schools despite the pandemic

Top-tier B-schools saw their applications shoot phenomenally this year. Some observers attribute this sudden gush to the pandemic crisis. B-schools extending their application deadlines and relaxing some admission norms can be other factors for the sudden rise in applications. 

What is the normal during pandemics?

Graduate schools have observed a surge in applications during economic meltdowns. B-schools were not hopeful of big numbers this year through the ongoing pandemic crisis. People prepare themselves for post-crisis times by enhancing their qualifications and skillsets.

B-schools provide the right platform for students to learn the basics of business management. The degree helps in boosting the students’ careers. 

How are applications pouring at B-schools?

MIT Sloan which had kept the test-optional for the 2021 admission, was surprised to receive applications from students who had planned on enrolling in the next year. 

An Applications coach said that extended deadlines and relaxation of entrance tests for some programs have paved the way for the sudden surge in applications to these programs.

The extended deadlines and relaxed test status combined with uncertainties of the pandemic and the economic meltdown made a good number of students advance their graduation plans. 

How did some schools manage to boost their applications?

Some schools had used the extended rounds of deadlines to harvest more applications and compensate for the meager enrolments of international enrolments. 

Some schools had campaigned for their programs at undergraduate schools, inviting them to apply for graduation, even waiving the mandatory GMAT score.

Columbia Business School had also invited past dropouts to join the program this year. 

Who attracted more applications?

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Columbia Business School, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business were some schools that saw a good rise in their applications. 

The GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) has reported a good surge in applications for graduate programs at the elite B-schools. 

Have all graduate schools benefitted?

Although a good number of B-schools managed to wax their applications this year, some schools did not share the same story.

The crème-de-la-crème Harvard Business School has witnessed a slump in its applications. Joining Harvard is a slew of both topline and mid-tier schools who were among the less fortunate to record a drop in applications.

University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business is one such school that saw over a hundred students defer their admissions this year.  

What does this augur for an MBA?

Many experts had expressed their fears regarding the future of graduation in management. But the huge number of applicants for MBA programs this year allayed the fears of MBA losing its sheen. 

B-schools had been apprehensive of a decline in the number of applicants, as visa and entry permits were getting more stringent. Not even the possibility of learning via remote classrooms kept the students from pursuing their graduation. 

A higher-education consultant has called this trend a redistribution of the MBA market share. Schools that intensify their marketing and relax their admission parameters offer the flexibility required to boost admissions.

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