MBA Application Volume: A Mixed Picture

by on May 23rd, 2012

The Wall Street Journal’s Melissa Korn reported today that, following three years of declining application volume, some business schools are returning to pre-Great Recession levels. But then again, many others are not. So, on the one hand:

• Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management: applications for its full-time MBA climbed 16% this year over last, to ~2,100 this year, approaching an all-time volume peak.

• Penn State Smeal College of Business saw a 14% application volume increase over last year.

• Boston’s Simmons School of Management has enjoyed a 23% increase through mid-May.

But, on the other:

• Application volume at Stanford Graduate School of Business grew just 1.5% this year over last.

• Volume at both Harvard Business School and University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business fell just 2% over last year.

• Applications to MIT’s Sloan School of Management fell 7.9% this year over last, the second year in a row of declining volume.

What does this mean for you, the applicant? In simplest terms, your odds at schools experiencing a declining application volume trend improve relative to their historical selectivity, all things being equal, whereas schools experiencing increasing volume become tougher to get into (relative to their historical averages). So schools you might once have considered as too competitive, might now be worth a look.

This article was originally published on Paul Bodine’s blog. Paul is a graduate admissions consultant with over 13 years of experience, having helped hundreds of applicants get into their dream business, law, medical, and graduate schools. He has also published several books on graduate admissions.

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