SURVEY: MBA Applications Down But International Applicants Way Up

harvard business school

Photo: Conyr on flickr

If you’ve always dreamed of going to Harvard Business School, now is the best time to apply — the school’s acceptance rate increased from 11% to 12% within the past year.But Harvard’s compassion towards prospective students could have a lot to do with the smaller pool of applicants in 2011.

In fact, applications for full-time M.B.A programs have declined by 10% at 331 graduate business schools worldwide, according to a survey administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

This is the third year applications have fallen at the 649 full-time M.B.A programs included in the data.

But two-year, full-time programs aren’t the only ones witnessing this trend — applications to part-time programs have declined by 46%.

New York University’s Stern School of Business reported applications to its part-time program decreased by nearly 10% this year.

“Most people who apply to that program are employed, and there are fewer working professionals these days,” Isser Gallogly, assistant dean of M.B.A. admissions, told The Wall Street Journal. “People are not going to be applying to an M.B.A. program when they’re trying to find a job.”

For those who have decided to return to school, specialised business graduate programs seem to be the path they’ve chosen: applications to finance programs increased by 83% while management programs reported a growth of 69%.

Almost half of the schools saw an increase in international applicants with the vast majority coming from India and China.

M.B.A. applicants

Photo: Graduate Management Admission Council

M.B.A. applicants

Photo: Graduate Management Admission Council

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