Growth in Other Markets Offsets U.S. Decline
- Asia-Pacific programs saw application volume rise 8.9 percent
- Canada was up 7.7 percent
- Europe reported 3.2 percent more apps this year than last.
- 67 percent of Asia-Pacific programs saw application volume growth
- 62 percent of programs in Canada and 61 percent in Europe saw application volume growth
Elite U.S. Schools Not Immune
It’s the fourth consecutive year that application volume has fallen for U.S. schools overall. But this year, even the most elite MBA programs in the country are feeling the squeeze. In particular, U.S. programs have struggled to attract international applicants, with just 28 percent reporting growth this year.
Why So Soft in the States?
The Wall Street Journal was quick to say the MBA “degree had lost its luster.” For some applicants, this could be true.
Many Factors at Play
A closer look at application drop-off at U.S. schools reveals that many factors—beyond potential diminished interest in the two-year MBA degree—have also been at play.
Another bright spot is that all programs have seen increasing percentages of applications submitted by women in each of the past five years, GMAC reports. Full-time, two-year MBA programs have seen the greatest increase—an 8-percentage point gain between 2013 and 2017. So far only specialized master’s programs—Master in Management and Master of Finance—have reached gender parity.