Articles are pouring into the media about the decline in applications to top b-schools this past year. We recently posted about the drop in application volume at NYU Stern and Columbia Business School; now we’re back to share more news of the application drought.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported a 3.5% decline at Chicago Booth, a 9.5% decline at Yale SOM, a 7% decline at Duke Fuqua, an 18% decline at Michigan State U’s Broad College of Business, and a nearly 21% decline at Indiana Kelley.
According to Timothy Smith, Kelley’s senior associate director of admissions and financial aid, “The pool has been fragmented most aggressively this year with part-time, online, and other options. There is no doubt about it, the number of students hasn’t increased, and there are more players at the table. At the same time, [employer] sponsorship for full-time MBA programs is almost nonexistent, and doing an MBA part-time or online can be an attractive offer for some students, especially when there is funding available.”
The result of a smaller pool of applicants? An increased acceptance rate and a lowered selectivity ranking.
The Businessweek article, as well as a recent Poets & Quants article, go on to state that while the application volume trend is on the downswing, there are some schools that are bucking this trend, including Cornell Johnson which experienced a 15% increase in applications in 2012.
Here are some things the Johnson School has done to its benefit: The school held 14 admissions events in countries around the world that other schools may not have gotten to (like far flung places in Latin America and Asia), and the school increased its number of acceptances by about 75, giving them a much higher yield than they would have otherwise gotten (though it was still down 3%).