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The MBA Apps Plunge!

We saw the screaming headline “MBA Apps Take a Shocking Plunge,” posted August 29, 2018 on Poets & Quants.  Perhaps the reported declines – including, as the article reported, among some top full-time MBA programs – would be shocking if you’d been under a rock for the past few recruiting cycles.

Yes, the common wisdom has been that while full-time MBA applications at “lower-tier” institutions had been dropping substantially in the past few years, “top-tier” institutions were still celebrating their glory days, with “more applications than ever.”  The old “flight to quality” argument.

Eduvantis has been saying for some time – based on deep contact with a wide range of business schools up and down the market – that the product lifecycle for the mature/declining full-time MBA has come home to roost – the market is not growing and that institutions need to continue to diversify their product portfolios, make some tough choices about what “lines of business” they can sustainably compete in and prepare for a very different market in the years to come.

We’ve also said that it’s fairly easy to generate a lot of applications for nearly any program, presuming you aren’t as picky as you might have been in the past about the quality of those applications.  So, put the headline in context.  Yearly fluctuations in reported applications at any institution – top ranked or not – doesn’t mean as much as it used to (before sophisticated digital marketing became the norm).  Eduvantis has its eye on enrollments across all full-time MBA programs – that’s where you can really tell what is happening in the industry.  And there will continue to be pressure there too …….

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