2015 Survey Results of Prospective MBA Applicants

More than 34% of business school applicants believe that the admissions process is less rigorous for women, the annual survey by Stacy Blackman Consulting reveals. The poll also indicated that 63.46% feel that the lower number of women in business school is a significant issue.

“The issue of women in business school is in the spotlight, and the good news is that it may encourage more women to apply and more schools to improve the environment for women,” says Stacy Blackman, President of Stacy Blackman Consulting. “We have seen that women are very successful in the admissions process, as well as in business school and throughout recruiting.”

The survey also reported that 44.92% of respondents plan to apply to five or more business schools, with 17.1% planning to apply to six schools, and 23.34% planning to apply to five schools. Last year, only 22.86% planned to apply to five schools, and 10.57% to six schools.

In fact, reduced application requirements (fewer essays and shorter essays), prompted 60.49% to apply to more programs, according to the survey. However, with many b-school programs adding video as part of the application process, 29.3% of respondents cited limitations in revealing their true selves, ideas and goals via video essays or video interviews.

Other survey results include:

*Interest in consulting careers post business school continued with a slight increase from 37.72% last year to 39.21% this year, while job interest in finance decreased from 24.4% last year to 18.37% this year. Interest in Entrepreneurship was steady, capturing 24% of career plans this year and 24.72% last year.

*48.91% indicated reputation is the most important factor influencing the decision to attend a particular business school, followed by 17.44% for strength of job placement, and 12.67% for strength of alumni network. Last year, 50.87% cited reputation and 21.87% cited strength of job placement.

*Career advancement ranked as the top reason to attend business school at 44.95% (43.7% ranking it as most important last year), followed by career change at 34.02% (compared to 38.17% of respondents last year).

*Interest in the GRE grew from 7.65% last year to 10.91% this year, while 89.09% plan to take the GMAT this year, compared to 92.37% last year.

The survey was conducted between April 21, 2015 and May 6, 2015, with 739 respondents.

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