Larger MBA Class at Harvard

Harvard University will see the size of its MBA class increase this autumn from 900 to around 930 or 940. So far, 942 students have enrolled in the program, university newspaper The Harvard Crimson reported last week.

Deirdre Leopold, managing director of MBA admissions and financial aid at the business school, is quoted as saying that she expects enrollment to settle between 930 to 940 by the time classes begin in the fall.

“The MBA degree is now a way to make a difference,” she said. “Some people see the MBA as a way to ride out the financial crisis, but they will learn broader skills and gain different attitudes. The world will look different when it comes back [from recession], and [students] will be equipped for new industries.”

The Financial Times notes that the move will make Harvard the largest of the highly-ranked full-time MBA programs – the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and INSEAD, in France and Singapore, both have around 900 students.

As the class size goes up, so the average student age goes down. Nearly half – 47 % of the entering students – earned their undergraduate degrees within the past three years, with one member of the current incoming class coming directly from college, reports the Crimson. Some of those younger students will have taken advantage of the Harvard 2+2 Program, in which those graduating from college are enlisted for the Harvard MBA program with deferred entry so they can complete two years of work experience.

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