Prospective B-School Students Applying to Fewer Schools This Year

Business school applicants are scaling back the number of schools that they apply to, according to the results of our recent Stacy Blackman Consulting survey. While 14% of respondents in 2012 applied or plan to apply to six schools, only 9% in 2013 applied or plan to apply to six schools this year, we found.

“We are seeing prospective b-school applicants better target the schools that best align with their goals and credentials, instead of applying to a broad sweep of schools which just adds more cost and work. Applicants are taking the time to truly understand which programs are right for them and being more selective about which schools to apply to,” says Stacy Blackman, President of Stacy Blackman Consulting.

The survey also revealed that:

  • Interest in consulting careers post business school jumped from 33.2% last year to 38.1% this year, while interest in finance declined from 26.3% last year to 22.4% this year.
  • Reputation is still the most important factor influencing the decision to attend a particular b-school school, with a slight decline this year, from 56% ranking it as most important last year compared with 52.4% this year, while strength of alumni program and location increasing in influence.
  • Career advance continues to be the most important reason to attend business school, with 43.3 % percent ranking it as most important last year and 45.2% ranking it as most important this year.
  • Essays continue to be the most challenging aspect of the MBA admissions process, with 37.8% last year and 35% this year citing them as most difficult.

The survey was conducted between January 21, 2013 and February 4, 2013, with 561 respondents.

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