Top Schools Report Record Yield Numbers

This week, the Financial Times reported that the yield –percentage of applicants accepted as students and who actually turn up for the start of the program– has rocketed at top business schools. As a result, the most highly ranked business schools are announcing record student numbers.

What kind of numbers are we talking about? Let’s take a look.

Chicago Booth School of Business – 592 MBA students enrolled this year, 577 last.

The Wharton School – 862 MBA students enrolled this year, below 820 last.

Harvard Business School – 937 MBA students enrolled this year, 900 last.

Stanford Graduate School of Business – 384 MBA students enrolled this year, 370 last.

INSEAD – 980 MBA students enrolled this year, 900 last.

It seems no one could predict B-school yield this year, with one  argument claiming the economic downturn is a good opportunity to invest in education, and the countering wisdom that if you have a job, you are more likely to want to hold on to it.

But this year has seen at least two added complications, FT reports. A drop in international applicants comes as these students worry they won’t be unable to get the required loans, or employment upon graduation. The second wrinkle has been the bad rap B-schools have received in the wake of the financial meltdown. Whether this PR glitch will affect next year’s yield numbers remains to be seen.

For JJ Cutler, director of admissions at Wharton, the students beginning the application process now might also present a few surprises and potentially push applications up again.

“I think this year will be the year when we really see the impact [of job losses in financial services],” he says. “A lot of those people are prime business school students.”

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