MBA Applicant Trends

MBA Applicant Survey Report

The 2018-19 Stacy Blackman Consulting (SBC) MBA Applicant Survey offers insight into the priorities of current MBA candidates, US and international. The respondents mirror the diverse applicant pool, spanning gender, geography and target MBA programs.  The conclusions within this report illuminate the mindset and objectives of current MBA applicants, at this time of US political uncertainty and economic strength.

Top 10 Business Programs Dominate

Top 10 business programs capture 57%

MBA Applicants Favor Top Business Programs

Section 1:  Executive Summary
“Throughout my twenty year career in MBA admissions, the one constant is the incredible allure of top programs, the high caliber of students that pursue those programs and the core attributes that those programs seek,” shared Stacy Blackman of Stacy Blackman Consulting.

Section 2:  Where are MBA applicants applying?
“The top tier business schools are coveted because the value of the education translates back to many countries around the world,” shared Beth Tidmarsh, a former Kellogg MBA Admissions Officer on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team.

Limited effect of the US Political and Economic Climate

Section 3a:  Does the US political climate, under President Trump, influence MBA plans?
I often wonder if international MBA candidates in particular are going to mention Trump across our 100s of inquiries, but no one does,” commented Sara Tsai, Principal at Stacy Blackman Consulting.  

Section 3b:  Will the MBA student experience change?
“I would not anticipate seeing top tier b-schools shrink the portion of their class that has an international background.  Top schools are committed to creating a class that brings in diverse perspectives from around the world to enhance student learning and the overall classroom experience. ” shared Beth Tidmarsh, a former Kellogg MBA Admissions Officer on the Stacy Blackman Consulting team.

Reputation is Everything

Section 4a:  What do MBA applicants to US MBA programs want?
I will only consider the USA for top MBA programs which will be beneficial for job applications,” shared a survey respondent.

Section 4b:  What worries MBA applicants to US MBA programs?
Stronger screening of international students who have a stronger employability quotient going for them,” shared a survey respondent.

Section 4c:  What do MBA Applicants to International MBA programs want?

MBA Admissions Consulting & Career Goals

Section 5:  Who uses MBA Admissions Consultants and why?

Section 6:  How have career goals shifted from last year?

Closing: Recent reports of increases in European (EU) MBA program applications and decreases in US MBA program applications reflect just one data point of MBA demand, based only on the preceding year applicant pool. This SBC Survey Report provides data on context, preferences and reasons for current season MBA applicant choices.