A Businessweek article reports on the drop in selectivity among top business schools including Michigan Ross, Cornell Johnson, UCLA Anderson, Indiana Kelley, and Maryland Smith. These schools all admitted a higher percentage of applicants in 2010 than they did in 2008, when b-school application numbers peaked. Some say that the drop in applications since the boom two years ago has forced b-schools to be less particular when choosing their future students.
Of course, each school will attribute its recent drop in selectivity to different causes. Michigan Ross, for example, opened a new building which allows for a larger class, thus allowing the adcoms to accept more students this year than in the past.
University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, the school that reported the greatest selectivity decrease among the top 30, attributes its drop to “better marketing.” The school also increased its class size by 22% this year.
Randall Sawyer, assistant dean of admissions, financial aid, and inclusion at Cornell’s Johnson School, states that the program’s decrease in selectivity is due to the increase in the quality of applicants. “Candidates are getting smarter about where they apply,” he says, “giving admissions committees fewer but better choices.”
Some programs, on the other hand, are bucking the drop-in-selectivity trend. While some schools are expanding their class size, some are decreasing it. Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Management is one such example of a program that decreased its class size; 38% of applicants were admitted in 2005, but only 20% in 2010.
Other schools that have reported higher selectivity or no changes include Chicago Booth, Harvard Business School, Notre Dame Mendoza, and Northwestern Kellogg.
And of course this article reflects last year’s application stats. This year both Cornell and Ross happily report that their first round application volume has headed north in comparison to last year’s round 1.
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