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2013 B School Applications - Down or Up?

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Do you think that 2013 will be another year of (large) decline in application volume?

  • 5% [7]
  • 26% [36]
  • 41% [55]
  • 19% [26]
  • 7% [10]
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2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2012, 20:41
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We have all read various articles pointing to the declining applications volume at most b schools, including a massive 19% fall in Columbia's applications. Having applied last year and being an active contributor at GmatClub, I can clearly see a decline in the number of people commenting on b school threads, or indicating they have applied in a particular round.

- By this time last year, the HBS thread had 11 pages. For the 2013 thread, we have only 5
- Similarly, Kellogg's Part 1 Application deadline was yesterday, and the 2013 thread has only 3 pages until now, by last year's deadline (Sep 23rd or something) the pages numbered 8
- Last year had many more people saying I just submitted Part 1, than the 2-3 people indicating it in this year's thread.

My Question: Do you think that 2013 will be another year of (large) decline in application volume?

Use the thread below for reasoning or to inform us of any thing you may heave (over)heard at admissions receptions or from a member of the admissions committee.

Articles:
Aps decline at 2/3rds of B Schools: http://poetsandquants.com/2012/09/17/ap ... s-schools/
UCLA's 22% jump in app volume: http://poetsandquants.com/2012/09/19/be ... -mba-apps/
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2012, 16:37
I think there are a lot of competitive alternatives to an MBA. I also think the economy is a lot weaker than the markets reveal; the fields that are doing well do not require an MBA degree to succeed.

I would be very surprised if application numbers don't fall considerably.

As an aside, I actually think MBA programs should be at the forefront of tackling the rising cost of education. It's a major major problem in the US. If only we could find a way to pump cash into technology/research and education...
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2012, 06:03
I think apps will be down in general, but not across all schools. Harvard, I think, will certainly be up given relative ease of application
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2012, 09:40
Expert's post
There has been an uptick in GMAT applications compared to the previous years (partially of course due to the change in the GMAT) so I am wondering if that will have an impact....

Also, this has been released a few days ago:
http://www.gmac.com/market-intelligence ... urvey.aspx

Quote:
The survey showed some interesting trends in the applicant pool from the last year. While there is an overall upswing in applications for business programs, fewer traditional 2-year MBA program in the US are seeing the increase while more significantly more international 2-year full-time programs are seeing more applicants. In addition, the applicant pool in the US is increasingly composed of foreign applicants. While traditional program applications are up over the previous year, they are still far short of the numbers in 2008.

Comments by Kaplan Blog: http://blog.kaplangmat.com/2012/09/25/g ... nd-survey/
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2012, 06:56
I believe economy is doing worse than it has been reported so far. I am in construction and I think it is slowing down a bit. If the slowdown is for real, I'd expect more people going to school than not because you wanna be in school when there aren't many jobs and you wanna be in the work force when the market is creating job opportunities.

That being said, one would expect higher number of applications. But we are discussing a drop here, so it doesn't add up. Drop in posts at gmatclub or btg isn't a substantial evidence to support the theory that applications will drop. Who knows, applications might increase in the second round because of fewer applications in Round 1.

It all remains to be seen.
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2012, 00:06
while it's understandable that drop at prominent forums such as Gmatclub & BTG may not be significant contributor as a whole but I tried pooling some numbers from BTG site for top 5-6 programs I am interested in & I can definitely see a downward trend (15-20%) for round 1. Now that said I am going to presume that a good proportion of the members using this forum also put their stats in BTG & vice versa..so # students may not add up for both the sites. One more thing to note here is that I could visualize (again for the programs I am interested in) that @ 20% of the applicant pool at these schools registered their stats at either of these 2 sites. so now now you do the math..big caveat lies here is of the trend of all those applicants who probably do not register through site(@80% of the pool). and if the trend is similar then we may see a considerable dip in the # applicants even at the top programs..JMHO!
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2012, 13:49
I can't remember for sure, but when you take the GMAT don't they ask you when you plan on applying? GMAC should have data on when test-takers plan on applying. Since so many people took the test before the change, perhaps they did in just in case they planned on applying one day, even though they aren't planning on doing it this year. It would be interesting to see if there was movement in terms of how far in advance people take the GMAT. E.g. 20% of people might have said "I'm not sure when I'll apply" vs. 45% say "I'm applying this year" and then compare the sheer number of people who took the exam this year as opposed to last year AND planned on applying in the same year.

Hmmm, I'm going to ask this question in the BTG forum ask the testmaker...
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2012, 16:40
From the MBA fairs I've gone to, they've been overflowing with people. Maybe it is just this site that has gone down?
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2012, 16:45
MBA4Jay wrote:
From the MBA fairs I've gone to, they've been overflowing with people. Maybe it is just this site that has gone down?


I thought the same thing, but at a recent fair, they asked us to raise our hands if we were applying this year and about 2/3 did. Then they asked who was applying for part-time programs and about 1/2 did. I don't know the overlap, but in terms of full-time students applying this year, the only data points we can rely on are the ones they release next August...
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2012, 16:59
machichi wrote:
MBA4Jay wrote:
From the MBA fairs I've gone to, they've been overflowing with people. Maybe it is just this site that has gone down?


I thought the same thing, but at a recent fair, they asked us to raise our hands if we were applying this year and about 2/3 did. Then they asked who was applying for part-time programs and about 1/2 did. I don't know the overlap, but in terms of full-time students applying this year, the only data points we can rely on are the ones they release next August...


Were you in one of those little meeting rooms? I did a few of those too and all were standing room only+ out-the-door filled. There was no space in the large meeting room either--except at the lower ranked booths that nobody wanted. Quite a contrast from 2009 and 2010 fairs.
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2012, 17:54
No matter is applications are up or down, the applicant pool to all top business schools is going to remain accomplished and competitive. Just because there might fewer applicants this year, I can guarantee you that the quality of the applicant pool will be top notch at all premier programs. So, if you are applying, applicants need to count on their own record and application to gain admissions, not the number of applicants.

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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2012, 10:05
Just a couple thoughts after reading this thread:

- Keep in mind the apps declined AFTER an increase in apps at around 2008-2010 due to the great recession. So to conclude that there is an abnormal decrease in overall interest in MBAs is misleading. If anything, maybe it is just normalizing.

- I don't think schools reduced word count to attract more students, I think if a person wants to apply to business school they will apply. Personally I didn't even know about word counts prior to the whole process. I just thought, I want to get an MBA. I think schools reduced word counts because, 1. to cut costs, 2. to put less emphasis on essays as probably half of applicants use some form of outside consultancy and, 3. an extra 100-200 words per essay is not going to help differentiate any applicants.

- Lastly, to reiterate the previous poster, I think there might be too much commotion about this and we shouldn't let it affect our application mindset. The decrease in the number of applicants is not significant and will only affect people at the margin.
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Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up? [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2012, 09:26
Well this definitely isnt affecting my application mindset, all my apps have to be perfect or they wont be submitted.

With that said, all of the emphasis on social media and how the schools dig into your facebook/linkedin's might have people hesitant about posting/signing up for a site like this. I know in any school's thread that I am applying, I dont look to criticize it in anyway. I recently visited a few schools, but I am going to save any criticisms I might have until after this process is over. The school's know this site is here, and can see my GMAT score in the corner. Using context clues from my other posts, I am afraid they can figure me out and my anomynity will be blown.

Its a weird paranoia I really cant explain. I believe these schools have so much to do that they couldnt possibly have time to dig through each negative post about them and piece it together. I know there is no harm in saying I have submitted my app, so I have said so when applicable. But at the same time, I am not going to post every thought I have about School A's essay #1 vs School B's essay #4 or how much this one essay sucks. Id rather schools not figure me out and see what other schools Im applying to. So possibly this could be a reason why a number of pages are down per schools page, people like me have thoughts and just keep them to themselves. More probable however, Im just crazy.

This in no fact should be taken as a slant againt GMATCLUB. Great site, great information sharing, really has been critical to the entire MBA process to me. Love the site and 100% trust that my information is completely confidential. However, the thought is in my mind not to overpost and to post smart.
Re: 2013 B School Applications - Down or Up?   [#permalink] 05 Oct 2012, 09:26
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