I believe the average will go up simply because more applicants will apply to more schools that are perceived to be slightly easier to get into.
For instance, someone with a 730+, strong work experiences, good extracurricular involvement etc. might consider applying to a handful of Elite schools and not just the Ultra Elite, simply because he/she really wants to sit out the recession in the comfort of the ivory tower. Not to mention the fact (and this is something I've been harping about long before the recent coverage in the Businessweek, FT etc.) that the rising purchasing power of students in countries such as India, China and S. Korea etc. has made a US MBA that much more affordable for them. This is traditionally a demographic that's done relatively well on standardized testing and clearly there's going to be more applications from this segment this year, and perhaps that will push average scores even further?
I'm pretty sure the average GMAT scores for places perceived to be backups for H/S/W, as well as schools such as Ross, Darden, Duke, NYU, UCLA, Cornell etc. are going to be appreciably higher this year.
Does anyone know the trend of average GMAT scores at top programs during the last recession? Were they lower in 2000 than in 2002-2003?
Can we expect the average at schools like Kellogg or Chicago to be around 715-720 next year?