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surge in MBA applications

We don’t believe the applicant surge has ended.

The Wall Street Journal published an article earlier today addressing the large number of applicants flocking to top business schools in search of a suitable safe harbor to ride out the pandemic. The article (subscription required) confirms many top schools experienced double-digit application gains after extending deadlines and waiving standardized test requirements after initially being down year to date from the previous application season.

Based on what we have seen so far this season, we believe applications will be up again for prospective Fall 2021 matriculants. We also believe the quality of this season’s applicant pool, admittedly a much more difficult metric to quantify, will be very high as well. We have seen a number of very sharp and highly qualified applicants who likely would have bypassed the MBA if their careers had continued on their pre-pandemic paths.

As a result, we strongly encourage applicants to carefully consider targeting a safety school and to do everything in their power to ensure their applications are polished to perfection. With any luck, the economy recovers by the time this year’s applicants are ready to graduate and recruiters will be very attracted to the high-quality graduates.

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