MBA Interest Slowing Even for Elite Institutions

While an MBA is far and away the most popular graduate degree for both men and women, even elite colleges are starting to feel the pain of diminishing interest.

Reported by Education Dive, Harvard Business School saw 4.5% fewer MBA applications in 2018, while Stanford University saw a 4.6% drop, and The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School saw a 6.7% drop. This makes the 4th consecutive year MBA applications have dropped nationwide, down 7% year-over-year.

One factor is increased difficulty in international recruitment, with international MBA applications down a whopping 11% year-over-year. Other factors include the growing popularity in more specialized programs, such as accounting and finance, which some students are finding more helpful career-wise than the MBA they may have chosen in the past.

The takeaway? While the MBA has been a primary revenue driver for many graduate schools, these continuing trends show institutions need to be conscious about new program expansion to make sure they are still able to meet their enrollment goals.

May you continue to fight the good enrollment growth fight at your institution today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.