Applications to business school are up, your chances are down

Business school applications worldwide are up

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The number of applications to business schools worldwide is increasing this year and it is getting harder to get into an MBA program. According to the Graduate Management Admissions Council’s 2013 Applications Trends Survey, released today, the majority of business schools received the same or more applications this year than they did last year.

The Application Trends Survey tracks application changes and the demand for business school admission. Among full-time MBA programs reporting statistics, 54% of the two-year programs received more applications or the same number this year as last year. The same trend was seen in one-year programs too. This is not great news for applicants because schools with larger applicant pools can once again focus on selectivity and quality as competition for seats increases.

In 2010 and 2011, applications to business schools’ full time MBA programs declined, but the Graduate Management Admissions council data shows that full-time programs began to rebound in 2012 and applications look even higher today. For applicants, the last couple of years have been good times to apply to competitive business schools because of the decreased applications, but now the competition is back on.

The report highlights an important note for international students. Most of the increased applications have come from international students. With more applicants for each seat, your application materials must be strong and fully optimized for each program you are applying to.

The survey is conducted annually by GMAC and this year’s Application Trends Survey included over 300 business schools in 42 different countries.

With regard to specialized master’s degrees in business fields such as accounting and finance, 61 percent of the master in management programs reported more applicants this year than last, whereas just 35 percent of the master of accounting, and 42 percent of the master of finance programs reported receiving more applications as they did in 2012.