Applications for a number of elite business schools have been falling over the last five years, but this last year saw an even steeper rate of decline as the programs tried to attract international students in the midst of tougher immigration policies and heightening tensions between China and the US. The decline of applications from international students is stark with applications falling 13.7% this year.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Harvard, Stamford, MIT among others are experiencing larger year-over-year declines, and some, like Dartmouth’s Tuck School had double-digit declines. Beyond the falloff of international students applications, one of the other factors fueling the decline is that the hot domestic job market has cooled the interest of many Americans in the programs, in addition to their mountain of debt from their undergraduate degrees.
The fact of the matter is that these MBA programs are not going away, but they will change. For example a number of programs are expanding their offerings into specialized degrees in fields such as data analytics, recognizing that businesses are changing rapidly and the Graduate programs need to change to remain relevant to warrant the $213,000 that you have to shell out for the MBA degree at Harvard.