After several years of decline, MBA programs see a surge in applicants this year. This comes after months of unemployment for many across the country and worldwide. Historically, most MBA programs report an increase in applicants when the economy goes down, so this may not come as a surprise for some.

In the 2019-2020 application season, programs, particularly those who postponed deadlines, saw a huge increase in applicants. Prospective students were attracted to the delayed deadlines and the decrease in application requirements, despite the possibility that their studies would take place online. According to Forbes, The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business experienced a 25% increase, Wharton saw a 21% increase, Columbia an 18% increase and Rice saw a massive 63% increase in applicants.

This sudden increase comes after an 8.7% decline in applicants in 2018. Several reasons are accredited to this decline in the past few years. One of them being a booming economy, the second being stricter laws regarding international visas and the third being the harsh competition of international business schools.

Whether the competitive job market, looming unemployment, more lenient admission requirements, or all three, MBA programs are rising in popularity, only time will tell for how long.


For more information about top programs who have recently started granting GMAT waivers, click here.