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Indians applying to US business schools drop to 45% in 2019

Updated: Oct 18, 2019, 12.31 PM IST
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In India, as well as China, domestic applications drove a positive admissions cycle.

Highlights

  • Just 45% of Indian students who took GMAT sent their scores to US business schools this year, down from 57% for courses that started in 2015
  • Half of the international students with GMAT scores who did not apply to the US said the bleak chance of obtaining a job there impacted their decision
(This story originally appeared in on Oct 18, 2019)
MUMBAI: Reflecting a global trend, just 45% of Indian students who took GMAT sent their scores to US business schools this year, down from 57% for courses that started in 2015, shows data released by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

Around 48% of US programmes have reported a fall in international applications this year, with 23% seeing steep declines. Overall, applications from abroad were down 13.7% at US programmes that responded to both the 2018 and 2019 surveys. Half of the international students with GMAT scores who did not apply to the US said the bleak chance of obtaining a job there impacted their decision.

Others cited factors like the ability to obtain a student visa (48%), the political environment (47%), safety fears (37%), and discrimination concerns (34%).


Globally, applications to MBA programmes were down 6.9% year-on-year, and 52% programs reported declines than growth (40%) or stability (8%). The only exception was Canada, where, for the third consecutive year, a majority of programs saw more applications. The UK improved its showing, with 61% MBA programmes getting more applications in 2019 over the previous year.

Interestingly, large, highly ranked, full-time, two-year MBA programs in US saw the steepest declines. As many as 47% of the top 50 programs said international applications were down by 21% or more compared with last year. However, the drop in candidates with a self-reported GMAT score of 700 or above-meaning a good shot at highly ranked programs- to the US was milder, falling from 69% in 2017 to 62% in the first half of 2019.

"Quality business schools are emerging around the world and the competition for talent is fierce, the sign of a vibrant marketplace," said Sangeet Chowfla, CEO of GMAC.

In India, as well as China, domestic applications drove a positive admissions cycle. Among 28 responding programs in India, most reported either growth (50%) or stability (11%), but the percentage of programs reporting growth fell for the second straight year.

The Canada success story this year is built on the strength of both global and domestic applications. Half of the programs reported international application growth, including 26% that saw a steep rise.

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