Just 14 percent of the part-time MBA Class of 2016 received full tuition support from their employer.
The results of the 2016 Application Trends Survey show the continuation of a trend of overall reduced application volumes since the Great Recession for part-time MBA programs. For their incoming classes for the fall of 2016, less than half of part-time MBA programs (43%) reported year-on-year application volume growth compared with 50 percent of programs reporting declines. As a result, nearly half of part-time MBA programs (49%) indicated they planned to reduce the size of their incoming class. On average, programs that reported declining application volumes planned to seat three fewer students compared with 2015.
A key reason for the reduced demand for part-time MBA programs are experiencing is that fewer students are receiving employer tuition support. The findings of the 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey show that among alumni who completed a part-time MBA in the 1980s, half (50%) received full tuition support from their employer to complete their degree and an additional 27 percent received partial tuition support. Among the part-time MBA Class of 2016, just 14 percent report receiving full tuition support from their employer and 49 percent report receiving partial tuition support.
Another important factor contributing to reduced application volumes for part-time MBA programs is that employer funding now more often comes with a post-graduation work requirement. Among the part-time MBA graduates that did receive tuition support, recent graduates are more likely to have to fulfill a post-graduation work requirement than earlier graduates. For example, just 14 percent of part-time MBA graduates from the 1980s report that their employer funding was contingent on a post-graduation work requirement. Among Class of 2016 part-time MBA graduates receiving employer funding, 51 percent report having a post-graduation work requirement.
For additional insight on application volumes to part-time MBA programs, download the 2016 Application Trends Survey Report at gmac.com/applicationtrends. For more on part-time MBA alumni, download the 2017 Alumni Perspectives Survey Report at gmac.com/alumniperspectives.