International Application Woes Continue for U.S. Programs as European and Asia-Pacific Programs Make Gains

This research brief shares timely insights related to international student mobility using data from the 2018 Preliminary Application Trends Survey, as well as GMAT score sending data and ongoing monthly survey pulses of prospective students.

April 2018


Coming off a tumultuous 2017, U.S. business school programs continue to see declining interest from international candidates through the first half of the current admissions cycle, according to the results of GMAC’s annual Preliminary Application Trends Survey. 

Quick Facts

  • Midway through the current admissions cycle, 48 percent of U.S. programs report that they have received fewer international applications compared with the same point last year.
  • This declines comes as monthly GMAC survey pulses show that non-U.S. citizen preference for the U.S. as a study destination dropped off significantly following the 2016 presidential election.
  • Meanwhile, business school programs in other parts of the world—specifically Europe and Asia-Pacific—largely report increases in international applications. For example, 87 percent of European Master in Management programs report that they have received more international applications than the same point last year.
  • Brexit continues to be a non-factor in international application trends. Of 30 U.K. programs that responded to the 2018 Preliminary Application Trends Survey, 2 in 3 report increases in international applications compared with this point last year (67%).