Undergraduate Student Loan Debt Hinders Growth of US Business School Candidate Pipeline

This brief discusses how student debt loads are likely impacting US candidate decision making and financing plans. It also highlights trends in financial assistance provided by US business school programs, and trends in employer support for continuing education.

May 2018


Compared with young Americans with a bachelor’s degree overall, those in the graduate business school pipeline are less likely to have outstanding undergraduate student loan debt. This suggests undergraduate student loan debt may be hindering young Americans consideration of graduate business school, likely contributing to the flattening of US candidate pipeline growth.

Quick Facts

  • Among those with preexisting student loan debt that enter the business school pipeline, their debt load is likely impacting their decision making and financing plans.
  • One in three students that entered a US graduate business school program in 2017 received some form of financial assistance from their school (33%).
  • Smaller programs are more likely to offer incoming students financial assistance than larger programs.
  • Most US employers currently offer tuition support for continuing education (61%) and two-thirds say that support has increased compared with five years ago (66%).