United States Research Snapshot: Application Trends Survey 2019

October 2019


2019_US App Trends snapshot thumbnailThis research snapshot infographic displays US program key findings from the Application Trends Survey 2019. A total of 804 programs at 204 US business schools participated in the 2019 survey.

Quick Facts

  • Soft demand from abroad is fueling application declines at US programs. International applications were down at nearly half of responding US programs this year (48%), with 23 percent of programs reporting significant declines. International applications were down 13.7 percent at US programs that responded to both this year’s and last year’s surveys.
  • US domestic applications were down slightly this year. Domestic applications were down at about half of programs (47%). Among US programs that responded to both this year’s and last year’s surveys, domestic applications were down 3.6 percent.
  • Large, highly ranked US full-time MBA programs saw the steepest declines in applications. Just 6 percent of responding programs ranked in the top 50 of the US News and World Report 2020 ranking (published March 2019) report year-on-year total application growth (n=47), compared with 38 percent of responding unranked programs (n=37).
  • Online options tended to see more application growth than part-time and flexible MBA programs. Among 34 responding US online MBA programs, most either grew (50%) or maintained (10%) their application volume compared with last year. Among the 40 percent that report declines, most declined only slightly (23%).
  • STEM-certified US programs were more likely to report growth in international applications. STEM-certified programs tended to fare better with international applicants this year, as 43 percent of STEM-certified programs grew their international applications compared with 26 percent of non-STEM programs.