Insights from the Field

by Emily Holland

Through Regional Meet-ups, conference events and campus visits, our team has the opportunity to engage with many of you face to face.  Often you ask us what we are hearing in the market.  Below are some of the themes from Q2.

Declines in Application Volume:
Many US schools have reported a dip in application volume and admits, despite working in the same, if not better market.  The most significant source of the drop seems to be from International candidates as a result of the current political climate in the United States.  GMAC is currently accepting data submissions for the 2018 Application Trends Survey. That report will be available in the fall and should provide further insight as to where those candidates chose to submit applications.

Budget Reductions:
Several public universities, especially those reliant upon a state economy driven by agribusiness, have reported budget decreases.  The decline in application volume, primarily international application volume, is putting pressure on Admissions and Recruiting staff to make difficult choices including staffing reductions and program cuts.

Getting Creative to Attract Domestic Candidates:
Schools are working proactively to encourage their Undergraduates to consider GME.  Common recruitment strategies include early promotion of GMAT Test Taking (taking advantage of GMAC’s Discounted Test for Undergraduate students), discounted tuition and application fee waivers, and growth in 4+1 or 3+2 programs and joint degrees or cross-campus partnerships with other schools.

As a means to engage with their undergraduate alumni who are considering a MBA, The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign offers the Illinois x 2 Scholarship which is for UIUC alumni who are considering the Illinois MBA. DePaul University offers a similar scholarship for their returning undergraduate alumni to the College of Business.

Curriculum Review/ Revamping:
We’ve also heard from a number of schools that they are adapting or considering an adaptation of their curriculum to meet market demands.  In addition to the rise in 3+2 and 4+1 programs that GMAC has seen, there is a desire to shorten programs (as can be seen by the popularity of the One-Year MBA format) and to offer programs with a hybrid structure. Even in one-year programs, an international travel component is growing in popularity.

We’ll continue to keep our “ears to the ground” and share themes periodically.

--The Americas Team


Americas Market Development Team

Glenda Lucas  Emily Holland Kailin Burns
Glenda Lucas
Territory: North East, South
(703) 668-9819 
Emily Holland
Territory: Midwest, Southwest, LATAM
(703) 668-9791 
Kailin Burns
Territory: West Coast, Mid-Atlantic
(703) 668-9675

Eric Chambers Christa Johnson  
Eric Chambers
Territory: Ohio
(703) 668-9742
Christa Johnson
Territory: Undergraduate Outreach
(703) 668-9751