Prospective Students Focus on Different Types of Business Programs

RESTON, VA--(April 10, 2013) - Graduate programs in business and management are drawing a wider range of applicants, and these aspiring students are more likely to have a single program type in mind for either an MBA or non-MBA master’s degree, according to GMAC’s 2013 Prospective Students Survey.
Over the past four years, the percentage of student candidates considering both types of programs has declined from 33 percent in 2009 to 25 percent in 2012.
The worldwide survey of prospective management students includes data from more than 31,000 individuals who registered on, the GMAC web portal for those interested in graduate management education and the GMAT exam, surveyed over the past two years
New reports from the survey provide data on a wide range of topics including:
Program Demand. As more millennials consider management education, the proportion of potential students interested in specialized master’s programs in business continues to rise, from 42 percent in 2011 to 44 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, the proportion of aspiring students interested in full-time two-year MBA programs is up one percentage point and the proportion interested in part-time programs is down one percentage point.
Recruitment Planning. Although a growing proportion of prospective students consider cost the most important factor in their decision making, concerns about financing have declined. This is seen in declining percentages of prospects concerned about the cost being more than they can afford as well as their declining potential debt burden (each down four percentage points in the past four years).
School Appeal. Criteria for school selection vary greatly by program type and student demographics, but quality and reputation continue to be the top factor, ranked most important by 39 percent of potential students.

For research briefs based on the Prospective Students Survey, go to

Contact: Tracey Briggs, office: +1 (703) 668-9726; mobile: +1 (571) 243-1478;
The interactive data tool below shows prospective students’ financing mix, or the amount and funding source they expect to use to pay for 100 percent of the costs of their graduate management education.