Yesterday we talked about deltas from the previous year to last in terms of increases in app volumes, and we talked about five-year trends, and which schools saw apps increasing, and which ones (to put it delicately) tanked.
We don’t want to mislead anybody.
The powerhouse schools are still the powerhouse schools, in terms of absolute popularity.
Here’s what we mean:
Yesterday we were musing about how many of the Ivy League schools aren’t bringin’ it right now, in terms of growing their app volumes. But when we look at absolute numbers, no, they don’t seem to be in any trouble — even Columbia, who took such a hit in the prior year’s apps (down by 1,260 – ouch!). Columbia Business School is still sittin’ pretty in the #4 spot when you look at total apps received. Not too shabby.
Another important point which hopefully we don’t actually have to make: THESE ARE ALL GREAT SCHOOLS. We hope nobody is thinking that Harvard is three times a better school than Duke just because HBS got 3x the apps. Just because one school got more applications than another doesn’t say that it’s “better” — and definitely it doesn’t say that it’s better school FOR YOU.
We do find it odd that HBS got so many more applications than anyone. It’s doesn’t seem that HBS is growing the market for MBA candidates; they’re just growing the market for themselves.
It’s almost as if the societal trends of Occupy Wall Street and the 99% resulted in more people deciding that they wanted to be part of the 1%, and thus targeting HBS and HBS only. Weird, huh? We do know of many candidates who feel that it’s only worth getting an MBA if they can go to Harvard (or Stanford) — we would disagree with them, but we understand that perspective. We truly do not feel that the ROI on an HBS MBA is so much greater, that any other MBA is worthless in comparison. But it seems that maybe a lot of other people do.
Of course, in our experience, the ones who apply to JUST Harvard and Stanford rarely make it into either. There’s some exceptions, where BSers put all their eggs in the H/S basket and it paid off, but those are definitely not the rule (particularly not if those H/S apps were submitted in Rd 2).
We’ll be curious to see where the numbers end up for our current admissions season, when HBS had just two essays… lowering the barriers of entry to an app even further… and potentially increasing their relative position even more.