Not all schools are created equal.
While all schools reacted the same (eventually) in March by closing campus and sending students home, and all schools have kept students off campus for the remainder of Spring and through Summer, that’s about where the commonalities end.
How they’re handling things now is a crapshoot and it depends on so many factors, including largely the political reality of the place where the school is located.
The fact is that yes — despite the very real dangers — the schools want and need students back on campus. The schools are in trouble financially, and having on-campus classes is seen as the way out of their crises.
You keep hearing news in the media about risk to schools going belly-up and closing if they can’t get students back in the classroom. Then, it seems like in the very next article, there are lamentations about how students won’t come back even if the campus is open.
Can you go off of what you’re reading in newspapers? Sort of, maybe, but not entirely. That’s because the reality of business school economics is different from higher ed as a whole which usually means “college” and undergrads. And, so much of this is regional, and dependent on whether it’s an urban or suburban or rural location, and many many other factors.
Basically the message to all of you is don’t believe everything you ready in the hyped-up media world. (That’s a good caveat to keep in mind generally as you move through life!) A lot of the hand-wringing about how higher ed is going to collapse is concerned with the undergrad experience and all of these college kids who were supposed to be getting their 4-year degrees. It’s not that those factors don’t apply to the MBA. It’s just that it’s different.
So, given all that, what’s happening so far with the business school admissions and what have we heard about waitlists for those hoping to start their MBAs this coming Fall? Here’s what we had shared about three weeks ago on scenarios being entertained by a selection of universities and let’s talk today about what trends we’re seeing at a handful of top MBA programs at this point in time.
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The media is hyping up the damage being done to higher ed, and that is part of the picture, absolutely. However, some universities are seeing very stable demand, as manifest by actual undergraduate deposits coming in, and that signals a strong situation for the schools to be filling their MBA classes, too.
Update: This discussion continued here – what to do if you’re on a waitlist in the era of coronavirus
Coronavirus and the MBA
- Coronavirus: What will this new world look like as a student? (posted in April 2020 – discusses the online aspect and what it is like to get a virtual education for the MBA)
- Coronavirus: Fall scenarios being attempted by various universities