09/17/2020

SoFi is committed to fighting racism, standing in solidarity with all of our communities, providing space for open dialogue,
as well as taking action as informed allies. We are donating $1 million to organizations that empower people of color and their allies.

man at desk with laptop

Business School Applications Spike



MBA Applicants Are Undeterred by the Pandemic

MBA programs are seeing a record number of applications this cycle. This is a change from the past five years, when business school applications dropped due to a strong job market and high tuition costs. Now, however, programs like the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Columbia Business School, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and others are seeing their application numbers climb by double-digit percentages.

Some schools anticipated falling international student numbers because of coronavirus-related restrictions entering the country as well as the possibility that classes would not meet in person. Indeed, this year, many students chose to defer.

Reasons for the Surge in Applications

The number of people applying for business school and other graduate programs tends to swell during economic downturns as people look to bulk up their resumes when the job market is difficult. This is part of the reason for the spike in MBA applications.

Additionally, this year a number of business schools waived or loosened standardized testing requirements and pushed back application dates because of COVID-19. This spurred many who might not have otherwise applied this year to submit b-school applications.

The Pandemic’s Impact on Current MBA Students

For some already in business school, the pandemic is presenting difficulties. Some business school students are paying $80,000 per year or more for remote classes. One big appeal of going to business school is that it provides opportunities to connect with other students and start building a valuable network. Some students are feeling frustrated that their schools have not lowered tuition even though their business school experience is fully or partially online.

Additionally, some business school students are concerned about entering a murky job market that appears to be much different from when they started school. Some companies are not even going through with their typical fall recruiting efforts. Though circumstances are challenging for business students at the moment, dealing with the current economic uncertainty may be good training for the difficult situations they may face later in their careers.


Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.
SOSS100502


All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

ABOUT SoFi SoFi helps people achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions. Our products for borrowing, saving, spending, investing, and protecting give our more than one million members fast access to tools to get their money right. SoFi membership comes with the key essentials for getting ahead, including career advisors and connection to a thriving community of like-minded, ambitious people. For more information, visit SoFi.com. Want an easy and convenient way to manage your financial life? Get the SoFi app. For iOS and Android.


TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender