SOURCE: Veritas Prep

Veritas Prep

September 08, 2010 13:04 ET

Veritas Prep's Annual Research Series Captures Trends in MBA Admissions, Perceptions of MBA Admissions Officers at Top Business Schools

MBA Admissions Officers Weigh In on Topics Ranging From Coveted Applicant Careers to Helicopter Parents to Social Media Use in the Admissions Process

MALIBU, CA--(Marketwire - September 8, 2010) - Veritas Prep, a leading GMAT prep and MBA admissions consulting firm, today released the results of its annual research series, the "Veritas Prep Survey of MBA Admissions Officers 2010." The eight-week online survey, conducted in June and July, sought to identify current and anticipated trends in MBA admissions and mine perceptions of business school admissions officers at top programs across the country. The survey yielded responses from admissions officers at 35 top business schools nationwide, according to annual rankings compiled by leading publications. Responding admissions officers represented approximately 70% of the pool of admissions officers from top 50 business schools offering traditional full-time MBA, part-time MBA and executive MBA programs.

In an increasingly competitive MBA admissions landscape, the following highlights from the survey findings may provide applicants with the knowledge and insight to craft effective application strategies and improve their chances for admission:

  • Despite a turbulent economy, applicant interest in banking and finance careers remains steady at most schools. Only 25% of respondents report fewer students indicating a desire to pursue banking and finance careers since the 2008 financial crisis, while 50% of respondents report interest in banking and finance careers has remained steady. Entrepreneurism (69%) and sustainability (64%) have seen the largest uptick in applicant interest since the 2008 financial crisis.

  • Social media use is on the rise among MBA admissions offices, but the results are unclear. 81% of admissions offices leverage social media to engage with applicants, while 17% have plans to do so in the future. However, 64% are currently unsure whether such outreach is helping to attract more highly qualified applicants, evidenced by the fact that only 11% of respondents consider applicants' participation in schools' social media platforms when making admissions decisions. Despite this ambiguity, 78% of respondents see the admissions process characterized by more online interaction between admissions officers and applicants in the future.

  • "Helicopter parents" continue to hover in MBA admissions. 33% of respondents said a pushy or overbearing parent has compromised an applicant's chances of admission. Admissions officers' estimates vary in regards to the number of applications they believe parents played a measureable role in completing. On the conservative end, 50% of respondents believe parents leave a noticeable footprint on less than 10% of applications submitted to their institutions. However, a smaller subset of admissions officers estimate parents play a measurable role in completing as many as 40% of applications submitted to their institution.

  • Not all business school entrance exams are created equal. 47% of respondents believe the GRE is inferior to the GMAT in identifying students that will excel in business school, while 17% believe both the GRE and the GMAT are effective in identifying students that will excel in business school. Furthermore, 50% of respondents agree that it is easier to get a high score on the GRE than a high score on the GMAT, suggesting that a high score on the GRE may not be viewed as favorably by admissions officers as a high GMAT score.

"Gaining admission into the top business schools requires not only thorough preparation on the part of the applicant, but also a keen understanding of the issues and perceptions among MBA admissions officers at the leading business schools," explains Scott Shrum, Director of MBA Admissions Research at Veritas Prep and co-author of Your MBA Game Plan: Proven Strategies for Getting Into the Top Business Schools. "Recent developments have altered the MBA admissions landscape -- specifically the financial crisis, schools commonly accepting the GRE in addition to the GMAT, and the rise of social media as an important channel for communication between schools and applicants. In light a changed landscape savvy applicants must adjust their admissions strategies accordingly to showcase their candidacies effectively."

For a full executive summary of the 2010 MBA admissions officer survey results or to inquire about Veritas Prep's GMAT prep and MBA admissions consulting services, visit http://www.veritasprep.com or call 1 (800) 925-7737.

About Veritas Prep

Veritas Prep is the world's largest privately-owned GMAT preparation and admissions consulting provider, offering industry-leading programs to help applicants improve their test scores and gain admission to the world's best graduate schools. Founded in 2002 by graduates of the Yale School of Management, Veritas Prep now offers live GMAT prep instruction in more than 90 cities worldwide, as well as interactive online courses available everywhere. Additionally, Veritas Prep offers industry-leading admissions consulting services for applicants seeking admission to the most competitive business schools, law schools, and medical schools in the world.

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