MBA Applications to Wharton up by 21% in 2019-2020

The application count to the Wharton MBA program increased to an annual record of twenty-one percent in 2019-2020. Consequently, this resulted in the admission of the biggest class of MBA students at Wharton. On September 4th, 2020, the university reported that 7,158 candidates applied to their two-year full-time MBA program. The numbers show a growth of more than twelve hundred applicants in contrast to the previous year.

 The boost in application volume has led to an incoming class size of 916 students which is 7% higher than the enrolment last season. This remarkable increase has happened despite international students facing problems in getting their visas and the shift in the MBA classroom to an online learning platform. These numbers are in sharp contrast to the enrolments that happened at Harvard Business School. HBS made 732 enrolments, which is it’s lowest in decades. 

Deciding to approach the 2020 MBA admissions with a more flexible mindset, Wharton shifted the deadline from 1st April to 15th April. The B-School decided to relax the testing requirements also. These could have been direct factors that led to the massive influx of applications.

Wharton has not disclosed the bifurcation of marks for quant and verbal in its newly broadcasted class profile. This has led to speculations being made about the school not being able to maintain its average GMAT score. The average GMAT score fell 10 points to 722, from last year’s 732. That is a new low-class average at the school since 2012 when the class average was 718. The average total GRE score is also down two points to 322, with an equal score of 161 for both the quant and verbal sections. Students enrolled with a GRE scored an average of 4.7 on the writing section of the test. Wharton reported that the average undergraduate GPA for the new class of MBAs stayed steady at 3.6. 

Wharton published the class profile of 2022 without annotations, still, there were noticeable changes in the formulation of this year’s arriving class. Surprisingly, the percentage of women in Wharton’s Class of 2022 sank by five percent to 41%, from 46%. This is the lowest percentage of women noted in an entering MBA class at Wharton since 2014 when 40% of the incoming batch was female. Less surprising, due to difficulties undergone by international students to obtain student visas, the percentage of international students has also sunk drastically from 30% to 19%.

The synthesis of students changed in other ways as well. MBA students coming from the liberal arts contracted to 38% from 43% and students from STEM to 28% from 30%. The only group that ballooned to 34% of the coming class from 27% a year ago is that of students who had majored in business.

Wharton is the most recent among well-known business schools to report a noteworthy increment in applications. Till now, the University of Virginia’s Darden School has reported a 25% rise in applications, while Columbia Business School has declared an 18% rise to form a new record. At Stern School of Business, applications rose by a more modest 3.8%, though it inverted a two-year slip. MBA applications have always escalated during economic downturns as young professionals lose their jobs and career prospects. They decide to upgrade their skills and acquire a network of business contacts by pursuing higher education. This is a likely indication of what the next admissions season would look like as the world recession seeps deeper in the world economy.