Graduate programs draw a wider range of applicants: GMAC

Graduate programs in business and management are drawing a wider range of applicants, and these aspiring students are more likely to have a single program type in mind, either an MBA or non-MBA master’s degree, according to GMAC’s 2013 Prospective Students Survey.

Over the past four years, the percentage of student candidates considering both types of programs has declined from 33 percent in 2009 to 25 percent in 2012.

The worldwide survey of prospective management students includes data from more than 31,000 individuals who registered on, the GMAC web portal for those interested in graduate management education and the GMAT exam, surveyed over the past two years.

The survey showed that as more millennials (born after 1980) consider management education, the proportion of potential students interested in specialised master’s programs in business continues to rise, from 42 percent in 2011 to 44 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, the proportion of aspiring students interested in full-time two-year MBA programs is up one percentage point and the proportion interested in part-time programs is down one percentage point.

According to prospective students, the criteria for school selection vary greatly by program type and student demographics, but quality and reputation continue to be the top factor, ranked most important by 39 percent of potential students.

In terms of financing their degree, on average, prospective students worldwide expect to finance 23 percent of their graduate management education with loans and 19 percent by parental support. But the financing mix varies by program type and region. Prospective students in the Asia Pacific region expect 9 percent of their financing from loans and 38 percent from parental support.

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (