The perhaps overly-dramatic headline comes from the original Bloomberg item and refers, primarily to institutions in the United States although there is an universal application especially in China. The story starts in the same dramatic fashion: Refugees from the worst financial crisis since the Depression are stampeding the gates of the top graduate schools for business, swelling an already huge crowd.
China’s currency has gained more than 6% against the dollar this year. That makes the cost of attending a U.S. school lower than otherwise, said Peter von Loesecke, chief executive officer of the MBA Tour. The Concord, Massachusetts, company arranges recruiting events to link prospective students and the schools.
‘The decline of the dollar has a significant effect,’and attendance has grown 40% in China in events arranged by the company.
In the United States the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan say increased requests for tours and interviews herald the busiest year ever for their business schools. Registrations for the Graduate Management Admission Test, used to help winnow candidates, have risen 12% this year, to 223,159, sure to beat the record set in the recession year 2001.
David Wilson, president of the Graduate Management Admission Council, the McLean, Virginia-based publisher of the GMAT, used by 1,800 institutions said surges in applications are as cyclical as the economy.
A September study for the council found that the last four U.S. economic contractions recognized by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts, corresponded with rises in applicants. Those events occurred in 1980, 1981-1982, 1990-1991, and 2001.
The boom in applications should, perhaps, be compared with the cost of attending.
Top business schools, including those at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, already charge more than $100,000 in tuition and fees for two years of classes. Room-and-board will swell the total cost to as much as $160,000.
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