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Highlights from Higher Ed: One-Year MBAs, Common App Submissions, Community College Enrollment Declines, and a Lack of Guidance for Students

Liaison
Apr 20, 2023

One-year MBA programs are now the preferred choice among potential graduate students

A new survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) indicates that a one-year MBA program is the most popular option among potential graduate school applicants, with 22% of respondents saying that would be their first choice. However, it’s a close race. The number expressing a preference for a two-year MBA, 20%, fell within the margin of error, meaning the two choices are essentially tied for first place. The primary appeal of the shorter program is based largely on its lower cost and shorter timeframe. The top-five list of most-preferred programs for graduate studies also included Master of Finance (9%), Master of Data Analytics (6%), and Executive MBA (4%). Although members of different generations have different priorities, they are united in their desire to obtain an MBA. “Gen Z is most interested in the two-year MBA and millennials are most interested in the one-year MBA,” GMAC noted. “Taken together, the full-time MBA of any duration continues to surpass interest in more flexible or executive MBAs and business master’s programs.”

Source: Poets & Quants

Common Application submissions for Fall 2023 now exceed pre-pandemic numbers

The number of students using the Common Application to apply for college admission in the upcoming Fall 2023 semester is 21% higher than the number recorded during the last admissions cycle before the pandemic. Through March 1, Common App institutions had received more than 1,244,000 “distinct first-year applications,” compared with approximately 1,028,000 for the 2019-2020 academic year. The number of total applications, which accounts for multiple submissions made by individual students, exceeded 5,434,000 — an increase of 30%. On average, those applying to Common App schools also submitted more applications for the upcoming school year (5.7) than during the period immediately prior to the pandemic (5.3). “Underrepresented minority applicants increased by 31% over 2019-20, while first-generation-to-college applicants increased by 36%, more than twice the rate of continuing-generation applicants (+14%) over the same period.”

Source: Forbes

Community college enrollment has experienced a “staggering” decline since 2010

Enrollment in community colleges has dropped precipitously in recent years, declining 40% between 2010 and 2021. According to National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data, the number of students attending the two-year institutions fell from seven million to four-and-a-half million during that period. “The exodus signals a national crisis of confidence in the community college, a symbol of upward mobility for generations of Americans, delivering marketable associate degrees to some graduates and, to others, the first half of a four-year college degree.” On average, in-state students at community colleges pay just $3,860 each year, compared to $10,940 at public colleges and universities and $39,400 at private four-year institutions. However, community college students typically have a lower-than-average completion rate (43%) than the overall national rate (62%).

Source: The Hill

Nearly half of college students say they have received no guidance for graduation

Only 55% of recently surveyed college students say they have been advised by their schools about the coursework required for graduation. Among respondents expected to graduate this year, the number rose to 57%. Four-year students were more likely to report having received such guidance (56%) than community college students (49%). “By race, greater differences emerge: some 63% of white students say they’ve been advised on required courses and sequences, compared to about half of Asian, Black, or Latino students.” Overall, “just 52% of students say they’ve been advised on their degree progress to make sure they’re on track to graduate.”

Source: Inside Higher Ed

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Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 40,000 programs on more than 1,200 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.