The leading business school news hub surveys over 750 business schools admits and prospects about getting an MBA in the current COVID-19 environment.

OAKLAND, CA, March 30, 2020 /Neptune100/ — Poets&Quants, the definitive online publication for business education news, has published a report showing the thoughts and expectations of MBA admits on the state of their program amid restrictions in place due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Roughly a third of prospective students already admitted to top business schools say they want to defer their admission this year. Even more worrisome for B-schools, 43% believe tuition fees should be cutback by an average of 37.5% if the fall term is taught online.

The results come from a Poets&Quants survey of more than 750 current admits and prospects to top MBA programs this years. Some respondents believe their tuition bills should be cut on a prorated basis for the time they are denied a more fully immersive on-campus learning experience. Only 17% of the prospective MBA students say they would be okay attending online classes, while 96% say their opportunity to attend face-to-face classes is a major concern.

“I’m sure the education will be great, but I will be missing out on social and personal growth opportunities that I hoped for with my MBA,” explained one respondent. Added another: If the university already has an online program, then I would expect that the first semester would mirror the cost of that program.”

The online survey, conducted on Friday, found that business schools need to be aware that admits to this fall’s incoming classes have a lot on their minds. All told, 758 admits, applicants and students responded to the survey of registered users at Poets&Quants.

Despite the uncertain environment caused by both the coronavirus pandemic and an ensuing global recession, the majority of admits to this year’s incoming classes still believe an MBA degree will have a positive impact on their professional, financial and personal lives—even if it is deferred a year.

Other findings from the 2020 Applicant Pool:

• 48.8% believe their ability to apply to and attend the program of their choice will be negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak
• 32.4% of current applicants are worried about missing out on the full MBA experience due to the shift toward online learning
• 24.2% express worry about the high level of debt they expect to have and their inability to land a job quickly after graduation
• 12.6% are concerned about their health and that of their families
• 10.0% say they are worried about not being able to get their choice of both an MBA internship and post-MBA job
• 8.7% are concerned about their ability to get a student visa to attend school in the U.S
• 6.3% are worried about travel restrictions that would force them to defer their education or begin classes online.

Highlights from Current Students:

Missing out on commencement and network-building is the largest concern, followed by job search, debt and then other concerns such as:

• Difficulty adjusting to online classes, particularly case classes
• Lack of communication from schools
• Economic collapse
• Losing post-MBA job offer
• Racism against Asians contributing to even fewer job opportunities

Current students value the MBA degree slightly less than new admits in terms of professional and financial impact but more highly in the area of personal growth.

“What we discovered is that just about everyone—current applicants, this year’s admits so far and MBA students—all are pretty anxiety ridden at the moment,” says John A. Byrne, founder and editor-in-chief of, “Students are getting very nervous about the MBA job market when they graduate in a few months. Applicants worry about having to settle for online courses that would force them to miss out on the full MBA experience, and candidates already admitted to a program wonder whether it’s worth attending, especially if they have to start the program online.”

Current students who responded to our survey value the MBA degree slightly less than new admits in terms of professional, financial impact, and personal growth with an overall rating of 3.1.

Applicants already admitted to a top business school are most confident that the MBA will benefit them professionally, with the average score on the professional value of the degree a 4.11 on a scale of one to five with five being highest. They are a little less certain about the personal value, rating it a 3.9. But their worries over the financial benefits is reflected in an average score of 3.4, well below the overall 3.8 score across all three measurements of value.

Read the entire report here.

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About Poets&Quants:
Poets&Quants is the leading resource for complete coverage of graduate business education. We feature multiple tools and authoritative content, including: consolidated B-school rankings, news and in-depth features, videos, podcasts, two searchable directories and events, empowering our community with information needed to make decisions along their journey from pre- to post-MBA.