Acceptance Rates At The Top Online MBA Programs

The Jack Welch Management Institute shed nearly 40% of its acceptance rate in one year — and more than 60% since 2018 — to become the hardest online MBA program to get into in 2020. JWMI had an acceptance rate of 24.8% this year, lower than 46 other ranked schools; it was followed by Imperial College Business School, the first international school to join Poets&Quants’ annual ranking, at 28.8%, and Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business (31.3%), Rochester Institute of Technology’s Saunders College of Business (33.3%), and American University’s Kogod School of Business (49.6%).

In all, at the 33 schools out of 47 total in our 2021 ranking for which we have enough data to make comparisons, 16 saw declines in their acceptance rates in 2020, while 17 saw the number go up. But the average amount of decline was more than double the average increase — and what’s more, going back three cycles, more schools saw rate declines at a much greater percentage, indicating that it is indeed getting tougher to get into the top online MBA programs. Yet it remains clear that online MBAs and residential MBAs that are online are still, and likely will remain for many years, two very different worlds.

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