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How do you rate? MBA Applicant Survey Results

Last week, the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) released the results of their annual MBA Applicant Survey, which solicits the perspective of MBA applicants on the admissions process and provides insights into applicant perceptions of each stage of the admissions process, from tools they first use to research programs and the reasons that they select programs to career and salary expectations.

We’ve selected some of the more interesting findings and highlighted them below. You can read a summary of the survey results here or access the entire survey findings (PDF) here.

1. What sources of information do applicants most use to research MBA programs? School/program websites top the list, followed by school rankings, communication with school alumni/current students, school visits, and MBA resource websites (blogs, mba.com, etc.).

2. Which business school rankings do applicants put the most weight on? US News & World Report and Businessweek are the most popular rankings prospective students consult, though the Financial Times tops the list for international applicants. When choosing a program, men placed more importance on rankings than did women.

3. How well did the schools get to know you through the admissions process? Students reported that Dartmouth Tuck and Duke Fuqua “got to know them best” during the admissions process. This is the second year in a row that these schools topped the list. Columbia and Kellogg showed the greatest improvement in this category over last year.

How well did business schools get to know you during the mba application process?

4. Did your video essay/interview represent you well? 38% of U.S. applicants who completed at least one video essay felt that their final video represented them well, whereas 50% of international applicants felt their videos did not represent them well.

5. After finishing your MBA, in which industry do you hope to work? Consulting continues to top the list of most-desired careers post-MBA, with more than 51% of respondents expressing an interest in going into consulting. About 80% of foreign students want to work in the U.S. after graduating, while only 40% of U.S. students are considering working abroad.

Which industries do most MBA students want to go into after graduating

6. After finishing your MBA, do you plan to be self-employed or the owner of a company? 20% of this year’s applicants plan on starting their own business after getting their MBA, which is interesting considering that only 7% of recent graduates from top-10 b-schools are actually self-employed, according to U.S. News.

7. How much do you expect your income to increase post-MBA? Men currently have a higher mean salary, but both genders expect to see their salaries increase by about 43% post-MBA, with expected future earnings over $100k per year.

Post-MBA salary expectations

* Note: See the 2014 AIGAC MBA Applicant Survey for more details and results.