For many business school candidates, the investment they make in their graduate management education will be among the most substantial investments they make in their lives. The implication of this fact for school admissions and recruitment professionals is not only that you should have an appreciation for the financial importance of a candidates’ decision to pursue business school, but also that you should have a sense of how various kinds of candidates plan to finance their degree.
The focus of our Chart of the Month for April is how candidate funding plans change with age. Understanding these average differences can give you a sense of how to engage with candidates at different life stages. Of course, every candidate is unique and has their own unique financial situation, but understanding what the average candidate plans are by age provides a baseline understanding of where the average candidate is coming from.
The data shared in the chart comes from the 2018 mba.com Prospective Students Survey, which collected survey responses from 9,471 unique mba.com registrants between February and December 2017. Respondents were asked to estimate the percentage of their education they intend to finance through various sources. For example, if a candidate planned to pay for a quarter of their education with their personal savings and the rest through loans, they would respond 25 percent “personal savings” and 75 percent “loans”, for a total of 100 percent. Displayed in the chart is the average responses by candidate age, divided between candidates 23 and younger, 24 to 27, and 28 and older.
For more on how candidates plan to pay for business school, explore the 2018 mba.com Prospective Students Survey interactive data research tool, available exclusively to school professionals at GMAT-accepting institutions (requires gmac.com login). For insight into candidate funding plans among underrepresented populations, check out our Key Diversity Statistics data briefs, which detail what funding sources underrepresented candidates plan to use compared with non-underrepresented candidates.