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Survey Responses from Nearly 20,000 Global Business School Candidates at Your Fingertips

Posted by GMAC Research
The premier provider of market intelligence for graduate management education

Posted on Feb 20, 2019 11:00:00 AM

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The 2019 Prospective Students Survey Interactive Data Research Tool is now available to school professionals.


The Prospective Students Survey—the largest data resource of its kind available to the graduate management education community—provides business schools around the world with reliable data to inform their understanding of the current state of market demand. Each month, GMAC surveys a sample of registrants to collect data on their motivations, preferences, program choices, needs, behaviors, and opinions.

This week, GMAC Research made available the 2019 Prospective Students Survey Interactive Data Research Tool, which enables school professionals to explore the survey question-by-question and filter response data by a variety of characteristics of prospective business school students. The 2019 edition of the tool presents the results of the monthly online surveys completed in 2018 (9,617 total respondents) and 2017 (9,471 total respondents).

Access the interactive tool  

Interactive tool users can filter the survey responses by a number of variables (or combinations of variables), including survey year, candidate segment, regions/countries of citizenship or residence, gender, age, undergraduate status, undergraduate major, self-reported GMAT total score, program type considered, study destination intentions, future industry of interest, and future job function of interest. Users can also compare two different populations at once to see within the tool how they differ across survey items.

In addition to being able to filter the data geographically among 48 citizenship groups and 47 locations of residence, the 2019 interactive report features even more specific filter options with which to parse the data, including 27 U.S. metro areas, four Canadian provinces, four regions of India, and five regions of China. Furthermore, users can filter survey responses among U.S. citizens by race/ethnicity.

School professionals can filter survey responses and analyze the data to better understand their target audience, build messages and brands, allocate recruiting resources, and develop new strategies for candidate engagement. The best part is that you don’t need to be a data scientist to use the tool and gain practical and actionable market insights. On the interactive report page, you can watch a short tutorial video featuring GMAC researcher Rhonda Daniel that demonstrates how to navigate the tool, apply filters, and export data to be inserted to an Excel file or presentation.

Topics covered in the interactive survey report include:

  • The path to business school - Who influences candidate decision making, details of their timeline to submitting an application, when they plan to enroll, the extent to which specific reservations about business school may impact their decision making, and what alternatives to business school they are considering
  • Programs considered - Which general and specific business school program types candidates are considering applying to
  • Program preferences – Which specific business school program type candidates prefer; their preferences around program format, length, and course delivery; the skills they want to develop in business school; and what they consider a “must-have” in their ideal business school program curriculum
  • Study destination – The world regions of the programs candidates have or will be submitting applications to, their preferred study destination, and their reasons for choosing their preferred study destination
  • School selection criteria – Which school selection criteria are the most important to candidates’ decision making among financial aspects, specific program aspects, student class profile, curriculum aspects, career aspects, quality/reputation, and school culture
  • Financing plans – What funding sources do candidates plan to use and the estimated percentage of the total cost of business school they plan to pay with each source
  • Desired b-school outcomes – What candidates expect to do with their degree, their intended industries and job functions, and where in the world they would prefer to work
  • Candidate profile – Candidate demographic details, educational background, professional background, and psychographic profile, including their satisfaction with different aspects of their lives, what they do in their free time, and media behavior

Reach out to with questions about the tool or the data and contact your GMAC representative if you experience trouble accessing it. Later this year, GMAC Research will produce multiple topical research reports based on the data from the survey. Visit the Prospective Students Survey homepage at for more information about the survey and to view past research reports.

Topics: Research Insights

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