Monday, March 16, 2009

Business School and Law School Application Trends

Last week's Economix blog on the New York Times web site featured the latest growth trends for the LSAT, GMAT, and GRE. Not surprisingly, the number of LSAT exams taken in 2008-2009 increased more than 5%, which coincides with the National Law Journal's report that applications were up 4% vs. last year.

While the Graduate Management Admission Council hasn't yet released its numbers for 2008-2009, it is expected to show steady growth vs. the previous year. It will be interesting to see if the overall number of MBA applicants grows much this year, given the uneven preliminary numbers we have heard from some of the nation's top programs.

Note that not all of the numbers reported by the National Law Journal point to strong growth. Interestingly, the actual number of law school applicants increased by less than 1%. So, not many more people applied to law school vs. last year, although those who did apply seemed to apply to more schools. Also, the number of GRE exams taken in 2008 actually was actually lower than the number taken in 2007, although that may have more to do with a change to the exam, which may have spiked the number of people who took the exam in 2007.

The whole story is still unfolding, but it will be interesting to see where the numbers end up at the end of this application season. Will a surge actually come next year, or will this recession prove to be different than others? Only time will tell.

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