Being accepted into a traditional, residential MBA program can be an uphill battle. Many students apply at several schools before being accepted, and they often have to make compromises along the way. In top MBA programs, in particular, it's crucial to have exceptional GMAT scores and other academic achievements under your belt. Online MBA programs tend to be different, though, and students often find they are easier to get into than residential programs. If you've been struggling to be accepted to an MBA program, you might want to consider going the online route.
Statistics Show Online MBA Programs Offer Easier Admission Standards
One only needs to look at statistics compiled by U.S. News and World Report and other reputable sources to see that online MBA programs tend to be easier to get into than residential programs. The organization reported that the average acceptance rate of the top 10 face-to-face MBA programs for the fall of 2012 was 19 percent. Meanwhile, the top 10 business schools offering online MBAs had an average acceptance rate of 64 percent. As noted in the report, these statistics aren't limited to the top programs. The trend extends across just about all of them.
Another report — this one by the Graduate Management Admission Council — revealed that the 29 online MBA programs that participated in the study had a median acceptance rate of 82 percent. The 145 two-year, full-time MBA programs, on the other hand, had a median acceptance rate of 45 percent. The numbers don't lie; if you are struggling to get into an MBA program, an online one is probably your best bet.
Why is it Easier to Get into Online MBA Programs?
Online MBA schools aren't easier to get into because they are easier in general. It has much more to do with the fact that they have greater flexibility than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Take the issue of space, for instance. The typical MBA program may admit around 60 students; more may be accepted depending on the amount of space that's available. Online programs aren't constrained by physical space limitations. As a result, they can accept hundreds of students. They're not constrained geographically, either, so they can accept students from around the country and world.
Residential MBA programs only have so many instructors and other faculty, and they can only do so much. The same instructors and other faculty members can reach a much wider audience through an online MBA program. Once again, the flexibility and scalability of online MBA programs allows them to accept far more students.
Online MBAs and Older Students
According to U.S. News and World Report, the average age of people who apply to online MBA programs is 33. Clearly, online programs attract older students. Often, they are people who already have established careers. They typically haven't taken a standardized test in years, so online programs often eschew standardized test scores altogether. As noted in the same report by U.S. News, 42 percent of the 191 online business schools in the study did not take test scores into consideration during the admissions process.
Yes, Online MBA Programs are Easier to Get into than Residential MBA Programs
There's no doubt about it: It is generally easier to get into an online MBA program than a residential MBA program. Fortunately, that doesn't mean online programs are somehow inferior to programs held in brick-and-mortar classrooms. The work tends to be every bit as challenging, and the resulting degree is every bit as credible. For busy adults who want to earn their MBAs, online programs are without question the most convenient option.