Enrollment Data Survey

(2013 Survey)

Military Students in MBA Programs Hits 8.1% of All Enrollments

The MBA Enrollment Survey included breakdowns by type of degree program and mode of delivery. These data are reported as follows:

• Full-Time MBA programs accounted for approximately 4%, of all enrollments during this time period. On an absolute basis, 4 percent of enrollments was derived from 188 military students out of 4,773 total MBA students who reported.

• Evening or part-time MBA programs reported 6.42% of all their enrollments had a background in the military. This percentage came from 73 military students out of a total of 1,137 total MBA students who reported enrollment in this type of degree program.

• Military students enrolled in Executive MBA programs stood at 7.7% of total enrollments. 120 military out of 1,559 total MBA students reported having this type of enrollment.

• Military student enrollment for blended online MBA programs hit 18.7% of all enrollments. 690 military students of 3,692 MBA students who reported identified as being enrolled in an online MBA degree program.

1) Overall, military enrollments at MBA schools climbed from 4.41% in 2010 to 5.7% in 2011, and in 2012 they hit 8.1% of all incoming enrollments.

2) In 2009, the last time an enrollment study was conducted, Military MBA found only a few of the most committed MBA schools dedicated up to 8% of their incoming enrollments to military students. In three years, the eight percent benchmark was more common for several of most highly-regarded MBA programs.

3 Main Factors Are Driving Current & Future Growth

1) Higher admission rates for military students at MBA schools. This creates a greater supply of admission spots available for military applicants. Look for this trend to continue in the future. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “Top business schools have reported single-digit, and in some cases double-digit, declines in applications for their full-time MBA classes (from traditional students).”

2) Greater demand for civilian job credentials (specifically manager-level careers and responsibilities) by members of the military who already have undergraduate degrees. Military students see an MBA degree as the next progression in their careers and view it as an effective way to transition from military to civilian life. Demand for MBA education by military students will continue as cutbacks to the defense budget happen. This will result in larger populations of active duty leaders who will transition out of the military. According to the Wall Street Journal and David Petraeus, "One million service members will leave the armed forces over the next five years."

3) More of an urgency to utilize Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits and the Yellow Ribbon Program, which was designed to pay for private schooling, out-of-state enrollments and graduate degrees. The Post-9/11 GI Bill went into effect as a $78 billion dollar tuition benefit program in 2008. This year marks the half-way point of funding and fulfillment, which leaves 5 years remaining before accrued benefits must be used. Graduate degrees such as MBA programs are on two-year matriculation cycles and they can take up to 18 months of planning and preparation prior to application before students can begin their studies.

The survey was conducted with over 50 U.S. degree programs across a population of some 21,000 traditional students and 1,300 military enrollments.