GME: Today & Tomorrow Spring 2020

Are B-School Response Strategies Costing Institutions Applicants? Findings of the 2019 Business School Inquiry Response Project International recently conducted a project that involved submitting inquiry forms to 471 business schools and then tracking the schools’

F or a variety of reasons, many business graduate schools are now struggling to meet their enrollment goals. According to the Graduate Management Admissions Council’s Application Trends Survey Report 2019, “The combined effect of weak international demand brought on in part by the political climate and a strong economy… contributed to more US programs reporting total application declines (56% of programs) than increases (37%).” To help institutions determine how well they’re responding to inquiries from potential applicants — and to gain insights into how they can do a better job of attracting students — Liaison

By uncovering these trends in communications to potential applicants, Liaison was able to identify six best practices regarding inquiry forms and responses. Inquiry forms must be easy to find, user-friendly and mobile- ready. Responses must be dynamic, immediate, personalized and delivered through multiple channels. Including all six of those features in an inquiry response strategy will allow a school to clearly explain the benefits of its programs and develop a relationship with students based on meaningful information and communications — even before the application stage.

responsiveness to those inquiries. The goal was to find out how accessible business schools were to interested students requesting information, how fast they responded, how relevant their responses were and how many communication channels they used. Among other findings, Liaison’s 2019 Business School Inquiry Response Project revealed that academic institutions largely fail to meet basic standards of conducting business when it comes to their communication surrounding business programs.



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