07 April 2015 14:28:25 IST

Rankings aren't top priority while opting a B-school: GMAC

School websites, and friends and family are reliable sources of information

Students don't consider B-school rankings the most important criteria while selecting a school, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) 2015 Prospective Students Survey Report.

The survey of nearly 12,000 registrants on GMAC’s mba.com website shows published rankings do influence candidates’ school choices but is overall only the third most consulted information resource. For prospective students, school websites, and friends and family are reliable sources of information.

More than half the prospective students (52 per cent) seek to study outside their country of citizenship. The top 10 preferred study destinations worldwide are the US, United Kingdom, Canada, France, India, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, Netherlands, and Australia.

“Given the degree to which school rankings dominate the discussion, it is interesting that as their decision making progresses, students themselves say that rankings fall in importance,” said Gregg Schoenfeld, GMAC’s director of Management Education Research in a statement. An interesting finding focuses on aspiring entrepreneurs, with 28 per cent of survey respondents indicating that they plan to start their own businesses compared with 19 per cent just five years ago. Respondents in Africa (45 per cent), Latin America (44 per cent) and Central and South Asia including India (43 per cent) led this segment.

The report also reveals, even as business school portfolios of Masters programmes continue to diversify, MBA programmes are exclusively considered by half (52 per cent) of prospective students, globally.

Financial issues remain the most prominent reservation among all prospective students; 48 per cent of candidates say attending business school requires more money than they have available and 44 per cent are hesitant about taking on a large financial debt. Both of these figures have declined, however, since 2010.