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USA Business Schools Losing Their Charm: Top 3 Reasons

Posted on October 25, 2019
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For years, the U.S. has been a popular destination for Indians wishing to study abroad.

However, with the Trump administration adopting increasingly restrictive policies, currently the horizon does not appear as bright as it used to be.

As per the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), there has been a noticeable decline in the number of students sending their GMAT scores to B-schools in the U.S.A.

Statistics with the GMAC reveal that in 2018, only 45% Indians forwarded their GMAT scores to the business schools in the U.S.A. Incidentally, in 2014, about 57% Indians sent their GMAT scores to U.S.A.- based business schools.

This decline can be attributed to the widespread uncertainty in the minds of Indian students where it comes to pursuing higher education in the U.S.A.

It is quite interesting to note that during the same period in the year 2018, the percentage of Indian takers of GMAT that sent their GMAT scores to Indian schools increased from 15% to 19%.

Why U.S.A. business schools are losing their charm for Indians?

Faced with the lack of clarity as to the continuity of their visa in the U.S. as well as job prospects after the completion of their studies, more and more Indian students are becoming wary of applying to business schools in the U.S.A.

Top 3 Reasons that business schools in the U.S.A. have lost their attraction for Indian students include –

  1. Visa Concerns

Getting a long-term Work Visa for the U.S.A. is becoming more difficult day by day. Even if you do somehow procure an H-1B, there is no certainty as to whether the same would be extended after the expiry of the 3-years’s period.

Moreover, with the Buy American and Hire American Executive Order issued by President Trump on April 18, 2017, there is now a heightened focus on protecting “the interests of U.S. workers in the administration of our immigration system”.

The Buy American and Hire American Executive Order specifically mentioned the H-1B program, directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to suggest reforms ensuring that H-1B are only given to the “most-skilled or highest-paid”.

The Executive Order alone is enough to cast a shadow on all H-1B visas.

  1. Job prospects

Earlier, a wide majority of Indian students that chose management schools in the U.S. would be motivated mainly by the attractive jobs prospects in the U.S. after completing their studies.

In the past, U.S.A.-based jobs with multinationals attracted many students belonging to India.

Now, with the recent uncertainty surrounding visas, especially H-1B, companies are increasingly hiring local talent instead.

  1. Political environment

As per the GMAC, in 2019, the U.S.A. witnessed a 13.7% decline in the number of international business school applications.

With the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections to be held on November 3, 2020, the political situation in the country can be considered to be quite volatile. The U.S. President Donald Trump’s stance on migrants and immigration policies is clear enough. Many students belonging to Asian countries are proceeding with caution where it comes to exploring business schools in the U.S.

Nevertheless, it is still not justified to completely overlook business schools in the U.S. As many as 3 business schools in the U.S. are among the Top 5 in Financial Times’ Global MBA Ranking 2019 – Stanford Graduate School of Business (#1), Harvard Business School (#2), and University of Pennsylvania: Wharton (#4). In the list compiled of the Top 100 MBA schools in the world in 2019, 51 are from the U.S.

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