July 7, 2008 8:17 am

Falling dollar draws students

Rising currency values in Europe and China, coupled with a low US dollar, have created heightened interest in US MBA programmes, according to research conducted by the MBA Tour, an independent company focusing on business school admissions.

The average cost of a US MBA runs in the region of $70,000-$120,000 (€44,600-€76,500) (£35,000-£60,500) but as the dollar has fallen against leading currencies, that price has become comparatively less expensive. Over the past three years, the euro has risen 20 per cent against the dollar and the Chinese renminbi has gone up 17 per cent.

The Graduate Management Admissions Council, which administers the GMAT entry test for business schools, this year saw a 21 per cent increase in registration volume from students outside the US. Many schools have reported significant growth in applications from overseas students.

For instance, international applications to the Johnson School at Cornell University were up 30 per cent this year over last year. Meanwhile applications from Europeans to the UCLA Anderson School of Management rose 50 per cent this year against last year.

Craig Hubbell, associate director of MBA Admissions at Anderson, says that the falling US dollar is a big reason for the increase. “An American two-year MBA is very attractive for European students now because it’s not all that more expensive than many one-year programmes there,” he explains.

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