Half Of Country’s Business Schools May Disappear By 2020

March 18, 2014  |  

Hard to imagine, but there could be a time when there are few business schools in the US. The culprit: a surge in online MBA programs. “Half of the business schools in this country could be out of business in 10 years—or five,” Richard Lyons, the dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, told BusinessWeek.

With more students taking advantage of the online educational opportunities, physical campus buildings, especially at the lower-ranked business schools, may be forced to close.

“Part-time and EMBA programs are a financial engine because they award less financial aid than full-time programs. Since most of their students are corporate strivers already living near campus—and because competition for those students is limited by geography—part-time programs can count on a steady stream of high-quality attendees,” reports BusinessWeek.

While schools such as the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management can compete on price against higher-ranked programs, it might not be able to attract a Phoenix-based executive if she gets accepted into an online program from Wharton or Stanford. Thus the gloomy forecast.

According to Lyons, while average the full-time student at an elite school receives about a 25 percent discount on tuition, the average student attending part time or in EMBA programs pays a lower tuition.

Michael Desiderio, the executive director of the Executive MBA Council, says the shift prediction isn’t far off, but he thinks schools can adapt.  “We’re not saying it’s a threat or this is the end of the EMBA space,” he says. “It’s stimulating a discussion: How do we adapt to continue to serve a population that has changing needs?”

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