What is the impact of coronavirus on business schools? We bring you the latest updates including campus closures, changes to MBA admission requirements, and more

Check out our other feeds:

GMAT Testing Updates | Coronavirus

2020 MBA Application Deadlines

Find Out How Business Schools Are Battling Coronavirus

March 31 Roundup

Find out how business schools are battling coronavirus

Wherever business schools are based, the future is uncertain and the present is constantly changing. In the months ahead, schools need to be as proactive as possible in communicating to students how their learning experiences may be disrupted, and to maintain a pipeline of prospective learners, ready for a return to campus whenever that may be.

Our editor writes about the initiatives business schools are taking to combat coronavirus on the AACSB blog.

Experts explain how COVID-19 will impact your MBA application

Among other experts, Linda Abraham, from Accepted.com, says:

Schools are extending these deadlines both out of compassion and self-interest. They probably fear a larger ‘summer melt’ than usual. They may also know that their application volume was either down or flat from last year, which wasn’t a great year for business schools. (Most schools are experiencing a prolonged slump in application volume.)  

You may find that you are able to get into a program R3 of this year or R1 of next year that you would have a harder time getting into later. It’s worth thinking about these odds while you have more time than usual on your hands.

Duke Fuqua shifts start dates

Fuqua is shifting the start dates of some programs because of the combination of delays in visa processing and social distancing practices. Full-time programs have been pushed back by a month.

ESSEC Dean talks up online learning success

Coronavirus: A Third Of Admitted MBA Students May Defer

March 30 Roundup

A Third Of Accepted MBA Students Consider Deferring Admission

Poets & Quants survey finds that around a third of accepted MBA students admit they are considering deferring their admission this year due to coronavirus. 43% of prospective MBA students think tuition fees should be cut back by an average of 37.5% if the fall term is moved online. Around 800 MBA admits, applicants, and students were surveyed.

CUHK Announces the Extension of Online Teaching 

Over two months since the first recorded case of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, business schools such as The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) are still adapting to a new, more virtual reality.  

“Although we very much hope to resume face-to-face teaching during this term when the situation allows, we are facing the most recent development of COVID-19 into a pandemic disease,” the school reports.  

“Since the wellbeing and health of students and staff are of the university’s utmost concern, and in view of the situation in which a certain number of students, especially international students have returned to their hometowns, the university has decided that all courses on the summer session will also be conducted online.”  

Courses will be taught online until the end of term on May 2nd 2020.  

UCL helps co-produce breathing aids 

In the face of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, University College London (UCL) has worked with Mercedes-AMG High performance Powertrains (Mercedes-AMG HPP) to produce breathings aids to help manage the spread of the virus in the UK.  

“The breathing aid, known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to help COVID-19 patients with serious lung infections to breathe more easily, when oxygen alone is insufficient,” the university states.  

Coronavirus: Is An Online MBA Now The Best Option?

With the coronavirus sending the economy into a recession almost overnight, these are uncertain times. As always in economic recessions, many people will be investing in their educations in order to increase their competitiveness, career stability, and earning power.  

What makes this moment unique is how many prospective students may be considering getting their degree online, versus attending classes on campus, particularly given social distancing requirements that could last months or years. 

If you’re considering an MBA and you’re a little skeptical about the benefits of an online education we’ve put together a list of pros and cons of online MBA programs:

Online MBA Pros

An online MBA certainly seems more attractive now, in general and at a high level, than it did a month ago. Here are some key reasons:

An online MBA is highly adaptive.

An online MBA program adapts to your lifestyle. This is a key advantage in comparison with an on-campus degree, and that’s even truer in the coronavirus era. You complete coursework from wherever you’d like, whether you’re self-quarantining in your bedroom or working from a mobile hotspot in the park. But the adaptability also applies to time. 

Online MBAs allow you to pick between synchronous and asynchronous classes. Synchronous classes involve attending lectures, seminars, and discussions at the same time as all the other students, while asynchronous classes allow you to access course materials entirely according to your schedule. For parents now home-school their children during the coronavirus outbreak, this is crucial.  

There are clear financial benefits. It’s generally cheaper, but you get the same credential.

Cost simply matters more in this new economic environment. While there are certainly some exorbitantly priced online MBAs—with the top degrees maxing out in the $50,000 range—many of them are much more affordable, with most programs’ tuitions falling in the range of $5,000-10,000 per year. Of course, the adaptability of an online MBA means you can also keep working while getting your degree.

Read: How Much Do The Best Online MBA Programs Cost?

It's accessible.

Online MBAs are open to all kinds of students in all kinds of situations. Many able-bodied students take the requirements of on-campus education for granted, not realizing that it’s inaccessible for many prospective students with disabilities, special needs, etc. And of course, it’s accessible in an era of potential intermittent social distancing requirements.

But the accessibility of an online MBA goes beyond physical concerns. It’s also much easier to gain admission, as online MBAs are typically much less stringent about requiring applicants to take a standardized test. Over 95% of on-campus MBA programs require applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores, compared to just over 50% of online MBA programs.

WATCH: Coronavirus Update | Applicant Bulletin

Online MBA Cons:

We just don’t know what will happen with the Coronavirus, so we must consider the downsides given this uncertainty.

COVID-19 concerns may be too big an influence on our collective thinking at this moment (or vice versa).

At a high level, if the situation stabilizes rapidly, an online MBA becomes relatively less attractive, and some of these more traditional ‘cons’ to an online MBA become more relevant.

It’s harder to network.

Networking with professors, other students, and industry representatives is an important part of getting an MBA. And it’s best done in-person. However, many students who pursue an online MBA are already employed, and enroll because they want to advance within their organization or just to build their skills. But it would be wrong to say there’s no networking with an online MBA—but you must be a bit more proactive.

Potential employers may attach a lower ‘signaling’ value to online MBAs, viewing them as slightly easier to pursue and complete.

The stigma associated with online learning, particularly in this new COVID-19 era, seems to be decreasing. But, if part of the reason you are seeking an MBA is purely about adding credibility to your resume an online MBA may be less attractive. In my opinion, some employers might still view something done online at Indiana University (for example) as less impressive than an MBA completed in-person at the same school. 

So what should you do?

If you were already considering an online MBA, COVID-19 probably makes this a much better, perhaps even a clear, choice for you. But if you were not really considering it, or it was a bit of a longshot, the situation is less clear.  

I might say that, if it was something you never would have done before, COVID-19 is not a reason to consider an online MBA now. But if you would have considered an online MBA or were in fact considering one, you now have a very strong reason to pursue doing your MBA online.

Check out the world’s 10 best online MBA programs.

About the Author

Mark Skoskiewicz is the founder of MyGuru, a boutique provider of online tutoring powered by a small but extremely experienced team of passionate GMAT and GRE tutors. MyGuru helps students build customized study plans and focuses on a mix of core concepts and test-taking skill development. Mark holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

London Business School Alum Heads Up Anti-Coronavirus Effort

March 27 Roundup

LBS Alum Heads Up OECD Efforts In Tackling COVID-19 

Laurence Boone is chief economist for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and an alumnus of London Business School (LBS). 

“As the virus spreads around the world, co-ordinated and synchronized monetary and fiscal action will become more and more important,” Laurence warns. 

Staying connected in a pandemic according to EMERITUS 

Global online education company, EMERITUS, is reaching out to business schools around the world to offer advice as they move all content and resources to online platforms.  

“The good news is that online training can deliver learning outcomes, while providing the human connection, engagement, interactivity, and flexibility that learners need today,” says senior director of enterprise, Jawahir Moraji 

“To help institutions think through the challenges and opportunities inherent in online education, we are sharing guidance from our talented team of learning professionals,” Ashley Chiampo––senior director of learning––adds.  

Google moves summer internship program online