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MBA applications fall in the wake of strict visa rules and trade war

Graduation caps being thrown
Photo: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

Business schools are experiencing continued dips in MBA applications amid heightened anti-immigrant rhetoric in the U.S. and ongoing trade war tensions, the Financial Times reports.

The big picture: Stricter rules for international-student visas have discouraged foreign students from applying, along with America's increasingly anti-immigrant politics. University officials fear the issue is specifically troublesome for Chinese students — among the largest international-student population at American business schools — as the U.S.-China trade war persists.

By the numbers:

  • Stanford University cites a 6% drop in MBA applications.
  • Dartmouth College saw a 22.5% drop in applications at its Tuck School of Business this year.
  • Duke University saw a 14.6% drop this year.
  • University of Chicago's Booth School of Business saw an uptick this year of 3.4%, but is still recovering from an 8.2% drop in 2018.

Between the lines: Business school leaders worry stalled intake numbers could lead to program closures. Universities that recently closed their MBA programs include the University of Iowa, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University.

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