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The key to boosting enrollments that so many MBA programs are missing

Brandon Bednar

MBA programs face an incredibly competitive landscape. The number of MBA programs being offered has steadily increased over the last few years, with new formats being offered.

The rise in competition has forced many schools to rethink their approach to how their programs are administered and how they will attract the best students.

Many schools are making drastic changes to their curriculum, length of their program, and offering new incentives to attract new students.

Some schools such as the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Business, have decided to pull out of the competitive landscape altogether.

With all the fierce competition to attract the finest students, how can business schools stand out and ensure that prospective students enroll at their institution?

The key is to look at where MBA prospects are looking for information. Over 80% of MBA students reported that they used search engines, and the school’s website when researching programs.

Your website is often the first impression a prospective student has of your program. Students these days expect information to be immediately accessible at any time of the day.

They do not want to have to dig through layers of a website to find information or wait for an hour or more to speak to a representative, even if it is 3am on Christmas morning!

The key to driving more interest and enrollments in your school program is to provide an incredible experience to prospective students ON YOUR WEBSITE. This is where their journey often begins and will be the asset the frequent more than anything else.

Imagine this:

A prospective student lands on your website. They are instantly greeted by an intelligent chatbot offering to answer any questions they might have. The chatbot has been trained to match the tone of your school’s brand. The prospect messages with the chatbot for a few minutes, and leaves the website satisfied that they found an answer to their question so quickly.

A few days go by, and the student gets a text message from the same chatbot checking in to see if they have any other questions.

You now have a direct line to reach that student, and more importantly, they have a direct line to reach you whenever they need. They can ask a question to the chatbot any time of the day, any day of the year and the chatbot will be there to answer their question.


This is the kind of experience that leaves a powerful impression upon prospective students. It shows them that your school cares about them. It shows them that you are an innovative institution and instantly builds trust.

Now to be fair, it will take more than just adding a very cool piece of technology on your website to boost enrollments.

This needs to be a part of a larger strategy of providing accessibility, commitment, and consistency to the entire experience you create for your students.

The experiences students have with your brand will be what distinguish you from your competitors.

GMAT scores, placement data, rankings, and other metrics may generate initial interest, but the experiences students have with your brand is what will drive them to matriculate to your school and become powerful advocates for you upon graduation.

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