Hard Times in Workplace Mean More Grad Apps

1866 gradapps
*2009 numbers do not include the Sloan School of Management, though 2006–2008 do.
Source: MIT Admissions Office

As jobs get scarcer, several graduate departments at MIT are experiencing a jump in applications for the 2009 school year. Departments anticipate a drop in acceptance and enrollment, partially due to increased financial caution in the current recession.

The number of graduate student applications is expected to be 15 percent greater than last year’s total, said McGreggor Crowley ’00, director of the graduate admissions process. This number does not include applicants to the Sloan School of Management, which has not yet reported their data.

As of mid-January 20,322 applications were received, again excluding Sloan applications. Last year, the Institute received 17,413 applications including Sloan, an increase of 1,150 from 2006.

Sloan saw a spike in its first round of applications and more normal numbers in the second round. Overall, Sloan is experiencing a “record year” in terms of received applications, according to Director of MBA Admissions Rod Garcia.

The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science saw a five percent increase in applications from last year, with 2,550, said EECS graduate officer Terry P. Orlando.

Orlando also said the department’s funding has dropped ten percent from last year, and although it is common for funding to start low and rise, the drop could have to do with the recession. “People are being cautious because of financial issues,” Orlando said.

The number of graduate students enrolled in EECS has decreased from 695 in 2006 and 685 in 2007 to 638 this fall.