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Manhattan Prep/Kaplan Survey: Most Future Business School Applicants Wary About Unrestricted Use of AI in Admissions Essays

#gmat--A new Manhattan Prep/Kaplan survey of more than 300 aspiring MBA students finds mixed attitudes toward GenAI and its use in the admissions process.* Of those polled, 56 percent think they shoul...

Business Wire

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.: #gmat--A new Manhattan Prep/Kaplan survey of more than 300 aspiring MBA students finds mixed attitudes toward GenAI and its use in the admissions process.* Of those polled, 56 percent think they should be allowed to use AI tools to help them write their admissions essays, but only with certain guidelines and restrictions; 20 percent don’t think they should be allowed under any circumstances; 18 percent said use should be unrestricted; the remaining 7 percent were unsure. A separate Manhattan Prep/Kaplan survey of business school admissions officers found that only a handful of business schools have policies in place directing students how they can use AI in their admissions essays, signaling the issue is still unsettled.**

Other findings from the survey of aspiring MBA students include:

  • There is some concern among those polled that allowing applicants to use GenAI in their admissions essays gives them an unearned edge. Exactly half say it unfairly levels the playing field for applicants who don’t possess strong writing skills; 32 percent don’t believe that to be the case; the remaining 18 percent are unsure.
  • Of those surveyed, 60 percent said they would likely use AI in their admissions essays if the schools they were applying to allowed it; 24 percent said they were unlikely to use it; 16 percent said they were unsure.
  • But once applicants have proven their mettle, those polled see things a bit differently. Two-thirds (67 percent) say business schools should allow enrolled students to use GenAI as part of their classwork/academic experience, with certain guidelines and restrictions; 20 percent believe enrolled students should be allowed to use GenAI with no restrictions at all; 8 percent said it shouldn’t be allowed under any circumstances; the remaining 6 percent were unsure.
  • And when asked how often they use AI in the workplace or in their personal lives, 8 percent said “always”; 25 percent said “frequently”; 38 percent said “occasionally”; 19 percent said “rarely”; and 10 percent said “never.”

“Aspiring MBA students are going to have to take the GMAT exam without the use of GenAI. And they also built up their GPAs without using it either, considering how new the technology is, so it’s not surprising that many think it's necessary for business schools to put guardrails around its use in the admissions process. At the same time, our results show that many are eager to use GenAI to their advantage if allowed,” said Stacey Koprince, director of content and curriculum, Manhattan Prep, which is owned by Kaplan. “While results from Manhattan Prep and Kaplan’s most recent business school admissions officers survey show that most MBA programs have no policy at all when it comes to allowing applicants to use GenAI in admissions essays, we don’t believe that’s a tenable long-term position, as they will increasingly get questions from prospective students who want to know the boundaries of acceptable use. Our prediction: Many business schools will be developing GenAI policies in the coming year."

Contact russell.schaffer@kaplan.com to speak with a business school admissions expert.

*The online Manhattan Prep/Kaplan survey was conducted in March-April 2024 and included responses from 306 aspiring business school students across the United States. All answers were rounded to the nearest whole number.

**Based on the results of a Manhattan Prep/Kaplan survey conducted by phone and email in August 2023-February 2024 of 75 business schools across the United States; among them are 8 of the top 50 schools, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

About Kaplan

Kaplan, Inc. is a global educational services company that helps individuals and institutions advance their goals in an ever-changing world. Our broad portfolio of solutions help students and professionals further their education and careers, universities and educational institutions attract and support students, and businesses maximize employee recruitment, retainment, and development. Stanley Kaplan founded our company in 1938 with a mission to expand educational opportunities for students of all backgrounds. Today, our thousands of employees working in 27 countries/regions continue Stanley’s mission as they serve about 1.2 million students and professionals, 15,000 corporate clients, and 3,300 schools, school districts, colleges, and universities worldwide. Kaplan is a subsidiary of the Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). Learn more at kaplan.com.

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Fonte: Business Wire

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