Why Students Apply for MBA Programs as a Couple

May 10, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Increasingly, many young Indian couples apply to MBA programs together.  Why?  It’s simple: couples want to stay together.  Student visas are easier to get than work visas. 

It’s much easier for a couple to travel together as students than have one-half travel as a student, and the other have to apply for a work visa—it can also be a lot less expensive. 

In an article on the Economic Times, Arun Jagannation, co-founder of CrackVerbal consultancy said, “The numbers have gone up. Student visas are much easier to get than work visas. It is easier to get through a good school than to wangle a work permit.”

Some couples stagger their MBAs, with one person leaving a year in advance.  Why?  It minimizes the time apart and allows one to study while the other earns an extra year of income.  When one graduates and works, his or her partner is finishing up their last year of school.  But some aren’t willing to do that. 

Rajiv Ganjoo, president of Leverage Edtech echoes Jagannathan’s sentiments in the Economic Times.  He said that many couples want to do their MBA programs together, but that sometimes, one drops out because of cost. 

For whom is the couples-MBA particularly compelling?  Those looking for global careers.  Mansie Dewan, a consultant in New Delhi said, “The MBA has practically become a pre-requisite to move ahead in senior-level management roles. So, for couples with similar experience, it is often a prudent choice. Some do it one after the other, so that one can fund the other's education.”

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Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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