Deciding Where to Apply
Before you spend time and money applying to schools, put together a solid list of schools and figure out your chance at getting in.
The first step in the application process is deciding where to apply. Because applications require a great deal of time (and sometimes money), it is best to narrow your choices down to a handful of schools.
How to develop a list:
- Match your career-related goals, academic study, and personal needs to a targeted list of schools that meet your most basic requirements.
- Narrow that list to five to seven schools that have the curricular strength, culture, and program philosophy that meet your educational and professional needs.
- Compare yourself to the typical applicant pool by looking at grade point average, GMAT scores, education, work experience, and accomplishments. This will help you understand your chances of getting in to each school.
- Include one dream school where you’d really like to go, even if your credentials don’t meet or exceed those of the typical applicant. If you don’t apply, you will miss out on the chance of being admitted.
- Pick at least one school that you are more than qualified to attend
- Don’t apply to a school you wouldn’t want to attend.
Applying to schools can get expensive quickly, as there are often fees that you may not think of at first, such as:
- Transcript request fees
- Postage or express delivery services
- Overseas phone calls, if applicable
- Travel expenses for recruiting events, interviews, or campus visits
- Testing fees and test preparation materials
- Application fees (ranging from US$40 to US$250)
In this video, learn what schools look for in a candidate:
A Note About Historical Data
When comparing yourself with the "average" MBA applicant, keep in mind that the term does not describe any one specific person, but rather a broad spectrum of people.
Also remember that if a school accepts 33% of its applicants, it doesn’t mean you have a one-in-three chance of getting in. Your application may be so strong that your chances are considerably higher. Or, they may be so weak that you are unlikely to be admitted.
If you are stronger than average in some areas, emphasize those skills in your application to compensate for weaker areas.