How to Decide Where to Apply

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The first step in the application process is deciding where to apply. 

Because applications require a great deal of time and money, it is best to start by narrowing your choices to a handful of schools. Most schools offer numerous program options – full-time and part-time, on-campus, and online – and they look for candidates who come from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds.  

When choosing a school, think about lifestyle, cost of attending, and curriculum. Use the GMASS® School Search Service to help you learn more about programs that leverage your experience and align with your interests. 

How to develop your list: 

  1. Consider your current academic and professional status as you determine your career goals, academic study preferences, financial requirements, and other personal needs. Use this information to develop a targeted list of schools that meet your basic demands. 
  2. Narrow your list to five to seven schools that have the curricular strength, culture, and program philosophy that most closely align with you educational and professional aspirations. 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. Also, pick at least one school that you are more than qualified to attend. 
  3. Compare yourself to the typical applicant pool by looking at educational background, grade point average, work experience, GMAT® scores, and other accomplishments. This will help you understand your chances of acceptance for each school. 

As you narrow your list of schools, consider your financial situation and the cost of applying. Application fees can add up quickly and can include some or all of the below: 

  • 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) 

A Note about Historical Data 

When comparing yourself with the "average" applicant, it is important to remember 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 percent 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, it may be so weak that you are unlikely to be admitted. 

If you are stronger than average in some capacities, emphasize those skills in your application to compensate for weaker areas.