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$275 For A Round Two App Review

Dan Bauer, founder and managing director of The MBA Exchang

Dan Bauer, founder and managing director of The MBA Exchange

Want an extra set of eyes on your MBA application before clicking the send button?

A prominent MBA admissions consulting firm is now offering a quick and dirty review and critique of your applications with a promised 48-hour turnaround. The MBA Exchange will have a former admissions official or a top MBA graduate look over each application for $275 each. That’s a very significant difference from the $4,300 full consulting package on a single application charged by MBA Exchange and other top admission consultants.

The firm is offering the service just weeks before the Round Two admission deadlines at many top schools. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management have a Jan. 3 round two deadline, while Harvard Business School is Jan. 7 and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business is two days later on Jan. 9.


The application review service is targeted at applicants who have not used an admissions consultant or simply want a check of the guidance another consultant has already provided. Called “AppCheck,” the service promises that MBA Exchange consultants will “scrutinize your work and share their objective advice for improvement.”

The firm, which boasts 60 full- and -part-time consultants, says it will do “an in-depth review” with “specific, actionable, written feedback that enables you to refine your application and submit your very best applications by the January deadlines.”

Dan Bauer, founder and managing director of The MBA Exchange, says he is estimating that each application would likely require “about two hours of concentrated effort. The MBA adcoms spend far less time in their initial reading of an app, so we’re confident that our service model is both efficient and effective in identifying vulnerabilities and missed opportunities for our clients.”


Bauer says he decided to create the new offering because applicants who have completed their applications without any outside support often approach the firm late in the game.

“They find it difficult and and stressful to determine when their work is truly ‘done,’ he says. “The temptation for them to keep changing and tweaking ad nauseum — until just a few hours before the application deadlines — can be overwhelming.  The harm that can be done to otherwise strong content is a major risk. As deadlines approach, such applicants often turn to well-meaning friends or colleagues who typically lack the admissions skills and experience to provide an objective review and meaningful advice.”

Bauer said he doesn’t believe his $275 service would cannibalize the firm’s more comprehensive consulting gig that can cost applicants several thousand dollars. “The market for this new service is quite different than that for our comprehensive consultation, which helps clients optimize their candidacies and refine their stories over several months,” he says.

“Most of those engagements for Round 2 are now complete. This new AppCheck service is for other applicants who, for various reasons, began the admissions campaign on their own but now second guess their work product and their candidacies as the deadlines approach. They require immediate, on-target advice that can be implemented within a few hours.”

The service also is being made available between now and Jan. 15th.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.