What MBA Admission Consultants Charge

Some firms vary their hourly rates, depending on who you want to talk with. At Stratus Admissions Counseling, for example, it costs $750 an hour to work with founder Shawn O’Connor, $500 for an hour with the firm’s director of MBA Admissions, or just $250 an hour with an admissions counselor at the firm. In every case, however, there is a five-hour minimum for hourly counseling. At Fortuna Admissions, it costs $330 for an hour with a consultant and $440 with a director. But the more time you buy, the cheaper it becomes. At eight hours, the price for an hour with a consultant falls to $310; at 15 hours, it’s $290 an hour.

What MBA Consulting Firms Charge Clients Per Hour

Consulting Firm Current Hourly Rate Notes
Accepted.com $280 NA
Adam Markus $300 $265 an hour for 20 hours and up
Amerasia Consulting Group  $250 NA
Aringo $260 Pay-as-you-go plan
Clear Admit $290 $250 an hour for 12 hours and up
Expartus $375 Discounts for eight or more hours
Forster Thomas $250 NA
Fortuna Admissions $330 to $440 Higher hourly rate for a director
Inside MBA Admissions $250 NA
Maxx Associates $300 NA
mbaMission $290 Two-hour minimum
Paul Bodine $260 $220 an hour for 10 hours and up
Stacy Blackman Consulting $295 Two-hour minimum
Stratus Admissions Counseling $250 to $750 Five-hour minimum
The MBA Exchange $285 NA
Veritas Prep $290 Three-hour minimum

Source: Consulting Firm websites

As if all this isn’t enough, most firms also offer a la carte services, ranging from a review of an application and mock interviews to coaching and support for candidates who end up on a school’s wait list or a ding analysis for those who were rejected. For these specific services, costs can vary even more dramatically than they do for either hourly rates or comprehensive consulting packages.

At Clear Admit, for instance, the cost for its mock interview service is $399, but if you want to get the mock interview prep for Harvard Business School, it’s $999. For both consulting engagements, clients get an initial 30-minute phone session to discuss an approach and to provide a series of steps you should take to get ready for the real interview. There’s also a follow-up, 60-minute phone call for a simulated interview. Clear Admit then tosses in two of its guides for good measure.

Why the cost difference? For the HBS service, Clear Admit does a post-interview brainstorm to discuss the “reflection” email that HBS requires within 24 hours of the interview, along with a rush review of your post-interview reflection with detailed feedback.

At HBSGuru, a mock interview session from Kreisberg, who estimates that he has done 800 to 1,000 such sessions in the past ten years, costs $550 a pop. At The MBA Exchange, interview prep is $400, or included as part of its comprehensive school package.

Overall, most consultants say that it’s a slightly different game today than it was only four years ago. “The focus of the MBA application has changed, and we have changed as a result,” says Abraham of accepted.com. “As some say, it is no longer an essay contest. I’m not sure it ever was an essay contest, but there is no question that the short answers, the resume, the videos, the interviews are all playing a larger role in the decision process because there simply are fewer essays to provide information about the subjective, qualitative, ‘softer’ aspects of an applicant’s profile.”

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