MIT Sloan | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT 690, GPA 7.08
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future Tech In Healthcare
GRE 313, GPA 2.0
MIT Sloan | Mr. Agri-Tech MBA
GRE 324, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. Anthropologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
MIT Sloan | Mr. Aker 22
GRE 332, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Tech In HR
GMAT 640, GPA 3.23
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Military To MGMNT Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Data Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 7.76/10
Harvard | Ms. Nurturing Sustainable Growth
GRE 300, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Ms. Senior PM Unicorn
GMAT 700, GPA 3.18
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Consulting Research To Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (no GPA system, got first (highest) division )
Stanford GSB | Mr. “GMAT” Grimly Miserable At Tests
GMAT TBD - Aug. 31, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Mr. Electrical Agri-tech
GRE 324, GPA 4.0
Yale | Mr. IB To Strategy
GRE 321, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Overrepresented MBB Consultant (2+2)
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Ms. Freelance Hustler
GRE 312, GPA 4
Kellogg | Ms. Gap Fixer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Little Late For MBA
GRE 333, GPA 3.76
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Wellness Ethnographer
GRE 324, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Ms. Financial Real Estate
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. The Italian Dream Job
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
NYU Stern | Mr. Labor Market Analyst
GRE 320, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Indian IT Auditor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. LGBT+CPG
GMAT 720, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Mr. Naval Architect
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Navy Submariner
GRE 322, GPA 3.24

Are MBA Programs Dying? 4 Reasons To Worry

Is It Worth It To Hire An MBA Admissions Consultant?

MBA admissions are getting increasingly competitive. According to Fortune, the top MBA programs are getting more applicants than ever. Make no mistake: the candidates are more accomplished than ever. That why it makes sense that one-quarter of applicants hire MBA admissions consultants to help them get into their dream school. But are they worth the money?

Seb Murray, a contributor for Financial Times, recently penned a piece weighing the costs and benefits hiring MBA admissions consultants.

“Admissions services cover the entire application process, from essay reviews to interview coaching,” Murray says. “On average each application takes 15-20 hours but some candidates spend more than 50 with a consultant, typically between March and June.”

The costs

At Stacy Blackman Consulting, the cost for a one-school package is $4,675 (adding an additional school ranges from $1,000 to $1,500). At mbaMission, a one-school package is $4,400. Accepted.com charges $4,250 for a one-school package. At Fortuna Admissions, prices start at $4,275 for one school.

Matt Symonds is the director of Fortuna Admissions. He tells Financial Times that applicants have a higher chance of admission if they can convey their fit to the program.

“A unique story is prized, but business schools seek those with personalities that fit their underlying DNA, such as a focus on technology and innovation,” Symonds says.

Drawbacks to admissions consultants

Admissions consulting companies can offer services on practically every element of an MBA application. But what are the drawbacks?

Russ Morgan is senior associate dean at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Morgan tells Financial Times that admissions consultants can add value to an application, but he adds that they can also do damage.

“The negative side of consulting is the homogenization of applicants,” Morgan says.

Application questions are meant to draw out unique characteristics from applicants. But Morgan says application consultants can actually harm applications when it comes to questions like Duke’s “list 25 random facts about yourself.”

“Sometimes the same 10 facts are used by multiple applicants,” Morgan says. “There is clearly correlation.”

The false lure of ‘insider knowledge’

Many admissions consultants market their companies as having ‘insider knowledge’ when it comes to MBA admissions. But it falls short as more of “marketing gimmick,” Stacy Blackman says.

Much of the information regarding admissions processes can be found online and at a price tag of more than $4,000, admissions consulting can only be afforded by a select portion of candidates.

Chioma Isiadinso, co-founder and CEO of Expartus consultancy, says consulting services should be viewed similarly to an MBA education.

“Like the MBA, consulting is a big investment. But the return can be huge,” Isiadinso tells Financial Times.

Sources: Financial Times, Stacy Blackman Consulting, accepted.com, Fortuna Admissions

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