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The Most Important Factors to Consider Before Applying to an MBA

An MBA serves as an investment towards a lucrative career. Yet, it’s important to consider a few factors before dedicating two years of your life and thousands of dollars to a business degree.

Damian Davila is a writer for Wise Bread – a personal finance publication. Recently, Davila wrote an article about important factors applicants should consider before applying to an MBA.

Type of MBA

Davila says prospective MBA applicants should first consider what type of MBA they are interested in: part-time, full-time, or executive.

“While the full-time program allows you to fully immerse yourself in the MBA experience, a part-time program enables you to keep your current job and minimize student loans,” Davila writes. “An executive MBA (or EMBA) requires applicants to have several years of work experience, which will vary depending on the school. EMBA students typically have to attend classes on weekends.”

GMAT

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, 9 out of 10 new MBA enrollments at the top 50 U.S. full-time MBA programs are made using a GMAT score as a key factor. So, it’s important to consider the average GMAT score at your target schools. Davila says applicants should also take into consideration the financial costs of prepping and taking the GMAT.

“Getting to that minimum score is going to cost you prep time and money,” Davila writes. “At the very least, you’ll need to cover the $250 test fee, but you may also have to pay for test prep services or additional materials that can bring up your total GMAT costs to thousands of dollars.”

Academic Rigor

In addition to the GMAT, experts also say prospective applicants should determine whether or not they are ready for the rigorous academic coursework that comes with an MBA.

Erin Town is an MBA Admissions Director at University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. In a blog post for the Graduate Management Admission Council, Town writes that applicants should consider strengthening weak academic points prior to applying to b-school.

“The MBA curriculum moves very quickly,” Town writes. “If you struggle with math, consider taking a class at a community college. If you have never taken accounting before, look into opportunities to learn the basics. Brushing up on a few key areas can be a great way to prepare yourself for school and to assess whether you have what it takes to keep up with the challenging MBA coursework.”

An MBA can certainly transform your career financially. However, it’s not for everyone. Consider important factors prior to dishing out thousands of dollars. As Davila writes:

“MBA programs aren’t cheap, after all.”

Sources: Wise Bread, Graduate Management Admission Council, Graduate Management Admission Council.