Chicago Booth | Mr. Overrepresented Indian Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 8.78/10
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Analyst To Family Business Owner
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. FBI To MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Mr. Two Job
GRE 330 GRE, GPA 3.63
Tuck | Mr. Infantry Officer To MBA
GRE 314, GPA 3.4
Darden | Mr. Program Manager
GRE 324, GPA 3.74
Tuck | Mr. Smart Cities
GRE 325, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Biz Human Rights
GRE 710, GPA 8/10
Harvard | Mr. Food Tech Start Ups
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. The Builder
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. International Oil
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Consulting To Emerging Markets Banking
GRE 130, GPA 3.6 equivalent
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. Greek Taverna
GMAT 730, GPA 7.03/10
Harvard | Ms. Biotech Ops
GMAT 770, GPA 3.53
NYU Stern | Mr. Development
GMAT 690, GPA 2.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Energy Operations
GRE 330, GPA 3.85
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 To Healthcare Reformer
GRE 338, GPA 4.0 (1st Class Honours - UK - Deans List)
Wharton | Mr. Steelmaker To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.04/4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Indian Quant
GMAT 745, GPA 9.6 out of 10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Food & Education Entrepreneur
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. Gay Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Rice Business | Mr. Future Energy Consultant
GRE Received a GRE Waiver, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Campaigns To Business
GMAT 750, GPA 3.19
MIT Sloan | Mr. Special Forces
GMAT 720, GPA 3.82

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. 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,, Fortuna Admissions