MBA Admissions Advice: Admissions Consulting
Before I seriously considered applying to business schools, I honestly had no idea the amount of applicants that used the services of admissions consultants. It’s reported that at least 1/3 of applicants to top 10 programs admitted to using some form of consulting. When I saw the costs of how much these services cost, I was even more surprised. But I guess, to achieve your goals, you have to be willing to do whatever (or pay whatever) it takes to get there. The more I start to mentally prepare myself for everything I have to do to apply to each of my target schools, the more I realize just how helpful these consultants probably are. If only I had access to an unlimited supply of money to pay them. I have already taken advantage of several free profile evaluations and plan to do so again once I narrow down my school selection and take the GMAT, but I am still unsure whether hiring an admissions consultant is extremely necessary for me at this point. While I can definitely see the pros, especially because I am a young applicant and the guidance would be extremely helpful, I feel like the first time around, I should try it out on my own and if I am unsuccessful, reevaluate my mistakes for next year and then decide if a consultant is necessary.
This brings me to my next two questions: (1) What type of prospective applicants hire admissions consultants and (2) What is the ROI? From the sources I have read, I can never really pin point the background of the applicants who hire outside help. Are they perfectionists that won’t be satisfied unless they get into H/S/W? Are they moderately unqualified applicants that need help crafting the perfect essays and resume to hide a marginal GPA and/or GMAT score? Or maybe they represent the norm of business school applicants that just need a little bit of guidance? And then what is the over/under on the number of prospective applicants that actually get into the program they want or any program at all?
I’m sure individual consulting services discuss all of these questions with serious inquiries about their rate of success, but if these stats are published anywhere, I would love to read them. I feel like every consultant will say an applicant needs some form of help, I mean why they not say that, but who actually needs to use them and does it actually make that much more of a difference?
How many of you have or plan to use an admissions consultant this year? I would love to hear your thoughts.