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Strategy for Choosing, Visiting & Applying to MBA Programs

If you already know where you want to apply, click here to get your chances of admission.

As an MBA applicant, you are facing the daunting task of trying to decide where to apply to business school. This critical decision is made more difficult by the competitiveness of the programs and the number of options available. Go4BSchool can help you through each step of the business school application process...

Below we offer a strategy for deciding where to apply.

To compile a list of colleges to apply to, click on the steps below for details.

Step 1: Select an Initial Pool of MBA Programs

As early as possible, select a pool of 12-15 business schools based on their various attributes: location, size, prestige, competitiveness, specialty, and other such factors. Gather information about each of the schools you are considering. Each business school's website is a great place to start, but you should also consider outside sources such as our Business School Profiles page, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Week. Starting with a large pool of business schools enables you to later eliminate those that no longer fit your preferences and still end up with a handful of schools to apply to.

Step 2: Find Out Where You Stand

Using your first GMAT score, a predicted GMAT score, or a GMAT score from a practice test, find out your chances of admission at the MBA programs you are currently considering. For most people, the GMAT is the only admissions variable that you can change in the short-term. Knowing your percentage chances of admission will help you decide if you need to retest or consider a more suitable range of business schools. You will also be able to determine how your background and current experience match the admissions standards of top MBA programs.

Step 3: Research Your Choices in Depth

Research the colleges in your pool, so you can evaluate them based on your preferences and eliminate those that do not fit your criteria. To expedite your research, view our Business School Profiles page for vital information and statistics. Again, also utilize the schools' websites and outside sources. At this stage, you may also want to speak with recent alumni and/or current students about each business school you are currently considering.

Step 4: Visit Your Choices

Visiting business schools is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, it allows you to sit in on a class, chat with current students, and meet some of the admissions staff. Most importantly, it allows you to get a feel for the school's atmosphere — something that can only be done in person.

If you plan to visit a business school, contact the admissions office in advance to let them know you are coming. They should be able to schedule you in a class. You may also be able to interview while you are on campus.

Go4BSchool Hint:   Even if classes are not in session and you are unable to interview, you should still check in with the admissions office, take a campus tour, and pick up any information they have to offer. They may note your visit in your file, which shows the admissions committee that you are truly interested in the school. Some B-school applications also ask you whether you have visited the campus; being able to say 'yes' shows a higher level of interest in the school and can only help your chances of admission.

Step 5: Obtain Final Chances of Admission

If you decide to retake the GMAT, we recommend obtaining your revised chances of admission based on your new scores. Remember, we are so confident that our predictions are accurate that we offer a full-money back guarantee. We will refund your money for any business schools that we do not predict accurately. Click here to get your chances of admission.

Step 6: Make Final Decisions

Make final decisions about where to apply. Since the top MBA programs are extremely competitive, we recommend that you apply to as many schools as possible without compromising the quality of your applications. Click here to get your chances of admission.

Go4BSchool.com Hint:   If you are dead set on attending a business school next year, you should apply to a range of schools including at least one or two "safety" schools where you have at least an 80% chance of getting in.

Step 7: Prepare to Apply

Although you may picture yourself sitting down and digging right into the applications, there is some preparatory work you can do that will help down the road. By preparing yourself and getting organized before you actually start to fill out applications, you will experience fewer bumps in the road and your applications are likely to be stronger. Click here to learn about the application. Good luck!

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