Are the Top Ten MBA admission consultants worth their fees and pricing?

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The best and most affordable MBA admission counselor might be a myth!

An MBA offers you a wealth of advantages, especially when it’s from a well-regarded top business school. Getting a high salary after graduation, landing a management position, or even becoming your own boss are just a few other advantages. Everyone dreams to get into a top MBA program such as Harvard, Stanford, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, MIT, or Columbia just to name a few, the problem is that getting in this top programs is really hard. Acceptance in top schools is significantly low and competence is fierce!


Source: School-supplied data ; Poets & Quants

The application process is hard, long and daunting. The whole process can take over a year! MBA applicants have to study for the GMAT, write complicated essays, get recommendation letters, master their resumes and prepare for really tough interviews!

We interviewed applicants to the top b-schools to understand where they struggle the most. There is a consensus that while studying for the GMAT is time consuming, the hardest part is understanding school fit and preparing the essays. Many describe the process as “really stressful” and “time consuming”. Applicants lose focus in their applications and get stressed as they don’t know how to create a good application.

This is why we see a continued grow in applicants reaching out to MBA admission consultants. We surveyed over 200 students of top 5 MBA programs and found that close to 40% of them used MBA Consultants for their applications. More impressive yet is how this proportion differs from national vs international students. International students hire 3 times more consultants compared to US citizens (25% vs 75%). We believe this difference is mainly driven by the fact that internationals have less information about application processes to American universities and they lack a network of contacts to leverage to get guidance during the process.


Source: MBA students survey data ;

But how much does an MBA Admission consultant charge? The cost of hiring an MBA consultant ranges from $3,000 to $12,000 USD. Some companies such as Stacy Blackman can charge over $4,000 for support to only one school. This is really expensive! If you want more detail about why MBA admissions consultants charge what they do, you might enjoy this article that talks in detail about things to consider before hiring one.

Indeed in our survey 50% of MBA students that didn’t hire an MBA consultant explain that cost was their main reason to not hire one.

List of the top admission consulting firms with pricing

Consulting Company1 School2 Schools3 Schools4 Schools5 SchoolsPer Hour$4,175$5,700$6,725$7,750$8,775$305
Critical Square$4,150$5,525$6,875$8,025N/A$295
Fortuna Admissions$4,500$5,950$7,250$8,550$9,850$345
MAC Approved$1,000$1,500$2,000$2,500$3,000 
MBA Prep School$3,995$5,955$6,495$7,495$8,495$295
Personal MBA Coach$3,850$5,200$6,500$7,750$8,950$325
Prep MBA$4,750$6,950$7,990$8,995$10,000$345
Square One Prep$4,500$5,700$6,900$8,100$9,300$275
Stacy Blackman$4,675$5,995$7,050$8,100$9,050$315
Stratus Prep$4,000$5,250$6,500$7,750$9,000$240
Veritas Prep$4,300$5,600$6,900$8,100$9,200$300

Resources: GMAT Club, Websites of the admission consultants

As we can see, applicants lacking a network of contacts to leverage and the resources to pay an expensive MBA consultant are in a huge disadvantage when applying to their dream programs. Luckily there are new opportunities emerging in the market. A few months ago a group of entrepreneurs at University of Chicago, in a mission to democratize access to top education launched Mymbacircle a platform where MBA applicants can connect with mentors who are students and alumni of the best schools at an affordable price. We are on a mission to make it possible for everyone to compete on a level playing field.

MyMBACircle has released an comprehensive guidebook on how-to break into top MBA schools by curating content from admits to HBS, Wharton, Booth, MIT, INSEAD, LBS, ISB and more. Access Guide below!

In-depth guidebook to break into top MBA schools

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