These schools get to know their applicants best
Admissions Barbara Barkhausen, October 5th, 2016 / 10-12-2016
Understanding prospective students and making sure they are a perfect fit for the school is not an easy task. Admissions committees have chosen different methods from group exercises to essay questions to video elements to understand how applicants ‘tick’. But looking at the situation reversed how do applicants view the application process and who gets to know them best in their opinion?
An applicant survey by the Association of Independent Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC) found that in the US, Dartmouth Tuck was the school aiming highest and, in Europe, Spain’s IE Business School.
Other interesting results from the survey were that MBA applicants remain optimistic about their post-MBA employment prospects and a significantly higher salary post-MBA. The main focus continues to be on consulting, finance/accounting and technology.
Applicants admitted that they were mindful of programme costs and the declining interest in two-year programmes reflect this. In numbers: 41 per cent of respondents indicated that school choice was partly influenced by affordability and 21 per cent of applicants reported modifying their list of target schools based on cost and access to financial aid.
The survey also asked to whom prospective MBA students turned for help during the application process. 17 per cent claimed to have sought no help from others throughout the whole application process – quite a staggering number. Roughly three-quarters, however, did at least utilise friends and family members to look over their application or seek help with certain parts. 39 per cent said that they had used an MBA admissions consultant, a number in decline as this had been 46 per cent the previous year. About 50 per cent of all applicants sought advice from an alumnus of their preferred school or a co-worker.
Prospective MBA students found the written parts of the application most challenging with 61 per cent declaring standardised tests (GMAT, GRE or TOEFL test) to be challenging. 46 per cent struggled with the essay questions whereas only 20 per cent found the interview hard and 18 per cent cited the letters of recommendation as being difficult to organise.