If you're like most candidates, at the outset you think of the application process
as taking a test, answering a few questions about your educational background
and employment history, writing a personal statement, and arranging for a couple
of recommendations. After which, you put everything into an envelope (with a
check) and then wait for an answer. In truth, the application process is much,
much more than this.
The cost of the application process alone could easily exceed $2,000. The fees
that you pay to take the GMAT and acquire score and grade reports could be as
much as $300. Furthermore, the application fees charged by schools can run
more than $50 each. Assuming that you apply to ten schools, you can easily
spend $500 on application fees alone. In addition, you will probably spend at
least $300 on administrative details, such as document preparation, copying,
postage, and long-distance telephone calls. Add another $500 or so for test
preparation for the GMAT, and you have already committed $1,500 or more and
are moving toward the $2,000 mark.
The Bottom Line:
$2,000 may seem like a lot of money, but remember, depending on where
you matriculate, tuition might total $75,000.
Don't let those numbers frighten you. They are not intended not to
dissuade you from pursuing a b-school education, but rather to dramatize
a point. The decision to apply to business school has significant financial
implications for you as an individual (and probably for your family).
Business of Education
From the perspective of the school, there are financial as well as social
implications. A business school, like any educational institution, is a
corporate entity, and its admissions decisions reflect financial and social