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# Admission Consultant vs. Campus Visits (Where to spend $$?)  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics Author Message TAGS: ### Hide Tags Intern Joined: 28 Jun 2012 Posts: 2 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Admission Consultant vs. Campus Visits (Where to spend$$$?) [#permalink] ### Show Tags 28 Jun 2012, 21:06 Hi all, I'm contemplating whether to hire an admission consultant (eg Veritas Prep or Stacy Blackman or MBA Mission). If you had to choose, would you rather invest money on one of those, or spend on quite a few (say, 5-8) campus visits across the country? Here's my thinking: a consultant will probably cost like$5-7k and I may well get my money's worth! But I also wonder if I could simply rely on the wisdom of others and use, say, half that amount toward visits where I can build up a credible roster of on-campus experiences to draw upon in my essays (vs essays that, while professionally edited, draw upon tidbits sourced online, via emails with students, etc.).

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02 Jul 2012, 02:56
Campus visits without a doubt.

Nothing will help you understand a school as well as a campus visit will. Apart from the standard info provided during a campus visit, which in any case is useful, the real gems will come out from your interactions with current students. These finer points will really help you craft your applications better.

Besides, the feel of the school that you get from a campus visit will help you develop a lot of clarity as to whether or not you would like to join that school if offered an admission. Having this clarity before applying is much better than getting accepted to a school and then having the dilemma of whether to attend the school or not.

Working with an admissions consultant will not help you in any of these things. If you're confident of the content of your essays and are only apprehensive about the grammatical quality, you could easily hire an essay editing service that will cost you far far lesser than a consultant would.
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05 Jul 2012, 11:30
This is piling on, but I would definitely recommend campus visits. I'll add some value by recommending that you thoroughly research the school and come prepared with thoughtful questions for the tour. Talk to students, observe a class, pick up a copy of the school newspaper, and take plenty of notes. This is all great material for your essays. I went on several tours and very few people actually do any of this stuff. To the extent there were questions other than mine, people asked about stupid stuff like grade nondisclosure.

You may also come away with a totally different impression of a school than you had before. I crossed a very highly ranked school off my list after visiting because I just really didn't like anything I saw there.

Finally, my personal opinion would be to spend your money on a trip to Vegas before giving it to an admissions consultant.
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08 Jul 2012, 08:32
3
KUDOS
alphabear1 wrote:
Hello,
I did both school visits and the consultant. The school visits pointed out things I didn't like about schools more than things I did like. But that's pretty useless for the application where you want to talk about what you do like but it did help me re-evaluate my order of pref. My no. 1 & no. 2 still stayed in place however.

The consultant was very useful. (I used Sandy). He basically told me what it is about MY specific profile that my no. 1 school would like, which is what made all the difference in my apps. Frankly, I found that more useful, than visiting the school and trying to extrapolate what they like based on what I saw.

Also worth noting, you can visit the schools after an admit and then decide. Personally, I felt that with the web, there are so many resources available that school visits aren't always necessary.

I agree with you that school visits won't make or break your candidacy, I think you're only speaking of visits from the perspective of what the adcom thinks. Personally, I didn't use school visits so I could impress an adcom or have something to write about in my essays. The visits were for me to see if I liked the school and wanted to actually be there.

I know people who got into schools they never visited and hated it when they went to admit weekends. In some cases it was their only option. I'd hate to have to choose between going to a school I dislike and reapplying to other places next year. I don't know about you but I didn't find the process of applying to schools to be very pleasant. In fact I thought it sucked and wouldn't wish for anyone to have to repeat it. The web simply does not compare to an in person visit. I loved Stern via the web and alums I spoke to. In person, not so much...actually not even a little not even at all. Knowing that up front stopped me from applying to a very good school that wasn't a good school for me. You mentioned gleaning school info from posts like the "Impressions of 16 US Bschools." Now even though I didn't like Stern I met other applicants who loved it upon visiting. If someone simply based their opinions off of my feelings they could be missing out. There really isn't a substitute for school visits (when feasible).

I do think that a consultant can add tremendous value to an applicant, especially if that person doesn't have a personal network to help guide them through the process. Actually I think that school visits and consultants tackle two completely different yet equally important pieces of the admissions puzzle. Visits affect the internal part of the process while consultants help the external/presentation piece. I think it's up to each individual to determine where they need the most help.
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08 Jul 2015, 09:35
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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