Amongst the many criteria for choosing schools, specialization, the acceptance rates, the avg GMAT, regional preferences etc., i have another one...
Is it generally good to apply to a school with greater intake? I agree if more students pass out there is a higher chance of the school being more famous since more people will turn out to be CEOs etc. Also chances of acceptance should be higher. But then being at a school with smaller intake has its advantage because of personalized attention one may receive.
Also is there a preferred hierarchy of goals when it comes to choosing a B-school? I know the order is individual specific but based on your experiences as academic consultants - I am sure you would have a preferred sequence in mind. I mean - first look at GMAT scores, then regional preference or specialization and so on...
I guess i can write a paper..."Process of choosing B-school. A Multi-level Hierarchical decision making: My experience"....
Class size is certainly a legitimate element in an applicant's decision- making process. And it is a matter of individual preference. If you have a very specific goal, then perhaps only larger schools can meet your professional needs. On the otherhand, perhaps you have a strong preference for a small class and are pursuing a general management degree. Then you can opt for the small school. YEs, you are right that larger schools have larger alumni networks, you still meet and now only so many people, regardless of the class size. Furthermore, the scmall schools, like Tuck for example, are known for their close-knit classes and loyal alumni. So class size is an element when you have to evaluate what works best for you. There is not univerisal answer.
IN terms of choosing the schools, I put professional goals at the top of my criteria. If the school doesn't support your goals, even if you love the location and size, and the education philosophy, it doesn't pay to attend. AFter that, the importance of the criteria really vary from individual to individual. Barring extenuating personal circumstances, I would put fit with the school next. By "fit" I mean a feeling of comfort with the school's educational philosphy and approach. Finally I would consider elements like geography, urban vs rural, weather, etc. At the same time, for many applicants the elements I put last would very appropriately be more important.
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