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Intern
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13 Feb 2007, 20:34
Hey all, I'm getting ready to apply and was wondering what advice anyone has about 1) how many schools to apply to; 2) how many reaches and how many certainties to apply to; and 3) how to decide what is a reach and what is a certainty based not only on gmat score but also on experience, undergrad gpa, etc....thanks in advance for all your help!
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14 Feb 2007, 06:44
Jonny,

Go to message board called "MBA GamePlan" or "Ask Accepted.com" or "Ask Hjort" and if you post your profile you will get feedback from admissions consultants (at least I'm pretty sure they're all consultants).

You can also read the hundreds of profiles other people have posted, and read the feedback they received, this will give you a good sense of how the different elements of an application are weighed, and might inform your decision on which schools you pick.
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14 Feb 2007, 07:42
I transfer your questions in the appropriated forum... U should have more replied there
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14 Feb 2007, 08:31
jonnyjersey wrote:
Hey all, I'm getting ready to apply and was wondering what advice anyone has about 1) how many schools to apply to; 2) how many reaches and how many certainties to apply to; and 3) how to decide what is a reach and what is a certainty based not only on gmat score but also on experience, undergrad gpa, etc....thanks in advance for all your help!

Well, we can certainly try to answer here too.

1) You'll find that most people apply to about 4 to 6 schools. Some do 2 or 3, some do 7 or 8, but it seems like the vast majority do 4 to 6. It's a lot of work to do, so don't underestimate this.

2) This is an excercise in risk tolerance. You have to ask yourself this fundamental question: "If I dont get into a top 10 school, will I be happy at a top 15? top 20? top 30?" For myself, I eventually realized that if I didn't get into a top 15 school, I wouldn't be happy and wouldn't want to go, so I didn't apply to anything outside the top 15. For some, it's top 10 or nowhere. For others, it's top 30 or nowhere. For some, it's top 50. You need to dig deep on this - really really think about it. Project yourself to a school in the top 5 and then project yourself to a school in the top 11 to 15. Picture yourself there - will you forever regret not waiting another year and trying again? Will you be happy? The answer may be yes, the answer may be no. Then ask yourself this: "If I dont get in anywhere, am I ok with waiting another year to go, or do I absolutely want to go now?" The answers to these two questions may conflict, but give it some thought.

3) The easiest way to do this is to take a look at the averages for schools and compare them to yourself. Also see admissions411.com - you can get a good idea of what people with similar profiles ended up seeing. Remember though - it's not a formula. There are people with 780 GMATs who got rejected from top schools, and there are people with 640's who got in. Also, post your profile, and people can help give you some suggestions. Just remember to take the suggestions with a grain of salt. I've had people tell me HBS was a clear admit, and I've had people tell me Cornell was probalby a bit of a stretch but georgetown was a solid choice.
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14 Feb 2007, 21:01
Rhyme, I hope you didn't take that U of Phoenix comment to heart - I still think you'd be a great fit there.

Jonnyjersey - I would recommend Montauk's "Getting into the top business schools." Along with this forum, I found it incredibly helpful. There are other books out there as well, but this just happened to be the one that I picked up.

The rankings are a good place to start, and Rhyme was right about the soul-searching. He's also right that it's difficult to judge what's a stretch and what isn't. You can obviously look at the quantifiables like GMAT, years of work experience, GPA, etc, but each person is so different. Yale obviously didn't realize that they should have been a probable for me - maybe I should have pointed it out in my essays.

Also, definitely consider what you want to do. I'm a nonprofiteer, and MIT or Stern -- two examples of great schools -- would be wretched fits for me. It ain't all in the rankings.
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17 Feb 2007, 08:44
Just one quick comment: there is NO such thing as a certainty for getting into any school.
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19 Feb 2007, 07:09
LastChance08 makes a really good point. There are no certainties.

Applicants are up against (1) the competition, i.e. other applicants (2) yield management i.e. if a school thinks you're using them as a back-up school and that you likely will not matriculate, they may not admit you, and (3) volatility, sometimes great candidates don't get in anywhere for no apparent reason.
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20 Feb 2007, 14:01
you guys have been extremely helpful. thanks so much for taking the time...i'll let you know how it goes. wish me luck!
20 Feb 2007, 14:01
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