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[infographic] Is your consultant overpriced?

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[infographic] Is your consultant overpriced? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2017, 10:19
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We saw a lot of questions (and even more surprise) at some consultants' prices, so we did a little bit of research to figure out what "pricey" really meant for this particular class of services.

The img is a little squished on embed, it's less squished in our original post about mba admissions consultants' prices

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Re: [infographic] Is your consultant overpriced? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2017, 10:26
damn, that's expensive!

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[infographic] Is your consultant overpriced? [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2017, 10:39
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I'm really torn over the idea of consultants. On one hand, IF a consultant can get you into a college that you likely wouldn't have on your own, the money is probably worth it. But at the same time, unless you are shooting for an elite position, VC/PE etc, most of those positions are still available a tier down, where you'd likely be without the consultant and with extra cash in your pocket.

I've even heard of several people that got into programs wayyyy higher than the consultant recommended aiming at because they have to really risk averse to claim a high success rate. They serve a purpose for a certain demo and type of person, but I just can't see this to be too appealing to the masses. With all of the information freely available online and in school brochures, it is really hard for me to justify the cost.

Plus, I think they are all insanely overpriced, but that's just my opinion, and not something I hold against them. People are clearly still paying for these services if they are in business.

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Re: [infographic] Is your consultant overpriced? [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2017, 09:44
cxa0897 wrote:
I'm really torn over the idea of consultants. On one hand, IF a consultant can get you into a college that you likely wouldn't have on your own, the money is probably worth it. But at the same time, unless you are shooting for an elite position, VC/PE etc, most of those positions are still available a tier down, where you'd likely be without the consultant and with extra cash in your pocket.

I've even heard of several people that got into programs wayyyy higher than the consultant recommended aiming at because they have to really risk averse to claim a high success rate. They serve a purpose for a certain demo and type of person, but I just can't see this to be too appealing to the masses. With all of the information freely available online and in school brochures, it is really hard for me to justify the cost.

Plus, I think they are all insanely overpriced, but that's just my opinion, and not something I hold against them. People are clearly still paying for these services if they are in business.


cxa0897 im wondering how much u think service is worth? i don't disagree w/ u i just know that essay revising etc has SOME value, so curious what that value is (ie if they overpriced, by how much $$)

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[infographic] Is your consultant overpriced? [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2017, 10:10
halibr331 wrote:
cxa0897 wrote:
I'm really torn over the idea of consultants. On one hand, IF a consultant can get you into a college that you likely wouldn't have on your own, the money is probably worth it. But at the same time, unless you are shooting for an elite position, VC/PE etc, most of those positions are still available a tier down, where you'd likely be without the consultant and with extra cash in your pocket.

I've even heard of several people that got into programs wayyyy higher than the consultant recommended aiming at because they have to really risk averse to claim a high success rate. They serve a purpose for a certain demo and type of person, but I just can't see this to be too appealing to the masses. With all of the information freely available online and in school brochures, it is really hard for me to justify the cost.

Plus, I think they are all insanely overpriced, but that's just my opinion, and not something I hold against them. People are clearly still paying for these services if they are in business.


cxa0897 im wondering how much u think service is worth? i don't disagree w/ u i just know that essay revising etc has SOME value, so curious what that value is (ie if they overpriced, by how much $$)


I'll use my experience here, and I'll say that I requested a profile review from Veritas through their free request online. I figured I had a good experience with their practice tests and they have a great reputation, so I'm sure their opinion would be helpful. I got no review from them other than the few questions I asked on my own, but rather a sales pitch for their $310? an hour one on one service. I have absolutely no doubt that the consultant I had been referred to would have been helpful, (he was an mba grad from a top school, and currently did admission interviews for that school in his US city), but he said to even just get an essay ready it would take multiple revisions and convos. I'd be looking at at least a thousand bucks just to have an essay edited. Ouch.

I decided to just do the homework myself, read articles on all the admit sites, looked up a few sample essays for schools I am not applying to (so I don't get tempted to mimic them) so that I can get a feel for the tone and material, and tackled them myself. If I strike out completely this year, maybe I'll reconsider a consultant. If I can find something that covers an essay from start to finish for <$200, I'd probably bite. It can't take these guys more than an hour or two to review an essay that is already halfway decent, so that's still a bunch of money they are making on it.

The real value in these consultants is for somebody overwhelmed or living out of the country, or with a particular challenge like an unclear or really abstract goal. No doubt that a consultant could help there, but for the average applicant there is just so much info out there that there isn't much need for them other than an essay review and even that can be done by peers, current students, etc.

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[infographic] Is your consultant overpriced? [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2017, 13:46
cxa0897 wrote:
halibr331 wrote:
cxa0897 wrote:
I'm really torn over the idea of consultants. On one hand, IF a consultant can get you into a college that you likely wouldn't have on your own, the money is probably worth it. But at the same time, unless you are shooting for an elite position, VC/PE etc, most of those positions are still available a tier down, where you'd likely be without the consultant and with extra cash in your pocket.

I've even heard of several people that got into programs wayyyy higher than the consultant recommended aiming at because they have to really risk averse to claim a high success rate. They serve a purpose for a certain demo and type of person, but I just can't see this to be too appealing to the masses. With all of the information freely available online and in school brochures, it is really hard for me to justify the cost.

Plus, I think they are all insanely overpriced, but that's just my opinion, and not something I hold against them. People are clearly still paying for these services if they are in business.


cxa0897 im wondering how much u think service is worth? i don't disagree w/ u i just know that essay revising etc has SOME value, so curious what that value is (ie if they overpriced, by how much $$)


I'll use my experience here, and I'll say that I requested a profile review from Veritas through their free request online. I figured I had a good experience with their practice tests and they have a great reputation, so I'm sure their opinion would be helpful. I got no review from them other than the few questions I asked on my own, but rather a sales pitch for their $310? an hour one on one service. I have absolutely no doubt that the consultant I had been referred to would have been helpful, (he was an mba grad from a top school, and currently did admission interviews for that school in his US city), but he said to even just get an essay ready it would take multiple revisions and convos. I'd be looking at at least a thousand bucks just to have an essay edited. Ouch.

I decided to just do the homework myself, read articles on all the admit sites, looked up a few sample essays for schools I am not applying to (so I don't get tempted to mimic them) so that I can get a feel for the tone and material, and tackled them myself. If I strike out completely this year, maybe I'll reconsider a consultant. If I can find something that covers an essay from start to finish for <$200, I'd probably bite. It can't take these guys more than an hour or two to review an essay that is already halfway decent, so that's still a bunch of money they are making on it.

The real value in these consultants is for somebody overwhelmed or living out of the country, or with a particular challenge like an unclear or really abstract goal. No doubt that a consultant could help there, but for the average applicant there is just so much info out there that there isn't much need for them other than an essay review and even that can be done by peers, current students, etc.


Thanks for sharing that cxa0897. You hit on a number of sharp pain-points in the industry: sales people covering "free consultations," huge overhead, etc. Glad you were able to piece it together on your own though it sounds like.

I do a little consulting on the side, and in my experience you're right about the revision time (though I'd say 60-90 minutes is closer). The challenge (for me at least) is when someone struggles to make a lot of progress in between revisions. This means the total iterations can go up indefinitely, and that gets ugly.

Personally, I think the services themselves are definitely valuable (a confidante to bounce ideas off of, an editor to polish your essay, etc.), but the industry really needs some flexibility to address the (large, i think) portion of the market that can't find value in comprehensive services.

If anyone's reading who's asking themselves these same questions:


I'll plug a few companies with innovative models/pricing. I've never used them, but in my research for admitbrain, I've learned a lot about a lot of companies &
would recommend these to a friend from what I've learned.

(disclosure: we don't benefit financially from these recommendations at this time, but as with anything in a startup, that may change in the future):

Applicant Lab - have heard great things about this product, but have only played with it myself. The founder's taken all her admissions consulting knowledge & turned it into a streamlined application management system that guides applicants thru the process. It's a $299 flat fee, as far as I know.

fx MBA Consulting - This is a former consultant from one of the big firms who started her own thing. She's pretty vocal about the structural problems in the market, and her content & prices reflect a willingness to try new stuff. For example: she offers free "ding reviews," and an industry-low $60/hour for phone calls (which doesn't include any work prior to/after the call--just a chat). We (admitbrain) spend a lot of time reading about consultants, and from her videos & writing, Leah's one of my favorites.
_________________

former HBS (M), building a new way to evaluate & hire MBA admissions consultants @ https://www.admitbrain.com/

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Re: [infographic] Is your consultant overpriced? [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 09:30
Hello! While admissions consulting services can be "pricey", many of the people we work with would say it's worth it. We've helped clients get into schools they probably would not have gotten into on their own. We've advised clients who went on to get scholarships they likely would not have obtained had they not worked with us. Working with a consultant provides many benefits. In addition to providing guidance on application documents such as resumes, essays, and letters of recommendations, consultants can offer a variety of other services, such as test preparation, personal coaching, and individualized school recommendations that may not have been on the applicant’s radar. AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)--published an article titled "Do I Need an MBA Admissions Consultant?" that goes into more detail. A couple of highlights from the article:

What Can an MBA Admissions Consultant Do That I Can’t Do?
* Know the market.
* Craft a story.
* Manage time.
* Develop a strategy.

Applying to business school is arguably one of the more involved processes of any of the prestigious graduate tracks (law, medical, etc.). With such a complex undertaking and ever-increasing competition from all corners of the globe, admission into top MBA programs has become more challenging than ever.

Many of you can and will navigate the process on your own, but for those of you interested in help, please don't hesitate to reach out.

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Re: [infographic] Is your consultant overpriced?   [#permalink] 24 Oct 2017, 09:30
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