Applying to business school is expensive AF and people try to justify it by saying it is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of business school.
If you are a do-gooder like me, you are trying to reduce costs in both instances. I think the biggest thing to keep in mind when applying to MBA programs (and this espeically applies to those in non-profit and non-business roles) is that you are amongst business men and women with larger discretionary spending accounts that the rest of the population. This means more investment and more waste. What some might do on their own, those with money rather pay someone else who can do it. There is nothing wrong with that (spending makes the world go wrong and keep the economy moving). But for little ole’ me, I need to be cognizant of how much I am spending and where my money goes. Lets do a tally so far.
Manhattan GMAT ($1400)- Somewhat helpful but not worth the full $1400. An indepedent post is coming on this, I promise
Magoosh ($100)- I have been using so many resources that I haven’t even dug into Magoosh yet. This is the best deal IMO. Plus, when you are done you can sell you access to someone else and get a good chunk of your money back.
Target Test Prep ($99 per month before deals etc)- This is an amazing platform for reviewing content. The struggle is that it takes sooo long for me to get through (probably because I have so many gaps in my content knowledge). This is costing me a lot more than I wanted it to. I may table it for a bit and come back.
Forte On-Demand MBA Program ($350)- I was feeling anxious that I am not part of any MBA prep program as a minority student and so I signed up for this. Honestly I haven’t gotten much out of it yet and I am wondering why I spent the money. I will probably circle back and complete all the webinars to squeeze all the knowledge I can out of the program.
Essay Snark Countdown to Round 1 Apps ($40)- Finally, I start to feel good about the money I spend. This countdown is a weekly email chock full of information on what you need to accomplish this week to have you application ready by early September. I am learning a lot and Essay Snark is a great resource for those of us who do not want to shell out money for a consultant. I really think that when it comes to applying, effort and time can get you most of the way.
Money to Spend in the Future
I think moving forward I will spend money for a few GMAT tutoring sessions and a some essay review. I refuse to spend on consultants (especially after I did the work of speaking with a few and did not get a great impression). As of right now, my opinion is that money spent on the GMAT or visiting schools is money well spent. There are a tons of people who are trying to get a piece of this MBA pie, and many want to take advantage of the fear of young applicants. There is nothing wrong with hiring a consultant if you need one, but just be careful.