Top MBA admission consultants with pricing
An elite business school continues to be the most preferred destination of many bright and ambitious students the world over. Many who do not prefer a trial-and-error approach, seek out capable and affordable MBA admissions consultants as co-travelers on an important academic and career journey.
What do MBA Consultants do?
In the world of admissions consultancy, there are boutique companies run by one or two experienced admissions experts and larger firms employing many consultants. But they share some common features.
Here are some characteristics of the top MBA admissions consulting companies in the world:
- They provide essay editing, résumé editing, interview prep services to MBA applicants.
- They help their clients distinguish themselves from the competition.
- Most of the consultants are graduates of elite programs. Some may have former admission officers.
- Several may offer a free profile review.
- They offer discounts on multi-school packages.
- For rejected applicants, they can provide reapplication advice to fix the issues and improve the odds of success.
Not sure if you need an MBA admissions consultant? This may help you decide – Is hiring an MBA admissions consultant worth it?
Top MBA admission consultants in the world
Here is a selection of some the best consulting companies in the world. These are ordered alphabetically, and not ranked. Since we’re playing hosts here, we’ll set the ball rolling with what we have to offer.
Established in 1994, Accepted has consultants in North America, Europe, and Asia. The consultants are all b-school graduates, former admissions directors, PhDs, or published authors—Linda Abraham, who founded Accepted, has authored or coauthored 13 books on the admissions process. The fee for comprehensive packages starts from $4,175 for application to one school. Services can also be bought hourly at rates starting from $305 an hour.
Admissionado was founded in 2007 by two former Brown University classmates—Jon Frank and Raj Patil. The firm employs 100 consultants, many of them graduates of top schools, who make sure to build a rapport with every client. Its junior deluxe package starts from $1,995, and the deluxe package from $4,295, both for one school.
Amerasia, founded in 2008, is a boutique consultancy that tailors services according to individual client requirements. It provides comprehensive packages that start at $3,700 for one school. Individual services, such as an essay-focused service with résumé review ($1,800 per school) and mock interview service ($400 per school), are also offered.
Aringo helps MBA aspirants overcome less-than-ideal GMAT scores to gain admission to a top b-school. Gil Levi, Wharton MBA 1998, who was accepted at Wharton, Harvard, and INSEAD on a GMAT score of 650, is the founder. Aringo’s service options include mini-packages, school packages (full-school packages starts at $3,900 for one school), and pay-as-you-go packages ($182 per hour). Customized hourly packages cost $800 per five hours and $1,485 for ten hours.
Critical Square, run by former strategy consultants at Fortune 500 companies, takes pride in its “hyper-customized” approach. The school packages start at $975 and the comprehensive packages at $4,150. Services can be requested at hourly rates: $295 for an hour to $3,975 for 15 hours. Essay and résumé editing, interview prep, and ding reviews all come in packages: for example, essay editing package (250-500 words, priced at $375) and interview prep packages ($250-$1,000).
Chioma Isiadinso, a former HBS and Carnegie Mellon admission officer, started Expartus along with her husband, an HBS alum, in 2002. Expartus promises a commitment to helping clients with lower-than-average GPA/GMAT score, identifying their uniqueness and projecting their pluses. Expartus’ comprehensive packages for first-time applicants start at $3,897 for one school and includes a personal-brand development module. The packages for re-applicants start at $499 for one school.
The MAC (MBA Admissions Consultants) Approved website says the consultancy has placed MBA candidates in top schools around the world, including India (IIM, A, B, and C; ISB). Its comprehensive admission package, which starts at $1,000 for one school, includes a briefing from a recent top-tier admit (“MAC Fellows”), image consultation, and unlimited consulting hours till application submission. The modules are available individually, too: for example, the MAC Fellows and image consultation modules are each available at $299 an hour. “Trusted advisor critique” packages start at $199 per hour.
MBA Prep School
Tyler Cormney, HBS graduate, and Chris Aitken, author and course designer, are the founders. The firm includes MBAs and former admissions officers from top schools including Harvard, Wharton, and Booth. Packages start from $3,995 for one school and $2,000 for each additional school. A premium of $1,000 per package is charged for particular consultants. Hourly packages for assistance with school selection, résumé, essays and recommender support start at $295 for an hour. A self-assessment tool developed by HBS to help candidates with a career search service ($900) is offered.
Menlo Coaching was started in 2012 by David White (who had a 15-year tech career) and Alice van Harten (a former Bain Consultant and Stanford lecturer). The founders have co-authored a book – ‘Admitted! Diane & Chad’s Excellent (MBA) Adventure’. Compared to the other big consulting teams, Menlo Coaching is relatively smaller, with under 10 consultants – and growing.
Personal MBA Coach
Scott Edinburgh, Wharton MBA, has been providing admissions consultancy through PMC since 2008. Every client is served by the same consultant throughout the application process. PMC’s comprehensive packages start from $3,850 for one school. Other services include “One-time Gut Check” ($850 per school); interview prep ($425 per school); hourly support for modules ($325 per hour); and hourly packages for GMAT/GRE tutoring (from $1,950 for 10 hours).
Alex Leventhal, Harvard MBA and Prep MBA founder, has been an admissions consultant since 2005. Comprehensive packages start from $4,750 for one school. Under the comprehensive Top 10 package, service is provided to five candidates applying to ten top schools or ten schools of their choice for a fee of $25,000. Other services: hourly coaching ($345), mock interview and analysis ($675 per session), completed application analysis ($895), and ding analysis ($895).
Square One Prep
“Take a deep breath and relax” is the tagline that welcomes visitors to the website of Square One, founded by Wharton MBA Kathryn Lucan. The consultancy offers to help MBA applicants, including those with low GMAT/GRE score, low GPA, large gap in employment, and college suspension/expulsion. Comprehensive services start at $4,500 for one school. Two applicants are selected for a three-school free package for Round 1 admissions of 2017. The hourly services are priced at $275 per hour.
Stacy Blackman Consulting
SBC was founded by finance guru Stacy Sukov Blackman in 2001. SBC’s listed price for its “All-in Service” is $4,675 for the first school. SBC offers the “Plan Ahead” package ($1,350); hourly services ($315, minimum two hours), which include initial strategic planning, résumé and essay reviews, ding analysis; and the “SBC Flight Test,” an evaluation by former admissions officers ($550). Services such as interview prep ($725) and group interview prep ($525) can be purchased separately.
Stratus Admissions Counselling, established in 2006, uses an eight-step process to assist MBA applicants: strategy building, school selection, essay editing, résumé support, recommender guidance, school-specific reviews and proofreading, interview prep, and post-decision support. The standard package price starts from $4,000 for one school, and the package with a senior admissions counselor starts at $5,333 for one school. Separate interview prep package ($1,000), profile development package ($1,100), and ding analysis package ($600 per school) are available. Hourly counseling is priced at $1,200 for five hours with an admissions consultant and $1,750 with a senior consultant.
Vantage Point founders Meredith and Melody are Kellogg and Columbia MBAs, respectively, have a professional background in investment banking. The comprehensive package fee starts from $4,000 for one school. VP refunds 25 percent of the fee to clients of its four-school or higher packages if they are not accepted into at least one school. A five-hour “Pre-Pack” for early birds is priced at $1,250, and a “Re-Pack,” for re-applicants is available at $500. Hourly services for candidate assessment, résumé review, essay editing, etc., are priced at $275 an hour.
Veritas, which conducts GMAT, GRE, and SAT prep, assures its clients that the primary consultant would be a graduate from their targeted top-tier programs and have elite admissions experience. Veritas’ school packages start from $4,300 for one school. The hourly packages start from $870 for a three-hour package. Clients can bundle GMAT preparation with MBS admissions guidance.
List of the top admission consulting firms with pricing
|Consulting Company||1 School||2 Schools||3 Schools||4 Schools||5 Schools||Per Hour|
|MBA Prep School||$3,995||$5,955||$6,495||$7,495||$8,495||$295|
|Personal MBA Coach||$3,850||$5,200||$6,500||$7,750||$8,950||$325|
|Square One Prep||$4,500||$5,700||$6,900||$8,100||$9,300||$275|
|MBA Crystal Ball||$900||$1,500||$2,150||$2,850||$3,500||N/A|
Resources: GMAT Club, Websites of the admission consultants
Note: These prices in this table may not be current. For the latest and most accurate fee structure, visit the consultant’s website. And of course, you know that this is not a comprehensive list.
Top MBA Consultants Featured on MBA Crystal Ball
– Linda Abraham, Founder of Accepted.com
– Stacy Blackman, Founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting
– Paul Bodine, Founder of Paul Bodine Admissions Consulting
– Graham Richmond, Founder of Clear Admit [They no longer offer consulting services]
– Sandy ‘HBSGuru’ Kreisberg
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