ApplicantLab (Promo Code: CRYSTAL) – Reviews, Price, Discounts
Interactive online tool saves you thousands of dollars in admissions consulting fees
Applicant Lab is an interactive, online, DIY (do-it-yourself) tool to help MBA applicants create winning applications for the top business schools.
It was created by Maria Wich-Vila, a Harvard Business School MBA graduate, who has worked for many years as an admissions consultant. During her time at HBS, she volunteered with the admissions office.
Maria considered starting her own premium admissions consulting firm. But she thought the high pricing would put it out of reach for applicants who couldn’t afford it. So she created ApplicantLab instead, to allow her scale to scale up and reach many more applicants.
ApplicantLab has largely received overwhelmingly positive reviews from users. This is one of the reasons, MBA Crystal Ball decided to partner with Maria and offer the effective and affordable tool to our readers, many of whom don’t need or can’t afford the full-fledged services of the top admissions consultants.
Here’s what some users have to say about Applicant Lab. These have been verified by credible sites such as Poets & Quants, GMAT Club and our own MBA Crystal Ball blog.
- Tuck and MIT admit: “I paid a famous firm $10,000 and got 5 rejections; I paid Maria a tiny fraction of that, and got 2 acceptances” (source: P&Q)
- Emory admit with scholarship: “I loved the school-wise and school-specific advice Maria had on offer with a full blown-access to the platform (across schools) at a highly reasonable price point.” (source: MCB blog)
- Babson, York, Johns Hopkins admits: “I only applied to three universities. I got selected (with scholarship) to all of them. Johns Hopkins offered me 100% scholarship for their MBA program!! Babson offered $20K scholarship and York offered $10K.” (source: GMAT Club)
- Harvard and Stanford Admit: “I couldn’t find anywhere else, such detailed and professional guide in writing a resume as her resume module” (source: P&Q)
- Kellogg 1-year MBA admit: “After wasting thousands of $$$ on multiple admission consultants I decided to give Lab a try and I’m glad I did. Maria is an expert in the admissions consulting process and I can’t thank her enough for putting together this amazing platform. Her advice is razor precise, relevant and practical.” (source: Linkedin)
- Indian School of Business (ISB) admit: “Applicant lab always had answers to all the silliest of questions that I had. To add to that, Maria’s videos were amazing and informative.” (source: P&Q)
However, despite our association with ApplicantLab, we have to be transparent and highlight that it’s not a tool for everyone. We haven’t come across any bad reviews, but users have highlighted some aspects that haven’t worked for them.
Here’s what an applicant (with several admits) who used Applicant Lab and worked with multiple consultants had to say:
- Ross MBA admit: “The product is ideally built for self-starters who prefer a DIY approach to MBA applications. If you need a lot of hands-on help, ApplicantLab is maybe not for you, unless you purchase additional hours (for essay editing) from within the tool.” (source: GMAT Club)
- “ApplicantLab would work like a charm for self-starters and self-motivated folks. Candidates not clear about their target schools or goals might well face challenges to be confident about their progress in the tool. The same happened with me (My goals essay was all over the place).”
“While I was happy with the ApplicantLab, I felt I still might require individual help and personalised feedback on school selection and essays, to be doubly sure.”
“Also, you might reach a stage in the ApplicantLab where your notes about yourself might get too much for you to process. For people who are great at processing/arranging a lot of information and who have time on hand might be better off than others. For these reasons, I enrolled with MBA Crystal Ball for my round 2 applications.” (source: MCB blog)
Read the full debrief in the blog section below.
Pros and Cons of Applicant Lab
Based on the user reviews of Applicant Lab, here’s what we’ve gathered so far.
ApplicantLab is a highly effective tool if:
- you’re self-driven and prefer working independently
- you have a very tight budget
- you’ve done most of the pre-essay groundwork (on bschools, goals) needed for the applications
However, it may not be a good fit for you if:
- you’re unsure about certain key aspects of the application process – such as clarity of career goals, profile positioning, story-telling
- find the application process daunting and confusing
- not comfortable working with online tools and figuring out things on your own
In case of the latter, you may be better off hiring a traditional consultant who can provided more hand-holding throughout the intimidating journey.
If you are somewhere in between, there’s the option of going for a hybrid approach as well to get the best of both worlds. Here are some options:
- Work with an ApplicantLab partner (such as MBA Crystal Ball) for the first few schools to set a strong foundation, and then move on to Applicant Lab to manage the rest of the applications.
- Start with ApplicantLab to get the basic drafts in place, and then work with a top admissions consultant from MBA Crystal Ball to get a sanity check i.e. review and polish those drafts into a winning application.
Fee / Price: How much does ApplicantLab cost?
The price of ApplicantLab is USD 299.
This is the cost of a single user account, and allows you to work on multiple applications. For a one-time fixed fee, the tool currently offers guidance on 80+ programs and the number is growing steadily.
What is the best discount code for ApplicantLab?
Does Applicant lab accept promo codes?
Yes, Applicant Lab offers discounts and accepts promo codes. That makes the already low-priced tool even more affordable.
What is the best discount code for ApplicantLab?
The discount code for ApplicantLab is CRYSTAL.
Use this promo code while signing up, to get the best deal available anywhere on the internet. Guaranteed!
If you get a higher discount from any other site, let us know. We’ll see if we can match it or offer something better.
– Reviews of ApplicantLab, MBA Crystal Ball and other consultants
– My experience with multiple consultants
– Interview with Maria Wich-Vila, Founder ApplicantLab (Coming soon)
Disclaimer: MBA Crystal Ball has affiliate partnerships with a select few companies, including ApplicantLab. These are third-party products owned by the respective companies. MBA Crystal Ball is not involved in content, delivery or customer support of this product.