Some adcoms are remarkably progressive in their attitudes. This comes through in many of their admissions policies — and perhaps nowhere more strongly than in their reaction to admissions consultants. Some schools are very open and willing to interact with us. Others still hold onto backwards ideas that people shouldn’t seek help on a totally opaque, one-shot-deal opportunity. If you have a complicated tax situation, you get an accountant. If you want to start a business, you ask an attorney. Why such a stigma against seeking out qualified help from an admissions consultant in such a life-critical task?
Anyway, if it weren’t for the complexity of the MBA application process, and the fact that bschool applications are such an imprecise measure of an individual — as many adcoms themselves are quick to admit — there would be no market for admissions consultants. It’s the applications themselves that force candidates to solicit advise. “Why Stanford” – really? You expect someone to just meditate on that and come up with a viable answer, without at least getting some do-this/don’t-do-that type input into their process? Some adcoms have only made the need for consultants even more acute.
If it weren’t for this murkiness, and the sheer competitiveness and high-stakes outcomes, admissions consultants wouldn’t be able to charge so much. Which means the industry attracts all sorts of “consultants” who hang up a shingle – qualified or not.
It is due to the information imbalance that the prices are so high. The lack of transparency in admissions across many bschools means that a good admissions consultant can be a massive advantage. How you determine “good” is a difficult task indeed. That too is murky.
The lack of transparency in the admissions consulting industry means you can easily be taken for a ride. It’s your life at stake, yet the way people so casually toss out advice on message boards is oftentimes shocking.
EssaySnark has just as much of an issue with many of our colleagues in the consulting industry as we do with the ridiculous stance that some admissions directors still maintain against consulting. We’ve talked before about how it’s possible that using a consultant can very well hurt your chances – but that’s not the reason some schools are against it.
The unfortunate fact is that anyone who manages to get accepted to some bschool or other seems to think they are instantly qualified to tell others how to do it. Sure, there’s value in going through the process — but getting yourself into school doesn’t make you an expert across the board in bschool admissions.
There are 20 top business schools in the world, each of which having multiple programs and tracks. Are you saying that you are now well versed in the acceptance preferences and admissions policies of all of them? Yet you’re going to charge hundreds of dollars to issue advice? Wow, that’s ballsy.
This is just a mini-rant, no real purpose to it, except the main message of CAVEAT EMPTOR (“buyer beware”) when it comes to selecting your advisor – and to just state for the record, any bschool that pulls attitude on its applicants for using qualified resources to improve their chances at getting in, get over yourself.