The Costs of Applying to Bschool

USCurrency_Federal_ReserveNow that I’m basically in the waiting phase of this entire application process, it’s time to reflect on my journey thus far. Specifically, how much it hit me in the wallet. This post is inspired by The Billfold’s recent post: “What It Costs [Me] To Apply to Grad School“.

Here’s my cost breakdown so far:

GRAND TOTAL: $1,747.94

I probably could have saved $28 by picking the schools to send my GMAT scores to on exam day more prudently. I wasn’t sure where I’d apply at that point, and I was really waiting to see what my score was before making that decision. So I wussed out and didn’t include Stanford in my original list, even though I knew I wanted to apply. Some kind of weird superstitious move, probably. But then again, I probably shouldn’t have spent that $275 on Stanford’s app anyway, seeing that I was denied without interview.

I’m sure I’m missing some expenses in here, including the money I spent on clothes for interviews. I previously owned one suit that my parents bought me after I graduated from college almost nine years ago as a kind of graduation present. Needless to say, I no longer fit into that suit. And guess how many times I actually wore it? Zero. So I bought one the weekend before my first interview. I bought a skirt for the bottom because I had no time to tailor pants. That’s how cool I am.

I also did not travel to visit any campuses (I’ve been to almost all of these campuses before for one reason or another; I’ve just never been there solely for business school purposes). It seems that applicants are expected to visit 1) Before they apply so they can get fodder to add to their essays; 2) When they interview to “show their enthusiasm”; and 3) After they’re admitted so they can be wooed and decide to attend. This is insanity, in my opinion, and unfeasible for most people without big salaries and an unbelievably flexible work schedule. I have neither of these things. If I get into more than one school, I may visit a couple campuses at that point, if the two schools are close in my personal ranking already.

And I did not spend money on admissions consultants or anything like that. I heard some stat flying around that said almost half of all bschool applicants use consultants–that sounds unbelievable to me. But then again, maybe not…? I luckily only had to take the GMAT once. And my org covered that $700 GMAT prep course. So I’m in relatively great shape, actually, despite my horror at seeing that $1,700+ figure.

I’m ramping up for a better year next year–I am set on making 2014 a positive and productive one. 2013 was rough for me in so many different ways. I am looking forward to saying goodbye to this year and starting anew. And I am hopefully going to kick that off early with at least one “Congratulations, you’re in!” from one school in the upcoming few weeks. Stay tuned…

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