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Is an MBA admissions consultant worth the cost?

Updated: Feb 1



"Is an MBA admissions consultant worth the cost?"


Unsurprisingly, we get asked this question often. In this post we shed light on exactly what it’ll cost and what you’ll get.


Our clients tend to think of the MBA admissions consulting process as an investment, rather than a cost. So perhaps a better question is: What does an MBA Admissions Consultant add to my application, and is it worth it?


We can’t speak for other consultants, but here’s a complete breakdown of our fees at SWC, and what value you can expect from the process.


How much does SWC cost?


From 1 hour to a 6 school application package, we’ve designed our pricing model for flexibility. This is how much it costs to work with our founder, Sam Weeks. Prices are correct as of January 2024.


Hourly packages:

1-4 hours: $450/hour

5 hour bundle: $1,800 ($360/hour)


School packages:

1 school package: Payment 1 ($4,590) + payment 2 ($2,750)

2 school package: Payment 1 ($6,270) + payment 2 ($2,750

3 school package: Payment 1 ($7,960) + payment 2 ($2,750)

4 school package: Payment 1 ($9,380) + payment 2 ($2,750)

5 school package: Payment 1 ($10,810) + payment 2 ($2,750)

6 school applications: Payment 1 ($12,240) + payment 2 ($2,750)


After that, each additional school: $1,100


For school packages, Payment 1 includes everything until you hit “Submit”. Payment 2 is only due if you get an interview invite, which gives you 4 mock interviews with at least 2 different consultants.


At any point, you can choose to add another school to your package. For school packages, you can also split your Payment 1 into two or three separate payments if you like. Some clients choose the 3 school application package, then write more applications on their own and use hourly services to have these checked. That’s fine too.


What’s included in the price?


Support, direction, and clarity. From your first introduction call to the moment you receive your admit.


We’ll follow a tried-and-tested workflow to cover every aspect of your MBA application including school choice, story creation (SCAR Analysis), essays, resume, letters of recommendation, a review by another SWC consultant, and Kira Talent prep. Here’s what that looks like:


What’s different about SWC?


With the numbers out of the way, let’s talk about value.


Interview-contingent payment


Generally, the all-inclusive MBA Admissions Service packages offered by other consulting firms feature a single payment; with them you pay a lump sum, no matter the outcome of your application. But this means your consultant’s incentives aren’t fully aligned with yours.


At SWC, we do it differently. Our all-inclusive school packages are split into two payments:


Payment 1: This includes all consulting services up to application submission. School selection, profile building, post-MBA goals, resume writing, recommender guidance, school essays and video interviews. Everything you need to press “Submit”.


Payment 2: This fee is due only if you receive an interview invitation. This aligns our incentives. It also triggers 4 mock interviews where you’ll rehearse your most impactful stories and practice delivering the personal narrative that you wrote in your essays. Why 4 mock interviews? In our experience, that’s how many it takes for applicants to feel genuinely excited about their MBA interview.


Regardless of how many interview offers you receive, you only pay the interview fee once to access 4 mock interviews.


1-on-1 meetings


At SWC, we believe that the only way to create an intimate, personal MBA application is by getting to know you on that level. That’s why our entire MBA application process is designed to be personal. You’ll work with your consultant 1-on-1 live over Zoom and Google Docs. We want to avoid email ping-pong.


We regularly receive glowing feedback about this trust-based approach. Some clients go as far as saying they feel like they’ve made a new friend.



School vs. Hourly Packages


SWC was founded based on an identified need for flexible, personal MBA admissions consultants. That’s why SWC has packages to suit different budgets and working styles.


If you need 1 hour to prepare for your MBA interview or Kira Talent video interviews, that’s fine. We don’t insist on a minimum number of hours.


Alternatively, if you want all-inclusive support for every step of your MBA application, consider choosing a 1, 3, or 6 school package.


Whichever package you choose, you’ll have direct access to your consultant’s calendar using a dedicated client booking link.


Unlimited meetings and edits


For our school packages, there’s no limit to the number of meetings. We’ll continue meeting until both you and your consultant are happy with the drafts. Generally, we’ll aim for 2 meetings per week with 1-2 hours of homework in between meetings. This keeps the conversation flowing and gives you time to complete your homework.


The main advantage of unlimited packages is that we have time to explore the authentic ‘you’. Some clients say the conversations feel like therapy, because powerful storytelling involves getting uncomfortably personal. This is a good sign. Vulnerability shows maturity, which is a key leadership trait that business schools are eager to see in your essays. You’ll also use this bank of personal stories during your interviews.


Ranked #2 by Poets&Quants Globally

Don’t take our word for it. Hear it from our clients!


We’re proud of the great reviews and scores that clients consistently give us. They put Sam at #2 on the Poets&Quants Top 20 MBA Admissions Consultants of 2022 list.



Value: Return on Investment


Part of the cost of an MBA


Applicants who take up consulting services look at the cost of MBA admissions consulting through the lens of the expected all-in cost of the MBA program, and all of the benefits that it brings.


For example, Wharton candidates are told to budget for $118,568 in their first year, of which tuition fees are $84,874. That means candidates can expect an all-in cost for two years at around $240,000. See more details in Wharton Tuition Fees & Financial Aid. For most, this investment is justified by the post-MBA salary growth.



Post-MBA career returns


MBA candidates can expect career progression and a higher salary post MBA. How much higher? Well, in 2020, 93.5 percent of Wharton students seeking full-time employment received job offers with a starting salary between $130,000 and $165,000 per year.


In addition, they had access to Wharton’s 100,000+ alumni network in 153+ countries, and international opportunities (13.4 percent of 2020 graduates chose to work outside the U.S. upon graduation). Source: The value and ROI of a Wharton MBA.


Boosting scholarship chances


In 2021, 1 in 3 of SWC clients were awarded scholarships. Those recipients won an average of $62,000 each, immediately covering the cost of their MBA admissions consulting.


For example, Sejal chose our 3 school package, which cost around $8,000 at the time. She was admitted to NYU Stern and awarded scholarships worth $170,000. That’s a return on investment of over 20x.


So, are MBA admissions consultants worth it? For many, a salary increase and a bigger, better network justify the cost of consulting, and the MBA in general, within a few years. If you’re still on the fence about how consulting can help your MBA application, let’s chat.


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About Us

Sam Weeks Consulting (profile).JPG

Hi, I'm Sam.  I'm the founder of Sam Weeks Consulting. Our clients get admitted to top MBA and EMBA programs.

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