• Sam Weeks

Pre-application checks: Time and money

Are you considering applying for an MBA? Before committing cash to your application, ask yourself these two important questions:


1. Can I afford an MBA?

2. Do I have time to apply?



1. Can I afford an MBA?


The average cost of an MBA is anywhere between $50,000 and $250,000 (!) depending on the business school, the program length and location. Most people pay this from a combination of savings, scholarships and loans. If you hope to hire an admissions consultant, add that cost on top (my pricing here). Last year, 32% of the applicants I worked with won scholarships.


Financing options are also available, including public and private lending schemes that can provide an “education loan”. Check out whether your local government offers loans to students. In the US, Federal Student Aid is the largest provider of financial aid for college.


In the private sector, check out Lendwise and Prodigy Finance. Note also that in some countries education costs are considered tax-deductible. For tips about how you can lower the cost of an MBA, check out my blog on MBA costs: How to keep them down.


2. Do I have time to apply?


Most MBA applicants have between 2-9 years of work experience at the time of matriculation (starting the course). The optimum experience is 4-5 years for most schools. If you have less than 2 years of work experience, consider a MiM (Master in Management). If you have more than 9 years of work experience, consider an Executive MBA.


Full-time MBA programs last between 10-24 months, during which time you'll be expected to be fully present. Applicants often ask if it's possible to hold down a side-hustle while pursuing an MBA. Answer: It has been done, but you won't get as much out of your MBA if you're sacrificing trips and extra-curricular activities.


The application process for MBA programs is long and gruelling. While it can certainly be done faster, I encourage applicants to allow 9 months before their target round deadline. This is to sit the IELTS/TOEFL (English language test) and the GMAT/GRE (several times!) and to write their application essays.


Does this fit with your personal and professional plans? If so, it’s time to consider the many components of a successful application.






I help determined applicants get admitted to top business schools. Get in touch if I can help you with your application. Book a chat here.

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