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6 Money-Saving Tips For MBA Candidates

Find out how to apply for an MBA and save money at the same time

Thu Oct 8 2020



With more scholarships and greater access to funding than ever before, gone are the days when business school was just for the privileged few. Nevertheless, even the MBA application process, from test taking to the application fees, is not cheap. 

To Wall Street bankers, application costs might seem minimal, but if you’re applying from a country with a weak currency, from a job outside finance, or alongside other financial commitments – it all adds up. 

Here are six money-saving tips to help you apply for business school, without breaking the bank. 

1. Plan to take the GMAT or GRE just once

It’s nice to have the option of taking these tests more than once if something goes wrong on test day, but it isn’t necessary to take these expensive tests multiple times if you are as prepared as you can be the first time. 

Taking the test when you are not properly prepared just to see what the test-taking experience is like is a waste of money. You should be able to practice mock tests well before test day so that you are operating at your best. Data also shows that after a while, there are diminishing gains achieved by retaking the test. 

If you have fundamentally changed your studies and approach, and have upped your scores on mock tests, then by all means take the test again. But It isn’t worth throwing money at the GMAT or GRE thinking multiple tries will automatically increase your score.

Read: What GMAT Score Do You Need For Harvard?


2. Apply to a limited number of MBA programs

Be strategic about your applications. While it can work in your favor to try out your application on schools you are not as passionate about to gain experience for your dream school application, that takes time and money. You may be better off applying to your dream school first (in round one) and only putting in other applications if that does not work out. 

There is no set rule for how many schools you should apply to but remember to apply to schools with different levels of competitiveness (especially if scholarships are an important factor for you). Never apply to a program that you would not actually attend.