How Many Business Schools Should I Apply To?


How Many Business Schools Should I Apply To?

May 12 2024 By The MBA Exchange
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As an MBA applicant, determining the ideal number of business schools to apply to can be challenging. Whether you believe there’s only one perfect program for you or you feel uneasy applying to fewer than seven schools, maximizing your admission chances is crucial. Balancing your aspirations with practical considerations can significantly impact your chances of admission. This guide will address essential questions to consider as you create your list of target MBA programs.

1. Which Schools Align Best with My Background and Goals?

Researching the profiles of recent classes at potential schools is vital. Look for institutions where a significant percentage of students share your academic background and career aspirations. Focus on schools where graduates secure positions at companies you are interested in. This alignment can enhance your chances of acceptance and future career success.

2. Which Schools Are Most and Least Likely to Admit Me?

Understanding each school’s selectivity is crucial. Review the latest admission statistics to see how your GMAT score and GPA compare with the school’s middle 80% range. Applicants with competitive academic profiles have a better chance of acceptance. For a head start, consider getting a free expert evaluation of your MBA candidacy.

3. Which Schools Would I Happily and Proudly Attend If They Are the Only Ones to Admit Me?

Your goal is to gain admission, not just to apply. Ensure that you would be content enrolling in any school on your list. Visiting campuses (or engaging with current students virtually due to COVID-19) can help you gauge whether you would fit well within the program’s culture and environment.

4. How Much Time Do I Have to Prepare Stellar Applications?

Crafting an authentic and compelling application requires significant effort. The time spent on each application can limit the quality of other applications. Working with a professional admissions consultant can help you manage this balance effectively, ensuring a mix of quality and quantity in your applications.

5. Do I Want or Need Merit-Based Financial Aid?

Financial considerations are essential when choosing schools. Merit-based scholarships, fellowships, and grants can make a significant difference. Schools with more competitive admissions may offer less financial aid. Weigh the potential financial benefits against the school’s ranking and reputation when finalizing your target list.


Once you complete your first MBA application, you’ll better understand the analysis, planning, and execution required. This experience will help you decide how many applications you can realistically prepare without compromising quality. The incremental effort of applying to one more business school is minimal compared to the potential benefits. If you’re unsure whether this step makes sense, work with the MBA Exchange and we’ll help you!