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AIGAC Releases 2013 MBA Applicant Survey Results

The average applicant to business school spends between 90 and 140 hours on the MBA application process, according to findings from the 2013 Applicant Survey conducted by the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC). Excluding GMAT prep, applicants report that they spend between 70 and 110 hours on the application itself. 

AIGAC released the applicant survey results as part of its annual conference, which took place this week in Philadelphia. The association was founded in 2006 to promote high ethical standards and professional development among graduate admissions consultants. It conducts an online survey of MBA applicants each year to help its member graduate management admissions consultants and admissions committees at top business schools better understand prospective MBA students’ goals and needs.

In addition to providing insight into how much time applicants devote to the application process, the survey also asked applicants about where they turn for information and guidance through the process. More than half (57 percent) of survey respondents report that they used an admissions consultant to help them with their essays, résumé, interview prep, school selection and/or recommendation strategies.

One of the greatest challenges applicants faced as part of the 2012-13 MBA application cycle was being asked to draft their own letters of recommendation. Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents overall and roughly half of all international survey respondents report they were asked to do so.

The AIGAC survey also found that prospective applicants to business school expect that attaining an MBA will have significant impact on their earning ability. Twenty-six percent of respondents said they expected their salary to more than double, although applicants making $100,000 to $150,000 before business school expected, on average, just a 15 percent increase.

The survey also invited applicants to weigh in on which schools’ admissions committees, in their opinion, got to know them best as part of the application process. (The responses were weighted to correct for the distortion of prospects giving lower marks to schools that rejected them.) Duke’s Fuqua School of Business scored highest, followed by Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Read the complete AIGAC 2013 Applicants Survey results.

Read more on the AIGAC survey from PoetsandQuants here.