How many schools is too many?


I'm getting an early start on my applications for next year, and I'd like to have a good round number of applications to hedge my bets, but not too many. Is 10 too many? I'm thinking of applying all over the world, from local here (UC Davis,) to Tsinghua in China and Molson in Canada, with about 8 others in between.
I'm getting an early start on my applications for next year, and I'd like to have a good round number of applications to hedge my bets, but not too many. Is 10 too many? I'm thinking of applying all over the world, from local here (UC Davis,) to Tsinghua in China and Molson in Canada, with about 8 others in between.
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fishball
How many schools can you attend at one time?
How many schools can you attend at one time?
quote
How many schools can you attend at one time?


Three, probably - if at least one was a distance learning program.

But that wasn't really my question. I was mainly looking for advice on the number of schools I should apply to to ensure that I get into the best one I could possibly get. I mean, I want to apply to a couple of really great programs that I might be a bit under qualified for, a few mid-range, and a few that are more safety schools, that I know I could get into easily.

What are other people doing in terms of this kind of breakdown?
<blockquote>How many schools can you attend at one time?
</blockquote>

Three, probably - if at least one was a distance learning program.

But that wasn't really my question. I was mainly looking for advice on the number of schools I should apply to to ensure that I get into the best one I could possibly get. I mean, I want to apply to a couple of really great programs that I might be a bit under qualified for, a few mid-range, and a few that are more safety schools, that I know I could get into easily.

What are other people doing in terms of this kind of breakdown?
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fishball
I heard the application mix is roughly

2 stretch
3 likelies
2 back ups

You could go with that, I think it makes sense.

I would probably start with 1 likely,1 backup to get the feel of writing the essays, then move on to the 2 reaches after that and finish up strong with the 2 likelies and the last backup.

If you're able to do 1 part time, 1 full time AND 1 distance learning, please let me know. I think I would have to worship you as a god of sorts by then ;)
I heard the application mix is roughly

2 stretch
3 likelies
2 back ups

You could go with that, I think it makes sense.

I would probably start with 1 likely,1 backup to get the feel of writing the essays, then move on to the 2 reaches after that and finish up strong with the 2 likelies and the last backup.

If you're able to do 1 part time, 1 full time AND 1 distance learning, please let me know. I think I would have to worship you as a god of sorts by then ;)
quote
Thanks for the input. Your breakdown seems pretty logical. I've got about 10 schools in mind right now: 3 stretch, 4 likely, 3 backup, but I'll probably whittle that down to about 7-8. I think my problem is that I need to narrow down the geography because I'm looking at schools in the U.S., Canada, China, and in Europe!
Thanks for the input. Your breakdown seems pretty logical. I've got about 10 schools in mind right now: 3 stretch, 4 likely, 3 backup, but I'll probably whittle that down to about 7-8. I think my problem is that I need to narrow down the geography because I'm looking at schools in the U.S., Canada, China, and in Europe!
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fishball
USA

Harvard, Stanford, Wharton (Pick 1)

Columbia, Kellogg, Chicago, MIT, Tuck (Pick 2)

Yale, Darden, Georgetown, Stern (Pick 1)


England/Europe

LBS, IMD, INSEAD (Pick 1)

Said, Judge (Pick 1)


China/Hong Kong

Tsinghua, CEIBS, Beida, HKUST (Pick 1)


Total = 7

10 might be a bit overkill though, and unless you start re-using essays which might not be the best thing to do, you may find yourself short for time to do 10.
USA

Harvard, Stanford, Wharton (Pick 1)

Columbia, Kellogg, Chicago, MIT, Tuck (Pick 2)

Yale, Darden, Georgetown, Stern (Pick 1)


England/Europe

LBS, IMD, INSEAD (Pick 1)

Said, Judge (Pick 1)


China/Hong Kong

Tsinghua, CEIBS, Beida, HKUST (Pick 1)


Total = 7

10 might be a bit overkill though, and unless you start re-using essays which might not be the best thing to do, you may find yourself short for time to do 10.

quote
Wow, thanks for all that advice!

CEIBS and HKUST are definitely on my China list. As for Europe, I've definitely got LBS and INSEAD, but am also interested in Aberdeen as more of a safety.

But in the States, I'm looking at more west coast schools because that's where I'm from: Haas, UC Davis, Pepperdine, Stanford.

I'm also considering a couple Canada schools - Molson mainly, but also Queen's.

What do you think?
Wow, thanks for all that advice!

CEIBS and HKUST are definitely on my China list. As for Europe, I've definitely got LBS and INSEAD, but am also interested in Aberdeen as more of a safety.

But in the States, I'm looking at more west coast schools because that's where I'm from: Haas, UC Davis, Pepperdine, Stanford.

I'm also considering a couple Canada schools - Molson mainly, but also Queen's.

What do you think?
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fishball
Well, if you're looking for safety schools in Europe, I honestly can't comment on Aberdeen. However, I do know that Judge/Said as safety schools are pretty solid. It depends on what you aim to do post-MBA.

Another one that you might want to consider, might be Cranfield. It's not fantastic, not is it horrible. From what I've heard, it's pretty solid. So that might be an option for you.

For the States, if you're looking at West coast, then Stanford and Haas are a definite given. But do they fit in with your long term goals?

Unfortunately, I can't comment on Canadian schools. I've heard of the Richard Ivey MBA though. And McGill of course.

What do you want to do after your MBA?
Well, if you're looking for safety schools in Europe, I honestly can't comment on Aberdeen. However, I do know that Judge/Said as safety schools are pretty solid. It depends on what you aim to do post-MBA.

Another one that you might want to consider, might be Cranfield. It's not fantastic, not is it horrible. From what I've heard, it's pretty solid. So that might be an option for you.

For the States, if you're looking at West coast, then Stanford and Haas are a definite given. But do they fit in with your long term goals?

Unfortunately, I can't comment on Canadian schools. I've heard of the Richard Ivey MBA though. And McGill of course.

What do you want to do after your MBA?
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Magnet
Hi, I'd agree with 7 as a good number to apply to.

Most schools have pretty long application forms and I think spending a bit longer getting your applications perfect means you'll have a better chance of getting in in the first place - leaving you a few to choose from rather than rushing the application forms and getting into one or two!

Cranfield is a good choice and you can finish your MBA in one year instead of 2. It's a well known post grad business institution in the UK and it's one of the oldest in the UK too - older than Judge and Said believe it or not!
Hi, I'd agree with 7 as a good number to apply to.

Most schools have pretty long application forms and I think spending a bit longer getting your applications perfect means you'll have a better chance of getting in in the first place - leaving you a few to choose from rather than rushing the application forms and getting into one or two!

Cranfield is a good choice and you can finish your MBA in one year instead of 2. It's a well known post grad business institution in the UK and it's one of the oldest in the UK too - older than Judge and Said believe it or not!
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Hi Magnet, thanks for the insight. I hadn't considered Cranfield, actually, I haven't really considered any UK schools, but I'll look into it.
Hi Magnet, thanks for the insight. I hadn't considered Cranfield, actually, I haven't really considered any UK schools, but I'll look into it.
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sally
You haven't considered any UK schools? What about LBS and Aberdeen?

Also, why apply all over the world? Surely you must have a preference on location?

Having such a diverse groups of schools is going to make your "why do you want to study here" answer different for each application! And, some of the essays might not come of as sincere since it doesn't really sounds like you know where you want to study or why...
You haven't considered any UK schools? What about LBS and Aberdeen?

Also, why apply all over the world? Surely you must have a preference on location?

Having such a diverse groups of schools is going to make your "why do you want to study here" answer different for each application! And, some of the essays might not come of as sincere since it doesn't really sounds like you know where you want to study or why...
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You're right - that question will be difficult to answer. I think that I really need to narrow down my geographical choices. There are just too many places I want to go!

Maybe I'll stick to the California schools for now...
You're right - that question will be difficult to answer. I think that I really need to narrow down my geographical choices. There are just too many places I want to go!

Maybe I'll stick to the California schools for now...
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sally
well if you hypothetically applied to 10 and got in to all of them, which would you choose? And if you didn't get your top choice, what would be your second, third, fourth and fifth options? That would narrow it down!
well if you hypothetically applied to 10 and got in to all of them, which would you choose? And if you didn't get your top choice, what would be your second, third, fourth and fifth options? That would narrow it down!
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Mesix
Don't count out the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. That is one of the most impressive campuses and the faculty are picked from all the top business schools worldwide. The recent Financial Times Ranking placed ISB at number 12 in the world and by far the youngest program among the top schools.

http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-rankings
Don't count out the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. That is one of the most impressive campuses and the faculty are picked from all the top business schools worldwide. The recent Financial Times Ranking placed ISB at number 12 in the world and by far the youngest program among the top schools.

http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-rankings
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Rhino
When I applied for MBA, I only chose 4 (four) schools that fit my profile and goals better.
To me any number above 5 (five) is already a stretch.
Because it takes longer than you expect to write a good essay. And especially the quality of recommendation letter matters.
Can you imagine you're helping someone to write recommendation for more than 5 (five) times? It's overkilling your recommender.

what if you apply to 10 schools, then the first 9 schools rejects you.
Would you still going for MBA at the last school ?
It will impact you pshychologically. It's like going for a prom, but you've been rejected by the first 9 girls, then in the end, you only bring your neighbour to the prom.
Which is not a bad thing if your neighbour is like european models.

Applying to H/S/W is like asking a date to a beauty queen.
Are you confident enough to ask her out? If not, don't bother, you'll be wasting your time.

I think it is easier than done applying to many schools.
One should look at own goals and try to select schools that fits you best.
For example, if you are interested in accountancy, you should attend McCombs because their accounting department is better than H/S/W.
I believe U.S. News or some magz has this "Best in ", you can refer to the rank, but it is very US-centric.
When I applied for MBA, I only chose 4 (four) schools that fit my profile and goals better.
To me any number above 5 (five) is already a stretch.
Because it takes longer than you expect to write a good essay. And especially the quality of recommendation letter matters.
Can you imagine you're helping someone to write recommendation for more than 5 (five) times? It's overkilling your recommender.

what if you apply to 10 schools, then the first 9 schools rejects you.
Would you still going for MBA at the last school ?
It will impact you pshychologically. It's like going for a prom, but you've been rejected by the first 9 girls, then in the end, you only bring your neighbour to the prom.
Which is not a bad thing if your neighbour is like european models.

Applying to H/S/W is like asking a date to a beauty queen.
Are you confident enough to ask her out? If not, don't bother, you'll be wasting your time.

I think it is easier than done applying to many schools.
One should look at own goals and try to select schools that fits you best.
For example, if you are interested in accountancy, you should attend McCombs because their accounting department is better than H/S/W.
I believe U.S. News or some magz has this "Best in ", you can refer to the rank, but it is very US-centric.
quote
fishball
Doesn't the Financial Times methodology use PPP to measure the school?

There are plenty of problems with the ranking, you really think that IE in Spain is better than MIT Sloan? That ISB is really better than Tuck (15), IMD (16) and even... Yale (17)?

It may be "impressive" to you, but why not use a ranking that doesn't allow for PPP to see what you really get? Also, I've heard through the grapevine that the ISB's inflate their post-grad salaries purely for ranking purposes.
Doesn't the Financial Times methodology use PPP to measure the school?

There are plenty of problems with the ranking, you really think that IE in Spain is better than MIT Sloan? That ISB is really better than Tuck (15), IMD (16) and even... Yale (17)?

It may be "impressive" to you, but why not use a ranking that doesn't allow for PPP to see what you really get? Also, I've heard through the grapevine that the ISB's inflate their post-grad salaries purely for ranking purposes.

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sally
PPP? Is an acronym I'm supposed to know? :P

Also, whatever it is, what is the worldwide ranking you suggest that doesn't use this? Or that you think is the most reliable in general?

Edit... looked it up:

3. Which exchange rates does the FT use in its salary calculations?

The FT rankings use Purchasing Power Parity rates, published by the International Monetary Fund, rather than normal currency exchange rates. All salary data are converted into $US equivalents. Unlike conventional current rates, PPP conversion factors take into account the cost of living in the country where a currency is used.
PPP? Is an acronym I'm supposed to know? :P

Also, whatever it is, what is the worldwide ranking you suggest that doesn't use this? Or that you think is the most reliable in general?

Edit... looked it up:

3. Which exchange rates does the FT use in its salary calculations?

The FT rankings use Purchasing Power Parity rates, published by the International Monetary Fund, rather than normal currency exchange rates. All salary data are converted into $US equivalents. Unlike conventional current rates, PPP conversion factors take into account the cost of living in the country where a currency is used.
quote
fishball
To be honest, I don't really pay that much attention to precise rankings. But US News is probably the standard that people use. Very US-centric, but the best schools are from the US.

I would probably use a tiered system

tier 1: Harvard/Stanford/Wharton/MIT/Kellogg/Booth/Columbia/Tuck/INSEAD/LBS/IMD

tier 2: Said/Yale/Haas/Stern/Judge/Darden

etc. With the acknowledgement that Harvard/Stanford/Wharton should be a cut above the rest in tier 2, and with Harvard/Stanford being a notch above Wharton.
To be honest, I don't really pay that much attention to precise rankings. But US News is probably the standard that people use. Very US-centric, but the best schools are from the US.

I would probably use a tiered system

tier 1: Harvard/Stanford/Wharton/MIT/Kellogg/Booth/Columbia/Tuck/INSEAD/LBS/IMD

tier 2: Said/Yale/Haas/Stern/Judge/Darden

etc. With the acknowledgement that Harvard/Stanford/Wharton should be a cut above the rest in tier 2, and with Harvard/Stanford being a notch above Wharton.

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sally
Well, I do think there's some value in knowing what kind of salary a school's alumni make post graduation, even if that is adjusted to the country that they're working in. (I'm not sure if it would be more or less fair not to factor in cost of living).

Of course the rankings don't even show this perfectly. But if you're not ranking based on these kind of metrics, then the ranking becomes totally subjective. It's based more on brand recognition than on actual performance.

Maybe someone should create a ranking that is based soley on brand recognition surveys given to a random sample of people around the world. It would just say "Mark any schools on this list that you've heard of" :P

Another idea: somehow rank the desirability of jobs obtained obtained by alumni, rather than just the salary. Maybe they could measure the type of jobs received by alumni and compare those to a student survey of what their most sought after positions are... or that might not work at all haha.
Well, I do think there's some value in knowing what kind of salary a school's alumni make post graduation, even if that is adjusted to the country that they're working in. (I'm not sure if it would be more or less fair not to factor in cost of living).

Of course the rankings don't even show this perfectly. But if you're not ranking based on these kind of metrics, then the ranking becomes totally subjective. It's based more on brand recognition than on actual performance.

Maybe someone should create a ranking that is based soley on brand recognition surveys given to a random sample of people around the world. It would just say "Mark any schools on this list that you've heard of" :P

Another idea: somehow rank the desirability of jobs obtained obtained by alumni, rather than just the salary. Maybe they could measure the type of jobs received by alumni and compare those to a student survey of what their most sought after positions are... or that might not work at all haha.
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fishball
Maybe someone should create a ranking that is based soley on brand recognition surveys given to a random sample of people around the world. It would just say "Mark any schools on this list that you've heard of" :P

Another idea: somehow rank the desirability of jobs obtained obtained by alumni, rather than just the salary. Maybe they could measure the type of jobs received by alumni and compare those to a student survey of what their most sought after positions are... or that might not work at all haha.


There was a rough ranking that was created on one of the forums based on how many people applied. That was pretty interesting though, I think Harvard/Stanford ranked lower because fewer people applied there.

You're right though, the ideal ranking would be by the jobs obtained by the alumni, but that may take too much time and resources - not to mention that it may be hard to get people to participate in it.
<blockquote>Maybe someone should create a ranking that is based soley on brand recognition surveys given to a random sample of people around the world. It would just say "Mark any schools on this list that you've heard of" :P

Another idea: somehow rank the desirability of jobs obtained obtained by alumni, rather than just the salary. Maybe they could measure the type of jobs received by alumni and compare those to a student survey of what their most sought after positions are... or that might not work at all haha.</blockquote>

There was a rough ranking that was created on one of the forums based on how many people applied. That was pretty interesting though, I think Harvard/Stanford ranked lower because fewer people applied there.

You're right though, the ideal ranking would be by the jobs obtained by the alumni, but that may take too much time and resources - not to mention that it may be hard to get people to participate in it.

quote

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