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A Guide to Getting Into Your MBA Programs

written by: Ivy N. McQuain MBA•edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch•updated: 6/30/2011

Ever wonder how to get into top MBA schools? When you apply to any MBA program, you must realize there will be challenges, but if you apply the techniques of this guide you will be able to get into any MBA program.

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    How to Get Into Top MBA Schools

    First, understand the requirements of the program you are applying for. Don't waste your time and money applying to top MBA programs that you don't qualify for. You need to know that every MBA program offered at top schools is different; therefore, you should visit each school's admissions page for details on admission requirements.

    Second, talk directly to the admissions counselor, advisor and the dean. I highly recommend this option for you because it not only gives you a chance to visit the business college, but it also gives you an opportunity to speak directly with key personnel. Your visibility before you enroll is very valuable and may help with admissions.

    Third, apply for more than one top MBA program. While application fees can become costly, I recommend applying to your top five MBA programs. This will increase your chances of being accepted into a top MBA program. Also note, each MBA program has different deadline dates, so know them and apply at least 3-4 months in advance.

    Fourth, have all of your paperwork in order when you apply. When you apply to top MBA programs, being organized and well-tuned is an expectation. You should make sure the following before submitting your application to a top MBA program:

    - Your application is complete and accurate (basically don't lie on your application);

    - Your essays are proofread, edited and consistent with the essay questions (I have read essays that had nothing to do with the essay question and contained errors);

    - Your admissions test scores, GMAT or GRE, are current and meet minimum school requirements (some top programs require that your admissions test scores are no more than five years old);

    - Your letters of recommendations for top MBA programs should be from professional individuals. It should also be mailed directly to the campus with your name, address and other pertinent information to prevent it from being lost. If you pick it up, leave it sealed! An opened letter of recommendation is like an opened official transcript…it becomes questionable.

    - Your transcripts should only come from your previous universities or colleges and sent directly to the admissions office for your selected top MBA program.

    - Your additionally required documents should follow the same guidelines as above. Some top MBA programs require you submit your resume, work experience and other information showing why you are a viable candidate for admission in a top MBA program.

    Final thing you should do when applying to a top MBA program is to be sure you follow-up with your advisor to check the progress of your application and to stay on top of what has been submitted, what is needed and other important timelines. This is important especially when receiving transcripts and letters of recommendations from multiple sources.

    Getting into a top MBA program is a challenge in and of itself because of the highly qualified students applying for admission. You have to be on top of the admission process by applying to more than one school and applying early, being organized with your paperwork, becoming familiar with key personnel within the university and knowing if the MBA program is right for you. Now go out there and get your MBA!