Scott Edinburgh
June 15, 2018

Personal MBA Coach’s Takeaways from 2018 AIGAC MBA Applicant Survey

This is a very exciting time of year for me, for Personal MBA Coach, and for the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC). This week, as the chair of the survey committee, I presented the results of our comprehensive 2018 survey to admissions directors of 25+ top MBA programs including HBS, Stanford, Booth, Kellogg, Wharton, Ross, Yale, and others at our annual conference. A special thank you to Kellogg, Chicago Booth, Michigan Ross, McCombs, and Rotman for hosting this year!

Each year, AIGAC conducts a survey of over 2,000 current and previous MBA applicants in order to better understand the MBA application process. In so doing, we collect advice for students, schools, and consultants on how to improve the admissions process.

While both MBA admissions consultants and admissions directors took away valuable information for improving their work, such as the message that applicants have high expectations, the survey also yielded information that will be of great interest for applicants, as well.

Check out this year’s highlights and find some important tips for getting to know prospective schools throughout the application process.

How Applicants Research Business Schools

As we shared in our recent blog, courting your target schools and getting to know their programs, offerings, and extracurricular opportunities is a crucial part of the admissions process!

This year, we again asked candidates what sources they use to research their target programs. While it is no surprise that nearly all applicants used school websites and other online resources, many applicants went above and beyond this step.

Over 50% of applicants spoke to current students, over 40% spoke to alumni, and over 40% communicated directly with admissions staff. Furthermore, over 40% attended an MBA fair or off-campus information session.

Keep in mind that while you do not have to do all of these things, it is crucial to leverage multiple avenues for getting to know your target programs. This also helps the schools get to know you, which is a very important part of the process, too!

How Consultants Can Help

When asked how consultants helped during the application process, survey respondents said the top two benefits of working with admissions consultants were: the advice they received to apply to more schools, and the guidance they got to retake the GMAT. Applicants also valued consultants’ advice to consider schools they otherwise would not have considered. Having this “reality check” to make sure that you target the right programs for you is really important (often this means reaching for a school you may not have considered previously).

Check out the full survey results here for complete details!

Stay tuned for a more detailed analysis of the AIGAC conference next week!

If you would like individual and personal application support, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to discuss your profile as well as how I can help! As a Wharton and MIT graduate, I regularly help many applicants navigate their applications each year. We also conduct mock interviews and have former top 10 interviewers on our team.

Email me at: or call +1 617-645-2424 today.