BusinessWeek Guide to The Best Business Schools (2003) by BusinessWeek

By BusinessWeek

This is the one company tuition consultant that supplies the most recent scores of the universities by means of the folk who recognize them best--nearly 17,000 fresh graduates and company recruiters.

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August: Enroll in a six-week GMAT prep course or set aside two months to practice the test at home. September: Begin to visit campuses, attend classes, and chat with current students and faculty. Attend an MBA Forum, if there is one in a nearby city. Do an admissions interview, if allowed before you file an official application. 19 C H A P T E R • • • THE APPLICATION T W O October: Take the GMAT. Begin the application process by filling out the forms, requesting undergraduate transcripts, creating a personal marketing plan for yourself, crafting answers to essay questions, and choosing recommenders.

C H A P T E R Schools consider more than test scores and years of experience when reviewing applications. T W O still want experienced MBAs, but they’re more interested in smart grads who can learn quickly even if they have a little less experience—and, frankly, who aren’t already set in their management ways from laboring four or five years at another company. To that end, a number of schools—including Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School—have begun looking at and even actively recruiting students with one or two years of work experience (and, in rare cases, no formal work experience).

It’s not surprising, then, that the average loan taken out by a 2002 graduate of one of BusinessWeek’s top 30 was a stunning $44,000. “The main way students pay the MBA is through loans and personal funds,” says Don Martin, associate dean of admissions at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, where 75 percent of students get some financial aid from the school. Martin says some students still receive funding from their employers, but, because of the economy and students’ reluctance to be bound to their companies, he estimates corporate sponsorship has fallen 20 to 30 percent in the past 10 years.

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