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Planning your MBA Strategy

Graduate Smile

Just as with undergraduate admissions, graduate school applications usually require standardized test scores. The test(s) you'll take depend on what type of graduate degree you're seeking. Check with the school(s) to which you plan to apply for information about required exams. Check our Graduate School Admissions Test page for more information..

You should also know that the cost of a graduate school admissions test may be covered by DANTES or the GI Bill. Check our GMAT & GRE Reimbursement Page, or National Testing Programs Page for details.

The Graduate School Admissions Package

Your application should be a powerful statement regarding why a school should choose you. It is important to articulate your career focus and to demonstrate how your experience and characteristics "fit" with the school to which you are applying. You should also make certain that you answer all questions completely and that the application contains no spelling or grammatical errors. In fact, it is a good idea to have someone you trust read the application and make suggestions for improvement.

It is equally important that you emphasize your military leadership experience on your application; schools are looking for strong leaders among their students, both for the benefits they bring to the classroom and because they are attractive to corporate recruiters. (However, be aware that the people evaluating your application may not be familiar with military jargon.)

As you are completing your application, you may have an opportunity to interview with representatives from the school. Interview policies vary from school to school, but even if an interview is not required, it is an excellent way to gain firsthand information about the school's environment, facilities, students, and faculty, as well as to distinguish yourself personally and demonstrate your interpersonal skills. Remember, schools choose students based on a range of factors, so make sure to represent yourself accurately.

At this same time, you will want to contact alumni, business associates, friends, or anyone who might provide additional information and help you market yourself to your schools of choice.

A big question undoubtedly still looms in your mind "how will you pay for this"

Expect the MBA to be one of the biggest investments you will ever make in yourself. Tuition costs for MBA programs can span a wide range and depend on the kind of program and school you choose. In general, public institutions are less expensive than private ones and institutions with regional recognition are less expensive than those with broader national or international recognition. The kind of program you choose (full-time, part-time, distance-learning) will also impact cost.

It's important to remember that higher cost doesn't always mean higher quality. The bottom line, though, is that the cost of your program should be viewed as an investment rather than an expense. As a rule, the short-run costs of acquiring an MBA should be the least important variable in deciding which school to attend.


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