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5 Key Factors to Consider Before Applying to Business School

Trish Reed • Oct 11, 2012

Regardless of age or experience, all MBA hopefuls face the same decisions when applying to business schools -- namely, which schools to apply to and how many. Weighing five important factors -- age, career path, career-track satisfaction, first-time applicants and family considerations -- can help candidates make wiser decisions when applying to business schools, according to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report.

Age is a key consideration for business school applicants, since the strategy that works for candidates in their mid-20s may not work as well for older applicants, the article explains. Many younger applicants choose to apply only to their top two choices, reasoning that they can always apply again down the road if they don't get in this time around. For older candidates, the article suggests applying to a wider range of business schools "so they will at least have the option of attending business school next fall."

Career path and career satisfaction are two more issues to weigh when applying to b-schools. Certain careers offer limited advancement opportunities or place a particular emphasis on continuing education for career advancement. In such cases, MBA hopefuls should apply to a wider range of schools. Similarly, applicants who are eager to transition into a new industry or a new role should also cast a wider net when selecting potential MBA programs.

The decision to attend business school is a major life decision that affects not just the applicants, but also their family members and friends. For example, many applicants have spouses and/or children to consider when deciding where to apply. The article stresses that MBA hopefuls should consider such factors in addition to how business school fits into their overall plans for the future.

Trish Reed is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College.