Have taken your GMAT? Are you happy with the score? Then, it is the time to shortlist the colleges you want to apply for. There are many aspects that you need to consider before shortlisting or applying for any B-school.

So, where do you start? What are the things you need to consider? Are you aiming too high or too low? What are best colleges for you? Can you afford an MBA at a particular college? We know you would have more questions than answers at this stage.

You might get lured into applying for colleges which your friends or peers are applying for or the colleges your MBA Consultant is insisting you to apply. This is definitely not a “one size fits all” situation. A college that is right for your peer, who scored the same at GMAT as you, may not be right for you. This could be because of various reasons such as different interests, financing options, strengths and weaknesses, travelling situation etc.

We have made a checklist for you that will help you remember important parameters while shortlisting any B-school.

Your GMAT Score:

The most popular and conventional method of shortlisting colleges according to your GMAT score is categorizing colleges into three different pools i.e. safe, reach and stretch.

Every B School has an average acceptance GMAT score. You need to make a decision by comparing your GMAT score against these average acceptance scores. The following should be the variations of your score for the colleges of the three categories.

Safe: Higher than the acceptance score.
Reach: Within 20 points of the Acceptance score range.
Stretch: less than 30 points of the Acceptance score.

Try to keep a right balance of colleges from all the categories. You would not want to be too ambitious and unrealistic. At the same time, you wouldn’t want to be too calculative and lose out on better opportunities.

Your Interests:

Ultimately, your career interests and aspirations should drive you to choose the right college. Every college has its strengths and flagship programs. For example: If you are interested in pursuing a career in finance, shortlist colleges which have a solid curriculum and placement opportunities in finance.


Especially for international students, location of the B-school plays a major role in their journey. While zeroing in on a location there are many things you need to consider. The following are things to consider while choosing a location:

  • Climate and living conditions
  • Cost of living
  • Industries that are concentrated in and around the area
  • Time of your stay.
  • Future career prospects in the location
  • Availability of essential amenities


The primary reason for anyone to do an MBA is to give a boost to one’s career. Do extensive research about the placements that a B-school offers, the kind of placements did the previous batch students got etc.

You also need to look at the return on investment these jobs would give you. If you are paying way too much as tuition fees to the B-school when compared to the pay packages that the placements are giving, then applying for that B-school might not be worth it.

Finance and Travel:

Cost of your MBA is a vital aspect you need to consider while shortlisting B-schools. Do thorough research on the kind of financing options the school provides, the type of scholarships offered and the paid assistance and internship opportunities you would have access to.

For International students it is very important to consider your travel arrangements to a particular country. You may want to reconsider applying to B-schools/ Universities in countries that have major restrictions on immigration.

Source : Quora