The Dominate Test Prep Podcast

23. Should You Hire an Admissions Consultant? with Barbara Coward

May 12, 2020 Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
23. Should You Hire an Admissions Consultant? with Barbara Coward
Show Notes

Applying to top graduate and business schools is a competitive affair, with qualified applicants from around the world vying for just a handful of spots each year. The difference between getting accepted and not comes down to your ability to highlight your personal, academic, and professional assets in a way that sets you apart from the pack. While some candidates choose to do that on their own, many turn to admissions consultants for help.

Is working with an admissions consultant right for you?

That's what we explore in this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast with the help of Barbara Coward, founder of MBA 360° Admissions Consulting. Barbara worked as an application reader at Johns Hopkins University before starting her consulting practice, so she has experience in the industry from both side. 

Specifically, we discuss:

  • One of the biggest mistakes candidates make on their applications that they don’t realize
  • Which aspect(s) of the application have the greatest opportunity to “move the needle” in a positive direction for you
  • The real role of an admissions consultant
  • How you can know if you'd benefit from working with an admissions consultant
  • How many consultants you should interview and key questions you should ask to make sure you hire someone who is a good fit for you
  • What separates good admissions consultants from bad ones
  • AIGAC, and what it says about an admissions consultant who is part of that organization
  • What admissions officers think about candidates who work with consultants
  • The ROI of hiring an admissions consultant (even if you don't get in to your top-choice school)
  • And more!

You'll also hear my interviews with two students who used admissions consultants when applying to graduate / business school. They share their first-hand accounts of why they decided to hire a consultant, how they chose who to work with, the main benefit they feel like they received, and whether they ultimately think it was worth it.

Working with an admissions consultant isn't for everyone... but it might be for you. After listening to this episode, you'll have a better idea if it is. Enjoy!


  1. Learn more about Barbara's admissions firm, MBA 360° Admissions Consulting
  2. Get free admissions resources and stay connected via Barbara's LinkedIn Page
  3. AIGAC Graduate Admissions Consultants & Affiliate Member Directory
  4. Questions to ask a consultant


"I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum potential." -- Robert Nardelli

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