Application-cum-exploitation: 3 Questions

A couple of exams being over, we all (correction: most of us) must be busy right now preparing a list of colleges to apply. And this is where a first-time applicant raises at least three questions about the system in practice:

1. Application fee: Rs. 2000?

A: This much high application fee just to shortlist on the basis of exam conducted by another party, what the hell!

B: The application fee aims to cover the costs incurred in shortlisting as well as making GD/PI arrangements at various centers; it is not unjustified.

2. 2000 for CAT, 1000 ‘extra’ for XAT ?

A: Demanding extra fee for considering more than one score for shortlisting is just feeding on the candidate’s uncertainty about results.

B: Think of it as as a penalty you have to pay if you cannot assess your own performance or the costs you incur for increasing your chances. Everyone pays extra price for extra cheese on the same pizza; what is there to cry about?

3. Why is ‘Last date to apply’ fixed at a date before the release of third party result?

A: This is like betting on the results of an exam that is opaque and unpredictable in all respects. Most of us end up wasting our limited money on the ‘wrong’ college.

B: Blame the third party for releasing scores very late; the colleges give months long window to apply.

There are some other popular arguments apart from the demand-supply equation and one might find it difficult to decide which one is correct. MBA schools are not a charity organisation; they are doing exactly what they teach their students: how to maximize profits. High application fee is a common practice in all B Schools across the world, it ensures that only serious candidates apply.

I am not qualified enough to judge the actions of these prestigious institutes but no one can deny a wide discontentment over application process and efforts must be made to remove it. Can there be a common application platform on which candidates can create a profile and update their credentials? All the colleges can shortlist candidates there and interested candidates can, after being shortlisted, pay the fee to attend GD-PI sessions. With increase in candidate pool, the colleges will find easier to ensure diversity in their campus while reducing the application costs candidates have to bear. Bad idea? But then, B Schools can definitely come up with better ideas if they want to end this agony.

P.S. “**** strives to be a premier institute globally recognized for management education […] that help build a just and humane society.” ~ Vision, Mission and Values section of a B school that may be asked all the three.

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