TL;DR: Some of the best money I have ever spent. If you are looking for a one-stop-shop where all info for each school is aggregated, and where you can craft a winning school-specific essay for every application, look no further. Don’t let skepticism hold you back!
If you are reading this it’s probably because you are skeptical – as I was when I was in your shoes – of how a product could somehow deliver the same results as a traditional admissions consultant. I honestly could not afford a full package from any of the consulting agencies, so I decided to give it a shot. After all, it costed about the same as one hour of most consulting services. Boy, did I make the right choice!
The very first thing I wanted was a place where I could find all the information of every school I was thinking of applying to. Reading through hundreds of websites and blog posts and putting it all together in a few docs here and there was eating away at my time. ApplicantLab aggregates all the information of a very wide variety of schools in one place. That alone was worth the price tag.
Then I needed to understand where my strengths and weaknesses were, and how to exploit this info to craft a great application. The ApplicantLab product is beautifully thought out to help you figure this out in a very simple, fast process. It helps you create the building blocks that will make up a great resume and essays.
The final touch comes in preparing the resume and essays. Even assuming I could have found the building blocks by myself (which I doubt), you need to put them together in different ways for each school, to connect with the different admissions committees. I would have never figured this out by myself, let alone before the school deadline. The Lab does it for you though, with an awesome breakdown (in video and written form) of every essay question for every school, complete with great examples. This helped me really understand my target school, and put together the building blocks in the right way!
In full disclosure, I did cheat a little bit in this last part of the process. I ordered a “reality check” with Maria with my rough drafts and resume, just to ensure that my starting point before polishing was good. This service, which returns a ~20-30 minute video with Marías thoughts, was also worth its weight in gold. I did have to make a couple of changes to my thought process and essay topics, but it really helped me fully understand the whole process and use the product even better.
In the end, I only applied to Berkeley Haas, which I felt was the best fit for me (by the way, the Product also helps you figure that out too), and I got in with a significant scholarship! Hands down, the best value for money ever!