Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.
Every year, we get many inquiries from MBA candidates who have just started the application process and are curious about whether they should invest the time and resources needed to visit their target programs. Is visiting really worth the effort? Will doing so impress the admissions committee(s)? Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that a class visit has tremendous relevance beyond the formal admissions process—it is a chance for you to give the school a thorough “test drive.” You probably would not invest $30,000 in a car without driving it first, would you? So why would you commit to spending two years of your life, many years as an alumnus/alumna, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct and opportunity costs without first knowing what you are getting?
We do not think that you need to visit at all costs, however. If you have limited funds or time, you should not deplete your resources by visiting. You have many other ways of getting to know your target schools without traveling to campus, such as Web sites, podcasts, conversations with alumni, and outreach events. However, if you do have the time and money, we strongly recommend that you travel to your target schools and gain that firsthand experience—a brief trip could pay a lifetime of dividends.