top of page

Why Safety Schools Matter

It’s no secret that every MBA aspirant wants to attend a top ranked b-school. However, the competition for getting into these schools is fierce. That is why school selection is a very important part of the MBA application process. If candidates end up overestimating their chances, they can end up without any admits. At the same time, if they play it too safe, they can end up in an MBA program that’s ranked below their profile potential.

While it would make sense to apply to as many schools as possible, it’s also important to consider the application fatigue that can set in. Hence, it’s imperative to build a school list prudently. It’s quite natural to get carried away with adding the best ranked schools to your list. After all, even the very thought of getting into any of these schools can be exciting and motivating. However, having a good mix, which includes safety schools, makes a whole lot of sense.

While stretch schools and competitive schools easily find their way into school lists, the idea of having safety schools is often met with some resistance. After all, the very idea about safety schools is based on the assumption that these are the schools you will have to fall back upon if something goes wrong with your plans. And that is not a possibility that most MBA applicants would really like to consider while going about planning for their future.

The mistake that MBA applicants often make is that they take safety schools for granted. They assume that since these schools have been classified in the safety category, their admission is as good as guaranteed. However, that is not necessarily the case as the categorization is, after all, an artificial one. While it can be argued that the likelihood of being admitted is higher, the applications do need to be taken seriously.

While it is a good idea to have safety schools in your list, we must also point out that these should be schools that you do want to study at. They may not necessarily satisfy your ranking criteria, but they should fulfill other requirements. After all, the MBA does cost time and money. The point is that if you don’t get into your dream schools, you should also not have to suffer through a program that compromises on several factors that are important to you.

You may also choose to skip safety schools altogether if you’re sure that you only want to aim for the top schools. You may have the risk appetite for doing so. Or you may be fine with applying again the next year if things don’t go as planned. Whatever the reason, it needs to be an informed decision. And you need to take responsibility for the outcome. However, if you’re keen on pursuing an MBA no matter what, then it’s best to have a safety net.


LemonEd can help you with all elements of your MBA application.

Call today for a free consultation.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page