I am assuming that you are a Duke student and you are a Duke fan. As a result, attending your arch rival UNC is almost unthinkable. Well, how can you add that to a factor? It's great that you are a passionate Duke grad and you value the tradition, including the Duke-UNC rivalry. But we are talking about your career and your future here. I don't think Duke or the members of the Duke community is going to personally hold anything against you if you choose to attend UNC because it would give you a better opportunity to start your career.
Secondly, working in NY has its pluses and minuses. I worked at a Big 4 firm in NYC before entering bschool. I've met UNC Chapel Hill grads and depending on your situation (and the firm's recruiting quota), you can attend the school in NC and still find employment in NYC. In fact, at top accounting schools, Big 4 firms do offer that flexibility.
Also, I did not meet that many SUNY Albany grads in NYC office of the Big 4 firm that I worked for. Not really sure what their recruiting rep is with Big 4 and other mid size firms. In fact, due to recent change in CPA requirement in NY State, Big 4 shifted their recruiting policy to a degree.
I see it this way. Your biggest argument against attending UNC is its cost. But UNC is designed for non accounting undergrad majors and it is shorter than SUNY Albany. Any difference in tuition is going to be offset by the salary that you will earn one year early by graduating sooner.
In addition, UNC is a top accounting program with superb rep amongst the Big 4 recruiters. That means that in addition to typical audit, and tax jobs, they will recruit for advisory positions as well. It means more opportunities for you in the near future, not just long term.
When in doubt, just go to the school with the best reputation unless you have specific reasons to do otherwise. Everything else will work out sooner or later.
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