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Manager
Joined: 11 Mar 2007
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25 Feb 2008, 16:00
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I've been wavering back and forth on this and thought I would try to get some input from others. My dilemma is this...I have been accepted at Tippie (Iowa) with a substantial award package. I've also been accepted at Kelley (Indiana) with no award package. Based on my current financial status, I would borrow approximately $35K-$40K for the 2 years at Tippie or $100K-$125K for the 2 years at Kelley. Tippie's average starting salary upon graduation is $73,000 and Kelley's is$90,000. Job prospects / recruiting is better at Kelley.

There is the possibility of getting an award at Kelley prior to classes starting as people will decline offers. There are also scholarships / GA's available only to second year students at Kelley. But honestly, the debt scares the hell out of me. I'm going to business school for increased flexibility and greater opportunities. But I feel like I will be tied down with little flexibility with that much debt. I will have to choose the highest paying job and not necessarily the "best fit" job.

Any viewpoints or suggestions are welcome.
Senior Manager
Joined: 23 Jan 2008
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25 Feb 2008, 16:09
Some fun numbers to play with:
I like to multiply starting salary by placement rate
e.g. $100k with 75% placement rate =$75k
but $80k with 100% placement rate =$80k

Then you take those numbers and figure out how long it would take for the more expensive school to pay itself back.
In your example, (ignoring the placement rate for the moment because I am lazy) the diff is $17k a year, but ~$75k

That means in 4.4 years you will make up the difference (which oddly is within the usual rangefor the number of years it usually takes for the MBA to pay for itself. So, whichever school you went to, you would "break even" at the same time. Just one would have higher loans)

In the end, this is what I did with the numbers
I run the numbers - then figure out if Ican afford the loans at the more expensive school, but with the salary you get at the lower school.
The reason for this being - what if I went to the "better" school (it seems like you really prefer kelly, which costs more), but still got the same job as if I went to the "worse" school. If I could still make ends meet in the short term, and come out ahead long term - then I would pick the "better" school.
Manager
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28 Feb 2008, 10:51
Do you have an idea of what industry/function you want to go into? I'd check the placement and salary rates for both of them in your intended job area. If it's similar, then your choice could be based on the \$ vs fit.

Ask the schools to put you in contact with Alums in your target jobs and ask them a few questions. I've done this with the schools I've been admitted to and surprisingly a lot of the Alums will give you the bad along with the good if ask them directly.
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31 Mar 2008, 20:26
I think that is definately right... it depends on what you want to do. We have some very strong relationship with certain companies here... if you wanted to work for Intel in Corp Finance for example, or really anyone in Marketing, BAC in investment banking, etc you would come here. I don't know anything about Tippie, but I know there are many strong relationships here and if you are interested in specific companies in particular functions I'd be happy to let you know. Of course I am going to work for a company with alum that doesn't have a current formal recruiting relationship here, you can do that too, but it requires more effort.
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