Congratulations on an amazing job getting into 2 tough programs!
Your situation is enviable. By the way, You should add both Fuqua and Columbia to your profile by the way - that would be nice for our record keeping purposes
There are 2 elements involved with most decisions:
1. Tangible - hard dollars
2. Intangible - emotional attachment to a school
It looks like #2 is not present here and you will go to any school based on a hard financial decision (rarely true but still).
Here is a quick comparison by looking at the US News latest stats:Rankings:Columbia - #8
Fuqua - #11Employment Rate:
Columbia - 77%Fuqua - 87%Salary at Graduation:
Columbia - 135KFuqua - 136KIB /MC Stats: Columbia:
Number reporting finance/accounting jobs 233
Finance/accounting low salary $15,000
Finance/accounting average salary $111,193
Finance/accounting high salary $240,000
Number reporting finance/accounting jobs 71
Finance/accounting low salary $36,000
Finance/accounting average salary $103,176
Finance/accounting high salary $218,000
I feel it is close enough to where I would have taken a scholarship without much thought, esp if you don't care to live in NYC (which will be more expensive to live in than NC during school and after graduation), and if you are going to take a job in Finance in Miami, PHL, or Boston, I am not sure that it matters to be in NYC and rely on the program.
The only areas of weakness in my logic/reasoning (that I can see - others are welcome to poke holes at it, hence this forum), is that if there is a specific employer that recrutis at CBS but not at Fuqua, if you are easily into IB/MC while attending CBS, or if you want to stay in NYC post work. In those 3 case, I would vote for Columbia since being out of work or not finding a good job right away, can cost you $100K in the first two years - easily.
Area that strengthens my claim is that you will have 71 people to compete with for Fiance jobs at Fuqua vs. 230 at CBS, though with a lower average salary, but as mentioned above if you have to live in NYC for that salary, that's almost less....
To get your mind at ease about IB/MC job prospects after graduation (I don't have those stats), I would recommend picking up a guide about each school or researching placements into your specific area with the career centers. Admissions should be able to either get you the numbers or get you in touch with the right people.
Founder of GMAT Club
Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... | Want to know your GMAT Score? Try GMAT Score Estimator
Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books
Co-author of the GMAT Club tests
Have a blog? Feature it on GMAT Club!
Get the best GMAT Prep Resources with GMAT Club Premium Membership