Deciding against an "elite School" : The B-School Application
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# Deciding against an "elite School"

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Senior Manager
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Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2008, 09:43
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I'm curious if anyone has decided against attending an elite school - say "Top 10" (defined by whatever ranking you want) in favor of a school that is ranked noticeably lower. For example, turning away #9 school for #26? Etc.
I know that on average, even if you had a free ride to the #26 school and had to pay full for #9 that it would work itself out in a few years. (Yes, i know this is based on what field you choose, etc. That is why I said "average". It is stupid to claim that the "average" person would get a lower paying consulting job from HBS than from Tippie, so please don't bring up the fact that it is technically possible. )

Anyhow, just curious if anyone has opted NOT to attend an elite school, and what considerations supported your decision!
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2008, 11:14
My two top choices came from the same cluster, so rankings weren't really an issue from me. But here at Fuqua, I have one friend who turned down Wharton and another one who turned down Stanford.

For the Wharton friend, she just got the impression that Wharton students went to Wharton because it was the best place they got into, not because they loved Wharton. She felt that Fuqua students truly wanted to be there. I'm obviously just passing along what she told me, so take it for what it's worth.

The other friend was WLed at Stanford, and then got in early in the summer. She didn't have much in the way of sunk investments in Fuqua, but she felt a bit turned off by being Stanford's second choice. She loved Fuqua, and appreciated that Fuqua loved her.

I also know two people at UNC who chose UNC over Fuqua. One of them went for the full ride. I'm not sure about the other.
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2008, 11:21
Interesting - I think that since I have some good choices, i certainly wouldn't attend any school that wait listed me. Maybe it is arbitrary, but the whole feeling of being "2nd choice" would cut into my feeling like a part of the community.
That was some good info AAU!
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2008, 11:31
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This is a good question and I think it depends entirely on what you want out of a business education.

If you already have a pretty established career and intend to return to the line of work that you are currently in, a "trans elite" or "near elite" school may offer a better personal fit, slightly less competitive peers, and possibly a more laid back learning environment. Not to mention the fact that if you are the type of candidate who would be competitive at the so called M7, going to a slightly lower ranked school instead could turn out to be better value for money.

But of course you may want to end up being a Master of the Universe or B.S.D on Wall Street, and if that's the case you probably want to go to the highest ranked school you get into.
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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29 Feb 2008, 12:44
Master of the Universe... BSD....Kudos for those references~
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2008, 22:10
Here are my personal beliefs, they somewhat mirror Aau's:

- If you have a "name brand" undergrad/grad degree already, and the lower ranked school gave a full-ride and showered the love and is a better fit, then by all means, go to the lower ranked school.

- If you don't have a "name brand" education before, I would probably choose the elite school if you want to get into anything that brand helps with (consulting, PE, finance, etc...)

- If it's between a UE and an Elite (like AAu's example with Stanford and Duke), then I'm all for fit, even if you don't have a name brand school on your resume.

But then again, that's just me. Oh yeah, I probably wouldn't go to a school that waitlisted me either.
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2008, 03:57
All about fit.. Haven`t been admitted into a UE or E yet (still waiting for decisions). But considering withdrawing and just accepting an offer from an Asian school, mainly because i have no intention of working in the USA and the Asian school offers lots of the same top companies recruiting from the school.
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2008, 07:14
well, if you have no intentions of working in the US, then I would probably withdraw the application and let others get a shot...
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2008, 14:24
Going to withdraw from Cornell (before they can ding me ). However for Kellogg, the partners and kids clubs are big pluses.
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2008, 17:16
I totally decided against the elite thing when I went to my undergrad. I think in everyone in my family and high school that I completely undersold myself when I choose my undergrad. I wanted a very specific school and I dont regret but most people thought it was insane that I went there and didnt even consider "better" schools.

However, this time around I realize that since I am coming from a very unusual background with no brand names on my resume a top b-school is going to be an advantage. I probably dont need a top 5 school on my resume to go into what I want but it definitely wont hurt. And honestly some of it probably is an ego thing. Since I didnt go to a name brand undergrad, I want to prove to myself that I could get in and cut it in school.
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2008, 09:36
riverripper wrote:
I totally decided against the elite thing when I went to my undergrad. I think in everyone in my family and high school that I completely undersold myself when I choose my undergrad. I wanted a very specific school and I dont regret but most people thought it was insane that I went there and didnt even consider "better" schools.

However, this time around I realize that since I am coming from a very unusual background with no brand names on my resume a top b-school is going to be an advantage. I probably dont need a top 5 school on my resume to go into what I want but it definitely wont hurt. And honestly some of it probably is an ego thing. Since I didnt go to a name brand undergrad, I want to prove to myself that I could get in and cut it in school.

i had the same issue. i somtimes love that i am holding my own and then some against classmates who came from fancy-schmancy undergrads. and believe me, you have almost certainly never heard of my undergrad.
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2008, 09:44
Case in point, my wife went to Saint Mary's College (what used to be where girls went to Notre Dame before it turned co-ed in the 70's), and the place is now viewed as a dumping ground for girls who didn't get into ND. However, she just got a promotion at a big 4 acct firm over several ND grads. The moral of the story: brand name doesn't guarantee preferential treatment. I'm sure there's a lot of similar stories from people here.

However, she can brag all she wants, but she's still not entitled to our precious alumni football tickets!
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2008, 10:11
I've met a Stern student who turned down Sloan.
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Re: Deciding against an "elite School" [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2008, 00:26
I´m in spain with a unc student who turned down chicago. basically got a free ride at unc.
Re: Deciding against an "elite School"   [#permalink] 06 Mar 2008, 00:26
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