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HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$)

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Kellogg (no $$$) vs Fuqua (half-tuition $$$) vs Darden (full-tuition $$$)

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HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2012, 03:25
Hey guys, now that the business school application process is over, I happen to have some really fortunate school choices on the table. I was admitted to Darden (full-tuition scholarship), Fuqua (half-tuition scholarship), and Kellogg (no scholarship). Kellogg has long been my top choice program because I believe it provides me with the best career placement opportunities. Also, among the schools I was admitted to, it has the best brand reputation, and the best alumni network reach. However, with the significant scholarship awards I received from Fuqua and Darden I am incredibly torn as to what school to attend. I am not convinced that the benefits of attending Kellogg over Fuqua and Darden is what $60K - $100K. I am very worried about my ROI post-MBA.

My background: I work for a non-management consulting firm and would love to break into a top management consulting firm post-MBA. Hopefully, one of the M/B/B's. From my research, it appears that Kellogg offers me the best opportunities to land an M/B/B job compared to the other schools, but there are really no guarantees. Overall, in my opinion, Kellogg has a meaningful edge in career placement across all industries. However, I know Fuqua and Darden do place a number of students at top management companies and some in M/B/B albeit to a much lesser degree.

In addition, I am also interested in exploring other industries and seeing what else is out there while earning my MBA. In other words, I am not 100% set on only recruiting for management consulting jobs.

From a cultural fit perspective, Kellogg and Fuqua will be perfect for me, less so at Darden. I found myself really fitting in well at both Kellogg and Fuqua. I loved the community vibes when I visited both schools, and the student community at both schools seemed to be a lot more fun and vibrant compared to Darden.

Teaching style - I love the case method, but also will be perfectly fine with a mix of teaching styles.

I would love to hear from you guys what you would do in this case. Please vote! I am so torn so an insights you can provide will be really helpful to me. Your perspectives will really help me. Many thanks!
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2012, 21:28
At the end of the day it is your decision.

However, I feel that business school is a financial matter as well as a professional aspiration. Given that UVA gave you a full tuition scholarship, that should be motivation for you to go there and consider it. It is a top rated program like Duke and Kellogg.

In regards to student culture, I don't think there is that drastic of a difference between one place and another. The guys you bump into in a class visit may or may not be your type but you want to at least observe some guys elsewhere and see how they interact, etc., which is what I did in my visits.

In regards to employer choice, if you are dead set on mgmt consulting, then maybe you should consider Kellogg if you feel that going there will open that door much wider for you. However, at the end of the day, all these employers are going to go to Chicago, Durham, and C-Ville, and if you kick butt in the on-campus interviews, then you will ultimately get an offer. All three schools are elite, though yes Kellogg is the best of the three. However, the full tuition scholarship at UVA is something you just can't turn down easily.

(For whatever reason, I just can't call UVA Darden like it's second nature. It's easier for me to say UVA.)
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 04 Mar 2012, 00:24
Congrats on your achievements! It's a problem that most people (including me) would love to have !

Anyway, all 3 schools place equally well in mgtmt consulting. They have equally prestigious programs and you can't go wrong with any of the three. However, you ought to consider where you eventually would want to end up post-MBA and the lifestyle you want to lead post-MBA. With no financial support from Kellogg, you would be mired in debt post-MBA and less so if you were to opt for either Duke or Darden. Of course, Darden is known for having one of the most rigorous MBA programs in the country with the amount of preparation required to succeed in its case method-only classes. Are you prepared/able to put in the effort required? While I have no doubts in your ability to succeed, you should also bear this in mind as you make your final decision on which school to go for. Ultimately, you have to be happy with your own choice. Since most of us are going to b-school only once in our lifetime, you definitely should go for one which you think will best meet for what you are looking for in a b-school. One way is to re-read your app essays. I am sure when you first applied to those schools, there were some that appealed more to you. And if you go with that option (i.e. your top choice program), you will have a fulfilling time in the program and find passion and success in what you do.

I may be wrong but I get the sense that you like Kellogg more than the other two, which have complicated matters with their generosity ! :lol: Yes, staring down at a six-figure debt is definitely not the most pleasant parting gift at the end of your b-school career, but you shld also put things in perspective and take a longer term view and your earning potential in 10 or 20 years' time. That amount may no longer matter that much, if you are soaring high and sailing fast in your career !
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2012, 00:54
A full-scholarship to Darden would be really tough to turn down...although it seems like Fuqua provides a good compromise (less debt than Kellogg, better fit than Darden).
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2012, 22:47
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fs007, congratulations on the admits to all 3 schools.
Any updates on the decision?
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2012, 12:21
Congrats!

100K is nothing down the road... I would NOT turn down Kellogg (better school than two, also in different league if you tier Top 3, M7, A8, and etc....). I would just pay up at Kellogg and never look back. Don't get too caught up in $, you'll eventually pay things off fairly soon. MBA is a lifelong investment so why not get the best possible one that you could get?

Kellogg, Fuqua, and Darden are all good schools but not equal. Kellogg is top 5 in the nation vs. the other two top 15.

Good luck!
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2012, 12:49
maki04q wrote:
Congrats!

100K is nothing down the road... I would NOT turn down Kellogg (better school than two, also in different league if you tier Top 3, M7, A8, and etc....). I would just pay up at Kellogg and never look back. Don't get too caught up in $, you'll eventually pay things off fairly soon. MBA is a lifelong investment so why not get the best possible one that you could get?

Kellogg, Fuqua, and Darden are all good schools but not equal. Kellogg is top 5 in the nation vs. the other two top 15.

Good luck!


Darden, hands down. That's a great offer, Congrats!
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2012, 10:16
Go to Darden.

Going to Kellogg will not guarantee an offer from MBB. They have a higher yield at those firms simply because higher quality students (who want to go into MC) attend that school. If you are qualified enough to go into MC then the reputation between Kellogg / Darden won't have that much of an impact. Even if it does have an impact the salary differential wouldn't be substantial. (ex: 120k starting vs 110k starting). Paying back that 100k + interest is going to take a really long time and is not worth it. IMHO
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2012, 13:40
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First of all, many many congrats! I hope, one day, to duplicate your success. Kellogg is my dream school now having said that, I would have to recommend Darden because of the full ride and and here's why:

1) You are attending a top tier school for free. The Ranking difference between Darden and Kellogg is trivial IMHO. The important point is that they belong to the same tier of the top 10-15 schools. Had the choice been between a full ride at a tier 2 school vs no money at a tier 1 school I would have recommended the tier 1 school. Moreover, the big guns come and recruit in both places. Darden has smaller classes therefore you have a better chance at standing out amongst your classmates. So what really matters is the b school debt and that difference can be pretty big. Remember 100k invested well in your early 30s will go much further than the investment you do later. Also, who knows you might find a more rewarding career that does not pay as much but is something you want to pursue. If that is the case then graduating with no debt will be a big big factor. Furthermore, I don't know if you are married but if your significant other finds a job in a town where you make slightly less vs a town where you make more but he or she does not get his or her dream job, Then you always have the option to shift since you wont be worried about the debt. I say this because I have seen this happen to more than one set of people.

2) The quality of professors is marginally better at Darden than Kellogg

3) I spent 4 years at Michigan and am well versed with the winters of the midwest. Chicago is as bad if not worse than Ann Arbor. The winters arent pretty and can make you miserable. Besides if you end up working for an M/B/B then you will more likely than not wind up in a big city like Boston, NYC, CHI etc.

Ofcourse these are from my point of view. You may be a polar bear or an eskimo who is not deterred by the winters and want the big city life of Chicago (which is a fantastic city when the temperature is above freezing) which will be markedly different than the life in the more rural C-ville. I hope this helps and once again many congrats!
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Last edited by TandooriKnight on 08 Mar 2012, 13:54, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2012, 13:41
wow, had I formatted my last response properly it could have given me some good practice for the discussion essay :)
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2012, 13:53
Congrats on all 3 admits!

How to decide:
1. Fit - I always hear "two years is a short time to be happy, but also a long time to be miserable". Determine which schools you feel has the better culture and overall fit. You want to enjoy your two year experience. These relationships you develop in business school will be ones you want to keep long term.

2. Ranking - Any school within the Top 15 will be a good choice. At the end of the day, the education you receive will be the same. Rankings change every 5 to 10 years and at that point, school rankings won't matter because you'll have the experience.

3. What you want - Location? Network? Culture? etc.
You should definitely write down all the things you want to take from your mba experience. Me personally, if im going to be out in the middle of nowhere I need to have something to enjoy like a sport(Duke basketball). Debt is not fun...at all. BW Rankings Kellogg(4) and Duke(6) - essentially the same but in different locations.

So take time to yourself and think about what YOU, no one else, really want from your experience. 2 years is a short time to be happy, but a long time to be miserable.
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2012, 06:39
If your main goal is to get into M/B/B then I think Darden makes sense. I'm a current FY, if you PM me I can give you some details about M/B/B recruiting this year. The short story is that a ton of people get interviews.

However, lots of people pay full price to go to Bschool and Kellogg is a great school if you can't imagine yourself somewhere else. Also if you want to be in Chicago long-term obviously the Kellogg network would be a huge asset throughout your career. FWIW I know classmates who chose Darden over Sloan/Kellogg without any scholarships because it was the best fit and they have done very well in consulting recruiting.
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2012, 10:19
Wow, full-ride!? Remember that you'll have to make at least $24k MORE every year for 10yrs after Kellogg than after Darden just to pay off Kellogg. Not to mention the stress of even having significant debt, and the denial of some other loans/credit because of it (in case you want to purchase a house or for a business loan).

Additionally, if you go to Darden, you'll stand-out more, so it may be easier for you in interviews, classes, etc. Plus you can always say that you got in Kellogg but then rejected them because you decided to save $100k (+ interest) and take the full-ride you got to Darden! :-)

I'm facing a similar decision right now with different schools. Full ride is a full ride.
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2012, 18:13
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don't listen to stuff from people who say Kellogg is better ranked than Darden and all that crap. they are both top business schools in the world, period.

as mentioned earlier, if it was between a top school and a 2nd tier school with full ride, you may have had some hesitation in deciding between the two offers.

between darden and kellogg what matters is YOU!! its up to you what you make of your time in business school.

either way, the decision is yours and I am sure you will make the right decision wherever you choose to pursue your dreams.

congratulations and cheers
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2012, 21:16
it sounds like you want to work for M/B/B, is that right? If so, than Kellogg is best of the three. That's practically unarguable. However, $100,000 is probably better tradeoff and you can still end up at one of those but they just don't back up the truck like they do at Kellogg. You are blessed. I'd say Darden. It's amazing school and the gen. mgmt education is top in world.
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2012, 05:57
I voted Darden too! I could see an argument for Kellogg, but I don't understand any of the votes for Fuqua in this situation.
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2012, 11:10
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maki04q wrote:

100K is nothing down the road...



I've heard this argument many times and it drives me crazy. Anyone with a financial calculator could argue that far enough down the road, any amount of money is virtually nothing.

But you're not talking about incurring a $100,000 expense "down the road", you're talking about incurring it now, along with the opportunity cost of 2 years out of the workforce. Thinking practically, it will have a major impact on your lifestyle, possibly delaying major personal goals like owning a home or starting a family. That will be true even if you get a lucrative job after graduation. And consider the risk you're exposed to if things don't go as planned and you don't get that lucrative job. Remember student debt can't be shed in bankruptcy.
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2012, 11:28
Congratulations on these offers! I would choose Kellogg because I believe the MBA is an important personal investment that will pay dividends over one's entire career. While the short-term monetary incentives may look enticing now, I would take a longer-term perspective. For the most part, Kellogg has the better brand, better networks, location, alumni relations, education etc.
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2012, 14:11
Kellogg is a great school, but I'm not really sure I agree with the argument that it is head and shoulders above Darden for recruiting. Kellogg places more people at M/B/B because the class size is twice as big. I also would say that Kellogg and Darden's alumni networks are similarly strong (as our career services). Both schools are quite similar culturally in that students generally have great experiences and as such are very active alumni. Again, Kellogg has more alumni but on a person for person basis both groups are very strong.

Upon acceptance, I spoke with a Darden second year who has an offer from McKinsey (in Chicago no less) and she said the school recruited very well at M/B/B this year.

Go to Kellogg if you think it's the best fit, but there is no way Kellogg is worth $100k more than Darden based on job prospects. As has been said Darden is solidly a top 15 school (and top 10 according to some). Kellogg likewise is a top 10 school (and top 5 according to some). I'm not sure the difference this far up the ladder (when one school involved is not Harvard or Stanford) means much.

I would also note that as has been said a degree from a top school does not guarantee anything. Look at the law school bubble to see that.

Plus It's not like a company looks at every Kellogg student before moving onto Darden. If you are good enough to get a final round interview from M/B/B you will be on equal ground with other candidates. The big difference may be that more K students get these final round interviews, but of course there also are more people applying for these spots.

I personally have an admit from Darden with a half ride and am wait listed 3 other places. It will be a tough choice for me at all these places if I get in off a wait list (and with a full ride the choice would be a lot simpler).

In either case I think your choice is K vs Darden. I wouldn't even consider Duke at this point (of course I prefered Darden to Duke from day 1).
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Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$) [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2012, 06:19
fs007, what a nice problem to have. Congrats. So which school did you end up deciding to attend?
Re: HELP: Kellogg (no $$) vs Fuqua (half $$) vs Darden (full $$)   [#permalink] 21 Oct 2012, 06:19
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