Wracked with indecision on this one so figured I would see if I could get any insight from the masses! I've been admitted to NYU Stern and UCLA Anderson, waitlisted at Haas. NYU Stern offered me a small scholarship which reduces the tuition to in-state CA prices for UCLA (sneaky bastards!), so while cost of living is slightly more expensive in NYC, tuition is now the same.
Me: I worked for years at Google, and decided to do a career switch into Impact Investing (potentially non-profit consulting), spent the last year living in East Africa getting some field experience with social enterprises. I have no finance background, so thats the primary reason for the MBA - and why Stern would obviously be fantastic. But I'm hellbent on ending up back in San Francisco
NYU Stern: Pros - strong in finance, strong in social impact and innovation, liked the community of students when i visited, slightly higher ranked, scc gives hands on experience with non-profits, tuition forgiveness should you end up in the non-profit world
Cons: NYC. While I wanted to live there 5-7yrs ago, it now feels like a concrete jungle for this extremely outdoorsy gal... but its only 18mo right? More expensive cost of living
Anderson: Pros - LA, outdoors are fantastic (surfing before class!), strong finance program, really impressed with the career services personalization and profs I've met. AMR - really long experiential learning program and you could focus on global and pro-social work, cost of living more reasonable, close to SF so better CA network
Cons: slightly lower ranked (is the brand as strong?) , didn't feel the vibe with the students as much (lots of 3K purses..), no social impact program to speak of (though some profs are doing interesting work in financial inclusion and could focus on sustainability)