Do you have an admit from both schools?
I feel for one, Thunderbird has a better/more well known name as well as the top spot in the unknown international business school rankings (http://premium.usnews.com/best-graduate ... s-rankings
) i am not sure what they are, but I feel Pepperdine may be in other aspects. Both are close choices though probably quite different in many respects.
1. Program size - smaller is usually better but I don't feel there is much diff in 100 vs 200 class size. I would say it is a wash though with 100 students in a class, it may be not enough diversity (you may have only a few folks of the same mindset as you are vs. Thunderbird where you would have 5-6).
2. Employment at graduation numbers (38% Pepperdine vs 24% Thunderbird). of course you could say you don't care since you are going into Entrepreneurship but priorities changes and I would put more faith in this than into rankings
3. Location - can'b beat Malibu though it is somewhat remote (20-30 mins from Santa Monica). I would highly recommend visiting both schools since I feel location will play a role bigger than for example if you were choosing between Wharton and Yale or UCLA and Rady.
4. LA is much more entrepreneurial in feel than PHX. You are also much closer to the Bay Area (a car ride vs. a flight)
5. Neither school is Harvard so it won't be perfect in either spot
6. Pepperdine has a large Part Time program in LA which has tons of Alums but makes the quality of that network a hit-and-miss
7. I would ask Adcoms for both schools in terms of non-profit consulting/mentorship/project opportunities during the year and see what they have to offer/say - these are usually good opportunities to get involved with for Entrepreneurs.
P.S. Neither is the wrong choice. I would just ask admissions to provide you with a bit more evidence of support for your goals in terms of classes and activities at school.
Founder of GMAT Club
US News Rankings progression - last 10 years in a snapshot - New!
Just starting out with GMAT? Start here...
Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books
Co-author of the GMAT Club tests
GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings