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Anderson (No $) vs. McCombs (No $) vs. Marshall ($$)

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Which Program Should I Attend?

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Anderson (No $) vs. McCombs (No $) vs. Marshall ($$)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2016, 09:10
Decision day coming up soon. Fortunately I've been lucky enough to be admitted into three programs, and I need outside opinions. I keep going back and forth and can't come up with a decision that makes me happy. Tuition deposit deadlines for McCombs and Anderson coming up at the end of the month, though, and I don't want to waste money on tuition deposits that will ultimately go unfulfilled (have noticed a lot of people send in tuition deposits to multiple schools, which seems strange to me). Ready to make my decision and move in that direction. I'm tired of the uncertainty and the seemingly never-ending money drain involved in the GMAT / MBA application process, and I want to end this once and for all.

My basic overview is below, as well as my own thoughts of the various pros and cons, as I see them, of each program.

Background/Outlook
33 year old male from a semi-traditional background who has worked several years advising commercial clients/firms in non-consulting roles. Looking to shift my career track and transition into business strategy. Ideally would come out of MBA program with a job in a consulting firm -- all but certainly non-MBB, given my background, age, and program options -- but am open to other avenues that may present themselves. Am enrolling in a program this fall and am not re-applying in 2017, so it's one of the three.

Debt Required to Attend (Including Scholarships)
Anderson: 170k
McCombs: 140k
Marshall: 90k

Other Considerations
Already have a graduate degree and a significant amount of student debt. Don't believe it will be a problem financing my MBA with loans, but am somewhat debt averse. Lived with student debt long enough to know that student loans are a BFD and that turning down free money is no small thing.

Personally want to end up on the west coast, either LA, SF, or Seattle/Portland. Family issues may put me in Texas, though, and I figure there is a 25-50% chance I am in Texas long-term.

Still maybe a slight possibility of money at McCombs. The competitiveness of my application would have typically earned me a decent scholarship from McCombs, but apparently they ran out of scholarship money in round 1 and haven't offered anything yet to round 2 applicants. Given my competitiveness, I think it's possible I could get some money from them once some of the round 1 accepts bow out/go elsewhere, but even if I do I doubt it's a lot of money, and I almost certainly won't know of it until after the tuition deposit deadline.

Pros and Cons of Each Program
Anderson
- Highest ranked program / objectively "best" program
- Likely most portable degree of the three programs
- Likely opens most doors for me in consulting field
- Ideal place to spend next two years
- Most expensive program by far
- Degree not overly portable outside of west coast, and probably has no major prestige in Texas
- Perhaps not so much more valuable in Southern California to justify paying 80k more in debt than will be required at Marshall

McCombs
- Second highest ranked program of the three
- Likely most valuable degree if I end up in Texas
- More portable outside of area than many MBA degrees (particularly Marshall outside of Southern California)
- Austin is an awesome town and would be a great place to spend next two years
- Always have great interactions with current students
- Program seems to be surging in a positive direction
- 140k is a lot of debt and no guarantee of scholarship relief on the way
- Degree might not be worth 140k if I end up outside of Texas
- Ideally prefer to be in LA short-term
- Inferior degree to Anderson on the West Coast and Marshall in Southern California
- Admissions has left a bad impression on me with how they handled the scholarship shortage

Marshall
- Great location
- Lots of free money, which is a BFD
- Likely just as valuable of a degree in Southern California as Anderson, and probably more than McCombs
- Still a top 30 program despite recent issues
- Trojan Family is a seriously strong alumni network
- Already paid tuition deposit, so $2500 down the drain if I go elsewhere
- Employment numbers were pretty awful circa 2012-2013, though have seemingly rebounded a decent bit
- Lower avg. starting salaries and employment rates than McCombs
- Still going to require 90k in debt, so far from free
- Always had bad interactions with Admissions, which makes me wonder about Career Services

So, GMAT Club, where should I attend?
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Re: Anderson (No $) vs. McCombs (No $) vs. Marshall ($$)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2016, 18:54
I would go with USC given your debt concerns and desire to be in LA. You've already placed a deposit so don't feel the delta in the rankings between the other programs is worth going in another direction. All good programs, congrats!
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Re: Anderson (No $) vs. McCombs (No $) vs. Marshall ($$)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 06:06
makhni wrote:
Decision day coming up soon. Fortunately I've been lucky enough to be admitted into three programs, and I need outside opinions. I keep going back and forth and can't come up with a decision that makes me happy. Tuition deposit deadlines for McCombs and Anderson coming up at the end of the month, though, and I don't want to waste money on tuition deposits that will ultimately go unfulfilled (have noticed a lot of people send in tuition deposits to multiple schools, which seems strange to me). Ready to make my decision and move in that direction. I'm tired of the uncertainty and the seemingly never-ending money drain involved in the GMAT / MBA application process, and I want to end this once and for all.

My basic overview is below, as well as my own thoughts of the various pros and cons, as I see them, of each program.

Background/Outlook
33 year old male from a semi-traditional background who has worked several years advising commercial clients/firms in non-consulting roles. Looking to shift my career track and transition into business strategy. Ideally would come out of MBA program with a job in a consulting firm -- all but certainly non-MBB, given my background, age, and program options -- but am open to other avenues that may present themselves. Am enrolling in a program this fall and am not re-applying in 2017, so it's one of the three.

Debt Required to Attend (Including Scholarships)
Anderson: 170k
McCombs: 140k
Marshall: 90k

Other Considerations
Already have a graduate degree and a significant amount of student debt. Don't believe it will be a problem financing my MBA with loans, but am somewhat debt averse. Lived with student debt long enough to know that student loans are a BFD and that turning down free money is no small thing.

Personally want to end up on the west coast, either LA, SF, or Seattle/Portland. Family issues may put me in Texas, though, and I figure there is a 25-50% chance I am in Texas long-term.

Still maybe a slight possibility of money at McCombs. The competitiveness of my application would have typically earned me a decent scholarship from McCombs, but apparently they ran out of scholarship money in round 1 and haven't offered anything yet to round 2 applicants. Given my competitiveness, I think it's possible I could get some money from them once some of the round 1 accepts bow out/go elsewhere, but even if I do I doubt it's a lot of money, and I almost certainly won't know of it until after the tuition deposit deadline.

Pros and Cons of Each Program
Anderson
- Highest ranked program / objectively "best" program
- Likely most portable degree of the three programs
- Likely opens most doors for me in consulting field
- Ideal place to spend next two years
- Most expensive program by far
- Degree not overly portable outside of west coast, and probably has no major prestige in Texas
- Perhaps not so much more valuable in Southern California to justify paying 80k more in debt than will be required at Marshall

McCombs
- Second highest ranked program of the three
- Likely most valuable degree if I end up in Texas
- More portable outside of area than many MBA degrees (particularly Marshall outside of Southern California)
- Austin is an awesome town and would be a great place to spend next two years
- Always have great interactions with current students
- Program seems to be surging in a positive direction
- 140k is a lot of debt and no guarantee of scholarship relief on the way
- Degree might not be worth 140k if I end up outside of Texas
- Ideally prefer to be in LA short-term
- Inferior degree to Anderson on the West Coast and Marshall in Southern California
- Admissions has left a bad impression on me with how they handled the scholarship shortage

Marshall
- Great location
- Lots of free money, which is a BFD
- Likely just as valuable of a degree in Southern California as Anderson, and probably more than McCombs
- Still a top 30 program despite recent issues
- Trojan Family is a seriously strong alumni network
- Already paid tuition deposit, so $2500 down the drain if I go elsewhere
- Employment numbers were pretty awful circa 2012-2013, though have seemingly rebounded a decent bit
- Lower avg. starting salaries and employment rates than McCombs
- Still going to require 90k in debt, so far from free
- Always had bad interactions with Admissions, which makes me wonder about Career Services

So, GMAT Club, where should I attend?


Where did you finally go??

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Re: Anderson (No $) vs. McCombs (No $) vs. Marshall ($$)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 07:41
makhni wrote:
Already have a graduate degree and a significant amount of student debt. Don't believe it will be a problem financing my MBA with loans, but am somewhat debt averse.


What's the impact of significant amounts of student debt? Does it just accumulate ...
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Re: Anderson (No $) vs. McCombs (No $) vs. Marshall ($$)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 07:53
gmatzpractice wrote:
makhni wrote:
Already have a graduate degree and a significant amount of student debt. Don't believe it will be a problem financing my MBA with loans, but am somewhat debt averse.


What's the impact of significant amounts of student debt? Does it just accumulate ...


You are technically hi jacking the thread with your question. In general, it accumulates (def do a not go away) but many choose tonrefinance and consolidate with private student loans. Some don’t require payments on principal/interest while at school.

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Re: Anderson (No $) vs. McCombs (No $) vs. Marshall ($$) &nbs [#permalink] 27 Jun 2018, 07:53
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