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Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)

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CBS or Haas FTMBA?

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Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 17 Jan 2017, 09:23
I've recently gotten amazing news from these schools and am looking for input as I move forward in making a decision. I've been admitted at UC Berkeley Haas in their full time program with full tuition and fees funded through the Consortium. I've also been admitted to Columbia with a full ride (full tuition). I am currently in the Bay Area so CBS would mean relocation to NYC, and with Haas I would stay put. Personally, when I first started this process I was single and very interested in relocating to NYC (love the City and have some friends there). Now am in a relationship which makes moving a very difficult choice. I applied to both schools with an interest in real estate (I currently work in a RE-related field in the Bay Area) and become better versed in RE finance. In the very long term I anticipate being back on the west coast.

As another aside, these were the highest rank programs I applied to. I had thought, once I started hearing the good news, that it might be worth it to apply to higher ranked programs, but I missed R2 so to do so I'd have to give up these options and apply next year. I'm young (25) so age/time wouldn't be an issue, but I still do not think it makes sense to give up these great offers for a chance. Also, the funding is important to me and am not sure I'd give up a full ride for a better program.

Thank you in advance for your input! This is an exciting but tough dilemma.

EDIT: Struck out text above to emphasize to focus my question on the two programs rather than reapplying.

Originally posted by saywhen on 09 Jan 2017, 13:09.
Last edited by saywhen on 17 Jan 2017, 09:23, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2017, 13:32
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Congratulations on 2 scholarships and 2 admits. Fantastic Job at 25!

I rushed to the thread thinking it was easy pickings of Haas full ride vs. Columbia. Of course it is not, and nothing looks as good as we think it does at first. I think the biggest question is now vs. next year. Frankly, getting a top 10 MBA for free is probably as it gets since you can't get Stanford or HBS for free. There have just been 2 somewhat similar discussions by younger applicants in a similar boat: Ross vs. Reapply and Fuqua vs. Reapply. The Ross applicant picked reapply and the Fuqua applicant picked Fuqua this year. The two applicants mostly based their situation and perspectives. Interesting enough, they were both also in a weaker positions (those were the only schools that have accepted them) and how much you think an upside you will get waiting a year, having to go through the process, and deal with your current job.

I was in a similar situation and I chose to go to a lower-ranked school with a full scholarship rather than trying my luck the year after. I was just as young - 2.5 years after graduating from undergrad. Here is what I considered as my pros and cons:
1. I had to get out of my job - I was sick of it (pretty strong reason to enroll). If i did not enroll, i would likely quit and find a new job; not a great strategy for reapplying. My job was shot - i burned myself out of it.
2. I was 24 or 25, so waiting a year seemed like eternity. I did not have much upside in staying.
3. MBA + full scholarship has exceeded my expectations (seems you may be in the same boat since you did not apply to higher ranked schools). There was still risk I would not get a scholarship/admit the year after, though it was minor.

At the end, i picked to go and not wait. I was impatient and immature and waiting a year would have probably done good to get me a bit more mature so I could get out more from my BSchool experience. However, it did not matter at the end. I would probably still do it the way i did it - i am perfectly happy with how my life and path turned out. I feel it was the right move for me. I think there is a good chance you will get admitted to H/S without a scholarship of course, so is that brand name worth the wait and a $100K? Depends on how much of a brand junkie you are (sounds like you are not, how much money you can afford to spend, and how much potential you have in your job) - that's 3 things to figure out.

As to Columbia vs. Haas - it is a big change NYC vs. Berkeley esp for someone from West Coast. If you are planning to stick around CA after graduation, then go to Haas. If you are thinking mid-west or East Coast, then you must go to a school in that region. Haas (for a number of reasons) has very low placement numbers in East Coast and Midwest (in part because nobody wants to freeze their tail in Chicago winds if they don't have to).

Congrats! Fantastic Job!

P.S. I modified your poll to reflect the third choice.
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2017, 15:29
Thank you for your thoughtful post bb. I appreciate your thorough answer to the question of whether to reapply. It is something I've been thinking about since the news started to roll in, but like I mentioned in my original post, the funding is important to me and I think I would take a full ride at a top 10 over H/S out of pocket. If these options vs Wharton with some partial funding, I would think about it, but I since that's not a "bird in hand" I am not thinking too much about it. Overall I think Haas and CBS are fantastic programs and both are in great locations, so I'd be interested what others have to say about them.
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2017, 15:39
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Would recommend leveraging other resources as well:
1. Surprisingly out of 2,000 discussions Haas and Columbia come up very rarely together.

2. Take a look at the Columbia Reviews and Haas Reviews (Haas is pretty exclusive with a small class for a top 10, so only 3 reviews - the least of any top 10 program we have)
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2017, 12:29
Can anyone else provide insight into the two programs, particularly those who voted?
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2017, 14:08
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You are accepted to 2 wow schools. congratulations :)

If you were accept to lower ranked schools than those schools, I would advise you to reapply.

However, you have free ride from 2 of best 10 schools. It means you need to think deeply about this opportunity. What if you postpone for next year or two years, do you still get same scholarship?? No one knows. Also, how will this delay affect your relation that you are committed to? I think postponement idea carries a lot of risk. Here comes what in hand; Hass vs Columbia. Actually, both schools have different territories as mentioned by BB. In their reports, both schools almost shares same percentage recruited by RE (almost 3.8%). Based on the difficult mobility of your partner, I vote for Hass.

If you are in doubt, then I suggest that you can both attend weekend days in both schools and take the decision together.

Good luck
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2017, 18:23
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hncx wrote:
Can anyone else provide insight into the two programs, particularly those who voted?


If your goal is to pursue Real Estate Finance upon graduation, then in my mind, it is a no-brainer which school to go to. In NYC, the networking opportunities and just plain old exposure to Real Estate would be much more prevalent as opposed to Haas.

Now if Haas has some sort of underground Real Estate development track that I don't know of, it changes the equation.

But if you are dead set on RE Finance the decision is clear. Based on your age tho, I would venture to guess the young heart is a fleeting one. Might your interests/desires change? If it changes to one of the stereotypical finance jobs, you can't go wrong at either school, but if it turns towards Tech - then Haas would be the way to go.

I'm not sure if I helped...
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2017, 15:13
Keepushinalmosthere wrote:
hncx wrote:
Can anyone else provide insight into the two programs, particularly those who voted?


If your goal is to pursue Real Estate Finance upon graduation, then in my mind, it is a no-brainer which school to go to. In NYC, the networking opportunities and just plain old exposure to Real Estate would be much more prevalent as opposed to Haas.

Now if Haas has some sort of underground Real Estate development track that I don't know of, it changes the equation.

But if you are dead set on RE Finance the decision is clear. Based on your age tho, I would venture to guess the young heart is a fleeting one. Might your interests/desires change? If it changes to one of the stereotypical finance jobs, you can't go wrong at either school, but if it turns towards Tech - then Haas would be the way to go.

I'm not sure if I helped...


Thank you for the input Keepushinalmosthere. Thanks also to everyone who voted. Haas indeed does have a strong real estate specialization which is why I applied to the program: http://mba.haas.berkeley.edu/academics/realestate.html

I work with many people in the industry now (I currently work in a real estate related field in the Bay Area) who are Haas alumni, and going there would definitely expand my network for that specific to the Bay Area.
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2017, 15:15
Any other CBS/Haas students, alumni, etc. that could provide insight?

To add color to the financial differential, Haas would definitely be less expensive for me. I have an inexpensive living situation in which I could remain, and would not have to foot the cost of relocation, much more expensive rent, and travel back to the Bay Area to see family, etc. It would likely be a 40k difference overall. So it becomes a question of saving that money vs experiencing a new place and Columbia's program, recognizing that Columbia and moving to NYC has been the goal in b-school apps...
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2017, 19:42
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I would go with Haas here, it seems like you are well established in Cali and given real estate is largely based around local knowledge it feels like given the lack of relative difference in the quality of both schools and your personal ties with your girlfriend I would go with Haas. Congrats on these two great options, I don't think it is worth it to try and apply to other more elite porgrams
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2017, 13:58
VeritasPrepDozie wrote:
I would go with Haas here, it seems like you are well established in Cali and given real estate is largely based around local knowledge it feels like given the lack of relative difference in the quality of both schools and your personal ties with your girlfriend I would go with Haas. Congrats on these two great options, I don't think it is worth it to try and apply to other more elite porgrams


Thanks, VeritasPrepDozie. This is true; however, I am interested in breaking more into RE finance and into some of the larger financial institutions, BB banks, REITs, etc. that are headquartered in New York. RE development is very network heavy but if I am on the institutional side I think NYC would be advantageous. I would also maintain my current network in the Bay Area.
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Re: Columbia (Full Scholarship) vs. Haas (Full Scholarship)   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2017, 13:58
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