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Columbia ($$) vs. HBS

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Columbia ($$) vs HBS

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Joined: 11 Jan 2018
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Columbia ($$) vs. HBS [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 11:24
Hi All,

I've got admits to both Columbia (with a significant scholarship, not a full ride though) and HBS (with no money). My background is in tech. HBS is a great school indeed, but the prospective of a huge debt scares me. As far as I'm not likely going to PE anyways - is HBS worth the extra cost?

Thanks for the thoughts.
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Re: Columbia ($$) vs. HBS [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 11:52
Congrats Randomguy! You will have a huge debt either way :-)

It really depends on your perspective. If you look at some of the feedback and debriefs from students, while there is on-campus recruiting and many students (50%?) get at least a starting job they can negotiate with that way, the best positions and best opportunities come from networking. If you are staying within New York or East Coast, Columbia would provide good networking opportunities. Harvard has a much greater reach - you can find someone even in Kenya who is probably son of the president or something who attended Harvard. People in the know, know that Columbia is Top 10 MBA but everyone including your aunt and your little cousin know that Harvard is #1

On the financial side, let's say CBS offered you 100K for 2 years and HBS did zilch. That's a bit difference at first. But consider all costs in your decision (I won't get into speculating about income or anything like that) but consider the cost of living ($40-50k/yr - definitely budget more than what the website says) being probably somewhat equal, though slightly less in Cambridge and the opportunity cost ($50-75K yr). You have CBS Costing you $250K vs. HBS $350K.

In part many here on GMAT Club would probably pick HBS just to get the ultimate experience and to be able to never doubt that an employer passed the school by because they had a better option.

Columbia has a few things going for it though - it is getting a new campus sometime soon (2018 or 2019) so the issue with the facilities should improve. It does have a better than expected community for a city school so all those are positive. NYC is a big financial center but I feel Columbia is somewhat lost in the noise - there is Tuck, Booth, Kellogg, Wharton, Stanford, Yale, Haas that all seem to have more going for them....

The reason I could not go to CBS is not being able to mentally stop questioning and doubting my decision. You may be a stronger person than I am and you can put the decision behind you and never go back to it. I over-analyze things all the time. Hoping the admit weekend be more helpful to help you lean one way or another.

Congratulations!
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Re: Columbia ($$) vs. HBS [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 17:43
Have you spoken to HBS about getting financial aid? I'd take HBS hands down even if they don't extend financial aid.

The kind of reach and access you'll have at HBS is just immense. I did tech recruiting and HBS has alumni at almost every corner, even at cool niche firms like Blue Origins, Steam, and Magic Leap. I'm sure it's the same with other industries. Having alumni makes getting your foot in the door much easier.

If you catch the entrepreneurship bug at HBS, getting funded by high quality investors is also much easier. I think it's important to keep this in mind as you may look to raise fund to do something later on in your career, having access to a powerful alumni group is vital.

At the end of the day, you're not only getting career opportunities out of your MBA, which HBS provides like no other school does (except GSB), the network you obtain will be a crucial resource throughout your career.

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Re: Columbia ($$) vs. HBS [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 19:03
HBS and it's not close IMO. I'd take HBS full fare over CBS with a full ride.
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Re: Columbia ($$) vs. HBS [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2018, 12:59
randomguy007 wrote:
Hi All,

I've got admits to both Columbia (with a significant scholarship, not a full ride though) and HBS (with no money). My background is in tech. HBS is a great school indeed, but the prospective of a huge debt scares me. As far as I'm not likely going to PE anyways - is HBS worth the extra cost?

Thanks for the thoughts.


Doesn't HBS offer need-based fellowships that you apply for AFTER admission? So isn't there still a chance you can get some money from HBS?
Re: Columbia ($$) vs. HBS   [#permalink] 12 Jan 2018, 12:59
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