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Kenan-Flagler (no $) vs Smeal (full ride)?

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UNC vs Smeal?

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Kenan-Flagler (no $) vs Smeal (full ride)?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2019, 11:25
Deciding between these two schools and pros & cons before making a decision. UNC was a stretch school that I somehow got admitted to (while others that I thought were safer bets did not even interview me). I will be enrolling as a domestic student interested in either Brand Management for P&G, Mars, J&J, General Mills or another F500, or a rotational program at ABInbev or General Motors.

UNC is the clear winner in terms of schools. I applied through The Consortium so will be eligible for Orientation Program to meet employers that are outside UNC's recruiting sphere. The brand is much stronger, better on-campus recruiting, STAR program, alumni network better connected, program has a superior academic backbone, superior professors, and much bigger school with the more diverse student body. Smeal is a bit of an odd duckling since Penn State is such an undergrad-heavy school. I'd imagine my 2 years will be somewhat awkward especially from a dating standpoint as the vast majority in the surrounding area are 10 years younger than me, while UNC has Raleigh just a 30-minute drive and I'm sure all the schools like Duke cross-pollinate (figuratively and literally in this case). Smeal also sounds like a bit of a battle in terms of recruiting since it's so small.

At the same time...it is hard to pass up a full ride vs. approx 140k in expenses and lost stipend. That's a giant difference.

I thought this would be an easy choice, but I'm not so certain. Is there a point where it's better to accept the debt than take a full ride, and is this that point of difference?
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Re: Kenan-Flagler (no $) vs Smeal (full ride)?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2019, 14:03
I will say KF.

School's brand is one thing; the exposure to your target companies is another thing. KF is better simply because it's easier to achieve your career goal at KF then at Smeal.

Scholarship is a big factor when the schools you are considering are at the same level (branding, recruiting, and etc). If you get a full ride from Emory and $0 from KF, I will suggest you to go to Emory.
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Re: Kenan-Flagler (no $) vs Smeal (full ride)?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2019, 18:32
Agree with the poster above. If you are comparing similar tier schools like Emory, UNC, McCombs then this is entirely different, but Penn State, although a decent MBA program is not in the same tier as Kenan-Flagler and will most certainly not have the OCR presence that UNC has....it feels odd to turn down a full-ride but your goals are much more attainable from UNC than Penn State....plus Chapel Hill/RTP much much better area to be in than University Park.
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Re: Kenan-Flagler (no $) vs Smeal (full ride)?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2019, 18:42
KF is far superior as a program than Penn State-not in the same tier in my opinion, maybe you can try to negotiate (play it wisely) but in terms of exit opportunities, alumni network, brand recognition, class quality, OCR UNC is way better.
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Re: Kenan-Flagler (no $) vs Smeal (full ride)?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2019, 15:15
Don't overthink it--go to UNC. Like the poster above said, this is a case that is about opportunity set, not a rankings contest.
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Re: Kenan-Flagler (no $) vs Smeal (full ride)?   [#permalink] 24 Mar 2019, 15:15
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