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Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)

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Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 13:54
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Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to decide whether its worth attending Ross's program for ~$70K out of pocket or Illinois iMBA program for free. I have the capital for Ross and will not need to take loans in either case. Everyone says go iMBA but I feel like the Ross will help me especially if I want to change careers/industries. I am currently a supervisor for large utility company with an undergraduate degree in engineering from Michigan. Any input would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Re: Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 14:11
It sounds like you are in a pretty good position financially. With that being said, my advice would be to choose Ross. While the online program itself may be newer to the market, the Ross brand and network will be an asset to you for many years to come. Think long-term investment!
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Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 17:14
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From the research I've done, part-time MBA makes sense in these situations

1. Your employer or someone else is paying for it (free, so why not)
2. You need the MBA title to advance in your current organization, and it's almost impossible without that three letters behind you
3. You need to build a local network (and you don't have one currently)
4. You had absolutely no formal business background and would like to build business skill-set (but this is the weakest one, because there are so many ways to develop this without paying $150K)

For you, attending Ross online don't really fit into any of these three situations. At least Illinois fit into #1. While Ross name/brand is exceptional, I don't think you can utilize online MBA to switch career altogether. Switching to a different industry in same function might be more realistic (I heard even this isn't that easy). 70K isn't huge but not small either. Depending on how rich you/your family are, 70K is negligible or significant. Not sure which side of the spectrum you are in, so I'd leave that totally up to you. I'd try to speak to your managers/directors in your organization and see if they would value your MBA. If you are hoping for career switch, don't do part time MBA and apply full time MBA.
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Re: Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2019, 02:17
Ticktock41 wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to decide whether its worth attending Ross's program for ~$70K out of pocket or Illinois iMBA program for free. I have the capital for Ross and will not need to take loans in either case. Everyone says go iMBA but I feel like the Ross will help me especially if I want to change careers/industries. I am currently a supervisor for large utility company with an undergraduate degree in engineering from Michigan. Any input would be much appreciated.

Thanks!



I would choose Ross over Illinois and consider it good investment but my concern is that online is not for career changers. You should seek full time MBA to make the transition. I think you should invitigate more with schools and others' experiences in order to build realistic hopes.

Good luck
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Re: Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2019, 13:41
Welcome to GMAT Club Ticktock41 and Congrats on your admits!
I think you got some great feedback.

I did want to clarify something - what are your goals? Are you trying to switch industries/roles? You said "if" - what are you planning to use your MBA for?
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Re: Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2019, 05:14
Thanks everyone for the replies, I really appreciate it.

To clarify my company will be reimbursing either program so the math looks like this...

Ross Tuition $112,000 - $16,000 Scholarship - $30,000 Company Reimbursement = $66,000 Out of Pocket
Illinois Tuition $22,000 - $30,000 Company Reimbursement = $0 Out of Pocket

As for my career goals, I am happy with my current company and am on the short list for the next manager position. I am already earning $120k+ so I don't think leaving for a full time program is the right move for me. My realistic career goal is to become a Vice President at my company and the basic rule of thumb is you need an MBA for that. I'm not looking to change careers per say as in going into investment banking or consulting but I am not against leaving my current company for a better offer in the utility industry or a similar industry where I can leverage my engineering knowledge (energy, manufacturing, or tech). Finally, my moonshot career goal would be to start my own company but I'm not ready to take that kind of risk at this time.

I guess what I am struggling with is I don't have a feel for Illinois's reputation and if there is any brand recognition. They don't show up on any of the rankings besides for the full time on US News 2019 at #48 but now they discontinued that program and are solely focusing on their massive online program which is good and maybe low cost online MBAs are the future but at the same time I feel like if I attend Illinois I will just be checking the box on getting an MBA and going through the motions where if I attend Michigan I will be getting the more traditional premier MBA experience which will be worth the investment. Anyways, thanks again for your help!
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Re: Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2019, 08:20
What you mentioned proves that online MBA is for you and your way of thinking is correct. You may face future situation when your resume is compared with other one. Education will be an area to look into, although experience and achievements will have higher weight. Also, I urge you to take closer look between Ross and Illinois. You will gain high skills and high quality of education that certainly will help you shape identity and may appear in your interactions. I believe Ross has same quality of its full-time program. consider the money you pay is an investment in your future.

Good luck
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Re: Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2019, 16:10
On one hand, if you look at the CEO's and CFO's of all the leading companies, and esp in the utility/similar industries, they have all gone to no-name undergrad and many to no-name bschools (some just undergrad). I don't think you will be judged based on your MBA's reputation too much when you are chosen for promotion. For example, I have been with my employer for almost 10 years now and nobody looks at my resume, my bschool name, etc when my promotion application is reviewed. The only thing they are looking at is my supervisor's nomination and feedback from other execs if needed for review.

At the same time, if you want to branch out and build a network, I feel an EMBA would fit your interests more since you are at the Director/mid-management level it seems, at least based on the salary package. My concern is that the classmates you will have at the UIUC will be likely making sub $70k, based on the cost of the program and you will not find a good group to challenge you. Ross would be better but going for an EMBA may be more of a challenge, if you are up for that.


P.S. I have never heard of an MBA costing $22K - is that some kind of an instate tuition discount? Just seems very very cheap.
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Re: Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2019, 03:11
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bb wrote:

P.S. I have never heard of an MBA costing $22K - is that some kind of an instate tuition discount? Just seems very very cheap.


This happened years ago when they started their iMBA through Coursera. It is opened for this rate for anyone around the world. This saw surge in numbers in this MBA and hence took decision to cancel their full-time MBA week ago.
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Re: Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2019, 17:08
bb wrote:

P.S. I have never heard of an MBA costing $22K - is that some kind of an instate tuition discount? Just seems very very cheap.


Nope this is the same cost to everyone who applies. The only one cheaper I found was North Alabama University (~18k).

Anyways, after doing a deep dive of each program's curriculum, I feel Michigan has a stronger offering and will hopefully be worth the extra investment. I will also be able to take electives on-campus if I do so please as I still live in the metro detroit area.

Thanks again for all the advice.

Cheers!
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Re: Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)   [#permalink] 24 Jun 2019, 17:08

Michigan Ross Online (partial scholarship) vs Illinois iMBA (free)

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