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Owen ($) vs Simon ($$)

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New post 26 Apr 2016, 11:35
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Hello All,

I actually posted this as a hypothetical about 6 weeks ago when I was waitlisted by Owen. I have now been offered admission to Owen with a $10,000 per year scholarship. Comparing with a Simon offer, I will receive 50% tuition coverage per year (approx. $20,000). I wanted to be as exact as I can regarding cost because that is an important factor for me, as everything not covered by scholarships will be loans. Also, I want to give some quick background about myself so that I can get some good feedback, as this decision has been difficult for me:

I have lived in Western New York my entire life (Buffalo, NY). I have no desire to live/work in NYC post-mba. Compared to most MBA applicants, my work experience is weak (almost 4 years at matriculation, includes a 6 month gap for health issues, 2 years of management with small companies). My reason for MBA is to change industries, into healthcare. Both schools offer Healthcare MBA concentrations, but I favor Owen's by quite a bit considering location and employment stats.

I would appreciate any input making this decision, thanks!
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New post 26 Apr 2016, 11:46
Congratulations! Do you want to get out of Buffalo/Western NY Area?
This is your one chance. If yes, I vote for change of scenery and Owen is very strong in Healthcare - the Vanderbilt MD connection is huge and as long as you don't mind being in Nashville (which is a cool enough town). How is Simon with placement to Healthcare?

Borrowing $20-30K more (check if my math is off) is a concern - how much will be total debt burden in each school? What is your best estimate?
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New post 26 Apr 2016, 11:55
Here is a quick snapshot of the 2 programs traveling through time with US News Rankings.
Simon used to be ranked much higher than Owen but the trends have been reversing, and perhaps will reverse again. If Owen was able to climb fast, it can fall fast the ranking ladder as well - don't get too distracted with that. However, always good to be joining a school on the upswing.

Owen took advantage of the economic situation and Finance heavy schools that fell away from grace and pounced on the rankings.
in 2010/2011 rankings, for the class of 2009, everyone Finance-heavy took a hit - Simon, Krannert, even Wharton and Booth fell a spot off
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New post 26 Apr 2016, 12:48
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Just putting the numbers more accurately:

Simon's tuition = approx 92k
Owen's tuition = approx 100k

Simon's scholarship (50%) = 46k
Owen's scholarship (10k/year) = 20k

Loan at Simon = 92 - 46 = 46k
Loan at Owen = 100 - 20 = 80k
Difference in Tuition Loan = 34k

Besides, Rochester is cheaper than Nashville, right?
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New post 26 Apr 2016, 13:05
PugLyfe, maybe you have any input here?
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New post 26 Apr 2016, 13:21
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I know the finances are tough to swallow, but I recall you saying that Owen was your #1 choice school heading into this. Owen is a strong program for the healthcare concentration and Nashville is known as a healthcare hub. If you were interested in corporate finance, I would suggest Simon. However, given your goals, I think its a clear choice. You will have COL expenses whichever way and ultimately the cost difference is going to be ~35k + interest. Long run, that price difference wont matter.

Speak to some current students, read about (and visit) the city, and I think you will be sold on Nashville and Owen.
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New post 26 Apr 2016, 16:04
It feels like Owen is where you want to be, it addresses your desire to escape NY as well as offers and opportunity to pursue your interests in healthcare. The money is the only negative here, I always caution applicants to avoid making a decision that they may regret and it appears passing up Owen would be just that for you
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New post 26 Apr 2016, 16:20
bb wrote:
Congratulations! Do you want to get out of Buffalo/Western NY Area?
This is your one chance. If yes, I vote for change of scenery and Owen is very strong in Healthcare - the Vanderbilt MD connection is huge and as long as you don't mind being in Nashville (which is a cool enough town). How is Simon with placement to Healthcare?

Borrowing $20-30K more (check if my math is off) is a concern - how much will be total debt burden in each school? What is your best estimate?


Yes, thanks greenzie ! I went one step further to show the amount with Cost of Living added in below. Also bb , leaving Western NY was one of my hopes during the MBA process.

Simon Two Year Est. (After scholarship): $ 88,656.00
Owen Two Year Est. (After scholarship): $ 134,862.00
Total Difference: $ 46,206.00

Simon Healthcare Placement: 3.3%
Owen Healthcare Placement: 12%
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New post 26 Apr 2016, 17:44
I'd follow the money here.... why?

I could think of better ways to throw that 46K than for school... I understand the need for happiness, etc, etc...

but taking on the least amount of debt as possible is the most important...why? because you will never know how your situation changes in the future...

I'd say make a little sacrifice, less debt, and go with Simon
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New post 26 Apr 2016, 17:59
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@someone1 you really do feel that borrowing 88,656 is much safer than 134,862?

$46k buys you a Toyota Sienna AWD minivan. Would you not trade a minivan for a better fit, job placement, classmates and to start a new chapter in life?

If you could not do much with your degree than probably keep the minivan but if you are ambitious and can network and work hard, it makes sense to join a more motivated group.


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New post 26 Apr 2016, 18:18
bb wrote:
someone1 you really do feel that borrowing 88,656 is much safer than 134,862?

$46k buys you a Toyota Sienna AWD minivan. Would you not trade a minivan for a better fit, job placement, classmates and to start a new chapter in life?

If you could not do much with your degree than probably keep the minivan but if you are ambitious and can network and work hard, it makes sense to join a more motivated group.


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bb - I trade for a living... I have different experiences than you probably have. You can do a lot of things with 46K.

While you make me sound like a loser... how could playing it safe/smart be a barometer of your ambitions in life?

Also, you CAN NETWORK ANYWHERE, in ANY school, AT anytime without needing to shell out that extra 46K... and who's to say that Vandy has more motivated students than Simon...a ranking table?

Sorry, but your Toyota AWD analogy makes ZERO sense - 46K is not a depreciating asset, you can appreciate it depending on your plans, but a Toyota is a depreciating asset the very day you purchased it...

agree to disagree? that's what makes opinions so beautiful...

Last but not least, No - I didn't apply to these 2 schools and was coming based on the OP's situation as presented above
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New post 26 Apr 2016, 21:59
the two are very, very different programs. I'd suggest keeping these things in mind when you visit both (for a decision as important as this, you really need to go on campus)
- Student profile. What are the people like, and can you see yourself being surrounded by them for 2 years? Will you be getting a great experience because of them?
- Location. Is this an opportunity to plant in your neighborhood, or take a chance and experience a new area of the country? Do you want to socialize locally, or with a major urban city? Do you have access to other amenities (sports/entertainment/outdoors)?
- Academic focus. Does the program align with your interests? Do you get the vibe that your career path is not only achievable, but supported by the career center AND classmates (2nd years)?

I have a few thoughts based on your intro (and having attended both institutions), but hopefully you'll be able to answer those questions. Best of luck in the process!
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New post 27 Apr 2016, 05:06
atl12688 wrote:
bb wrote:
Congratulations! Do you want to get out of Buffalo/Western NY Area?
This is your one chance. If yes, I vote for change of scenery and Owen is very strong in Healthcare - the Vanderbilt MD connection is huge and as long as you don't mind being in Nashville (which is a cool enough town). How is Simon with placement to Healthcare?

Borrowing $20-30K more (check if my math is off) is a concern - how much will be total debt burden in each school? What is your best estimate?


Yes, thanks greenzie ! I went one step further to show the amount with Cost of Living added in below. Also bb , leaving Western NY was one of my hopes during the MBA process.

Simon Two Year Est. (After scholarship): $ 88,656.00
Owen Two Year Est. (After scholarship): $ 134,862.00
Total Difference: $ 46,206.00

Simon Healthcare Placement: 3.3%
Owen Healthcare Placement: 12%


http://www.nashvilleareainfo.com/homepa ... ealth-care

Couple the strong healthcare ties in Nashville with the fact that you dont want to be in western NY ... and I don't see how this is much of a choice. I turned down an 80k scholarship to washu Olin for a lot less money at Owen due to fit. I'll have the rest of my life to make the money back. I won't be able to relive my MBA experience.

My honest advice is that if you're not completely sold on either school, you should wait for the next application cycle. Try to improve your profile and apply to a programs that you'd be truly happy with. I know there are programs I would have paid full sticker price for. If cost is a deterrent, raise your GMAT to 740+ and you will get significant scholarships.
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New post 27 Apr 2016, 05:18
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someone1 wrote:
bb wrote:
someone1 you really do feel that borrowing 88,656 is much safer than 134,862?

$46k buys you a Toyota Sienna AWD minivan. Would you not trade a minivan for a better fit, job placement, classmates and to start a new chapter in life?

If you could not do much with your degree than probably keep the minivan but if you are ambitious and can network and work hard, it makes sense to join a more motivated group.


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bb - I trade for a living... I have different experiences than you probably have. You can do a lot of things with 46K.

While you make me sound like a loser... how could playing it safe/smart be a barometer of your ambitions in life?

Also, you CAN NETWORK ANYWHERE, in ANY school, AT anytime without needing to shell out that extra 46K... and who's to say that Vandy has more motivated students than Simon...a ranking table?

Sorry, but your Toyota AWD analogy makes ZERO sense - 46K is not a depreciating asset, you can appreciate it depending on your plans, but a Toyota is a depreciating asset the very day you purchased it...

agree to disagree? that's what makes opinions so beautiful...

Last but not least, No - I didn't apply to these 2 schools and was coming based on the OP's situation as presented above


You talk about the $46k as if it's money that he already has in his pocket and can generate returns off it. FWIW, I spent years trading index and commodity futures so I understand the value of capital. OP is borrowing money to pay for school. It's not money that he has lying around in a brokerage account with guaranteed 10% annual interest that will compound in his favor. The 46k will amount to ~500 a month extra in loan payments. Simons avg starting salary ~98k. Owen ~108k. Taking on 88k debt for Simon isn't exactly a no risk situation either. Surely you realize this. We are all taking risks by forgoing 2 years of income to spend money on an MBA.

You can network anywhere at anytime. This is true, but then why bother going to Simon? Why not just go to an unranked school on a full scholarship and pay $0. Network your way into a job.
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New post 27 Apr 2016, 05:24
I can honestly say the strongest reason for choosing Simon (besides the money) would be the personal attention given to students by the Career Management Center, which is very important to me. Just about everything else, I would favor Vanderbilt over Simon. I found one complaint in the gmatclub reviews of Owen stating that the CMC did not give the attention they hoped and that you are on your own for recruiting. Any current students or alumni at Owen found this to be the case? Because if so, that would deter probably as much as the money difference.
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New post 27 Apr 2016, 05:40
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PugLyfe wrote:
someone1 wrote:
bb wrote:
someone1 you really do feel that borrowing 88,656 is much safer than 134,862?

$46k buys you a Toyota Sienna AWD minivan. Would you not trade a minivan for a better fit, job placement, classmates and to start a new chapter in life?

If you could not do much with your degree than probably keep the minivan but if you are ambitious and can network and work hard, it makes sense to join a more motivated group.


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bb - I trade for a living... I have different experiences than you probably have. You can do a lot of things with 46K.

While you make me sound like a loser... how could playing it safe/smart be a barometer of your ambitions in life?

Also, you CAN NETWORK ANYWHERE, in ANY school, AT anytime without needing to shell out that extra 46K... and who's to say that Vandy has more motivated students than Simon...a ranking table?

Sorry, but your Toyota AWD analogy makes ZERO sense - 46K is not a depreciating asset, you can appreciate it depending on your plans, but a Toyota is a depreciating asset the very day you purchased it...

agree to disagree? that's what makes opinions so beautiful...

Last but not least, No - I didn't apply to these 2 schools and was coming based on the OP's situation as presented above


You talk about the $46k as if it's money that he already has in his pocket and can generate returns off it. FWIW, I spent years trading index and commodity futures so I understand the value of capital. OP is borrowing money to pay for school. It's not money that he has lying around in a brokerage account with guaranteed 10% annual interest that will compound in his favor. The 46k will amount to ~500 a month extra in loan payments. Simons avg starting salary ~98k. Owen ~108k. Taking on 88k debt for Simon isn't exactly a no risk situation either. Surely you realize this. We are all taking risks by forgoing 2 years of income to spend money on an MBA.

You can network anywhere at anytime. This is true, but then why bother going to Simon? Why not just go to an unranked school on a full scholarship and pay $0. Network your way into a job.


Congrats on spending years in trading index/ commodity futures, because you're not the only one here.... then you would understand the risk of "starting salary too"

Avg starting salary is the dumbest stat to be used in this situation. Work exp/ value of an individual drives the salary given by a corp.... Who's to say he can't get the same/ more amount despite going to Simon??

and nowhere in the stat did i say Simon is RISK FREE - I say it's a safe/ smart decision... If you had traded in your life - you'd understand that nothing in life is risk free...

Last but not least, that 46K is as good as money in the pocket... assuming a 30% income tax rate... it would take OP almost 7 years to B/E (not even assuming the Time Value of Money) under the assumption of "avg salary provided by you"... Last but not least, if in 7 years, your selling point is still your MBA certification vs. you viable selling skills... you're certainly doing things wrongly in your professional life (I've never had to dug out my undergrad details only when i had mt first day MY prof. job, and secondly, during my application to MBA schools)
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New post Updated on: 27 Apr 2016, 06:59
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someone1 wrote:
Congrats on spending years in trading index/ commodity futures, because you're not the only one here.... then you would understand the risk of "starting salary too"

Avg starting salary is the dumbest stat to be used in this situation. Work exp/ value of an individual drives the salary given by a corp.... Who's to say he can't get the same/ more amount despite going to Simon??

and nowhere in the stat did i say Simon is RISK FREE - I say it's a safe/ smart decision... If you had traded in your life - you'd understand that nothing in life is risk free...

Last but not least, that 46K is as good as money in the pocket... assuming a 30% income tax rate... it would take OP almost 7 years to B/E (not even assuming the Time Value of Money) under the assumption of "avg salary provided by you"... Last but not least, if in 7 years, your selling point is still your MBA certification vs. you viable selling skills... you're certainly doing things wrongly in your professional life (I've never had to dug out my undergrad details since the first day i entered my first job, and my first application to MBA schools)


Your sarcasm is useful. I mentioned the trading because you brought it up as if nobody here understands risk or the value of money.

Avg starting salary is a dumb stat? Companies that recruit on campus use these stats to make offers. Do you believe that if you went to some unranked school vs Wharton, that your job offer would depend solely on work exp and value of an individual? That's what B school is. Its a vetting process. The schools have already vetted candidates. Thats why employers dont have to. They know exactly what caliber of student they are getting. Discussing the value of the Nashville healthcare network is clearly not going to work because you're immune to logic. Yes, the OP can network his way into a job and possibly receive a better offer out of Simon. Where are his odds better? B school isn't just about tuition costs. It's about going to the program that will help set you up with the career you want. In this case, Owen is a better fit. That point is lost on you.

Now you want to talk about tax rate. How about the fact that TN is a tax free state. Do you want to factor in the fact that NY has a high income tax rate and you can pocket that saved money living in TN? Or are you just trying to dig into specifics to be an ass?

Whether 88k or 130k in debt, neither are "safe" decisions. They are both risks. If you had traded in your life, you'd understand that having 46k extra money to invest does not guarantee positive return .... .. .. .. ... (should i put more periods to be an ass?)

Originally posted by PugLyfe on 27 Apr 2016, 06:13.
Last edited by PugLyfe on 27 Apr 2016, 06:59, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 27 Apr 2016, 06:22
PugLyfe wrote:
someone1 wrote:
Congrats on spending years in trading index/ commodity futures, because you're not the only one here.... then you would understand the risk of "starting salary too"

Avg starting salary is the dumbest stat to be used in this situation. Work exp/ value of an individual drives the salary given by a corp.... Who's to say he can't get the same/ more amount despite going to Simon??

and nowhere in the stat did i say Simon is RISK FREE - I say it's a safe/ smart decision... If you had traded in your life - you'd understand that nothing in life is risk free...

Last but not least, that 46K is as good as money in the pocket... assuming a 30% income tax rate... it would take OP almost 7 years to B/E (not even assuming the Time Value of Money) under the assumption of "avg salary provided by you"... Last but not least, if in 7 years, your selling point is still your MBA certification vs. you viable selling skills... you're certainly doing things wrongly in your professional life (I've never had to dug out my undergrad details since the first day i entered my first job, and my first application to MBA schools)


Your sarcasm is useful. I mentioned the trading because you brought it up as if nobody here understands risk or the value of money.

Avg starting salary is a dumb stat? Companies that recruit on campus use these stats to make offers. Do you believe that if you went to some unranked school vs Wharton, that your job offer would depend solely on work exp and value of an individual? That's what B school is. Its a vetting process. The schools have already vetted candidates. Thats why employers dont have to. They know exactly what caliber of student they are getting. Discussing the value of the Nashville healthcare network is clearly not going to work because you're immune to logic. Yes, the OP can network his way into a job and possibly receive a better offer out of Simon. Where are his odds better? B school isn't just about tuition costs. It's about going to the program that will help set you up with the career you want. In this case, Owen is a better fit. That point is lost on you.

Now you want to talk about tax rate. How about the fact that TN is a tax free state. Do you want to factor in the fact that NY has a high income tax rate and and pocket that saved money living in TN? Or are you just trying to dig into specifics to be an ass?

Whether 88k or 130k in debt, neither are "safe" decisions. They are both risks. If you had traded in your life, you'd understand that having 46k extra money to invest does not guarantee positive return .... .. .. .. ... (should i put more periods to be an ass?)


http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/tax-brackets.aspx

unless you can skip federal income tax - I used that 30% as a quick count for an ASSumption

who's to say that's where OP would be once he had graduated from Simon?

come on there... don't get all hurrrrt up. Again - I back my data and statement up, and you had yours..

Last but not least, Let's be honest... Vandy is no HBS/Wharton... let's not even get there :shock: :roll:
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New post 27 Apr 2016, 06:48
someone1 wrote:

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/tax-brackets.aspx

unless you can skip federal income tax - I used that 30% as a quick count for an ASSumption

who's to say that's where OP would be once he had graduated from Simon?

come on there... don't get all hurrrrt up. Again - I back my data and statement up, and you had yours..

Last but not least, Let's be honest... Vandy is no HBS/Wharton... let's not even get there :shock: :roll:


I'm not comparing Vandy to H/S/W. I'm using your point against you. You said yourself OP can network his way into whatever job he wants. For that reason, you should be able to go to an unranked school and get paid a competitive salary based on your own merits. Why pay 88k? Continue working, go part time to a local program and get the job of your dreams, amirite? Thats 88k thats effectively in your pocket! Not to mention 2 years of salary! :roll:
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New post 27 Apr 2016, 09:22
I think you want to look at where you want to be (if you care) after graduation. If you want to stay in upstate NY, then I'm sure Simon will get you where you want to go. I would think almost anywhere else (except maybe NYC), Vandy is going to have the upper hand. The brand recognition of Vandy is much better and they are trending upwards compared to Rochester. Unless you really want to stay in NY or can't pass up the money, I'm temped to say this is a no brainier.

With regards to the CMC stuff - take reviews with a grain of salt and talk to current students.
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