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Starting to think about the $$$

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Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2008, 17:37
I know this comes up every year and most everyone here is under the impression that it is best to go to the highest ranking program (considreing fit) school no matter what sort of cash some lesser ranked schools are throwing at them. Am I the only one starting to seriously consider applying to lesser ranked schools not only as back up but in hopes of getting serious funding?
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2008, 18:01
The money thing does wear on me sometimes. There is no guarantee when it comes to the future. It's really something to spend $120K-200K on the hope that you'll get a good enough paying job in the future.

I know it works out for most people, but..... :oops:

I think going to a "lesser" school because they offer you money is a pretty individual thing. I mean, if the choice was between a top 10 vs. a top 15, then it might be worth taking the money.

However, if its a choice between H/S/W and a top 15, you'd be crazy to not go to H/S/W.

I'll worry about it when I cross that bridge.

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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2008, 19:44
If you are focused completely on money then there are plenty of jobs directly out of school where the pay difference will be pretty big between grads from top 10 schools (esp M7) and somewhere in the top 20. Out of here you can easily find a job that first year will 125-145k and has 35k sign-on bonus. Some even will pay your 2nd year's tuition. If you dont want one of those consulting or banking gigs then you wont make as much but still there are plenty of companies who only recruit from top schools so if taking a fullride from a lower ranked school then it might hurt your long term career.
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2008, 19:51
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riverripper wrote:
If you are focused completely on money then there are plenty of jobs directly out of school where the pay difference will be pretty big between grads from top 10 schools (esp M7) and somewhere in the top 20. Out of here you can easily find a job that first year will 125-145k and has 35k sign-on bonus. Some even will pay your 2nd year's tuition. If you dont want one of those consulting or banking gigs then you wont make as much but still there are plenty of companies who only recruit from top schools so if taking a fullride from a lower ranked school then it might hurt your long term career.


Agreed. Scholarships should only be a concern if you have made up your mind to go into a lower paying/less selective field or if you already have significant contacts in your industries to land a job through your own resources. If you are planning to recruit for jobs on-campus, and are looking to take a high paying job in a prestige industry/group of a company - then don't worry about scholarship money.
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2008, 18:29
Personally I'd trade a bit of "ranking" for $$$, if I liked the school and thought I'd be happy there for 2 years.

One thing I learned from undergrad, its not necessary where you go to school; but what you do with yourself when you're there.
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2008, 18:31
nomsg7111 wrote:
Personally I'd trade a bit of "ranking" for $$$, if I liked the school and thought I'd be happy there for 2 years.

One thing I learned from undergrad, its not necessary where you go to school; but what you do with yourself when you're there.


I learned the complete opposite from Undergrad. No matter how hard I tried, the opportunities that were openly available to graduates of Top 10 and Top 20 ranked UG schools were closed to 99.5% of graduates from schools ranked under #40.
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2008, 19:12
terp06 wrote:
nomsg7111 wrote:
Personally I'd trade a bit of "ranking" for $$$, if I liked the school and thought I'd be happy there for 2 years.

One thing I learned from undergrad, its not necessary where you go to school; but what you do with yourself when you're there.


I learned the complete opposite from Undergrad. No matter how hard I tried, the opportunities that were openly available to graduates of Top 10 and Top 20 ranked UG schools were closed to 99.5% of graduates from schools ranked under #40.


Hmmm.... I guess it really depends on your industry? Most of the people I work with have post-graduate degrees and where you got your PhD (actually WHO you did it with) counts for a lot. However, I wouldn't say that someone from a mid-ranked PhD program couldn't realize the same opportunities, it's just a little harder.

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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2008, 19:53
terp06 wrote:
nomsg7111 wrote:
Personally I'd trade a bit of "ranking" for $$$, if I liked the school and thought I'd be happy there for 2 years.

One thing I learned from undergrad, its not necessary where you go to school; but what you do with yourself when you're there.


I learned the complete opposite from Undergrad. No matter how hard I tried, the opportunities that were openly available to graduates of Top 10 and Top 20 ranked UG schools were closed to 99.5% of graduates from schools ranked under #40.


I suppose there are certain companies that only recruit at certain schools. I'm thinking of companies like Goldman and Bain. Lots of other companies (google comes in mind), dont seem to really care where you graduate and will pick you up if you're smart and motivated.

Also thinking about graduate school (Phd, medical, law). Things like research experience, GPA, and standardized test scores trump reputation.

After working for 4 years I have not found too much of a correlation between school and position. Past experience, politics, and accomplishments matter more. At the end of the day you'll get promoted because you'll make your boss look good. I've seen a few "elite" students flounder because they couldn't suck up the crap work, if there is something that needs to get done its best if you do it :) .
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 04 Nov 2008, 20:14
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nomsg7111 wrote:
terp06 wrote:
nomsg7111 wrote:
Personally I'd trade a bit of "ranking" for $$$, if I liked the school and thought I'd be happy there for 2 years.

One thing I learned from undergrad, its not necessary where you go to school; but what you do with yourself when you're there.


I learned the complete opposite from Undergrad. No matter how hard I tried, the opportunities that were openly available to graduates of Top 10 and Top 20 ranked UG schools were closed to 99.5% of graduates from schools ranked under #40.


I suppose there are certain companies that only recruit at certain schools. I'm thinking of companies like Goldman and Bain. Lots of other companies (google comes in mind), dont seem to really care where you graduate and will pick you up if you're smart and motivated.

Also thinking about graduate school (Phd, medical, law). Things like research experience, GPA, and standardized test scores trump reputation.

After working for 4 years I have not found too much of a correlation between school and position. Past experience, politics, and accomplishments matter more. At the end of the day you'll get promoted because you'll make your boss look good. I've seen a few "elite" students flounder because they couldn't suck up the crap work, if there is something that needs to get done its best if you do it :) .


I also agree with Terp06, I had seen similar effects. I went to a good engineering UG, but wanted to break into banking. Although my UG had job placement records of 99%, it was all at large F500 companies mostly in engineering. I got a couple interviews with banks by going way out of my way, but the pay difference was to large for me to jump ship over to a non-promising banking position with a no name firm. However, I also agree with the opposite that the industry matters. For instance, although my UG is not MIT, companies like Exxon hired a lot of my classmates no problem.
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2008, 09:26
I'm going to limit my comments to MBA hiring; don't really have much to say about undergrad hiring. I believe the decision between ranking & reputation and money will differ depending on career goals and personal circumstances.

For people who want to get into private equity or a hedge fund, there's really no amount of money that would be enough to go to a lower ranked school. To get into these professions you need to really lock into the ultra-elites. People with preferred backgrounds can get to these places from elite schools as well (investment banking analysts, blue chip work experience, etc.) and they know who they are. But if you don't have that kind of stuff, an ultra-elite school is probably your best chance.

Those interested in big time banking (in more normal years) and big time consulting should limit themselves to schools where these firms have a strong recruiting relationship. This would typically be elite and ultra-elite schools. The benefit of holding a top scholarship at a somewhat lower ranked school is that you'll likely breeze onto all of the closed interview lists because recruiters love to see that on resumes. For example, I wouldn't venture below the elite ranks if you're looking for an investment banking job. But, an extra $90k in tax-advantaged interest free cash could make a measurable difference in your lifestyle after graduation for years compared with if you go to a higher ranked school and end up in the same job without the money.

If you're interested in something else (like marketing or management roles, etc.), it's best to understand the types of firms that recruit at the various schools. Personally, I don't think any inducement could have convinced me to look below the elite ranks but that was based on long-term career plans. I know there are people out there who just want a nice stable job for the next 20 years and I also know people who don't intend to be in the job market for a very long time. In these cases, it makes sense to minimize education costs, so perhaps a big scholarship from a lower ranked school could make a lot of sense.

One more thing to consider is that ultimately, it will be up to the individual in the interview hot-seat to close the deal on any job. And, no matter which school you decide to attend, you will be that person. I think most people who have been through MBA recruiting will tell you that once you get into that interview room (and certainly when it comes to final rounds), school affiliation makes little difference. If you nail the interview or case, you'll get the job. If you screw it up, it won't matter much that you're from Harvard. The various schools will definitely offer differing recruitment opportunities, but just remember you still have to close the deal yourself.

Of course, an additional benefit of attending higher ranked schools is that you'll have more options for internships and full-time positions. This is a great benefit if you don't know what you want to do - though your pocketbook will hurt if you take a marketing job and work alongside folks from lower ranked schools who had full scholarships.
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2008, 10:59
pelihu wrote:
But, an extra $90k in tax-advantaged interest free cash could make a measurable difference in your lifestyle after graduation for years compared with if you go to a higher ranked school and end up in the same job without the money.

If you nail the interview or case, you'll get the job. If you screw it up, it won't matter much that you're from Harvard. The various schools will definitely offer differing recruitment opportunities, but just remember you still have to close the deal yourself.


I have a few loans from my semi-expensive public education, and looking at the amounts I'll owe when I graduate if I get into one of the top private school is somewhat scary. I don't like the idea of locking myself into only consulting or banking when I graduate.

Flexibility in career choices would be nice, and although a lower ranked school probably makes it harder to get into a consulting or banking job, it doesn't force you to take one of those either. It leaves the door open of pursuing other career options that do not pay as well (like joining that interesting start-up...).

Graduating from Harvard and Stanford is very impressive, but eventually you have to make your own career opportunities. And from what I've seen in the corporate world, although connection and network matter; what matters more is what you can do for the company. There are plenty of intelligent people out there (and many of them don't have MBAs), and your academic pedigree is only part of it.
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2008, 20:18
dghazer wrote:
I know this comes up every year and most everyone here is under the impression that it is best to go to the highest ranking program (considreing fit) school no matter what sort of cash some lesser ranked schools are throwing at them. Am I the only one starting to seriously consider applying to lesser ranked schools not only as back up but in hopes of getting serious funding?


I think it depends on your situation and your reason for getting an MBA. I think this online community is focused on elite schools, but going to a school because you receive more scholarship is definitely something to consider. Who wants debt? Especially in this economy... figure out what is best for you, and what type of education is necessary for your situation. For me, I am willing to take on an incredible amount of debt because I want to get out of my industry and make it big somewhere else, in another entirely different location geographically as well. So I am taking on a risk, but will work incredibly hard post-graduation to make sure that it pays off in the end.

But the $$ does get me thinking. These schools are so expensive.
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$ [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2008, 14:35
My roommate works at JP Morgan in risk management. He has like 13K in debt due to credit cards he rang up as an undergrad.

However, after reading Ahead of Curve and its story about how HBS students buy BMWs on financing so they can get better fin aid packages, my roommate decided to go for MBA and take out massive amount of loan to fund it.....

No wonder wall st is mess...
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Re: Starting to think about the $$$   [#permalink] 24 Nov 2008, 14:35
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