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U of South Dakota, U of North Dakota, Jacksonville State U

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U of South Dakota, U of North Dakota, Jacksonville State U  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2016, 08:53
Hi All,

I'm trying to decide between three schools, and would like some feedback on where these schools fall in the various "tiers" of schools.

I'm constrained by finances: I simply can't afford to go to a "big name" or "first-tier" MBA program, like Harvard, or Yale's. There are no local schools I can afford, so I'm looking at "mostly-online" programs (meaning, I'm ok with a program that has certain in-person components required--I can travel to the school's location for a few weeks each year).

I've looked around and found three schools that are within my budget (< $18k), are AACSB accredited, and (to me, at least) seem to have decent programs. In my order of my preference, they are:

  • University of South Dakota's Beacom School of Business
  • Jacksonville State University's College of Commerce and Business Administration
  • University of North Dakota's College of Business & Public Administration

My preference is based on the following:

  • USD offers a Business Analytics specialization, which is of particular interest to me.
  • While all of them seemed professional and capable in their interaction with me, I was most pleased with the professionalism and courtesy that USD and JSU provided.

Having said all that, one of the overarching concerns I have with any of these schools is that they are not "big name" schools, and I've had multiple people tell me that the value of your MBA is directly tied to the name of the school that conferred it. If I go to one of these schools, is my MBA still valuable? I realize that's a highly subjective question, but I would love to hear feedback from others here on GMAT Club.

Thanks!

-Josh
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Re: U of South Dakota, U of North Dakota, Jacksonville State U  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2016, 13:45
joshbeall wrote:
Hi All,

I'm trying to decide between three schools, and would like some feedback on where these schools fall in the various "tiers" of schools.

I'm constrained by finances: I simply can't afford to go to a "big name" or "first-tier" MBA program, like Harvard, or Yale's. There are no local schools I can afford, so I'm looking at "mostly-online" programs (meaning, I'm ok with a program that has certain in-person components required--I can travel to the school's location for a few weeks each year).

I've looked around and found three schools that are within my budget (< $18k), are AACSB accredited, and (to me, at least) seem to have decent programs. In my order of my preference, they are:

  • University of South Dakota's Beacom School of Business
  • Jacksonville State University's College of Commerce and Business Administration
  • University of North Dakota's College of Business & Public Administration

My preference is based on the following:

  • USD offers a Business Analytics specialization, which is of particular interest to me.
  • While all of them seemed professional and capable in their interaction with me, I was most pleased with the professionalism and courtesy that USD and JSU provided.

Having said all that, one of the overarching concerns I have with any of these schools is that they are not "big name" schools, and I've had multiple people tell me that the value of your MBA is directly tied to the name of the school that conferred it. If I go to one of these schools, is my MBA still valuable? I realize that's a highly subjective question, but I would love to hear feedback from others here on GMAT Club.

Thanks!

-Josh


I just happened across this post and, while I don't think I can really provide insight on those programs, I would generally say that yes, the value of the MBA is tied to the prestige of the program. I do think, though, that you could attend a lower-tier school such as the ones you mention and get value if you intend on staying local to that program (i.e. an MBA at South Dakota won't carry much benefit outside of South Dakota). That being said, if your stats are competitive with top schools you should really consider applying and not let the cost deter you. Most people don't have the money to pay for an MBA, they take out loans and if you go to a top program you will likely have opportunities that will allow you to return that debt in a reasonable time frame. Also, there are many scholarships out there (not to mention schools like Harvard, which provides need-based financial aid) that can help you out with the cost. I researched scholarship opportunities and applied to one, which is providing me with a full ride at one top program and I also have close to a full ride at another. These kind of things that can really help are out there...
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Re: U of South Dakota, U of North Dakota, Jacksonville State U  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2016, 11:18
Izzy767 wrote:
...I would generally say that yes, the value of the MBA is tied to the prestige of the program. I do think, though, that you could attend a lower-tier school such as the ones you mention and get value if you intend on staying local to that program (i.e. an MBA at South Dakota won't carry much benefit outside of South Dakota).


Thanks for the thoughts. What brought you to this conclusion? I'm interested in seeing some real data (surveys, reports, etc.) to help me do the cost/benefit analysis.

Izzy767 wrote:
If your stats are competitive with top schools you should really consider applying and not let the cost deter you ... I researched scholarship opportunities and applied to one, which is providing me with a full ride at one top program and I also have close to a full ride at another.


Thanks for the encouragement. I'll give this some more thought and pick some "top-tier" schools to apply to. I would need to find something that I could do while still employed, so that will limit my options, but maybe I'll be able to find something. It will probably need to be online because there are no big-names schools within commuting distance for me, and I can't work remotely for my employer at present.

I may be a decent candidate for a highly-rated business school, based on my GMAT score (last practice was 740, planning to study a little and hopefully pull my score up to 750+ before I take the exam), and I've been doing well at my day job (promoted repeatedly, given additional responsibilities, bonuses, etc.). But I'm working at a medium-sized non-profit and I'm not sure how my CV would stack up against somebody working in a giant for-profit corporation. But it won't hurt to try!

-Josh
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Re: U of South Dakota, U of North Dakota, Jacksonville State U   [#permalink] 15 Mar 2016, 11:18
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