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Do you believe it is worth attending a top tier university to study business without a scholarship? Why or why not?


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Anna’s Answer

Hi Aleena!

Great question! I’ve wondered about this myself when I was in high school. From my experience, different universities offer different programs and connections for you. Therefore, the best thing to do may be to email the university to see what courses, programs, and networking opportunities they offer and compare that to the type of job or the company you may want consider in the future.

For instance, my university, while very competitive in my state, is not a top-tier Ivy League university. However, my university was able to provide the resources and connections that I needed with professionals from some of the top companies, such as the Big Four Accounting companies. I was able to strategically choose my courses to obtain experiences in accounting, finance, and data analytics, which were some of the skills these companies were looking for and it helped me stand out to those companies. The courses that my school offered and the events and networking opportunities that my school offered really helped to make me into an attractive candidate and helped to give me exposure to many top professionals. As a result, I was able to secure an internship and a full-time offer from one of the Big Four Accounting Firms without attending a top-tier Ivy League school.

In terms of financing, I personally believe that if you are able to find a school that can offer similar experiences or resources to a top-tier school that you might be looking at, it could potentially be a much better choice, especially if that school has a much lower cost or if its free. For me, my college was very close to home, so I lived at home during college, which saved me a lot of money that I can then use towards textbooks and meals. I was also fortunate enough to have some financial aid (FASFA) and student loans to help cover the rest of the cost, which was not much compared to if I had chosen to attend a university out of my state. I think it all depends on our budget and the programs and resources that the school can provide.

While a top tier school may be famous for its programs and connections, there are also many smaller schools that can offer similar programs, courses, and connections. If budget might be a concern, I would ask around to see what each university offers and compare that to the cost of attending that university.

Hope that helps and Goodluck in your journey!

Best,

Anna

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Lindsey’s Answer

Personally, I believe that you can make the most out of whatever college you choose ... it's about what the effort you give once you're there! When I was a senior in high school, I was torn between a very selective university and a state university. Ultimately, going to a state university was the best decision that I could have made! I studied Marketing and Business Analytics and felt extremely prepared for the industry I wanted to enter. I graduated with minimal debt in comparison to a selective, private university. I have recently started my career at a technology company and there are new-hire graduates from both Ivy League schools and state schools (like myself). I truly do not believe that companies are looking only to hire from certain schools. Instead, they are looking to hire candidates who are well-rounded and have high emotional intelligence. Wherever you go, be sure to network with faculty and alumni -- this will set you up for success! Best of luck!

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Angela’s Answer

Hi, I am answering this as a student from Georgia attending New York University Stern for Accounting. I think it really depends on your career pathway and where you want to end up going into. For instance whether it is something that requires a lot of resources and connections such as Investment Banking or Entrepreneurship, then it will be worth more to go to a better top-tier school. Top-tier schools have a large alumni network that tends to help guide their students to success. You end up paying not really for the education but for the network and resources the school can give. NYU for instance has many labs to help students with innovating and making their ideas come to life. We have numerous of start-ups being created in our school, and alumni are more than happy to help fund if they believe in your project.

On the other hand, if you are looking at jobs such as Accounting, then there isn't much need to pay full tuition for the school. Accounting is a fairly easy career as it is required for all companies, so the job outlook is very good. But going to NYU Stern, located in NYC where all the Big Four exists, helped make the recruiting process much easier. Plus, we were able to attend events at the company and have more alumni come back for networking and learning opportunities, but this isn't crucial.

In sum, it really depends on what your career pathway is and what does that job entail for the recruiting process. In the end, you are the one who is aware of your own finances and what you can afford. If you accumulate over 100k in student loans, the education will not pay off until you're well into your career and slowly pay off your debt, and at that point, a degree from a top-tier school vs. your state school, will end up having the same investment gains.

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Deborah (Dee)’s Answer

Don't go into a lot of debt of your undergraduate degree. Many school have programs that will provide great opportunities for you. Taking advantage of what the school offers and doing your best will help you success. Also, sometimes it is better to be a Top student in a lower tier school, than an average student in a top-tier school. Do something to make your self stand out and that will go a long way. Again, don't go into debt for a undergraduate degree. Get a job and have your company pay for your graduate school. Good luck!

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Lesley’s Answer

If you have a dream school in mind, enrolling at a local community college might not be part of the plan. But when it comes to paying for college, a two-year school can be a savvy start to your college education. Four reasons to consider a community college:

1) Save on Tuition - Community Colleges are thousands of dollars cheaper per credit compared to Universities. A core class credit is the same credit whether you paid $300 for it or $3000 dollars.
2) Save on Room and Board - Choose a local community college to save those dorm expenses for the first couple of years.
3) Work While in School - Many Community Colleges have multiple locations and online courses.
4) Get an Academic Boost - A chance to make up for poor high school records.

Make sure that you meet with an academic counselor at both the Community College and the University that you want to transfer too. That way you don't waste time on course that you don't need. Hope this helps.

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Kim’s Answer

Hi Aleena, I hope you're doing well. It's very much dependent on your field. In my experience I'd say usually not - and I see education becoming less and less important as time goes on. I'm in technology and education is often never an area of focus when hiring. Experience and the ability to score well on case studies that are presented during the hiring process are what carry the most weight. Hope you found this helpful.

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LISA’s Answer

I'd say it all depends on your financial situation and what you want to accomplish, but as Anna indicated, there are a lot of schools that can help you get where you want to go with your career. Keep in mind, there are a whole lot of people who graduate from non-Ivy League schools and go on to have great careers. If you have to borrow tens of thousands of dollars for an undergraduate degree, consider how that will impact the early years of your career and lifestyle, particularly if the economy isn't doing well. And, depending on what specific business field you decide to pursue, it may be that you'll need to go to Graduate school (e.g., Accounting). In that case, it might be in your best interest to save money on your undergraduate degree and splurge on a Master's degree program.

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Deborah (Dee)’s Answer

Don't go into a lot of debt of your undergraduate degree. Many school have programs that will provide great opportunities for you. Taking advantage of what the school offers and doing your best will help you success. Also, sometimes it is better to be a Top student in a lower tier school, than an average student in a top-tier school. Do something to make your self stand out and that will go a long way. Again, don't go into debt for a undergraduate degree. Get a job and have your company pay for your graduate school. Good luck!

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