Monday, April 04, 2005

Where to accept?

I originally thought of IU as my number one choice, and also thought I stood a slimmer chance of admission there than at ASU, based primarily off of how my GMAT score stacked up to their averages. As luck would have it, though, I was accepted to both ASU and IU, so I had the luxury of making a choice, instead of having it made for me. It wasn't as easy as it sounds - sure, I had two great options - how could I go wrong? Well, it's way easier to make this kind of decision when there's at least one blatantly wrong option.

As in earlier posts, both schools satisfied the "main" criteria to me, and they are reasonably equivalent in rankings and the like (to me, anyway, and that's whose opinion counts here), so it was a question of weighing the particulars of each program.

The course of study for an MBA seemed very similar, judging from the list of courses. Both have two weeks in-residence, at the beginning of each year (technically ASU's is "optional, but strongly encouraged"). Both take two years to complete, and recommend spending 20-25 hours per week on the program. Not counting book/material costs and "extra" program fees at IU, ASU costs about $6,000 less than IU - a difference, sure, but not one to sweat for decisions like this.

The primary differences came down to these:
  • Secondary Degree - IU offers several dual-degree options (one of the few online programs meeting my criteria that did), one of which (MS in Global Supply Chain Mgt) is very appealing to me. ASU, though very well respected in the field of Supply Chain, offers no such dual-degree or concentration via online delivery. Point: IU
  • Online-friendly - IU's courses are taken 2 at a time for an entire quarter at a time. Books are not included; thus you have to make sure to buy all the books, etc. With ASU, you take one course at a time (heavier balls to carry, but fewer to juggle), all books & materials are included and sent to you, you are automatically registered for the next class, etc. It may also be simply better marketing, but ASU did a better job of showing what a course would look like (test-drive, etc), has 24/7 tech support, and so on. Point: ASU
So which factor was more important? In the end, I decided that a second degree would definitely not be a bad thing, but would only be a particularly good thing under certain circumstances. I decided at this point in my career, specializing beyond my work experience wasn't necessary, and could even have the potential to be detrimental (limiting, pigeon-holing, and all that). I further decided that two years is a loooong time to be working full-time and in school part-time, so if I was going to do it, I might as well set myself up to be as successful at it as possible.

So... It was a very tough decision, but I'm proud to say that in a few months I will be a student at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, in the online program!



jp said...

great blog you're putting together here !

JP (from

Chris said...

Congratulations on being accepted to WP Carey! I too will be in the July 05 cohort and look forward to meeting you at Orientation.

Anonymous said...

I too will be at the July orientation. I was accepted to IU as well. I went to IU for my undergrad. FYI, the IU degree would show Indianapolis as well as Bloomington on the degree.


Cheryl said...

This is a great blog. It got me moving on applying to ASU as well, it looks to be a great program (I've already been accepted to IU but have been having some doubts).

For what it's worth, IU is more than you posted, as their tuition rates don't include a $300/quarter fee, a $57-187/quarter technology fee, and books (estimated at $200-500/quarter). I price it more at around $49k.

I did contact IU regarding a 3- or 4-year program, which makes it a bit easier financially if your employer is kicking in an amount, but it ends up being about the same as ASU for 2 years.

I still haven't decided fully one way or another, but your site really has helped me with some decision factors. Best of luck to you!

dforester said...

Chris, TW - Thanks for the comments! I look forward to seeing you in July!

Cheryl - Thanks for your remarks, too - a big part of my reason for doing this was to try and help other folks out kicking around similar decisions, so ... I'm glad I could be of some use to you! Good luck to you in your decisions and pursuits as well...