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Old 10-02-2017, 02:39 PM
Status: "delete" (set 27 days ago)
 
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Are you dead-set on Finance?

I would reconsider your major. NC State is a great statistics school. I would suggest that major instead, and learn some programming on the side.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:31 PM
 
6,963 posts, read 10,849,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adviceseeker09 View Post
I live in the Raleigh NC area and am an adult learner going to college at 30 years old. I am pursuing a bachelor's in Finance and I have the option to choose between two schools. I will be enrolled to take my classes through either school's distance education program so that I can stay home with my daughter. The degree I receive at the end won't indicate that it was earned online.

The first school is Pennsylvania State University. I would receive a quality education from a well-known, academically rigorous university and the classes would be slightly more tailored to what I want to do. The degree I would earn would be a Bachelor's of Science in Finance. The downside is that it would require me to take on about $35,000-$40,000 in student loan debt.

The second school is University of North Carolina Pembroke. The classes are a little less in line with my end goals, but not by too much. UNC Pembroke is accredited by the same agencies as Penn State (AACSB and the CFA). The degree I would earn would be a Bachelor's of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. If I choose this school I would graduate with between zero and $10,000 in student loan debt.

As you can see, that is a rather large difference in end cost. If the programs where the same price, I would choose Penn State hands down.

My question is, does the name of the college, more rigorous education, and slightly more career aligned courses justify that big of a cost difference? I'm hesitant to take on that much debt if it won't make a difference in the long run. That money could go to a lot of other things. On the other hand, I would most certainly receive a better education at Penn State, and their reputation is better.

Thanks for the help!
If I were in your shoes, I would personally go with UNC-Pembroke (which I have never even heard of).

For the majority of people, where you get your degree really doesn't make a difference. I work with about 7 people who got their degrees from Penn State. Maybe a bit more or less. Some people went to 'lesser' schools. A few went to 'better' schools. It factors into absolutely zero in terms of work performance and promotions.

Where it might make a difference is if the right person saw your resume (for example Sandpointian), then he would give you brownie points for going to a better school and might pick your resume over another guy for an interview. Is that worth an extra 45K plus interest? I personally do not think so.

If you were competing for jobs at the top firms in NYC, then it would make a difference yea, but in your situation... any way that is my opinion.

Last edited by jobaba; 10-02-2017 at 07:58 PM..
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:41 PM
 
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If I were in your shoes, I would definitely go with Penn State. UNC at Pembroke, in my opinion -- in my opinion -- barely qualifies as a real university. I say this as a long-time NC resident. UNC at Pembroke is nothing at all like UNC at Chapel Hill.

The poster's suggestion about NCSU and statistics is a good thought, if you can handle the level of rigor involved. It's a top-notch program, with really good outcomes if you make it through.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Depending on what you want to do, where you go matters little. I'd gonwith the option that will leave you in less debt.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:05 PM
 
Location: So Ca
13,925 posts, read 13,582,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jobaba View Post
For the majority of people, where you get your degree really doesn't make a difference.
It may make a difference to SOME employers when you're hired for your FIRST job. After that, it will matter very little.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:37 PM
 
6,768 posts, read 9,759,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarianRavenwood View Post
I don't agree that Penn State is the obvious choice.

For overall school ranking, Penn State and UNC are both good schools overall. Their names have cache. But overall school ranking doesn't mean much to a hiring manager--because it considers a lot besides academics. Campus culture, health and safety, diversity, etc.

Hiring managers know what schools are top-ranked in their field and your alma mater is only likely to score you more interviews and offers. But Penn State's business school is only ranked 36 (depending on which list you look at). That's not great. It's better than UNC's unranked position but the difference between these two isn't that much. Certainly Penn State's business program is closer in the rankings to UNC than to any of the top-tier business schools.

And while a top-ranked school may earn you more interviews and offers, it's really unlikely to earn you more money. Again if you were talking about the #1 school in the country, that would be different. But even then, you wouldn't be offered an extra $40k to make up your extra tuition expenses. Maybe you'd get an extra $2-3k your first year. After a year or two out of school, no one's really looking at your alma mater. You've either proven yourself or you haven't, and that's what your income will be based on.

Also keep in mind that while you are in school and for a year or two after, GPA will have some impact. And a 4.0 at a lower ranked school will do more for you than a low GPA at a better school. So think hard about which school is likely to help you excel.

There are a lot of business schools out there. I'd take another look and see if there is a better option that offers both better reputation AND lower tuition.
I really don't have an opinion on which school the OP should attend, but there is a huge difference between being ranked #36 and being unranked. There are thousands of business programs out there, so being ranked #36 is quite impressive.

U.S. News shows rankings up to #93. There are more schools with a rank that's not published because they're in the bottom quarter. Then, there are pages and pages of unranked business schools. In total, U.S. News has about 475 business schools listed. Penn State is #36 out of almost 500 schools. UNC Pembroke is down there with the bottom few hundred.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:55 PM
 
6,768 posts, read 9,759,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adviceseeker09 View Post
I live in the Raleigh NC area and am an adult learner going to college at 30 years old. I am pursuing a bachelor's in Finance and I have the option to choose between two schools. I will be enrolled to take my classes through either school's distance education program so that I can stay home with my daughter. The degree I receive at the end won't indicate that it was earned online.

The first school is Pennsylvania State University. I would receive a quality education from a well-known, academically rigorous university and the classes would be slightly more tailored to what I want to do. The degree I would earn would be a Bachelor's of Science in Finance. The downside is that it would require me to take on about $35,000-$40,000 in student loan debt.

The second school is University of North Carolina Pembroke. The classes are a little less in line with my end goals, but not by too much. UNC Pembroke is accredited by the same agencies as Penn State (AACSB and the CFA). The degree I would earn would be a Bachelor's of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. If I choose this school I would graduate with between zero and $10,000 in student loan debt.

As you can see, that is a rather large difference in end cost. If the programs where the same price, I would choose Penn State hands down.

My question is, does the name of the college, more rigorous education, and slightly more career aligned courses justify that big of a cost difference? I'm hesitant to take on that much debt if it won't make a difference in the long run. That money could go to a lot of other things. On the other hand, I would most certainly receive a better education at Penn State, and their reputation is better.

Thanks for the help!
I have bad news for you. When you attend Penn State World Campus, your degree can come from any of the Penn State schools. The finance program is at Erie and not the high-ranked University Park. Penn State - Erie, The Behrend College is unranked in business and unranked overall. Considering the big cost difference, I think you now have the answer to your question.
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:00 AM
 
4,010 posts, read 9,895,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adviceseeker09 View Post
Thank you for your input MarianRavenwood! A couple points: Again, I'll be taking the classes online, so things like campus life is not a consideration. And since I need to take classes online, my options for colleges are limited. If it was the UNC-Chapel Hill location offering the program, then I would choose that. But it's their Pembroke campus, which doesn't carry as much weight. I guess I still have some considering to do.
Can you still get the $500/year tuition cost at Pembroke if you do it online?
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:36 PM
 
1,705 posts, read 1,524,657 times
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Not to rain on your parade, but age 30 and getting an online degree in finance might move you to bank manager at best. These days that is not a really secure job as branches come and go.

I would get an Accounting degree (end game be a CPA) or Engineering degree from the most suitable school around.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
19,053 posts, read 10,086,762 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L210 View Post
I have bad news for you. When you attend Penn State World Campus, your degree can come from any of the Penn State schools. The finance program is at Erie and not the high-ranked University Park. Penn State - Erie, The Behrend College is unranked in business and unranked overall. Considering the big cost difference, I think you now have the answer to your question.
The degree will simply say PSU, it won't specify.

OP, I thought your comment that if the online program was UNC Chapel Hill, you would choose that without question was interesting. Well, really, the fact that you posted this thread indicates to me that you REALLY want to choose PSU.

But I would drill down a bit more - what kind of career placement resources does each one offer? And more particularly, what do they offer in YOUR location? Now, I'm not familiar enough with UNC Pembroke to know whether it has a poor reputation even within NC (I'd say it's pretty much unknown outside of NC to be honest) and if it does, that would definitely be a deal killer to me. But I'm think it's probably considered acceptable, even if not Chapel Hill. And I'd have to think that they have more resources and connections to local job opportunities. That's putting aside the up front cost, because the bottom line is this degree needs to get you a better job.

Perhaps you can do a bit more research on potential employers in your area that you'd like to work for and see where their employees in the jobs you'd be interested in went to school. That would give you some sense on whether a bigger "name" degree is more likely to give you an edge, or it the local touch is more important.
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