Do you have a rich father who will provide you the finance for MBA? Or are you married, have a home loan, and are keen on an education that comes with close to full tuition scholarships (Even though at the cost of the Brand of the school you will join based on the ranks of TOP MBA PROGRAMS in the world?Check MBA Rankings). What is your appetite for risk?
Coming back to the Original Dilemma:
WHO WILL FACE THIS DILEMMA: You could be an Indian Male with 5+ years of work experience and a 720+ GMAT score or an Indian Female applicant with 3+ years of work experience with again a 720+ GMAT score?
If you are an Indian Female applicant with a GMAT score =/> 730 or an Indian male applicant with a GMAT score >/=740, you will have bigger $$$$ Dilemmas. For example, Vikram shared his decision to join Boston College with a 65 lakh Scholarship as opposed to joining Kelley school of business with a 45-lac scholarship. And he shared his reasons for these choices vividly. He was primarily driven by scholarship for MBA through GMAT, and was not keen on taking a loan at all. Even though he had to give up a rank 20’ish school, and join a school below 30, he had his own risk appetite.
MORE CASES OF THESE DILEMMAS: VERY WIDE PATTERNS OF HOW THE INDIAN MIND WORKS AND HOW THE STUDENTS MADE THESE DECISIONS
One of the recently admitted applicants (Thomas) had a GMAT score 700 and was given 100% tuition + Stipend from a US Rank 26’ish School (Michigan State University). His pockets were probably deeper than many others and he decided to go to Rotman (Check Top MBA Programs in Canada) by spending 80 lacs. He did have other reasons for joining Rotman. Getting a job with a bulge bracket investment bank was more important for him (Even though in Toronto) than working for a role in operations in the United States. Industry/Function was more important for him than the country.
One of our applicants with a GMAT score 730 got admitted to Columbia Business school in the early bird round. Both he and I were happy with the results. I was happy as I knew that I will not have to work on his 5 other applications after this. He was happy as Columbia Business School was GOD for him (It is that for many people for MANY-MANY REASONS). He applied in the early bird round, and Columbia asked him to pull out his apps from all the other schools (Early Bird Clause: Google it if you do not know what I am talking about- Check the early bird clause). He decided to do early bird round of Columbia despite knowing that he will have to give up any $$ that other schools might offer.
Someone I Spoke with Recently (Conversation with him inspired me to write this email).: He has a GMAT score of 730 and a diverse profile (Manufacturing + Automotive) and I liked his story. I would rather he applied to top SCHOOLS and took a shot at MBA in Massachusetts Institute of Technology( MIT), Tuck school of Business, Darden School of business, Duke MBA, and other Top Schools (NOT ROSS Because Ross did not offer MBA Financial Aid for International Students back then when this applicant was applying). However, I realized that he was more keen on schools that will offer him more Scholarships (Also read- MBA Scholarships at Top Business Schools). He was absolutely right in his reasons and I did not insist harder.
My Recommendations: You carry different risk appetites, and weigh the schools either by ranks or by $$. IT JUST DOES NOT MATTER. You should be satisfied with the choices you make.
Soon, I will share more about “DIFFERENT LEVELS OF RISK APPETITES” that you belong to. I will also share other parameters that you should consider while making these choices. Whatever category you belong to, you are absolutely fine in that. There is nothing right or wrong in that. I am just making you aware of the buckets, and sharing my MBA ADMISSIONS CONSULTING experiences.