George Mason or Washington State?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by CavTrooper, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. CavTrooper

    CavTrooper New Member

    Hey Folks!
    Some of you may remember me from a recent (and lengthy) discussion on Executive MBA programs. I was initially interested in Rochester Institute of Technology's online EMBA, then after considering several options, decided on VA Tech's local EMBA. Both options would have resulted in some student loan debt. I'm now (finally) finished with my Master's at George Washington University, completed in residence, and it occurred to me that I don't want to commute to class anymore (especially in the DC area). I want to do my MBA online, and without incurring any student loan debt. My plan is to complete an online EMBA program, then go home to work for my brother's construction company in a strategy/supply chain position.

    I've looked at both the GMU and WSU EMBA programs - they can both be completed online, with no student loan debt, in 18 months. My concern with WSU is that if I later on decide construction management isn't for me and attempt to pivot careers, employers will think it's weird that I have a DC degree, then a Washington state degree back to back (just seems kind of odd on a resume). GMU, on the other hand is right here in the northern VA area, and would match up with my current location.

    What do you folks think would be the best bet from a national name recognition standpoint? Would the WSU degree raise eyebrows in a job interview?
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I don't think so, but if you're worried about it then it's not like GMU's not a bad school.
  3. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Not Virginia (but within some proximity); have you considered the West Virginia University EMBA (e.g., all students receive the WV in-state tuition rate regardless of residency)? The 51-credit (17-course) EMBA cost is approx. $40,300 in comparison to the George Mason EMBA at $60,700. Although both are credible B-schools; yet as far as brand pedigree (WVU, GMU or even WSU) … there would likely be no express distinguishable advantage amongst any the three within the business arena IMO…

    Note: The WVU EMBA program does however; involve four brief 3-4 day residencies.
    EMBA Overview
  4. CavTrooper

    CavTrooper New Member

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll look more into WVU's EMBA but the higher price tag on GMU doesn't affect me since I'm in-state using the GI Bill. I think I'm leaning more toward the WSU program at this point - GMU requires multiple classes simultaneously, which I don't mind, but I like the one-at-a-time approach at WSU.
  5. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Again, not Virginia, although you may want to also consider …

    Temple University (Fox): online MBA ($62,208 /$1,296 per credit hour)

    48-hour program (4-week per course format /students take 1-course at a time)
    ▪ All course materials including books, case studies, required software
    ▪ Lodging and food for the residency
    ▪ HD webcam and headset
    ▪ Special events and program activities
    Online MBA | Fox School of Business | Temple University | Philadelphia, PA

    All students in the Online MBA program at the Fox School of Business take part in one overnight residency at the beginning of the program. During the week-long residency students travel to Temple University to participate in numerous professional, academic and networking events. During the residency, students will complete their first course, Leadership Development.
    Residency | Online MBA | Fox School of Business | Temple University | Philadelphia, PA

    Military Veterans Information | Online MBA | Fox School of Business | Temple University | Philadelphia, PA
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    As an aside, I'm kind of surprised that George Mason University hasn't taken their school of management more seriously. They're surrounded by tech entrepreneurs and other top executives who've made bank in their careers, could they not have recruited one by now to make a large enough donation and get their name on the school? I mean, their school of management is unranked and offers no doctoral programs -- it's a lot less impressive than one would expect at the only public research university for one of the most affluent areas on the whole planet.
  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The Washington-Baltimore metro area is certainly affluent (currently ranked #3 in the US, behind the SF Bay Area and the NYC area). However, GMU is hardly the only public research university there -- what about the flagship campus of the University of Maryland at College Park ?

    US News currently ranks UMCP at #21 among public universities specifically, well ahead of GMU at #72. The two campuses are obviously on opposite sides of DC, but they still aren't that far apart -- only about 22 miles as the crow flies, or about 32 miles via the Beltway.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2014
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Oh, I agree UMD is an academic powerhouse. I was referring specifically to Northern Virginia, since Virginia and Maryland have different higher education systems, and since Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland, while adjacent, are different in a number of ways (e.g., IT vs. biotech).
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Besides, during rush hour 32 Beltway miles are like 132 normal miles. :wink:
  10. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    Go Cougs!!!

    Sorry, as a graduate of WSU, I have nothing more to add to the discussion. Go Cougs!

    *slinks off slowly to cry softly into my pillow once more*
  11. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    OK. By California standards, these areas are in such close geographical proximity that it's hard to think of them as different. For example, GMU and UMCP are only about as far apart from each other as Cal State Northridge and USC -- both of which are comfortably within Los Angeles city limits.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2014
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I understand. Another factor is that Virginians and Marylanders do not pay in-state tuition rates at each others' universities, so it's easy for us to think about, say, Virginia Tech, which is nearly five hours from here, before UMD.
  13. CavTrooper

    CavTrooper New Member

    Good feedback so far. Major, I did look into the Temple U program (actually their EMBA program), which would make complete sense for me, being from PA. However, from what I can tell it's a private institution, so the GI Bill wouldn't even begin to cover the tuition (the GI Bill caps out at 19500 yearly, but will cover 100% of in-state tuition at a PUBLIC college, regardless of cost - it could be $100k of law school fees). Other than that, Temple looked like one of my best options - especially with the PA consideration.

    I second what Steve said about tuition rates and traffic - MD schools are out of the question for me; between the traffic and out of state tuition, I couldn't swing it.

    Right now I'm leaning toward George Mason. It looks like the program is well organized and all books/materials are included in the cost of tuition. Students progress in a cohort format, and meet overnight on campus for an introductory residency, then there's another residency about halfway (I think) through the program - either a study abroad trip, or a defense industry residency in DC, based on program choice.

    I discovered yesterday that Cornell's local DC EMBA program still has slots and there is time to apply.... just can't justify taking on the student loan debt to get Cornell on the resume, when I can get a GMU or WSU degree for free. Still tempting though...
  14. GeneralSnus

    GeneralSnus Member

    Did you see that Temple participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program? It might be worth reaching out to that contact on the Temple webpage to get more details.
  15. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I guess it depends where you want to reside. Most people on the west coast have no idea what George Mason is and Washington State would bring better name recognition. However, if you end up moving away, the opposite could be true. Are you looking at name recognition or program quality? Cost vs. time?
  16. CavTrooper

    CavTrooper New Member

    GeneralSnus, good catch on Temple U's yellow ribbon participation - I noticed that, but unfortunately I'm not eligible for the yellow ribbon program because I'm still on active duty. I'm not sure why that's the case, but I think it's because the GI Bill used to cover 100% of tuition for those on active duty, vs. the current annual caps.

    NorCal - I'm mostly looking for a quality program from a reputable school. Doesn't have to be Harvard (obviously) but a school I can hang my hat on. Time is also a factor as I want the degree to be finished by the end of next year. I like GMU and WSU because they work on a cohort basis and can be completed in 18 months online, plus the GI Bill will cover either. Right now I think GMU fits the bill better because it'll fit in with my resume narrative - I already have a master's from a local DC school, so a second master's from the area will make more sense on a resume, plus I plan to stay on the east coast.

    That being said, I noticed you're working on a Norwich MBA - I've heard nothing but good things about Norwich, how are you liking the program? I wanted to do an MPA through them, then their MA in History, then I considered the MBA. The ACBSP accreditation ultimately held me back, but I'd LOVE to go through their learning model; I like the idea of sequential learning and the cohort format. Can you give a brief synopsis of the program? I've been curious but haven't read any real recent reviews.
  17. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Temple is generally classified as a state (public) university, although it has more autonomy and gets less state funding than most state universities.

    Temple, like most state universities, has two tuition rates, one for out-of-state residents and another (much lower) for Pennsylvania residents. Private institutions never do this*.

    (*Exception: there are rare cases where a private university will operate a specific program under an arrangement with the state, and will have discounted in-state tuition for that specfiic program. Example: School of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. Cornell is a private, Ivy League school, and most of their degree programs have only one tuition rate. However, Cornell has an ag program which is funded in part by the State of New York, and that program has discounted tuition for state residents. )
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2014
  18. CavTrooper

    CavTrooper New Member

    Wow - interesting. Well if that's the case maybe it would qualify for the full funding under VA guidelines. Sweet!
  19. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The Federal government regards Temple as a public school. If you look up Temple University at the College Navigator website, which is operated by the US Dept. of Education, it is classified as:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2014
  20. CavTrooper

    CavTrooper New Member

    Great to know - thanks! Definitely will give it more consideration now, considering I could knock it out with no out-of-pocket expenses.

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