What to Do?

Discussion in 'Military-related education topics' started by dwilson1979, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. dwilson1979

    dwilson1979 New Member

    Ok… sorry if this post is a little long I just have a couple questions and this forum has always been helpful. First off I am in the Air Force and plan on finishing out my 20 years (at 8 now). I have an Associates in Criminal Justice from the Community College of the Air Force. I will also be complete with an Associates in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University later this year. My question is what to do next? When I retire from the military I hope to get into the banking industry and or stock market area. I am just trying to figure out the best school to help me with this. I have narrowed it down to three schools:

    Southern New Hampshire University
    I like this school because it offers a dual major in Econ/Finance. My dislike about the school is the fact it is smaller and not as well known.

    Regis University
    This school offers a Finance degree but no Econ which isn’t that big of a deal. I get the military tuition rate which is 250 a credit hour. My only dislike is I am not sure how well known this school is and is it well known for the right reasons? They seem to really try to “sell” their program. I am not buying a product I am trying to earn something. And at the end of the day I want to feel that way and for other people to think this also.

    This school only offers a Business Administration degree but it is AACSB accredited. The school is also well known and respected. The only downfalls are the course length is a little longer then the others and the cost is a lot higher. I have T.A. and the G.I. bill but I would like to save my G.I. bill for my masters.

    I would like to complete my Masters through the University of Michigan Dearborn Campus Online. I was reading up on this and if you have a degree from a AACSB accredited school you do not have to take the GMAT. This was another thing that interested me in UMASS. But this program is also very expensive and I am afraid I would run out of money if I went to UMASS then here.
    My main goal is to earn my degree. At times being in the military it is aggravating when I always hear about people trying to get their degree as fast as possible. They choose schools that give so much “prior learning” experience they barely have to take any classes. When I actually get my degree I want people to look at me as if I earned it and not just bought the degree. Thanks again for any info.

  2. mbaonline

    mbaonline New Member



    I can comment on Regis. Regis is well known and respected in Colorado and much of the west, less well-known elsewhere. I think the advantages that Regis has for undergrad are that it is a rigorous program and the instructors are strong and the online program draws strength from the B&M program. If you are, say, going to settle on the east coast after retirement, then it would not be as useful unless your Masters’ is from an east coast school. You mention banking and finance: If you want to work on Wall Street, go with UMass. I'm in banking but for us west-coasters it's not as important.

    Regarding the AACSB and Umass I would say that having an AACSB-accredited undergrad is not as important as having an AACSB-accredited grad degree and not worth the extra money, although others may disagree. However, if you’re sure you’re going to UMich Dearborn and are perhaps terrible at taking standardized tests that would be a way around it if UMich doesn’t change the rules before then. I believe that GMAT requirements are an AACSB-driven regulation – someone please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m sure others will chime in with ideas. Good luck with what you decide.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    What is about University of Illinois at Springfield? The program is AACSB accredited. I know they have etuition, which is really cheap.

    URL: http://www.uis.edu/online/
  4. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    You listed UMass, which only has a straight business administration degree, so it seems like that might suit your needs. Of the schools you listed, I would lean toward UMass, but if a BSBA will meet your current and future needs there are plenty of schools out there which offer a business degree at far less cost. Peru State University and the University of Wyoming are two which come to mind. Both are state universities and they are both roughly $134 per credit hour, a big savings over UMass. They don't have the name recognition of UMass, but if you plan to get a graduate degree, where you got your undergrad becomes less important, and an AACSB undergrad probably won't score you many brownie points with potential employers, either. Kick ass on your undergrad and get great grades, and then splurge on an AACSB graduate degree. You could even bolster your resume with a couple of certificate programs in finance and economics from schools like Cornell and Villanova.
  5. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    He can have the best of both worlds - University of Wyoming's Business Program has AACSB accreditation.


    If a degree from an AACSB school can get him into the grad program he wants without taking the GMAT, hard to beat UW.

  6. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    In my (admittedly biased) opinion, UW's BSBA program is probably the best value you'll find in distance education from a "traditional" brick-and-mortar school. I was a UW student when they earned their AACSB accreditation. A lot of AACSB schools only accredit their MBA programs, and a point of distinction is that UW's undergrad program is accredited as well. There is one slight annoyance to studying in an AACSB-accredited undergrad program, however, and that is that course prerequisites are much more strictly enforced. Before AACSB, I was able to enroll in upper-level business classes without necessarily satisfying every single pre-req to the letter.

    After AACSB (my third semester), we were required to achieve "Advanced Business Standing" before we could enroll in upper-level College of Business classes. "Advanced Business Standing" meant that you had taken all the lower-level business classes, plus two principles classes for Marketing and (I think) Management. This was rigidly enforced, even for people who had been enrolled before AACSB. The net effect to me was that because of scheduling, I graduated roughly a semester later than I would have otherwise. The upshot was that because I was forced to slow down and take the foundation classes first, I probably ended up with a much higher GPA than I would have had by just assembling classes to get it over with ASAP.

    Finally, I'll say it again, even though no one seems to agree with me, that if you're serious about pursuing an MBA, you'll prepare for and take the GMAT. It's not the big scary bogeyman that everyone makes it out to be, it's a darned good indicator of how prepared you are for the b-school experience. The fact of the matter is that the math on the GMAT is actually easier than the math you'd encounter in any quant courses in an MBA program, so if the thought of 30-40 multiple choice math questions is giving you pause, then how are you going to handle graduate work in finance or economics?

    If you prepare for and do well on the GMAT, you can open some serious doors for yourself. After taking the GMAT, both my wife and I had schools literally begging us to apply. Several schools waived their application fees, and in my wife's case, a school actually flew her (and me, as her guest!) out and put us up in a hotel for a special "diversity weekend" to pitch their MBA to her. We both ended up recieving scholarship offers from multiple programs, and we both got into better schools than we would have had we avoided the test.

    Bottom line - if you want to do an MBA, take the GMAT. It's not going to hurt, and it can really help. Best of luck!
  7. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    If you want to work in investment banking or as an analyst in a brokerage, earn an MBA from a well-recognized institution. The top Wall Street investment banks can afford to be very selective. Contact some of the firms with which you might want to work after retirement from the USAF to determine which schools they prefer. However, with 12 years left before retirement you have enough time to research the best institutional fit for yourself.

    I share your point of view. Which is the reason I am focusing on brick-and-mortar institutions offering distance education graduate degrees that mirror the on-campus degrees in terms of content and rigor.
  8. dwilson1979

    dwilson1979 New Member

    Thanks for all the info from everyone!!! It was very helpful!! Also thanks for pointing out the University of Illinois at Springfield!! That is the best of both worlds.. An AACSB and a degree in Econ!! That is what I have been looking for. The cost is another plus!! I might still consider UMASS but I think I might go with UI. Thanks again for all the help I knew everyone here would be a wealth of information!!

  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I have not heard of people earning a graduate degree based on prior learning but some programs offer a transfer of up to 9 credits. I earned my BS from Charter Oak which was all based on prior learning (previous classes, CLEP's, etc.) but I had to take classes elsewhere. Not really sure what you mean by this comment.
  10. dwilson1979

    dwilson1979 New Member

    I was referring to Undergrad degrees. For example if I wanted a degree in Criminal Justice because I am a MP all I would need is to take the core classes which is around 20 classes to get my Undergrad degree. I think that this is unfair for people that actually spend four years in school. I can tell you from personal experience my military experience should not automatically make me a Junior in college.
  11. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    But it would be your military experience, but college-level learning that you had just happened to complete not in a course from a college, but in courses from the military - evaluated, by college educators, as their equivalent.

    People in occupational specialties in the military with little or no evaluated college-level coursework would get little or no credit.
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think you quite understand the concept of non-traditional education. The whole point of prior learning assessments, CLEPs and DANTES exams is that it's pointless as well as a waste of time and money to learn something you already know.

    When I was going for my undergraduate degree I earned a ton of credits through exams and portfolio credit. Does it really matter that I learned US History from reading at the library, or about Patrol Procedures at the police academy?
  13. macattack

    macattack New Member

    That may be so, but I think it is honorable to want to earn a degree the "traditional way". CLEP'n is not the same as a semester of study, writing, examination, and learning from fellow students and an professor to master a subject at the college level.

    I agree with the OP, I attended every course of which I have earned college credit, and I learned a heck of a lot from it. I would not have it any other way.
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but I saved thousands of dollars and countless hours away from my family by proving I already possessed the knowledge I would otherwise have had to spend that time and money to prove.

    In spite of of not having the experience of "learning" something I already knew, I managed a 3.6 GPA in graduate school and I too would not have it any other way.
  15. macattack

    macattack New Member

    I'm a not saying one way right or wrong, just that the OP has someone he can align with here on this board. I understand that he wants a tradition education through non-traditional means (online) and I respect that. I also highly respect you and our educational success!

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