student aid

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Today I got a letter from the University of California, San Diego’s Business School. They’ve offered me a full fellowship for the MBA program! I think it was based on my GMAT score.

It consists of a complete waiver of all tuition and professional fees for both the years of the course. Getting this means I won’t need any student aid, nor will I have to sell any of my investments to fund my education. Considering that I have a very pessimistic outlook on the direction of the US economy, I believe the unemployment rate will be a lot higher when I graduate in 2 years time. I’d rather save up my money for the rainy days ahead (which means they’ll be more opportunity for good investments at that time). Not having to sell my investments also means I’ll be able to use the income they generate for living expenses.

Not having to worry about student loans or money when I’m going to school will be a great relief. The last time I went to school, lack of money caused me a lot of stress. I’d rather not have to worry about my finances and solely focus on maximizing my experience and enjoying the whole process.

I read an article in Businessweek about a Harvard MBA student who had dreams of working on Wall Street. With the current layoff and poor economic outlook (and with huge student loans looming) he prudently settled for a job working at Mattel. But I can’t help think that he must be very disappointed that the best job he could get after spending $150,000 on a Harvard MBA was working for the makers of Barbie dolls.

I also have an interview with UCLA’s Anderson School of Business lined up. I’ll give it my best shot since its an awesome school. But unless I get some sort of financial scholarships/fellowships, it’s going to be tough to beat the financial attractiveness of UCSD’s offer. In fact, the fellowship makes this MBA the cheapest possible way to get a business education, putting its cost on par with that of the Personal MBA program which costs $1,267.

If I go to any other good school, the education is likely to cost me around $100,000. Since my wife might be in another city, thats twice the living expenses plus traveling to meet each other. If I go to a private school, the cost might escalate to over $125,000. By living in San Diego, I might be able to work part-time after the first semester, so that’ll further decrease the loss of income during that time. Instead of working part-time, if I want to set my own venture, being local will again help since I have a lot of contacts here. Of course, a less expensive route is to enroll in the online MBA programs, although the quality of education is not the same as the traditional programs.

However it plays out, my desire to go to Business school will be fulfilled in September!