Monday, December 26, 2005

Getting The Business From Business School


Gee, how I wish my house was paid for. It appears that I would need to take another mortgage on it, to get the money necessary for a first-class MBA. People I speak to have one and all assured me that getting a top-school MBA will pay for itself, but few can explain how ordinary folks can pay for the thing.

Of course, I'm in a foul mood for a number of reasons besides the sticker shock of schools. My dad has learned he is likely to be completely blind from macular degeneration inside of six months, and this after surgery for cataracts and treatment for glaucoma. Also, my daughter caught Strep Throat last week, and in the process of things my wife and I have come down with it as well, along with those ubiquitous "flu-like symptoms" that could be anything from a bad cold, to the first human cases of the Avian Flu in the United States.

So anyway, here I am trying to figure just what, precisely, I intend to do with my MBA after I earn it. Assuming, naturally, that two years of hard work and sacrifice will result in getting the degree. For a number of reasons, going to a school out-of-town or becoming a full-time student are not feasible options, so that leaves Online or Part-Time. There is a remote but real chance I could get into Rice or Texas (who now offers an MBA course in Houston), but while both of those schools enjoy solid reputations nationally, both run around $74,000 tuition for the program. Well, UT says $67,000 for tuition, but throws in another $7,000 for various fees and costs, so that it amounts to the same thing. My employer would reimburse me, but only up to $5,250 a year maximum. The tax benefits would amount to another $3,000 a year maybe, so that leaves me somewhere around $57,500 short of the deal. Suffice to say, I do not have $57,500 in discretionary funds available to me, which means getting a loan or scholarship. Unfortunately, my age, undergrad degree and GPA, to say nothing of how long ago I earned it, all work against scholarship hopes, and it is very difficult for a Part-Time student to get any love from the Federal Government in terms of a student loan. Argh.

I know, I know. Lots of students bite the bullet and sign on for that devil's deal and get a bank loan, hoping to pay it off after the super-job is lured in by their shiny MBA. But my whole career is Risk-Averse, and the notion of adding that much debt before I have a sure idea of who I will be working for as an MBA, much less how much I will be making, makes that a bad idea on most fronts.

I understand Scrooge much better these days.

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