W.3 – David King – MBA Program Selection

Problem Recognition, Definition, and Evaluation

Which MBA program should I apply for?

Development of the feasible alternatives

Before I can list the alternatives, I need to list the requirements. The college must be AACSB certified, must be online, and must waive the GMAT requirement.

1.      Apply to Syracuse University

2.      Apply to Colorado State University

3.      Apply at Ashford University

4.      Do Nothing

Development of the outcomes and cash flows for each alternative

Syracuse University will cost approximately $64000 not inclusive of the 9 trips I need to make to the school in the duration of the program which will cost at least another $25000 between food, accommodation, and transportation.

Colorado State University costs about $25000.

Ashford University costs about $16000.

Doing nothing cost nothing.

Selection of the criterion

Grid Analysis
Alternatives Drivers – Positive Effect
  Cost Credit Hours Accredited AACSB Hours Spent Public Perception Potential to generate income Total
1. Syracuse University 87000 54 Yes Yes 2184 High High 25
2. Colorado State University 25000 36 Yes Yes 1456 Med Med 25
3. Ashford University 18000 33 Yes No 1335 Low Low 17
4. Do Nothing 0 0 No No 0 Low Low 6
Lowest Personal Value 1
Medium Personal Value 3
High Personal Value 5


Analysis and comparison of the alternatives

Syracuse University is the most costly and the longest degree to get. In the end it is the highest ranked of the available universities combined with the fact they have the best networking capability and career center. The biggest downside is the time and cost involved with the degree.

Colorado State University offers the best bang for the buck and can be completed faster than Syracuse. The AACSB gives it the higher recognition, but because the university is entirely online it can hamper the ability to increase my professional network.

Ashford University is the school I graduated from. I can get back in easily and it is cheap. However, the quality of the education is disappointing and they offer no career center or assistance with finding a job upon completion of the degree. The networking is non-existent and I found my previous educational experience there to be disappointing.

Doing nothing has a price. Sure it costs me nothing now. Imagine how much more I can be making if I had an MBA compared to an undergraduate degree? Imagine how many opportunities that the doors would be open to if I had the MBA. I can’t afford to not have a MBA.

Selection of the preferred alternative

The alternative is, I apply to Syracuse University and Colorado State. If I get accepted to both, I will go to Syracuse because of the long term potential with Syracuse outweighs the long term potential for Colorado State.

Ashford is my choice if my application gets rejected by both Syracuse and Colorado State.

Performance monitoring and post evaluation results

The point is I can’t afford to not have an MBA. The financial gain and opportunities available are greater with the MBA compared to not having one. As not all programs are created equal, accreditation and networking are major factors in getting an MBA. The point is to get one from an accredited university, but AACSB is the highest accreditation an MBA program can have. If the AACSB accredited programs don’t accept my application, I can always go back to Ashford University and get my MBA there.


Sullivan, W. (2009). Engineering Economy. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.

(2011, April 12). Syracuse University: Distance MBA Profile – Business Week. Retrieved from

Web Site: http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/distance_mba_profiles/syracuse.html

(2011, April 12). Colorado State University: Distance MBA Profile – Business Week. Retrieved

from Web Site: http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/distance_mba_profiles/coloradost.html

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4 Responses to W.3 – David King – MBA Program Selection

  1. DrPDG says:

    Excellent, David!!! NOW you are on the right track!!!!

    Nice simple problem statement (and a very real one!!) And you followed the Step by Step Analysis quite well, although your Step 7, Performance Evaluation was pretty weak. (How can you measure the value of an MBA?) (HINT: There are both TANGIBLE and INTANGIBLE benefits, so what is the method of analysis that best measures both?)

    It would have earned an AWESOME or WOW!!! if only you had done a little bit more research and calculated the NPV, IRR and ERR of future cash flows with/without your MBA, but hey, that is a great topic for your NEXT blog posting…..

    Bottom line- you are definitely on the right track, but I am going to challenge you to show me that you have a solid grasp on ALL the tools and techniques and not only Grid Analysis. For future postings, I expect to see you using at least one tool/technique from each of the Engineering Economy chapters and will be looking for evidence that you are actually UNDERSTANDING what Humphrey’s is trying to tell us.

    Dr. PDG, Jakarta

  2. DrPDG says:

    PS David, I hate to rain on your parade, but if you go to the AACE salary survey archives http://www.aacei.org/resources/salary/prevSalarySurvey.shtml and compare the difference in salaries between those who hold a Masters and those who do not, there is virtually NO DIFFERENCE in salaries…….

    My own experience as a trainer/consultant supports this as well…. I spent $54K getting my MScPM from GWU and it made absolutely no difference in what I could charge as a trainer/consultant.

    IMPO, the MBA has become largely commodotized and if you really want to command top dollar, you would be better off with a PhD.

    But do take the time to check it out and that would make a GREAT topic for a future blog posting!!! 🙂

  3. DrPDG says:

    OK, then using NPV, IRR and ERR, project your estimated earnings over your remaining work life then bring them back to today’s value, and make a comparison whether spending 18K or 25K or even 87K is justifiable……

    HINT: What would really be interesting would be to convert your annual salary into ounces of GOLD and project it forward that way…… Then convert the gold into dollars and using NPV, bring it back to present value…..

    That would certainly rate an AWESOME or even a WOW!!!

    Dr. PDG, Jakarta

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