University Selection – Ranking vs Location

Raghuram Sukumar Admission 14 Comments

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I spoke to a prospective Fall 2011 graduate student who got admit from San Jose State University and Colorado State University at Fort Collins. He had decided to attend SJSU,  because of location and Silicon Valley will have better job market.

I asked him to consider CSU, since it should be comparatively easier to get financial aid at CSU.

He said that searching for jobs will be easier from SJSU, so he decided on SJSU.

I said that you will be able to apply for the same job even from CSU and one can always relocate for the job.

Reason for my argument –

Attending SJSU doesn’t guarantee a job just because of your location.  Very small percentage of students who I know are working in the same city where they went to the school.

I’m sure there will be more students who will not agree to above argument, but decision making is tough when you are half way around the world.

I volunteered to give advise to the above person.

Do you think if someone doesn’t ask for advise and they could be potentially making a mistake due to uninformed decision, I should refrain from giving advise?


  1. I don’t think your advice is necessarily the correct one. A lot of lower ranked schools place very well on the basis of their location. CUNY and American University are prime examples. It’s OK to state your opinion to anyone that is willing to listen, it is another thing to call his decision wrong simply because you don’t agree with him.

    1. You assumed that I called his decision wrong and I haven’t mentioned that his decision is wrong. Please read the post again.

  2. Yes, you should refrain yourself from giving advice(unless you are asked for) but not information.

  3. Depends on the person on receiving end. Many want to collect as many advices/information as possible to make an relative informed decision. Nothing wrong is speaking your mind.

  4. your advice is 100% essential.. it may not be needed for a person you intended to give for, but it is always useful… i found the article and your advice useful 🙂

  5. Hey HSB
    Personally speaking, a lot of tough choices has to be made for picking final destination. I was figuratively torn apart between my choices and it took me around 25 days to zero on it, as I wanted to make an informed decision. Honestly speaking, healthy arguments are really good as it opens your mind.
    I really find your point valid but at the end of the day, student should also be happy with his decision

  6. for most people. you should just do your part and give advice, let them make their own decision.

  7. HSB is doing great with providing information.
    I appreciate the contribution done.

    HSB can always advise.. but its upto the person to decide.
    And though the person may be wrong but there has to be someone to show him the right path. I think HSB is one institution to learn.

    Though the person is wrong .. HSB’s advice is essential.

  8. Hi,

    HSB is doing a great job of providing information and advise. I personally feel that HSB should keep giving such information and advise, as these help us make a better decision according to our needs. I would just like to thank all of you at HSB for making this site and for taking the time and effort to provide us with your experience and knowledge.


  9. HSB is indeed doing a great job by guiding students with much required information an advice….Choosing a university of all the ‘Admits’ is the one of the most difficult & crucial decision…Well even i am confused for the final call–i’ve got admits from –
    Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois
    New Jersey Institute Of Technology, Newark, New Jersey
    Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York

    And based on the Rankings (Well i couldn’t find Marist listed anywhere) IIT is placed higher than NJIT but i am not sure ,based on the location i thought probably i should go with NJIT…..Please advice…

  10. Please, also write about Ph. D. (Physics) programs offered by US universities with their faculty ranking, GRE and TOEFL requirement.

  11. Hi HSB, i have got two admission one in university of texas at arlington for ms+ phd program with full financial support and nother one is RWTH aachen university, germany for MS program. I am confused which university should i opt.

  12. Hello HSB,

    I have got an admit into UTA – CS for fall 2011 and also SJSU – CE for fall 2011. I am in a dilemma as to which to opt for. Can u plz let me know the pro’s and con’s of both these univ’s so that it’ll be really helpful in taking a decision.

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