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James Madison University vs. George Mason University

ArduousArduous Posts: 11Registered User New Member
Okay I have come down to two choices, JMU and GMU. I understand there are many other colleges such as UVA, William & Mary, Georgetown, etc. that are within or near NOVA, however I have narrowly picked JMU and GMU out of all of them. I am finding myself having a hard time deciding whether to go to JMU or GMU. To start off, I am planning on double majoring in Finance/Accounting, I understand both school provides great educational benefits. I also know the cons and pros for each schools. JMU, provides an active/social interactions, great educational benefits (prestige), highly ranked according to businessweek for 2011,2010,2009,etc., decent amount of internships available in Harrisonburg. Cons for JMU, party school, a bit costly compared to GMU where I can stay at home with family and commute to GMU, and probably not as many available internships as going to GMU provides. GMU, provides great education benefits, great internship availability (close proximity to Washington D.C.). Cons for GMU are being to close (commuting), being a 3rd tier, having to be known as "rising school" which makes me feel that GMU has not fully been recognized and still looking from the outside compared other colleges. These are just some of my thoughts/opinions, both options seem great to me, however I need some great advice in terms of my major in Finance/Accounting, probably would like to work for one of the "Big 4" or get into "investment banking". I understand that I still have a long way to go, however it is nice to think a bit into my future as to how years pass by so quickly. I will also entering into either one of these schools as a Junior.
Post edited by Arduous on

Replies to: James Madison University vs. George Mason University

  • jkiwmomjkiwmom Posts: 1,354Registered User Senior Member
    I don't know your stats, but JMU is getting very competitive (3.8 gpa avg. last year), so be cautious about "choosing" when you haven't yet been accepted. Apply to both if these are your first picks. JMU has better acceptance rates EA and the deadline just passed (did you apply EA?). Just based on your planned major, I would choose JMU over GMU if you are accepted to both. One, because I think there's value in going away to college and having the experience of becoming independent. And, two, JMU's business program is one of the best in the state. If your GPA and scores are very high, you may be offered the Madison Achievement Scholarship which will cut down in costs by $11K over 4 years. If you are hispanic, and are likely to receive need-based financial aid, look up JMU's Centennial Scholarship (potential full ride!). You will have access to internship opportunities coming from either school. I think overall reputation, I would go with JMU if you get in.
  • JohnsmartJohnsmart Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    First off you need to get your facts straight..GMU is in the 1st tier. Anyways as far as business programs are concerned, GMU ranks higher in the US News and World Report. So I would be cautious about basing my decision solely on rankings because they vary. I would personally base my decision on which university will give me a better chance of landing a job at a solid company, and due to GMU's unique location, graduates have no problem landing jobs at multinational corporations in DC.
  • jkiwmomjkiwmom Posts: 1,354Registered User Senior Member
    This is a fairly old thread, so not sure OP will see these responses....but either school offers excellent opportunities job wise after graduation and during school for internships. I still feel there's value in heading further from home for college if your family can afford that option. This is the main reason I suggested JMU over GMU.

    Johnsmart is correct, GMU is ranked #138 nationally (Top tier) and JMU is #6 regionally. This is only if you are going to use the rankings to make your decisions. Really, both are great options in VA -can't go wrong either way. GMU is also bound to continue climbing the rankings.
  • ReverseTimeReverseTime Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    For what it's worth (regardless of various disparate rankings):
    1.) Georgetown 2.) UVA 3.) GW/W&M 4.) JMU/American, Mason Everything Else
  • DesiCollegeGalDesiCollegeGal Posts: 406Registered User Member
    ^ I agree with that list in everything except for American. American's become very selective lately and it's social sciences/history programs could compete with Georgetown's offerings. Not to say that JMU isn't a great school (it is) but American, I believe, deserves a higher ranking.

    Now, I might have misunderstood you. If you're talking about the quality of the universities in regards to the OP's intended major in finances/accounting, then you have compiled a fully accurate list, as American is not so strong (sadly, it must be said) in the buisness/accounting or STEM departments. Mostly accurate list though.

    For the OP, JMU is a so-called "Party School" but honestly, every college has a party atmosphere, and JMU offers great academics -- JMU is very good in the buisness field, and I suggest you choose JMU. It's your call, though -- GMU is not too shabby either.

    Good luck!
  • WilPowerMomWilPowerMom Posts: 25Registered User New Member
    My daughter had narrowed it down to the exact same two schools and opted for George Mason. James Madison gives little in aid, whereas GMU offered my daughter a spectatular package (they have a tremendous scholarship base and endowments, whereas JMU does not). Couple that with her ability to work/intern in NOVA/D.C., and she'll graduate debt free with money earned for grad school. Plus, she is already doing a study abroad in her major in her freshman year - unheard of in other colleges.
    As a business major, I'd opt for GMU - they have Nobel Laureates heading their Economics department, one of the top ones in the country. Plus, your chances for work/internships are much higher in NOVA/DC than at JMU and all of the major accounting firms are in the DC area. Lastly, the activities are better at GMU - besides a great basketball team, the school has not one, but two, national-caliber arts centers that attract international talents and Broadway stars, and has two sports centers that I drool over every time I visit. My daughter lives on campus and is amazed when she hears someone call GMU a "commuter" school - she says the dorm life is fabulous. I recently spoke with a cop near JMU who sadly confirmed the rumors I heard about the "extra-curricular activities" at that campus and I am so glad my daughter opted to be a Patriot - she's learning from fabulous professors, has no problem getting the classes and opportunities she wants, has joined incredible clubs, has access to innumerable internships and job opportunities, and is having fun exploring our nation's capitol. What could be better than going to college near D.C.? (Okay, New York - but we live there!).
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