School vs. School: Yale SOM or SC Johnson Cornell?

Yale or Cornell

Deciding which school you’ll attend for your MBA isn’t easy. There are many factors that come into play when choosing the best school for you. You might be most concerned about where and what you want to study, or you could care more about reputation, alumni network, ROI, or even the application process.

Unfortunately, this comparison process can get quite tricky when looking at two very similar schools. To help you out, our School vs. School series does the heavy lifting for you. Take a look at two of the best b-schools Yale SOM and SC Johnson Cornell to see which is best for you.

Yale vs. Cornell: Location

Yale SOM is located in New Haven, Connecticut while SC Johnson Cornell is in Ithaca, New York. In both instances, the schools are located in smaller towns where one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques, and activities rule the day. Neither location is a place where an MBA would look for a job post-graduation, but both are just a little ways outside of New York City. New Haven is under two hours away by car while Ithaca is around four hours away.

As for which town is better:

  • Cost of Living: Ithaca is 2 percent less expensive than New Haven.
  • Housing: Ithaca housing costs 34.4 percent more.
  • Education: New Haven spends 4 percent less per student, and the student to teacher ratio is 17.3 percent higher in New Haven.
  • Commute: New Haven residents commute 42 percent more than residents of Ithaca.
  • Jobs: Future job growth for New Haven is 19.38 percent compared to Ithaca, which is only 2.24 percent. Both are lower than the entire U.S., which is 30.54 percent.

Overall, Ithaca is a more affordable place to live, but you’re less likely to find a job in Ithaca after graduation.

Yale vs. Cornell: Rankings

Yale SOM and SC Johnson Cornell are both top business schools in the world. Each ranks highly across all publications with Yale SOM just edging out SC Johnson Cornell in most rankings.

Yale and Cornell School Rankings

PublicationYale SOMSC Johnson Cornell
U.S. News & World Report1115
The Economist (Global)1417
Financial Times (Global)1127
Bloomberg Businessweek1211

Yale vs. Cornell MBA: The Cost

Each business school costs about the same on a per-year basis. Tuition is not even $3,000 more at Yale, and when you add on the increased cost-of-living, Yale is just $5,000 more per year than Cornell. Where Cornell saves the most is in housing and food, which is only $16,800 a year compared to Yale’s distressing $22,214.

Image result for yale campus

When it comes to living on campus, Yale students are emptying their wallets more, paying an average annual rate of more than $22,000.

However, when it comes to funding, Yale SOM wins. One in every two Yale SOM MBA students earns a merit scholarship. Even better 29 Yale MBA students end up with full-tuition scholarships. On the other hand, only 30 percent of Cornell SC Johnson students receive some scholarship assistance. However, there are many full-tuition scholarships available including 25 Park Leadership Fellowships.

Yale and Cornell School Costs

CostYale SOMSC Johnson Cornell
Full Cost$100,274$95,340

Yale vs. Cornell: Post-Graduation Employment

When it comes to post-graduation, both Yale SOM and Cornell SC Johnson MBA students can expect many opportunities for success. About 94 percent of Cornell MBA students and 91.9 percent of Yale SOM graduates have a full-time job offer three months after graduation.

Those graduates enter a range of industries with the top industries being consulting, finance, and technology. Consulting was the top industry at Yale SOM whereas Cornell students preferred finance. In both cases, most students chose to stay in the Northeast U.S. with 55 percent of Cornell graduates staying in the area and 48 percent of Yale graduates.

Yale vs. Cornell Employment

IndustryYale SOMSC Johnson Cornell

As for post-graduation salary, both schools are on par with each other. Graduates can expect to earn slightly over $125,000 after graduation with a bonus of around $30,000.

Yale vs. Cornell Salary

SalaryYale SOMSC Johnson Cornell
MBA Graduate Median Base Salary (2018)$127,100$126,353
Median Signing Bonus$30,000$33,503

Inside Yale SOM

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale SOM is one of the top business school’s in the country. Its proximity to New York City means that MBA students have access to many highly coveted networking, partnership, and placement opportunities in one of the business hubs of the world. Its programs are ranked in the top 15 in the world across all international and U.S.-based MBA rankings, regularly placing 11th overall.

Program Offerings

There are also multiple joint degree opportunities. MBA students can pursue a joint degree with Yale Law School, Yale School of Medicine, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and the Yale School of Architecture.

Why Yale SOM?

  • Yale SOM emphasizes “raw” online cases. These cases attempt to capture the complexity of real decision-making.
  • MBA students can participate in 50-plus student clubs on a variety of topics from leadership to social venture.
  • Yale MBA students are required to complete an international component, including a 10-day trip to one or more countries. The school is also a part of an exchange program with the London School of Economics, HEC Paris, IESE, National University of Singapore, and Tsinghua University School of Economics.

Inside SC Johnson Cornell

Located in Ithaca, New York, the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University is one of the best business schools in the world. It regularly ranks in the top 25 schools globally and the top 15 schools nationally. Its proximity to NYC means that students have many opportunities for networking, internships, and more.

Program Offerings

  • Two-Year MBA: The two-year, full-time MBA program at Cornell includes more than 4,000 elective courses from any of Cornell’s top-ranked schools.
  • One-Year MBA: The One-Year MBA is designed for students who have already earned a certification or are enrolled in a dual degree program.
  • Tech MBA: The Tech MBA program is a 12-month program in the heart of New York City on Roosevelt Island. The curriculum is split into module and studios.
  • EMBA NY: The Executive MBA program is 22 months in length and requires students to complete 60 credits every other weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

There are also multiple dual degree programs including a JD/MBA and an MS/MBA. Other dual degree opportunities include a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations, Real Estate, and Health Administration.

Why SC Johnson Cornell?

  • Cornell SC Johnson offers eight immersion opportunities. These courses and their projects/cases are based on a specific career path and industry.
  • Students have access to more than 120 electives across a range of concentrations. There are also more than 80 professional, regional, and diversity clubs students can join.
  • Global learning is not a requirement. However, there are a large number of international business learning opportunities, including international study trips and an international exchange program.

For additional insight, be sure to check out the news at both Yale and Cornell.


About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist. She specializes in writing about MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development. A business school and brand development expert, you can find Kelly at where she helps businesses and executives develop their authentic voice.

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