I recently submitted the $2,000 deposit for a seat in NYU Stern’s Class of 2013. For the students who have already decided to matriculate at one school or another, making a seat deposit may be a mere formality. But, for others like me, submitting a deposit is like hitting the snooze button on an alarm clock, giving us the luxury of a few additional weeks or months of thinking and dreaming before we have to wake up.
In my case, I have exactly three months from today to continue to evaluate whether an MBA, from Stern in particular, is the best next step for me. As I have been doing the past few months, I’m planning to use the remaining time before the real deadline (when the hefty tuition payment is due) purposefully, to ensure that I am at peace with making whatever my choice may be.
I’m not in the habit of burning c-notes just for fun, but the non-refundable seat deposit is a small enough amount that it would not significantly influence my ultimate decision, one way or another, as I try to find what’s right for me. In contrast, the tuition payment is substantially more, so I would only make that payment if I am fully committed to attending business school and making the most of its resources and my experience.
In the meantime, I’ve bought myself more time to talk with and listen to advice from friends, family and other helpful people, to read relevant materials and to think, which I think is worth the cost. Because I do see the many ways that going to business school would be valuable to me, the alternative – letting the deposit deadline pass without having concluded that an MBA isn’t for me – wasn’t seriously considered.
Sure, the deposit could’ve bought me a new laptop, a nice long vacation or any number of other nice things, but those are temporary pleasures compared to the longer-term fulfillment that I’m seeking. In the end, I know that I will be fine either way, but I’d like to make the best decision I can, given the available information that I have, and now I continue to have the options to do so.