3 Main Factors When Choosing A University As An Accounting Major

Ticking right answers

I get this question about choosing a University as an accounting major all the time!

From the mailbag:

Hello Andrew,

First off thank you so much for starting The Bean Counter!

It has been a real encouragement and resource for myself as I have started on my career in accounting. I first stumbled into you as you post those hilarious accounting memes on facebook. Then I found the podcast and have been listening to most of them pretty religiously.

I think what you are doing is awesome and glad someone has taken upon themselves. You had asked what is my biggest struggle in my accounting career right now and I think to answer that I should give you a little bit of background. I am a first generation college student, I graduated high school at sixteen years old and went to a seminary for about a year to decide what I should be doing with my life. It was there I took an accounting class and since then I haven’t looked back. I moved back home at almost eighteen and started on to my accounting education.

I am due to graduate with my B.S. in Accounting from Eastern Connecticut State University with a 3.9+ GPA this coming December and already have one job offer for when I get out. On top of all of that I have managed to do all of my schooling with very little support except from myself and will be graduating with zero student loans.

I read your article on how you paid off yours, which is awesome, but am so glad I don’t have that burden over myself. I will be gearing up to take the CPA exam in January/February as soon as I finish the degree.

My biggest struggle of late however is deciding on where I should go to graduate school. I want to do this degree for myself and also to hit the 150 credit requirement in my state for licensing.

I am not sure if at this point going to a school with huge brand power is the way to go or if I should just go the most affordable route to get the degree. I feel I have the grades to get into pretty much any school I choose but not sure if that really is the best option if I accrue a ton of debt out of it.

One blog post that would help me tremendously would be anything related to choosing the right grad school. Whether online/in-person and more affordable vs. brand value.

Also, I have been thinking about starting a blog, but not sure where to start. I feel like college is something so many people go into unsure of, take out all these loans, and come out with thousands of dollars in debt and it can be a waste or a huge burden. I will be fortunate enough to come out without this burden and I want to share how to do it and make the most out of the options you have.

I mean these goals seem a little basic, but I think they are what is best in terms of outlook and achievability. I’m sure I will add many more goals to this, especially after I start working post-graduation. This is just my outlook now from the bottom looking up.

So thank you once again for being so helpful to me personally and if there is anything you ever need help with please let me know.



Brand value = practically worthless unless you are at a HUGE school (Ivy league).

Think about it. When you go to the doctors office, do you ever ask:

Hey Doc, can I see your diploma?

If it’s not important for a radiologist, it’s not a big deal for an accountant.

In my experience, in-person is much better than online however as many employers don’t count online degrees, especially from places like Pheonix.

In my opinion, there are 3 basic things you should be looking at when picking any accounting University whether is undergrad or a masters degree and Ivy league aren’t options:

  1. Is there a Beta Alpha Psi Chapter? (check here)
  2. Do they have a big accounting career fair with the Big 4 and other major accounting firms?
  3. Will I have to take out more student loans by going to this school?

Those are the three factors I would consider. Everything else isn’t going to be super relevant for you being a financial stable accountant with a solid full-time job from a firm that will cover your CPA exam costs.

Why did you choose your University?