UT Austin MSF vs. BU MSMFT

Hi everybody! I am currently deciding between two admissions offers: one from UT Austin's MS in Finance, and the other from BU's MS in Mathematical Finance & Financial Technology (MSMFT). Having looked at the curriculum of both, I prefer BU's because it is more heavily focused on the quantitative aspect of finance and includes courses in areas where the field is moving into, however it is substantially more expensive than UT's and takes 1.5-2 years to complete. According to their website, their average starting salary is higher than UT's, but my concern there is that many of their graduates stay in the NE whereas I would prefer to live and work in Texas. If interested, I will include all of the relevant information I have gathered between the two programs below:

UT Austin MSF
Course Length: 1 year
Total Cost: ~$55k
Total Loans: ~$15k-$20k
Average Starting Salary: $68k
Pros: Strong alumni network throughout Texas; 1 year course allows me to start making money sooner; available specialization in asset management; having grown up in Austin, am already familiar with the city and love the campus/culture; scholarship and in-state tuition makes it very affordable; brand new facilities.
Cons: Conditional offer leaves no margin of error for summer/fall semesters; shorter program condenses everything into 1 year; no unlimited meal plan option, will have to prepare most of my own meals; housing off-campus.

BU MSMFT
Course Length: 1.5-2 years
Total Cost: $170k
Total Loans: $90k
Average Starting Salary: $88k
Pros: Length of course allows to build stronger relationships with peers; can get 2 specializations (AM & FinTech) and graduate certificate; very specialized degree; graduate housing close to business school and dining hall; higher starting salary; great facilities; have visited campus/Boston before and liked both; heavy quant- and programming- focused curriculum.
Cons: Cost of the program very high; I don't know much about alumni network or industry connections; inability to make average starting salary in Texas may lead to inability to pay debt obligations; 1 year longer before I can start earning money.

Any insight y'all are able to provide would be extremely valuable. I am fairly unfamiliar with BU's alumni network and reputation outside of the NE and, after having estimated a budget using their starting salary and my monthly debt repayments, I am worried that my inability to secure a job in Texas (no state income tax, cheaper COL) which makes their starting salary will lead to me being buried in debt.

Thanks for reading!

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Apr 14, 2021 - 2:54pm
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