Can someone actually rank the non-Amherst/Williams LACs as semi or non-targets?

Till now, I've seen individual posts here and there saying "x LAC is better than the other for IBD," but I've never seen someone actually say which LACs are semitargets or not. Namely Bowdoin, Tufts, Midd, Carleton, Hamilton, Bates, Colby, Haverford, Swarthmore, Colgate, Lehigh, Bucknell, and Brandeis... Thanks!


I think these schools occupy a strange place- for starters, there isn't a ton of interest in finance at these schools, and the schools are super small- so, OCR may be weak hence these schools being "non/semi-targets"- many firms don't go there to recruit. However, if you are interested in finance at these schools it is much easier to break in than a massive school like Kelley, for example. This is due to less competition and an incredible alumni network that will always pull for you. However, unlike "targets", you will have to put in a lot of work getting interviews, networking and maintaining a good gpa. If you do these things I would say they are definitely a target. However one negative is the lack of total alumni - at some firms (not huge ones like GS, but many smaller firms) there will be no alum so it's gonna be a lot harder to recruit there. If you are dedicated I would call most of these schools strong semis (some targets), and would put schools like Bowdoin / Midd a little above UVA/Umich and the rest of these LACs a bit above UNC-esque schools in terms of success- but hey I love LACs so I am biased. I

also think the notion that “Amherst/Williams or bust!” For LACS is dumb- for example, Bowdoin is harder to get into than both of those schools and sends around the same number of kids into finance that Amherst does.

I am also just a student but my source is from a Bowdoin alum who went to Guggenheim straight out of UG and now makes 300k+ at a PE fund (only been working for about 6 years).


Thanks! Other than Bowdoin and Midd, what others are semi-target LACs?

Where do Hamilton and Colgate fit in? 


Also what about Haverford/Swarthmore? 

Brandeis? Lehigh?

I'm assuming all of Union, Vassar, Kenyon, Conn, Trinity, and Bucknell are total non-targets...



Thanks! Other than Bowdoin and Midd, what others are semi-target LACs?

Where do Hamilton and Colgate fit in? 


Also what about Haverford/Swarthmore? 

Brandeis? Lehigh?

I'm assuming all of Union, Vassar, Kenyon, Conn, Trinity, and Bucknell are total non-targets...

Brandeis, Leheigh, Union, Vassar, etc are def all non targets, but I would take them over any other non target, if that makes sense lol. They just have such a small alumni network and little OCR so it’s hard to recruit, but not impossible.

I think Swarthemore is a great school but more academic, Hamilton and Colgate are pretty good but worse than bow/Midd, (Hamilton has insane GS connections- David Solomon & Colgate has some reserved spots in banks) I’m not sure a single person from haverford wants to go into finance lol, Colby>Bates but both are kinda overshadowed by Bowdoin and are way more rural (even less ocr) but still great schools.

I think Bow/Midd>Swat>Hamilton/Colgate/W&L>Colby>rest

This is east coast, Pomona and CMC do quite well also (KKR!)

All just my opinion + what I’ve gathered doing lots of research and tours / interviews with econ kids from lots of these schools, but it’s all anecdotal take it with a grain of salt. Best of luck, and finance/jobs aren’t everything- also always an MBA if you really want that clout lol.


Can add a little bit about Haverford. Not a lot of people want to go into finance, maybe 5-7 total will try to recruit for IB but this means that you will have almost a 100% response rate from alumni which span the street pretty well.


Per capita yeah, especially when u consider interest— Ross / Mcintire are b schools so lots of interest in finance whereas Midd and Bowdoin don’t, and yet Midd and Bowdoin still place similar / better per capita. So yeah, it is easier to break in from Midd/Bowdoin compared to mich and uva


Some color on Bowdoin - when I was in school, we did alright in recruiting as we have a good number of alums in finance, well enough to be called at least a semi-target. Plenty of info sessions/resume drops from banks and buyside asset managers (I recall that GS, Guggenheim, Jefferies, & Fidelity hired multiple people from my year), despite low overall interest among students. We didn't have strong ties with every bank, but there definitely was at least one alum at all the major firms.

But I would expect our presence on the street to increase even further in the next five-ten years. Since I have graduated, there seems to be a much stronger institutional push to improving career preparedness, esp. for those interested in finance. For the last few years, there has been a mandatory career planning workshop for sophomores, and this year, there was the first annual NYC finance trip. Neither of these existed when I graduated in the early 2010s.

In March, a small group of 14(!) freshmen got an arranged three-day trip to NY to meet the following people (one name in particular stands out.. those lucky ducks):


Seems to have been an amazing experience for those interested.…


Currently @ Bowdoin and had a "Finance Networking Dinner" this week. I think Bowdoin seems to have a big Barclays presence because we had the retired Barclays CEO alum (the good one, not the Epste*n one) and a few staff come for a preliminary dinner/networking event. Barclays is also coming to campus formally in a few weeks and they said Bowdoin students get a boost throughout the process. The new finance advisor CXD hired from Colby is really doing a lot of work to get sophomores into finance. 

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As an alum at one of the aforementioned schools, I can give some high level guidance. The long-short of it is that Amherst & Williams are 1A and 1B in no particular order. Both are the top liberal arts schools and have very strong placement to all professional jobs. You'd be splitting hairs if trying to discern a difference between the two as far as job opportunities go. 

From there, the very rough next tier down is probably Middlebury and maybe Bowdoin. Middlebury is a little frattier and still a great school that has really strong ties to Wall St. Bowdoin is a little more intellectual, but it's highly ranked and also does well.

After that, it really becomes a mostpit of schools. Hamilton, Colby, Tufts, Colgate, Bates all have their own pockets of recruiting/influence. Colgate has D1 sports, which provides some connectivity, Hamilton has David Solomon, Tufts has Jamie Dimon, etc. Most of these schools will have bits and pieces of OCR, but will likely have alums pretty much all over, but you'll have to hustle a bit more. For this tier, I'd focus more on personal fit and lightly on school ranking as higher ranked schools will just show better. So for example, Conn College would be worse than Colby, even if they're both NESCAC. 

Shout out to Trinity, which, is generally thought of as a weaker NESCAC, but is very fratty and seems to outperform given it's alumni base.

The midwest schools tend to not place that well into coastal jobs, so even though Carleton is a great school/highly ranked, you'd be better off at one of the "mid-tier" LACs than at Carleton if you wanted a NYC IB gig. 

Some of the overly academic/crunchy schools like a Swarthmore and Vassar also tend to not have great placement, but that's more of a function of fewer students caring about those types of careers and thus fewer alums.

Really, once you drop outside of the top 20ish schools or so, you're really into the non-target zone. Anything from 2-25 or so have some shades of semi-target depending on the school. 


someone from colby interviewed me and let’s just say she wasn’t the nicest


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