Undergraduate Decision

I'm a high school senior and I want to go into IB post grad. I've been accepted into the schools below as a finance major and I want to know which one gives me the best chance of excelling post grad. Money is somewhat of a factor in my decision.

Fordham Gabelli - full ride

Indiana Kelley - instate tuition

Villanova - no scholarship

Maryland - no scholarship

Penn State Smeal - $10,000 a year

UGA Terry - full ride

SMU Cox - no scholarship

Lehigh - no scholarship 

Bentley - no scholarship

Georgia Tech Scheller - full ride


Fordham and just grind. Honestly school doesn’t matter as much. I used to place a lot of importance on it as well but it’s not that deep. You don’t need a target, and this coming from someone at a target. Growing ur network and just being proactive by looking for internship opportunities is all you need. Of course you should also know the modeling, 400 BIWS shot like that, but being proactive online can get you that knowledge. The reasoning behind Fordham is 1 u mentioned money matters so full ride and you get to be in the city which is a big advantage. I am in the city rn as well and it’s def an advantage.


You are right, and I completely understand where you are coming from. I don't have that perspective, but I came to that conclusion because most of my friends back home in the industry were from non-targets, which is why I always carried the opinion with me. I can see why the statement can be seen as hypocritical, but I was trying to show him another perspective.


IU, if ur the real deal and work hard enough ul have no problems getting into IBW and youl have way more fun than Fordham


I guess the most merocratic option there would be Fordham. Only issue with Fordham is that u have a whole entire school of Gabelli kids thinking they are going to break into banking at the same time where all of fucking Baruch is sweating around NYC looking for a coffee chat with everyone and anyone. And at the same time u have Columbia and NYU kids all competing for the same roles. You would really have to be a complete hustler at Fordham and litterly start networking first semester of Freshman year with a whole plan ready the summer before.

Besides that, UGA is a good shout if u feel like Greek life is what u wanna get involved in and have a good shot of working in ATL/CLT. NYC from UGA is still possible just would be a grind if your up for that.

I forgot if u mentioned Penn State but if u think ur up for it, the Nittany Lion Fund places extremely well but besides that its kind of a crap shoot. Villanova and Leigh arent bad options only because of nepotism and the amount of rich sons/daughters of MD's that attend. If you get in a good friend group u could squeeze something out.

Most Helpful

IU IBW is no guarantee and you are kind of screwed without it... and even then some of the accusations a few months ago about their placement are pretty damning. You have full rides to other good schools so I would not personally do IU 

Given money is a factor I'd choose between Fordham and UGA Terry, maybe Penn State depending on how affordable that tuition is after the scholarship. Good news is I don't think any of your full cost schools are strong enough to justify the cost, so at least you're not having to make a really tough decision with an unaffordable but excellent school.

Fordham has a huge advantage with the location and you can have multiple off-cycle internships. UGA is one of the better state schools for IB, fairly strong NYC recruiting especially from Corsair and really solid alum base. Penn State has a great alum base and their student fund (Nittany Lion) places very well. If you are involved, network, get internships etc you will have options from any of these. 

That said these are all hugely different schools so I'd throw in personal choice and which you like better - would you do better in a fratty southern school or a smaller private NYC school? I'd visit all three and weight the personal side fairly heavily in this scenario.


Thanks for the response it was very helpful. I know you said not to do IU considering that IBW is no guarantee but I was kind of leaning towards there before I posted this considering I've heard good things about the placement. I was planning on going freshman year and if I don't like things there I could conditional transfer to Georgia Tech as a legacy there. 

I hadn't heard about the accusations surrounding IU IBW placement but I'm definitely going to look at that now that you mentioned it. 

Also are there any Non-Ivy schools that you would recommend applying to before the regular decision deadline?


If IU is your dream school you can certainly do very well from there. The accusations are probably easy to find on this forum - the names have been deleted but I looked into it at the time and there were a number of rather questionable things going on there. But I wouldn't go to IU just for the IBW unless you really like the school.

Some schools that recruit way above their US news ranking - Georgetown business school, Notre Dame, Duke, UMich Ross, UVA, NYU Stern are all IB target schools. Some may be reaches or too expensive, but based on your full rides you'd have a shot.


The accusations of IU that are being discussed in the comments are very limited and really should not be a factor in your decision to go. Around 3-4 students have only caused the problems that were talked about WSO and only this year. In contrast, IU places approx. 70-80 kids every year in well reputed Investment Banking jobs, with strong alumni connections at banks like BofA, Jefferies, BMO and more. Keep in mind this is dependent on you working hard and getting into the workshops, which is not a guarantee, but if you're actually a smart kid then it shouldn't be too hard. Also, if somewhere along the lines you decide that finance/ib is not for you, then the other workshops at IU are also great at placing kids in ER, S&T and consulting. On a personal note, kids at IU who do IB are definitely much more down to earth and chill to hang out with, compared to some of the Ivey League/private school kids. Through the workshop process, even if you don't get in, you'll learn how to make a relatively detailed LBO, DCF, M&A model by your sophomore year. Again, I don't want to strike down anybody else's suggestions on IU, but I can tell you that these particular accusations are fairly exaggerated and if you are getting in-state tuition then it wouldn't be a bad choice. IU's also a lot more fun than most other colleges. 


I agree with the above poster. The schools you got no scholarships for are not at all worth the full price. If you got into a solid target school (Ivy, etc.) then that would merit some thinking, but paying full tuition for Villanova or something when you have options like Gabelli and Georgia Tech that are giving you full rides would be not smart IMO. 

I think they're all solid, and I would also push you to consider what environment you would enjoy spending four years in the most. If you're competent enough to get into IB you could do it from wherever, and all have alumni on the street. I also think the location advantage in terms of networking is mega-overblown (coming from somebody who went to school in the city). Along that line of thinking, if your "dream school" is Maryland or SMU or something, you should reach out to them and try and leverage your scholarships from the other schools. I've had friends who have done this successfully and gotten additional money from a school they were accepted to.

Looks like college admissions have gone well for you so far though -- Congratulations! Don't make your decision entirely on IB, make sure to find a community where you'll be able to make good friends and enjoy yourself.


Thanks for the response it was very helpful especially the part about leveraging scholarships. In terms of my dream school it was BC Carroll but I was rejected there so I'm not really locked in on any particular school at the moment.

Any advice on other Non-Ivy Targets/Semi Targets I should be looking at?


I went to BC Carroll before I transferred, definitely a fun place to be and a good place to have set your sights on. Your earlier comment says you were deferred, so if BC is you're #1 I might recommend sending a letter of continued interest or trying to find some way to tip the scales in your favor besides considering it a done deal. BC has gotten much more selective over the past couple of years, but I think their admissions team has respect for people who really appreciate the culture / have their sights set on the school.

Associate # above gave some good recommendations (ND, Duke, UMich, UVA, NYU, Georgetown). With your full rides it seems like maybe your stats were a hit but maybe your essays didn't speak to admissions as much about your fit at the next-level schools like BC. If you re-tool your essays (or even if you don't) you could very well get into one or multiple of those schools RD with no changes even if you got deferred from BC. Honestly might be worth it to expand your list to places like Cornell / Dartmouth, other Ivies.

Also, if you're only reason for wanting to get into a school is its ranking I feel as if that generally shows through. Have genuine reasons you think you'd fit at these schools and back it up (those reasons could be glaringly obvious / cliche but if they're heartfelt and show through in your application they might work just as well).


I lead alot of recruiting and it comes down to a few things:

1 - if it's in any way shape or form a target, or, if there are recent alumni hired who can get you in the flow.

2 - grades/ability to stand out - all else being equal it's better to be a big fish in a little pond than vis versa.The first point is key, because otherwise you're on your own.

Target schools and those with strong alumni bases will give you an automatic foot in the door for recruiting, as there are formalized processes. The pool is only so large and it's better to have formalized process going to your school with a senior banker trying to get their Alma matter in, than trying to claw your way into a process. No, it's not the end all be all, but it does make it easier and there are literally teams in banks trying to bolster their Almas presence.. So target definitely helps.

What I'd suggest, since every bank is different, is do some diligence (your first IB staffing). Get in touch with IB HR, tell them your situation, and ask who are actually their target schools. It's not a secret and people are generally willing to help.In my opinion, based on your list I'd say (in no particular order). IU, Fordham and PSU.

The rest are generally not targets where I've been. IU has a better network but Fordham benefits from NYC proximity.

Ultimately, do well, work hard, network your ass off, and you'll do great.


It has been about a decade but there was a good pipeline to Citi/DB and JPM/BoA to a lesser extent. Judging by what I’ve seen, placement seems to still be similar. But there is a steep drop off for placement in the business school. A handful get great FO jobs, but there just aren’t strong enough ties to most of the banks. Most end up doing consulting or corporate strategy type roles or take a BO/MO job to get their foot in the door at a good place.


Congrats on your offer and UGA is definitely a good school but its nowhere close to Dartmouth or Vandy. Heck its a distant third if not fourth in Georgia. Emory is in a league of its own in Georgia like 2 tiers above everyone then Georgia Tech then Spelman/Morehouse because of being HBCUs and then UGA. IU , Fordham, Georgia Tech, SMU, Penn State, Villanova are better options


Would agree, had a similar decision. Mid-Ivy with barely any aid or state school. Ended up going state school, getting a freshman internship that would've been impossible if I went to the Ivy, and stood out academically. Sophomored at a BB as the only non-diversity (w/o networking), all because bankers respected the harder route. Internships matter over everything, and you can see how this outcome could have been very different if I had to compete with well-connected East Coast kids.


Georgia Tech has the best name brand and is a target for consulting and elite for tech. Fordham and Kelley are great options too. My guess is Kelley places the most. I would be between Georgia Tech and Kelley. Wait for RD though. Apply to Ivies, Notre Dame, Duke, Georgetown, UVA, UMich, UC Berkeley, Emory, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, UChicago type of schools and see what happens 


The schools that didn't give you $ are not significantly better than the ones that did, so I would immediately chop down your list to Fordham, IU, and GT, and UGA

I think you can get IB from any of these if you grind, that said Fordham is very compelling because as others have noted you can build your network and do off-cycle internships. Personally when I was in college I was choosing between a rural liberal arts college and another school next to a major city; I chose the latter, and definitely don't regret it, being in NYC (even if it's the Bronx) will be a great experience as a college student.

You also need to account for the fact that there is a high likelihood that you won't want to do IB even 1 year from now, which makes Fordham especially compelling, being able to leave college without debt will be a huge benefit for you.


Go to kelley, we have the fun of a party school while having the benefits of a top ten business school (#7 in finance). Also we have the IBW which places a ton of kids, but even if you aren't in a workshop we place 80 kids in IB, that's not even counting CB, S&T, and AM. Kelley is the way to go here.

^thats my Kelley shill answer.

I was going through the same decision this past April, kelley vs Fordham. They were the same price for me, and it was a hard choice. With Fordham being in NYC, it is extremely possible to get during-the-year internships at boutique IBs. If you get into the student managed fund, it places to BBs and MMs. However, kelley has a ton more EC organizations like FIR, PMC, ECMG, TAMID, 180 Degrees Consulting, and Knall Cohen Fund. I chose kelley because I felt like I would have the best experience there and get the best hands on learning experience, and this has been true for the most part. Fordham is in NYC, which is extremely fun, but IU is a traditional big 10 school, which I prefer. Both are good schools IMO, but kelley places better and has more opportunities as well. Best of luck homie.


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