UVA or Washington and Lee

Hey guys, I’m new here. I’m a senior and high school and want to pursue a career on Wall Street. As I near the end of my college applications journey, I have narrowed down my choices down to three schools. I am going to do early decision at Dartmouth, however, if I don’t get in I am planning on applying ED2 to one of two schools. My second choice is either Washington and Lee or UVA (out of state). I am in the sat range and for each school and my EC’s are extremely good so I am confident I could get in by early decision 2. However, both schools have a sub 20% acceptance rate regular decision so I am worried if I wait till then I have a higher chance of getting rejected. I am not sure I will get in Dartmouth so I need a string number two. So does Washington and Lee or UVA place better. Washington and Lee is my number 2 right now. The alumni network is top tier and I here there placement is very strong into boutique investment banks. However, I want your guys opinion on if you think UVA does better? Thanks everyone


All things equal in terms of liking the schools, would go UVA - W&L is a solid school but has fewer alums and less placement into top BB/EB, believe they mostly send to MM. UVA is nearly a target and is incredibly well-respected on the street.

If you strongly prefer W&L as a school that is a legitimate reason to ED there though... 2,000 vs 18,000 students is a very different environment and if you will do best in the small school setting then just go there and network a bit more.


Imagine committing to one of the schools and think of how much you regret not going to the other.  Then repeat with the other school. W&L and UVA are very different, so you should go to the one where you'll be happier. 

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UVA by far. Washington and Lee there is a lot of nepotism hires…


Would you say that it would be a lot harder for someone to break into IB who had a strong GPA and was in a good frat at W&L or someone at UVA McIntire with a good GPA. I don’t have a lot of Wall Street connections, however my dad works in consulting and he said the private equity firm that owns the company he works for (veritas capital) has a shit ton of people from W&L. I think W&L is my main choice but if it would be near impossible to break into Wall Street I still love UVA and would rather go there.


lol redact all that information. I already found your father. UVA has seriously strong recruiting outcomes... but it seems like if your family is well connected that should work too.

I had a friend who's dad was a CEO for a portco for MF and the dad asked associates/principals at the MF to introduce bankers to my friend. IF your dad is able to do that then go with W&L...

But from a non-connected perspective, UVA is your best chance to break into top Banking positions.


UVA and W&L both place well, but I would argue a lot of the placement that comes out of W&L is largely based on nepotism and a very tight knit alumni base that "takes care" of its own. This means that your options out of W&L would be largely based on where you know people and who is willing to support you during recruitment. I know that UVA places a ton of kids into IB both from McIntire but also other quantitative majors like Econ, CS, etc. Some of these placements are EBs and BBs, with a lot of middle market placement as well. UVA also has pretty considerable placement directly into entry level byside roles at places like Alpine, GTCR, and others. 

All this is to say that I think you have a lot more optionality coming out of UVA than you would W&L, and if have very strong grades and network well, the sky is the limit at UVA in terms of placement. The alumni network at UVA is also very strong, and a lot larger than W&L's. 

Ultimately though, dont make your college decision based solely on where is going to get you the best out of undergrad job in IB. Go where you think you're going to be happiest and enjoy those 4 years at the most- All three of the schools you mentioned will get you into IB if that's what you want to do, but sacrificing your happiness going somewhere you don't love because of finance recruiting is short sighted imo. 


Had the exact same choice as you ended up going to W&L. For IB the nepotism part is a little overstated as alumni are willing to help our regardless of fraternity affiliation etc. Having had a ton of friends that went to UVA I think it’s marginally easier to stand out during recruitment given it’s a smaller school. Also a huge plus is that there is no application for the Williams school so there’s less stress than applying to Mcintire. W&L is also way more fun imo but depends on if you’re a fan of greek life or not


As someone from the VA area and very familiar with both schools, everyone is missing the main difference in these schools. UVA at the comm school is very hard to stand out... basically impossible unless youre a genius. You are competing with over 500+ kids in the UVA atmosphere a year that want to go for IB. UVA only places better because they have more people there. W&L carries its own weight as a prestigious liberal arts focused college and with less than 2,000 students in the broader student body, its easier to stand out as a semi decent student. Both have strong networks, considering W&L has a small business school, they more than carry their weight.


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