What Colleges Can be considered IB semi-targets which have a high acceptance rate 60%+

Hi, I'm a sophomore in High school and I want to get into Investment banking after college. My current cumulative GPA is good but not great. last year I got a 3.3 (I was also taking a lot of Honors classes). but this year I've been working hard to bring up my GPA. Still, I might only graduate with only a 3.5-3.7. My extracurriculars are strong though. So just so I have a better idea of what schools I should be aiming for. What schools have a high acceptance rate and are considered semi-targets for Investment Banking BBs and EBs?


Semi targets are usually places like Johns Hopkins, Boston college, or emory. Still hard to get into. 

non targets that place people who hustle I think are IU, Baruch, UF MSF, any state school that is the best public school in its state. From any of these you’ll likely need a 3.5+ GPA and a lot of good extracurriculares 


Hopkins and Emory are harder to get into than many targets. Top semi-targets are harder/as hard to get into as low tier targets. Top semis would be Vanderbilt, Emory, USC, UCLA, Rice, WashU, and Hopkins. Literally all of these schools have single digit acceptance rates


I don't know about per capita, I think it should really just be UT undergrad McCombs which is ~4700 total. Only a select few outside of finance, maybe econ, have broken in - and that's pretty much only in Houston.

This chart itself is pretty limited(no mms) too and even then I wouldn't place UT in top 13 but is still a very good option at a great value.


Investment Banking Target School List

This should be a good start. Credit to Peak Frameworks. If you have a 3.3 I would broaden your horizons to include MMs as well. Nothing wrong with shooting for BBs and EBs, and if you're on this site that you're already ahead of your classmates, but just focus on breaking in. 

Thanks for this- can I ask where you obtained this information? I was surprised by the very low numbers of analysts. I'm now getting my son ready for college and I think he's going to fall into semi-target rather than target acceptance so this is useful for me to help him. 

Like the unadjusted- only with a little bit extra.

https://www.peakframeworks.com/post/ib-target-schools - He has a great youtube channel too.

For more accurate and up to date numbers I would advise using the filter on LinkedIn.  (For example, current # of people in ib who have "analyst" in their title and who went to FSU is 55) 

If your son is aware of what ib is his freshman year than he's already ahead of the pack. Life isn't just about Goldman TMT, but even if he's at a semi-target he could definitely get into an EB if he applies himself.

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60%+ and semi-target is getting up there. I think most of the semi-targets are 20-40% acceptance. Putting some general categories to look into below, some of those schools might be reaches though

State schools with strong IB presence, but you have to get into the business school and kill it in a specific program (UF, UGA, Penn State, Ohio State, Rutgers, VA Tech.. excluding Indiana bc that program strongly considers high school grades)

Expensive private schools that place fairly well (SMU, Villanova, GW, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Fordham)

Some of those are academically out of reach, but a start. Also depends on how strong your extracurriculars and SAT/ACT are, obviously GPA is not the only factor. I would also recommend finding a school that has an undergrad finance major, not just econ. It will make your life a lot easier being taught some of the concepts instead of self-studying literally everything.



I’m a high school senior. Much worse position than you—my gpa is 3.0. I won’t get into a target or semi target school, so I’m working on my transfer plan. If you don’t get accepted this time, I would consider trying to transfer into a t25 or ivy (Brown, Columbia, Cornell are extremely difficult but possible).

Just my opinion


If you are optimizing your odds at doing IB out of college, you are making a mistake.  Unless there is absolutely ZERO chance of changing your career wishes (unlikely) or you are looking to do a very specific program that is better than at a higher ranked school, you should ALWAYS go with the best school you can/do get into (unless we are comparing schools well below #50, at which point a state school can outweigh the extra cost of private).  

Comparing Semi target or whatever is going to be a mistake.  Always go to the best school you can get into, especially for careers that don;t require a specific major


I agree with this generally, but if OP is looking at 60%+ acceptance schools that is well below T50 and more like #75-100 (not that I think the rankings mean anything, but well below that top group)

Hopefully he will have a 3.5+ by the time apps roll around and doesn't need a big aid package - the somewhat selective but crazy expensive private schools make sense if your parents are funding it. The state schools are a good option too if the money is becoming an issue


Spoken to a few people in banking from Miami University in Ohio. While unlikely to get you into BB/EB, MM is possible and it is definitely easy to get into. For example, I got into there with some scholarship but was rejected as an OOS applicant at a school like UGA/UF.


Most semi-targets are as prestigious(sometimes even more prestigious and selective)  as low end targets(Vanderbilt, WashU, Emory, Hopkins, Northwestern, UCLA, USC, CMU, Rice) vs low end targets(Michigan, UVA, Notre Dame, Berkeley, Middlebury, Georgetown). You could honestly flip them around and it would still be very legit. Most semi targets are semi-targets because of location, size, and history when compared to low end targets. To answer your question try for IU Kelley. If you get a 1370 you’ll be auto admitted. It’s a semi target


Will add a lot of semi targets won’t have a large class of finance students or students going for IB. School prestige helps compensate but without a big pipeline to certain banks, it can become hard even for students at these top schools without a strong alumni network on the street.


Just because a school is hard to get into does not mean it is a target or semi target. From my years on the street, I rarely saw anyone from Emory, or Wash U. One from Vandy but this was middle office. These schools are excellent, but banking was not a popular career path at these schools at that time. Things could have changed since I was in banking.  I would consider Baruch more of a semi target than WashU just due to location.

This is all subject to change. If IB is not a popular career path at a school, recruiters will not waste their time and money recruiting from those schools regardless to how prestigious it is. One school could have a strong recruiting record now but might lose traction by the time you are ready to pursue banking due to the decline in popularity of banking at that school.

You should chose the school that you gel with the most that will not put you into to debt. Access to internships is also important to choosing a school (but that does not have to be NYC. It could be anywhere near a business center or a mid sized finance center). If you end up at a semi-target or non target, network and use Big 4 or FP&A as a backup plan (after a few years there, you can lateral to  banking if you still want that career). 


I don't want to call it bs because everyone may have their own experience. However, I just graduated from Emory and now I'm at an EB. I find it hard to believe that in a career from IB right up till analyst 2 in PE they didn't encounter any Emory/Vandy/WashU grads. In my year we had people go to every BB, EB, MM, and most UMM/MF PE that take kids out of undergrad. I assume this is similar at Vanderbilt and WashU


Emory is a very good school and better than some ivy’s, my sibling attended even though he got into Dartmouth and Cornell. For one,  there is bias against southern schools historically. No matter how high test scores are or endowment size they keep them suppressed. Also, it’s a target for consulting but not as active for IB as some have mentioned. Many are there for premed as well. 


I had a difficult time in high school because of some family tragedies I was struggling with. That being said school wasn’t really a focus for me. Naturally, I was only accepted into state school but I grinded for a 4.0 and transferred to a semi-target private school (within the same state-credits transferred easily) that places about 30 kids per year. It’s a less traditional route (obviously) but something to keep in mind. If you don’t get into the best school just take it as it comes and keep your head up.


Many non targets these days are having better luck getting into IB than many targets. Just because you go to a target or even a top target does not mean that you can easily get into investment banking by doing nothing. You still have to network, do pre-SA internships, informational interviews, be fluent in the technical questions. Gone are the day of just hiring a target grad because they went to a target school. Managers have been burned by analysts from top targets who had no business being anywhere near an investment bank.  


University of South Carolina DMSB is a low tier semi target for regional banks with a 50%+ acceptance rate. Mainly targeted by regional banks like Jeffries, but has a very strong alumni network. You won’t see many grads in NYC, but there’s a good amount in CLT/ATL. However their finance scholars program actually has a decent amount of kids flowing into some top BB’s.


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