Yale, UChicago, Brown, or Dartmouth?! Skipping IB straight to HF/VC

I've been accepted to the above schools. Some of the discussions have a consensus that Yale through connection opportunities outweigh the other schools for HF/VC opportunities out of undergrad even though UChicago and Dartmouth have a large finance placement. Brown has a large consulting placement but not in HF as UChicago or Dartmouth. I've even heard Dartmouth is heavy in IB(which is not what I want to do even if it's the conventional route to HF). I'm having difficulty deciding which school to attend. 

More consideration:

Yale did not offer very good financial aid.

Dartmouth 100% aid.

UChicago 100% aid.

Brown 100% aid.

Comments (19)

  • Investment Analyst in HF - RelVal
May 20, 2021 - 9:52pm

I know a few people who have gone to a tiger cub or equivalent straight out of undergrad. All are brilliant, most went to HYP.

Have not heard of many people from those other schools you listed doing this though.

Most Helpful
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 20, 2021 - 10:54pm

Here's my take. If you got into 4 schools like these in an admissions cycle like the one we just had, you're absolutely cracked and will do phenomenal academically and career-wise wherever you go. Make your decision based on other shit, not recruiting. Which location do you prefer? Which campus do you like better? Which school has the professors you like better? Which offers classes that are more interesting to you? Which has the clubs/organizations that most interest you? Which has the social scene you most vibe with? Which has dorms you like better? All of these are arguably more important than which will offer marginally better chances than HF/VC because the differences are tiny at best and nonexistent at worst.

May 21, 2021 - 12:59pm
otherguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I was a shit HS student. I received Ds and Cs. I wouldn't consider myself book smart but the marines taught me how to put in the work and prioritize. My community college  GPA is 3.8, which was basically the bare minimum to even be considered by these schools. 

I believe I was accepted for two reasons: I am a veteran. Many veteran organizations have been advocating for more veterans into the top schools. Schools get to look diverse and they can smooch off the GI Bill covering many of their realized revenue lost from need-based financial aid. Just to stand out more, I advocated and legislated a Bill similar to the Texas Hazelwood Act for the Oklahoma State Legislature. That experience/calling and LOR from my District Rep. made me stand out from other veterans as well. 

In terms of school preference. I don't really care all too much about location. I like the rural area where there's a ton of outdoor activities like snowboarding. I enjoy the peace and quiet. I also like the city life. I'm more of an introvert but city life is exciting and new. I could walk downtown and walk into a random piano bar filled with people having a good time. UChicago has a better student/faculty ratio. Class sizes are smaller enabling a more intimate education. 

I never too deep consideration to anything but how I will position myself after graduation; The national and global connection, recruiting process, Ultra-high net worth alumni, school endowment, amount of funds in the area, and amount of alumni in the funds. These are all clues on which school produces which kind of student. 

Many of the vets at Dartmouth are going the conventional route with IB first (I don't know about the entire finance-interested student body). A lot of the Brown community is more invested in consulting. Yale has a ton of students that go off into finance, but a Dartmouth student told me there were only two Yalies on their IB intern spreadsheet. From the UChicago vets, a lot of them are going the unconventional route where they will skip the recruiting process and IB altogether through the connections they have. 

May 21, 2021 - 6:21pm
stablecashflows, what's your opinion? Comment below:

He is right though. I go to a target (not HYPS) and you can definitely make it to top buy-side firms from any of those schools although Yale likely sends the most. That said, if Yale without aid is too expensive as it is for most, I'd go to Dartmouth. It's the best of all worlds. Great recruiting because of the D-Plan structure (and being a great ivy obviously lol), fun, chill people, and an overall great college experience.


  • 2
May 20, 2021 - 11:04pm
10S_Fan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What type of HF practice Quant or Fundamental? I think UChicago is the best choice for a direct entry. That school probably has the best math/computer science program in addition to its strength in Economics of the bunch. Being in Chi would also be a plus for "local" internships and career opportunities.  

May 21, 2021 - 1:08pm
otherguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but when I think of Quant, I think of a person who creates complex algorithms to beat the market in an enclosed space away from any front-office type work. 

As a veteran, I'm naturally people-oriented. Not to say that I'm lacking in math. So, fundamental practices are where I'm leaning towards. 

May 21, 2021 - 1:17pm
otherguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

By no means am I considered passionate about math. But, I enjoyed solving equations from my previous classes like Business Calc I and Statistics. The challenge and complexity of the problems were fun and easily my favorite classes out of the school year. I picked up concepts faster than my peers but in context, I was in community college. 

Though, I wouldn't consider myself a nerd. I'm more focused on the qualitative aspect. One example is my 2 rental properties. My best friend/business partner tends to drop the ball and talk out his ass when confronted by a question he's unprepared for by potential applicants and current tenants. Then I have to talk to them to clear up confusion and get them to sign the lease; while at the same time convince them that the fees I'm charging are in their best interest. 

May 20, 2021 - 11:50pm
ebitda-d, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Unless money is no object then I'd cross of Yale. I'd probably choose Dartmouth if I were you just because the experience would be better, but UChicago would probably be the best fit for what you're looking for, but they have massive grade deflation and I've never heard of anyone having a fun experience there, at least compared to other schools. I used to think Brown was underrated, but the environment is so toxic from a political perspective that I wouldn't consider it if given other options, especially as someone who wants to go into finance.

May 21, 2021 - 1:31pm
otherguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I spoke to a Brown student, and he said there's an inside joke at Brown, "Brown is a school where elite kids go to discuss wealth inequality while their dad is a portfolio manager somewhere who inevitably gets their kids into the industry." Where power and influence are involved, it sounds very political. 

May 21, 2021 - 2:56am
johnny-mnemonic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Only go to UChicago if you are extremely academically focused. I have some friends there and it seems brutal. I would go with Yale or Dartmouth but you should really try to tour and talk to current students. All of these schools should have their own culture and you'll do best where you fit in.

May 21, 2021 - 1:50pm
otherguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am not at all academically focused. I am only focused on streamlining straight into a HF internship and full-time HF after graduation. I'm focused on doing so through school clubs, the MBA Clubs, the cities country clubs, the finance "field trips" the school offers, and other avenues. One step at a time, I know those internships need to see my GPA. So, I will focus academically in order to do the latter. 

I've spoken to come current UChicago students who are first years. They sound confident and unfazed by the academic rigor. They have a GPA of high 3s. I asked for more context, "Would I have time to take care of a dog or girlfriend, or do you have time to "network"(I know networking is not a good term). They told me that despite the time needed for academics, they have time to spend with their girlfriends, walk their dogs, and network. 

I'm a single male with no dog or obligations. So, I should have more time than the students who do.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
May 21, 2021 - 2:40pm

If you aren't academically focused, you aren't going to break into a hedge fund. HF seats are *far* more competitive than IB or even PE spots out of undergrad and hire a very specific type of person (academic, above average math and probability skills, self starter, analytical). 

School clubs / MBA clubs / country clubs will not help you break into hedge funds. Your social skills will not help you break into hedge funds. HFs aren't banks or PE firms that hire future dealmakers / relationship managers. They hire people who will make the money - and make them money the day that they're hired. 

May 21, 2021 - 2:15pm
johnny-mnemonic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just read your other comments on the thread. Thank you for serving. My father is retired Army so I understand the GI bill situation. I think it would be a mistake to spend any money at Yale considering how the political environment is there. Dartmouth sounds like a solid choice if you truly are 'not at all academically focused' and want to be heavily involved in school clubs and a country club. UChicago would certainly provide the opportunities you're looking for if you're dead set on it. Best of luck and hope you enjoy college.

May 24, 2021 - 11:34am
otherguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you so much for your support sir. It is truly my honor to serve you and everyone. I would say that I have a large interest in academics (I would have to be in order to be admitted). On my college application, I spoke about my 2020 experience in the Oklahoma Legislature. Playing politics was not fun; rewarding but almost a waste of time. You could have a solution to a big problem from A to Z and nothing would move due to the number of people you had to go through. So, I guess Yale wouldn't be too different.

A Dartmouth student told me he studies on average less than 20 hours a week for a 3.8 GPA. That was almost unheard of since many top institutions average 40-60 hours of studying a week. This was quite the consideration but the lower academic rigor might not pay dividends compared to a higher rigor such as UChicago. 

I believe you are right about UChicago! Thank you!

Apr 12, 2022 - 12:31am
cupofnoodles, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dartmouth is hands down the best. It's a work-hard play-hard environment. You basically are surrounded by geniuses who love to party and let loose + get great jobs out of college.

  • PM in HF - EquityHedge
Jun 7, 2022 - 4:12pm

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