4.0 GPA.Complete non-target. Where should I transfer?

I go to a complete non-target school in the NYC area. My school does place people into BO jobs at GS, but maybe I can do better.

I finished my first semester on a relatively hard course load (15 credits, 3/5 honors courses)
with a 4.0 GPA.

But I have a horrible HS record and a 1900+SAT.

I am a kind of non-traditional. I finished HS in a different country in 2008, won the Green Card Lottery and moved alone to the US in 2009. Worked as a bus-boy for a year and started college in Fall 2010. (Ill be 24 when I finish college)

My only talent is that I'm a darn good Guitar player.

I'm looking to transfer. Econ/Poli Sci major probably

So, where should I try? I'm thinking Bates/Colby/Hamilton. Any other suggestions?

Fin Aid is not a concern, but the school should be a need blind college like the ones above. My family makes $8k a year in total and they don't live in the US...so a need-blind college will have to give me what I can not give.

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Comments (51)

Dec 17, 2010 - 2:46pm

need blind college. Meaning it won't take your financial situation into account when it makes a decision. Although, that doesn't guarantee that everything will be paid for, you may still need to take out a lot of loans.

"Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, for knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA."
Dec 17, 2010 - 3:27pm

Wait, your transfer options are Bates, Colby and Hamilton? You should shoot higher.

Dec 17, 2010 - 3:36pm


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Dec 17, 2010 - 4:41pm

a bunch of schools just transferred all loans into grants (need blind schools anyway) i know harvard, a few other ivies and pomona did. find out who else if anyone.

Best Response
Dec 17, 2010 - 4:54pm

As far as NESCAC schools, Amherst, Williams, Wesleyan, and Middlebury all get better recruiting and are very prestigious, but I wouldn't say that going to any of them is really going to be a sure shot for a FO job (definitely better than Colby/Hamilton/Bates but not as good as some of the bigger targets). These schools definitely send people to IBD and S&T roles every year but it's not at the level of a true target school. All the NESCACs are great academically--they really focus on their undergrads--but they're not the best when it comes to landing jobs. You ultimately have to decide whether you prefer the experience of a small New England liberal arts to that of a large target school that will bring more career opportunities.

Granted, your SAT score may not do the trick for the top NESCACs: average score for admitted students is probably 2150-2250 at all those places. The schools you mentioned are definitely not slouch schools either; I really liked and applied to all of them and I remember the average SAT being about 2100 or so. Your 4.0 helps a lot, though.

Why not shoot for NYU if you're in the NYC area? I have to believe that even outside Stern, recruiting is better there than it is at any NESCAC (possible exception being Williams). And you will have much better access to internships during the semester, being in the finance hub of the universe and all.

Dec 17, 2010 - 5:20pm

NYU does not have need-based fin aid. So it is out of the question.

I don't know how much that SAT matters though. People from my HS graduating class(in a different country) with lesser SATs than mine are at Brown, U Chicago, Middleburry.

I am looking to major in Econ and Poli Sci. I want to get into a school from where I can potentially land a FO gig.
I want to go to a large college with lots of people and is a target for BBs. But while I would like to apply to Harvard, I don't want to waste $60. I don't think I will get in.

But here's what I have going for me: I have a interesting story to tell and that 4.0. (Immigrated to America on my own when I was 19, really did work for a year as a bus boy to get by before college)

My list as of now: Cornell CAS, Hamilton and Claremont McKenna. I don't know if I want to go to California though.
UPenn CAS?

Dec 17, 2010 - 6:28pm

Keep up your grades, retake the SAT (if you think you can do better), weave together your story in the most compelling personal essay ever, get your application waived (yes, they do this so you don't have to worry about the 60 bucks), get really good recs and try for HYPS.

Seriously, if you can present yourself as an extremely smart gay unicorn/former Tamil Tiger/Mick Jagger's backup guitarist who won the green card lottery, picked himself up by the bootstraps and "made it" in the United States those schools will take you, and the education will be free.

Play the diversity card.

Dec 18, 2010 - 2:19am

Dude, don't cheap out because of application fees. Like the poster above said, try to get them waived, and if not, well, shit, that's what debt is for. At this age, I wouldn't be too worried about levering yourself up with loans or even CC debt if you think you have an honest shot at IBD or S&T -- and given your 4.0, you probably do. Just don't spend money on stupid shit, just something that will potentially make you more money in the future.

Keep up your grades, apply to as many targets as you can as a transfer, and make the switch and follow the advice given on this board.

Jan 27, 2011 - 5:08am

Like others said, forget about the cost if you think you can get into Stern. Their recruiting is really starting to pick up. And of course all the other target schools are need-blind, but even if they weren't you shouldn't worry too much about the loans if you're determined to get into finance.

Play the diversity card if you can and definitely apply to SEO and INROADS. If you don't have a diverse background, there are still plenty of programs that cater to low-income backgrounds. Just look in the right places and you'll realize there's tons of opportunities. And retake the SAT's if you have the time. You can still squeeze them in before March.

Jan 29, 2011 - 5:23am

definitely try to go to the best school you can go to. But, you will never know what happens. A cousin of mine went to SUNY and now he's a MD at a BB. I believe that the school you go to has a minimal effect. If you are smart, willing to work hard, and willing to go for what you want, I believe you will be successful. Going to a better school just gives you more options/opportunities.

Jan 29, 2011 - 12:45pm
I believe that the school you go to has a minimal effect.

You couldnt be more wrong. The school you go to has THE BIGGEST effect on the type of jobs you have access to... a bigger impact than any other characteristic. While it determines the jobs you have access to, it doesnt determine you ones you get... which is where I think you're getting confused.

Whats more, is once you're in banking, becoming an MD and little to do with where you went to school. So the story isnt your cousin went to SUNY and is an MD, its your cousin went to SUNY and is a banker. No one cares where you went to school once you're already hired. No one reviews your school and GPA before deciding if you get promoted.

  • 2
Feb 4, 2011 - 9:58am

Columbia/Stern/Cornell/Duke/Try Wharton(it's actually easier to get in than most people think)

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.
Feb 4, 2011 - 9:59am

Will Hunting:
Columbia/Stern/Cornell/Duke/Try Wharton(it's actually easier to get in than most people think)

really?? should I put a small internet business im starting (but not taking orders for yet) on my app for Wharton or will they look at it like a joke because I have no revenue?

Feb 4, 2011 - 10:01am

What is your cumulative GPA? Regardless, I would include Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Wharton, Stern as well.

2.8 from old high school, 4.0 from new high school. It was cumulatively 3.3 with just the 4.0 junior year and 2.8 from fresh and soph, but after another 4.0 senior year, it should be around 3.45.

Feb 4, 2011 - 10:02am

I went to UChicago and I knew a number of people that transferred in from semi-targets or non-targets over the years. If you want to do econ over finance and do physics at the same time I'd consider applying there. Their econ program is heavily quantitative (and one of the best, if not the best, UG econ programs in the world), and they have a very strong physics program.

And it's not really my thing, but there was a strong LGBT presence at the school, so if you're gay you might take that into consideration.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.
  • 1
Feb 4, 2011 - 10:03am

If you're interested in Wharton, I had a friend transfer in with similar stats to yours from a semi-target. It's not easy, but I definitely think you'd benefit from talking about your business, as long as you can write some good essays that demonstrate your quantitative ability, leadership, and interest in business.

Also, Penn has a really large gay community.

Feb 4, 2011 - 10:07am

For ibanking, either a top ivy

...or Georgetown.

True story

Get busy living
Feb 4, 2011 - 10:08am

if you want to be SF or LA (west coast) UCBerk KILLS it for placement in West Coast

if you want to be NY/Chicago/Houston...see posts above. congrats on the killer stats so far

I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG
Feb 4, 2011 - 10:09am

Again, thanks for all the great comments guys.

I have a solid month for apps (March 1st deadline), and at this point I'm going to apply to all the ivies but Princeton, which doesn't accept transfers.

If I don't forget I'll post in mid-May with decision results.

Feb 4, 2011 - 10:10am

out of the ivies, penn and cornell are pretty transfer friendly. definitely throw in apps to UC berkeley and michigan, both accept tons of transfers and place well into IBD, consulting and everything else

Feb 4, 2011 - 10:11am

Stay at your current school if you are happy there. 4.0 at a semi-target + networking hustle > 3.5ish at a target. Additionally you don't have to leave your friends or completely readjust to a new university atmosphere and lifestyle.

Feb 4, 2011 - 10:12am

Whatever you do, I suggest applying to a range of school difficulties.

Like don't just apply to the ivies, make sure you put in some easier to get into schools like Georgetown, NYU, and UVA (not sure where you're coming from so I don't know if any of those would be a step up)

Feb 4, 2011 - 10:15am


"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

Feb 4, 2011 - 10:18am

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Feb 4, 2011 - 10:19am

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