Are State Schools Better Than H/S/W/P?

I know white guys/gals who went to state schools that excelled greatly. One is an intern at KKR, the other did an IB internship during his SOPHOMORE year at a BB (again, white guy at a state school). My point is, most people at your average state school aren't very driven. So, for the one or two go-getters who really have a passion for getting into the industry, it's easier to stand out. Whereas at H/W/S/P, everyone there has had 5 years of PE experience in high school, so over-achieving is a given, and not that impressive. So why don't the people who are H/S/W level performers just go to a state school, run circles around their peers, and get the same jobs anyways?

Comments (93)

Jun 23, 2019
  1. No campus recruiting at these state schools
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Jun 23, 2019

I'll point out a few of the numerous logical fallacies here:
1) more to a career than the first job out of college
2) state schools are fucking huge and draw from all sorts of different socioeconomic backgrounds. There's going to be a number of very smart people in the business school just as a result of sheer size so you're not assured of being the only person capable of spelling your name correctly
3) no one cares if you stand out at HYSP, you stand out as a result of getting in. You don't have to be the top of the class, that's the luxury of those schools

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Jun 26, 2019

Agree with everything but I would imagine that even competitive candidates for BB IB get rejected at Ivies just because of the vast amount of qualified people, right?

Jun 26, 2019

Yeah but they won't get rejected at all of them and since every bank shows up on campus - you can feasibly recruit for all of them pretty easily.

Most Helpful
Jun 23, 2019

I reject the premise of the question since college is a complete waste in the United States as far as education goes. Which is better? is a moot point since they are all just awful.

As far as career prospects, you rise to the level of your IQ (across a population). Studies show that persons who got into an Ivy League (or other elite) school but chose (for whatever reason) to attend a state university or less selective school instead ultimately earned equal money as other Ivy League students. In fact, studies even show that those who achieved elite university SAT scores but were rejected by the elite schools (due to grades or behavior or whatever reason) also ended up earning approximately equal salaires to elite college grads.

https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/the-college...
To appreciate the researchers' latest findings, you need to understand why the original study, which has been cited repeatedly over the years, caused such a commotion. In the first study, the economists noted that students who graduated from elite schools like Swarthmore College and University of Pennsylvania earned higher salaries than students from less selective schools. This conclusion was no different from conventional wisdom.

Here, however, is what was explosive: Dale and Krueger concluded that students, who were accepted into elite schools, but went to less selective institutions, earned salaries just as high as Ivy League grads. For instance, if a teenager gained entry to Harvard, but ended up attending Penn State, his or her salary prospects would be the same.

In the pair's newest study, the findings are even more amazing. Applicants, who shared similar high SAT scores with Ivy League applicants could have been rejected from the elite schools that they applied to and yet they still enjoyed similar average salaries as the graduates from elite schools. In the study, the better predictor of earnings was the average SAT scores of the most selective school a teenager applied to and not the typical scores of the institution the student attended.

In summary, studies show that elite institutions don't create talent--they literally recruit it and, according to studies, do nothing with that recruited talent to actually give that talent an edge--because college is worthless, professors are worthless, and college administrators are worthless.

Jun 23, 2019

Downvote me all you want, but I'm objectively correct.

Jun 23, 2019

I didn't downvote, but you do not rise to the level of your IQ. Otherwise a bunch of current mid level engineers would be leading companies.

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Jun 24, 2019

Depends. I think the most probable way is if the student who didn't go to an elite institution broke into career equipped with robust earnings. i.e. Software eng at FAANG level company, or sales.

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Jun 24, 2019

I understand what you're trying to say here and the pseudo-avant garde manner in which you're saying it, but you are painting with far too broad of a brush.
1. Much has changed over the past 20 years and the authors acknowledge that if you were examine a much more recent cohort (vs the 1989 cohort in the more recent study), you'd likely see differences due to the much larger number of 18-24 year olds attending college (was only 32% of that age demographic in 1990).
2. There are many additional majors than there were 20 years ago and many of them come with limited, at best, job prospects.
3. The study is across entire universities so it does not isolate the wages of business school graduates (which I think we can all agree is the point here).
4. It's a reasonably robust sample size to be sure but the objectively lower end schools include Penn State, Morehouse and Xavier. We're not exactly scraping the bottom of the barrel like if there were some SUNY Binghamton, Texas State, Cal Bakersfield level schools in the sample set.

To the OPs point, if you choose Michigan over Princeton then it's not crazy to think that you can end up with the same opportunity set but let's not pretend that we're comparing South Carolina vs. Harvard.

Beyond that, you're high if you don't think that going to an elite finance school does not set you up better than a lesser finance school. To suggest otherwise is frankly just kind of naive and/or obstinate.

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Jun 24, 2019

Specifically the increase of college admin relative to professors is the worst.

I don't think college is worthless - it allows a good four year period of personal growth if you take advantage of it. However, forcing me to take classes like Astronomy, Geology, and other classes for "general studies" or whatever as a finance major is a complete waste of my time and money. If you feel prepared to pick a major you should in no way have to take classes of that nature. Everyone needs writing, English, etc. but me reading poetry doesn't make me a better writer necessarily - offer a class on professional writing in the work place or industry research style writing courses. I'd say I agree with you to a degree, there are certain points of college (like my outline above) that are pointless.

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Jun 24, 2019

I agree. In my experience, reading hard things and working through hard problems can teach you how to think from a different perspective which can add value in certain scenarios. The modern university model is not built off of that. It has morphed into a system which requires me to take a music class as a finance major. This idea of diversifying thought through different coursework is conceptually good, but institutions need to reevaluate how its actually being executed. SB'd

Jul 18, 2019
Wu_Tang Financial:

Specifically the increase of college admin relative to professors is the worst.

I don't think college is worthless - it allows a good four year period of personal growth if you take advantage of it. However, forcing me to take classes like Astronomy, Geology, and other classes for "general studies" or whatever as a finance major is a complete waste of my time and money. If you feel prepared to pick a major you should in no way have to take classes of that nature. Everyone needs writing, English, etc. but me reading poetry doesn't make me a better writer necessarily - offer a class on professional writing in the work place or industry research style writing courses. I'd say I agree with you to a degree, there are certain points of college (like my outline above) that are pointless.

No, college is beyond pointless. It is only meaningful because employers make it meaningful. Not one thing I do or have learned on the job did college in any way help me. Not one single bit. Not a single instance. Not a single thought or idea.

Controversial
Jun 24, 2019

Universities are filled with sheltered Marxist academia lifers who have never had to compete in the private sector. They teach basic concepts, memorization of terms, and simplistic case studies while vomiting their bias at every opportunity. The only useful majors are technical where university attendance allows significant time to study for certification (CPA, engineering, etc...) or you have access to brilliant minds that can teach topics that few people have the aptitude to comprehend and instruct (nuclear engineering, physics, advanced mathematics, etc...).

The 2 years spent on basic curriculum in college is a gigantic waste of time and money. Universities should offer 1-2 year programs to receive a specialized degree in technical fields.

Forcing young people in America into heavy student debt to be taught about "white privilege" "LGBTQIAP+ acceptance" and the "evil patriarchy" so they can qualify for entry level jobs with pay below the median household income with little upside is criminal. More disgusting is the rise of the "diversity and inclusion" industry that is killing workplace competency as F500 companies in the name of "progress". Forced equality of outcome destroys meritocracy.

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Jun 24, 2019

Eh, no one's forcing anyone to do anything. If a student is considering going to college and is unable to weigh out risk vs reward relative to his/her career goals and blindly takes out money via loans that already says a lot about their trajectory -- it's not the "systems" fault for this happening.

But great, college is useless bc of liberals, Marxists, racists, or whatever the new term is but every job worth a damn pretty much requires a college degree...lol.

Jun 24, 2019

Technical colleges exist.
This is usually a 1-2 year program that teaches things like wielding, plumbing, graphic design, and cosmetology. Some go on to start their own business after working for somebody else for a few years. It is not uncommon for these people to rake in 6 figures 6-7 years out of high school. In a super low COL township/city.

Jun 24, 2019

yeah, they're all a bunch of LIBTARD CUCKS

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Jun 26, 2019

I went to a very liberal college and around 50% of my classes were in History/Literature/Philosophy/Political Theory. I never really felt like I was being indoctrinated nor did I feel like those classes were particularly biased. It was easy enough to avoid anything too politicized.

Despite working in consulting/finance my whole career, I'd say that my liberal arts classes were if anything more valuable than my quantitative classes. If you can write a 10 page paper on Plato or a history paper based entirely on primary source documents, you should be able to easily communicate/write/think logically for just about any other topic. Diminishing returns for those sorts of communication skills set in far later than they do for quant skills.

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Jun 24, 2019

I have actually never agreed with someone more - college is a complete waste of time. Say whatever you want about poetry classes enriching your critical thinking skills. Complete BS.

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Jun 27, 2019

While I agree there's a lot of useless classes in college, in high school analyzing texts and then writing about it improved my writing the most which in my case was done in AP Lang and AP Lit. However it highly depends on how good the teacher is.

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Jun 27, 2019

Completely agree. Getting into university ceased having anything to do with academic competency quite a while ago. They are businesses, and students are merely customers; it has nothing to do with academics at this point.

Jun 30, 2019

You still missed the signal value that college provides. Which is not a new theory. It was in my text book in college. If you go to an elite school, its shows that you are an "elite person", as you were recruited by that elite school. If you go to state school, despite being an elite person who got into a an elite school, such as Harvard, your state school does not signal that. I

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Jul 18, 2019
Rivermonkey:

You still missed the signal value that college provides. Which is not a new theory. It was in my text book in college. If you go to an elite school, its shows that you are an "elite person", as you were recruited by that elite school. If you go to state school, despite being an elite person who got into a an elite school, such as Harvard, your state school does not signal that. I

No, I haven't. The signal value is the only real benefit to college in 2019 America. That's my exact point.

Jun 23, 2019

They do.

Jun 23, 2019

I'm at a nontarget. Top state school in my state and top 10 overall public. We have some MMs that people on WSO love to make fun of who do OCR on campus but that's it. I've had to network my ass off to get my foot in the door at BBs and EBs. On one hand, when I do make it forward and get the interview, I feel like I have an advantage because I'm not competing against anyone at my school. But I'm at a huge disadvantage because half of the EBs just straight up won't even consider me (I've been primarily networking with EBs because I like the environment more and there's less bureaucracy, etc.). Even if I get a job at the best firm and group (GS TMT, PJT RX, Evercore), which is already unlikely, if I did PE recruiting, half of the MFs wouldn't even consider me. I'm not trying to complain here or looking for a pity party, just stated how it is. The only reason why I've had success recruiting at two EBs is that we have alumni there (one with one and another with a few, all of whom got their MBA at an M7).

I think if you're willing to put in the effort and do what it takes to succeed, you can, in certain situations, have an advantage over a target student. But if you were a target student and had that same drive there, I think you would do even better and have more opportunities. And for ever one state school student who has a sophomore BB offer or a PE offer, there are probably 5 target students with the same, if not more. I was also thinking that maybe for schools like UVA where most banks recruit and people are known to have PE offers out of undergrad go may have an advantage to targets, but then in that situation, it'd be just as competitive as a target because so many students at UVA want to go into banking.

Array

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Jun 24, 2019

Very true, at a non target you have to network your ass off. At targets, hell even semi targets, there's resume drops and it seems like the whole process is done at school (first round -> superday) which seems really convenient and 100x easier than the non target process, but that's just how it is. And while the EBs aren't very receptive to non targets I've met some higher ups there that are very much willing to help those from non targets so at least there's that.

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Jun 24, 2019

UVA is at least a semi target, probably more like a target based on the # of people I saw in the analyst classes at the BB & EB where I worked

Jun 24, 2019

I agree with what you're saying. Also graduated from a non-target, though no where near the top of the state. In addition, I think there are more intangible benefits of going to a target as well. For instance, it took till my senior year to hear about IB, PE, and even really get into the core of my finance classes in general. I also think just spending time around other students that are like-minded can have a huge impact. In our graduating class, we only had around 10 finance majors in total and a lot of them thought being a bank teller or financial planner were the only options available in all of finance.

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Jun 23, 2019

boxing

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Jun 24, 2019

why only white guys lol?

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Jun 24, 2019

If I knew a Mexican kid who went to a state school and got an IB sophomore summer job, one might think he had an "edge" due to diversity quotas. Saying the guy/gal is white eliminates that advantage.

Jun 24, 2019

Finance industry speaking, it's very worthwhile to attend an elite institution because you will have a much higher chance to breaking in. It might even be close to impossible coming from a non target.

Otherwise, going to a state school is perfectly fine.

Jun 24, 2019

There's what you see and what you don't see.

You see the state school guy at KKR, you don't see his 10 friends from the state school who were also good enough but didn't get their shot because the game didn't play out the right way for them.

I'm not saying that necessarily happens; but if it does happen, you're not seeing it because you only see the one who made it.

Ultimately it's a question of whether the state school will give him/her the same chance as a target school. Most people say no.

Separately, there could be benefits to going to a better college besides getting the first job.

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Jun 24, 2019

On your "white guys/girls" point - these individuals probably had the requisite aptitude and resume to get into elite schools, but were passed over (along with even more qualified Asian applicants) so the schools could fill diversity requirements with objectively less deserving candidates. The level of delusion occurring at most elite schools these days is shocking.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/college/2017/04/04/...
https://nypost.com/2017/05/19/harvard-student-subm...

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Jun 24, 2019

The jump in average score for Native American/Hawaiian in 2014 is sharp. Guess Harvard stopped favoring that group?

Jun 24, 2019

it's not that people aren't as ambitious or as smart as their peers in ivy league schools, rather they don't have the tangential opportunities (e.g., friend's dad has a hf, frat bros are on the street, on campus recruiting for IB). There are plenty of people who received scholarships to state schools, didn't get into Harvard, or didn't want to drop a hundred and fifty grand on a f**in' education you coulda got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.

If you want to do IB, go to Harvard, no doubt. It will forever be more challenging to break in from a non-target. The reason these people you listed succeeded was because they had grit, something I doubt most ivy leaguers have. It's not about how much you know, but more about how hard you work and who will vouch for you. These kids are succeeding because they have the determination to, not because they had an easy time recruiting for IB at their target with their philosophy degree.

Here's a book everyone can benefit from. Angela was a McKinsey consultant and left to go teach some hood kids Math in NYC. Here's her memoir and dissertation about what it takes to succeed. You're welcome

https://www.amazon.com/Grit-Passion-Perseverance-A...

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Jun 24, 2019

Late *chahges

Funniest
Jun 24, 2019

If you go to Harvard, you end up in KKR as an undergrad
If you go to Mississippi State, you end up in the KKK

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Jun 24, 2019

lmfao, not being dramatic at all

Jun 24, 2019

Your raw brand of humor is useful here, but would be even more entertaining in the CFA thread where it will be sure to get some folks fired up

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Jun 27, 2019
PteroGonzalez:

Your raw brand of humor is useful here, but would be even more entertaining in the CFA thread where it will be sure to get some folks fired up

Have you ever had that CFA milkshake - fuck they are good. Cookies and cream.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jun 24, 2019
Invest in Real Estate:

I know white guys/gals who went to state schools that excelled greatly. One is an intern at KKR, the other did an IB internship during his SOPHOMORE year at a BB (again, white guy at a state school). My point is, most people at your average state school aren't very driven. So, for the one or two go-getters who really have a passion for getting into the industry, it's easier to stand out. Whereas at H/W/S/P, everyone there has had 5 years of PE experience in high school, so over-achieving is a given, and not that impressive. So why don't the people who are H/S/W level performers just go to a state school, run circles around their peers, and get the same jobs anyways?

You just quoted two anecdotal summer internships as proof that a state school leads to a better career than an ivy league? This just proves that state school kids are mentally deficient

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Jun 26, 2019

They're also discounting what those students with those summer internships could have done had they gone to an IVY. The state school kid who fought his way into a MM could have likely gone to a top firm had he gone to an Ivy league and put in the same level of rigor

Jun 27, 2019
YungMonc:
Invest in Real Estate:

I know white guys/gals who went to state schools that excelled greatly. One is an intern at KKR, the other did an IB internship during his SOPHOMORE year at a BB (again, white guy at a state school). My point is, most people at your average state school aren't very driven. So, for the one or two go-getters who really have a passion for getting into the industry, it's easier to stand out. Whereas at H/W/S/P, everyone there has had 5 years of PE experience in high school, so over-achieving is a given, and not that impressive. So why don't the people who are H/S/W level performers just go to a state school, run circles around their peers, and get the same jobs anyways?

You just quoted two anecdotal summer internships as proof that a state school leads to a better career than an ivy league?

Yeah exactly - I lol'ed when I read two good 'internships'. hahaha

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jun 25, 2019

I went to a state school, so Yes, they are better than H/S/W/P. Please SB as appropriate.

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Jun 27, 2019
Invest in Real Estate:

My point is, most people at your average state school aren't very driven. So, for the one or two go-getters who really have a passion for getting into the industry, it's easier to stand out.

I agree, most people at state schools aren't very driven.

But, what is most people and what does it take to stand out? The person who wants to get interviews with BBs from a state school needs to have some good shit, maybe some sports or other activities, and a 3.8-4.0. This workload at the state school is probably harder than cruising at an Ivy. So the person who got into an Ivy has already proven themself in some way and can cruise until interview season. Then they have to put out in the internships or first job.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jun 27, 2019

I don't know about others, but there's no way I would have accepted going to a state school and carrying that name and experience with me for the rest of my life. Prestige means a lot to me, as much as the practical and academic advantages of top schools have diminished.

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Jun 27, 2019

An analogy is soccer. You could be the best player in a lesser league in the Americas or you could go to England/Spain/Italy/Germany and play with the best to reach your potential.

In general when you're surrounded with higher achieving people, you'll be driven to do the same (of course there are exceptions, but still the minority).

Jun 28, 2019

no.

Jun 28, 2019

I enjoy the state school life. The people you meet are more interesting and I thoroughly enjoy the struggle of breaking in. I embrace it and I get to get absolutely obliterated with my friends that don't give a fuck about school.

Jul 21, 2019

This. State schools offer a break from hyper competitive students that ruin the culture at many prestigious schools. It's great to have friends who don't know about banking and don't give a fuck about your upcoming superday. Puts everything in perspective.

"Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry."

Jul 1, 2019

You guys do know that there are more top jobs in this country than IVY grads right? Just making sure.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Jul 5, 2019

Don't underestimate the power of competition at high ranked schools. It can definitely be toxic in some cases, but being surrounded by a bunch of driven (usually) kids is worth a lot.

Jul 5, 2019
managementconcentration:

Don't underestimate the power of competition at high ranked schools. It can definitely be toxic in some cases, but being surrounded by a bunch of driven (usually) kids is worth a lot.

Don't underestimate how toxic it can get. I went to a high school like that (with kids who got into H/Y/S/P and were non-diversity) and let me tell you that culture is super toxic. Sure I was much more academically driven in some sense then going to a different high school, but it was bad in many ways. For one, I felt like i never really enjoyed my final years of high school. Trying to be the best at some competition or class test to be the top among my friends was draining and not fulfilling. True friends are not people that worship you if you are popular or get the highest score. Its easy to think as an outsider "Well why not just settle for a mediocre performance among top notch kids." But its not as simple as you think. That culture literally engulfs you. I went to a state school due to financial reasons, but it was one of the best decisions of my life. The culture is so much better not that stupid competitive junk. Yeah there are the kids ruthlessly gunning for a BB position but you know who they are (3.94-3.97 GPA involved in like 5 finance clubs and sitting in the library until 1 AM discussing some investing portfolio, etc.) Sure I know it will be much harder to break into BB and I will probably end up in an MM but I don't care. The people at my state school are awesome and have a life outside of just ruthlessly comparing every little thing on the planet.

Array

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Jul 18, 2019

Really just comes down to the individual, like many things in life.

Jul 21, 2019

Really depends on what you want from life. If your happiness derived from the prestige of your school and company that employs you- this will matter a lot. If you find fulfillment in something else outside of your career, have entrepreneurial ambitions, or worry about your net income (rather than gross)- school prestige means a whole lot less to you.

There is no right or wrong answer, to each their own.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

Jul 22, 2019
Comment

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

Jul 31, 2019
Jul 31, 2019
Comment

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/