ASU vs Northwestern

I'm a senior trying to decide between these two options. I'm in-state for ASU and it's basically free, while Northwestern would cost close to 50k per year. Obviously Northwestern is a better school, but I've heard good things about the IBIS club at ASU and would be easy to cover financially. Anyone know how competitive it is to get in and how much of a non-target the rest of the school is?

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Comments (13)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 1, 2021 - 2:09pm

If your family can afford Northwestern, then definitely do that. Northwestern is miles better. If they can't afford it, then I suppose you'll have to go with ASU.

Apr 1, 2021 - 3:12pm

I have a friend who went to ASU, he is struggling with any application he is sending out. Response rate is low, especially in this climate. If FO-IB is the goal (why else would you be on WSO), I would think twice before enrolling at ASU.
Other than that, do what you can afford, as others have said above.

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 1, 2021 - 3:15pm

Northwestern is a T15-T10 school in everybodies books. ASU isn't taken seriously by most firms in comparison. Don't overthink this. 

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  • Intern in HF - Other
Apr 1, 2021 - 6:56pm

ASU grad here. 

As others have said if you can swing it go to Northwestern, but if you go to ASU it isn't the end of the world as others may lead you to believe. If you can make it into IBIS or just work your ass of in general you're going to be fine. ASU places much more than many would think on this site and if you're going to go to a non target school it's one of the better ones IMO.

I wasn't in IBIS and I did 2 summers in IB at a MM and BB while working at a boutique in Phoenix during the school year (there are probably 3-5 of these that you can get into during the school year just off the top of my head). It wasn't easy by any means to land any of these roles but it wasn't impossible either as others may lead you to believe. I was even able to land my current role at a HF with only ASU on my resume and a 3.4 GPA. 

Many of my friends and guys I lived with were also able to do very well for themselves post ASU.

Just in my graduating class and the one before me these are just some of the placements off the top of my head (there are more but it's been a few years): 

McKinsey (1), Goldman IB or IM (7 people), B of A IB (6 people), Moelis (2 people), SM HF (1) in NYC, Credit Suisse IB (1), GCA Savian (2), Morgan Stanley IB (1), and JPM IB (3). I can think of a couple dozen people who all went Big 4 Audit or Consulting out of ASU (KPMG has an office 5 minutes from campus). PWC was the only big 4 firm that I don't personally know of more than 4 ASU grads going to between my junior and senior year. One of my roommates and a few of his friends all did REPE after ASU (4). 

ASU also places alright in tech. I know people that landed at Apple, Amazon, Microsoft (know most people there), Intel (you can do a thesis project with them if you're in Barrett), Google, and Dell

I'm not trying to use this as an example to say that ASU belongs in the same category as Northwestern but the amount of disrespect it gets is unwarranted and misguided. Guys I went to HS with went all shit on me when I decided to go to ASU but when all was said and done none of them got FO jobs from much better schools (mainly Villanova and USC). 

I think Northwestern is worth the debt, but you're not exactly SOL if you choose ASU. 

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