Boston College (Gabelli Scholar) Vs Dartmouth Vs Vanderbilt (Undergraduate)

I am looking for some advice for my daughter who has been accepted to several good colleges for this Fall 2021. She is trying to decide between Boston College where she has been accepted to the Gabelli Presidential Scholarship Program which includes full tuition, paid summer internships, annual global study trips etc. The other options are Dartmouth, Vanderbilt and Rice where she would be full pay. Though we are able to pay for her college, we are looking for the best toption

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Comments (25)

Apr 9, 2021 - 10:26pm

I forgot to mention in my previous post that she is interested in studying Econ/Finance at BC (Carroll School of Management) or Econ at the other schools. She is interested in Consulting, IB or something along those lines in the future. What would be the best college option keeping this in mind? 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 9, 2021 - 10:30pm

This might be an unpopular take, but I would strongly suggest Boston College here. The Gabelli Presidential Scholarship program is no joke. I think they take like 15 kids for that program out of the tens of thousands that apply. It's incredibly selective and puts your daughter as the cream of the cream of the crop at BC.

Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, and Rice are generally better schools, but the full pay (although you can afford it), is probably not worth it when you have something that's still extremely valuable and gets you a lot of bang for your buck.

Regardless of where your daughter goes, she's obviously very smart for getting into these schools and she will do well in her academic endeavors, professional career, and beyond. Best of luck to you and to her!

Apr 10, 2021 - 8:53am

Thank you! We realized that we were not comparing BC to the other schools but BC (with Gabelli) to them. The Gabelli merit scholarship is offered to 15-18 students each year and is funded by BC's Wall Street Council. The program offers tremendous opportunities that would not be offered elsewhere. We are truly grateful for the options she has this year. She would also get a better college experience living in a city very close to Boston (we live in Boston suburbs). She has been also offered a "walk-on" option to join their NCAA Div 1 Fencing team since she is a Top 100 fencer for her weapon. 

Apr 10, 2021 - 8:59am

Thanks! We have heard really good things about the Dartmouth Alumni network. However, Dartmouth seems to be in a rural, small town in NH compared to BC which is located close to Boston. She has heard some not so good things about their greek life, partying etc. She may not have the full college experience being in such a small community as compared to being near a big city with tons of things to do. Plus the opportunities she would get at BC with the Gabelli program that I mentioned in the above post. We are still deciding but leaning more towards BC now.

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Apr 10, 2021 - 3:06pm

If your daughter is planning on working in PE, HF or VC. She should go to Dartmouth the alumni network is one of the best plus the brand name will help. You can open a LinkedIn with the colleges she got accepted to then you can search up whatever company your daughter wants to work at. This will show alumni placement plus if tuition isn't an issue this should be clear

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Apr 16, 2021 - 3:05pm

I would second Dartmouth, without question. If the financial impact isn't unbearable, the experience + Dartmouth network will be the best of the options. They place very well and being able to do the off-cycle internship due to the D plan schedule is huge. For what it is worth I have never met a single person that went to Dartmouth and did not love it

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 10, 2021 - 8:58am

Boston college. Graduating with no debt is a huge advantage. Darmouth/Vanderbilt/Rice are better, but the difference in costs just doesn't justify picking them over BC. Also, the Gabelli Scholarship will help differentiate her from her peers, which will be a leg up during recruiting. It's better to save the money in case she wants to go to grad school, law school, or do an MBA

Apr 10, 2021 - 9:06am

Thank you! That validates our thought process as well. She is definitely interested in grad school (possibly MBA from a top program) in the future. Though we can afford the full tuition at the other schools, I do agree that the Gabelli program opportunities will make her stand out. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 10, 2021 - 12:23pm

It seems like you really want BC for your daughter. If your daughter also wants BC, go with BC. If you can afford other options and your daughter wants one of the other options, go with one of the other opportunities. 

Apr 10, 2021 - 2:54pm

As a guy who also got accepted to Dartmouth, your daughter should go to Dartmouth. The recruiting is off the chart plus your undergrad brand name sticks with you during buyside recruiting ( no one cares about Boston college or the scholarship you got). Plus is your daughter hot? If so pm me 

Most Helpful
  • VP in PE - Growth
Apr 10, 2021 - 4:38pm

Others have said it but if she wants to work in IB, MBB, PE/HF, I really don't even think it's close: Dartmouth is the clear option. Saving the (absolutely exorbitant, don't get me wrong) 300k is a bit penny wise, pound foolish. If this is the world she wants to be in, nobody (and I will reiterate, nobody) is going to know or care about the program at BC she was in when she's recruiting for PE/HF out of IB. Maybe it'll help her get that elite first job out of college because people doing OCR at BC will appreciate it but after that, not at all. They're going to see BC, and the Dartmouth frat / sorority kid who is probably half as smart as your daughter is going to get the interview because 4 of the firms partners went to Dartmouth.

If she isn't sure this is the world she wants to be in, there are totally different considerations and there's a lot of merit to the BC program, being in Boston, etc.

Apr 10, 2021 - 4:42pm

current sophomore at BC. I would def choose BC. Full tuition scholarship is a huge plus and BC places very well in consulting and IB especially. Proximity to Boston is also huge and makes for a great college experience. feel free to PM with any other questions about BC

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 10, 2021 - 5:27pm

Current BC student here (so obviously a bit biased). I think she should either go with Dartmouth or BC. I think the biggest pro for Dartmouth is the brand name associated with it. I can't speak to the post IB recruiting because I haven't been through that process, but even with the scholarship at BC, I'd imagine that the Dartmouth name would be held in higher regard at PE/MBA programs than the BC name. With that said, the college experience at BC is phenomenal, and the recruiting for IB is very solid. BC places very well at most of the BBs (except for MS, JPM, and CS) and a few EBs. I think at the end of the day. It comes down to where she thinks she'd do better (big fish, small pond vs. being just another student). Additionally, if she is more of a fan of rural schools and wouldn't feel too isolated at Dartmouth, that's probably the best option, but if she wants to be able to branch out beyond campus, she won't miss with BC. I've had an amazing time at BC and wouldn't choose another school if I could go back and do it again, but at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.

Apr 11, 2021 - 9:31am

Thank you for all the comments! Really appreciate them We would like our daughter to have a good college experience and where she will be happy for four years. She thinks that with the proximity of BC to Boston and Cambridge, a beautiful campus right in Newton, having the opportunity to be on an NCAA Div I Fencing team, and all the other opportunities of the Gabelli program, she will have a great college experience at BC. Also, still being a high schooler, she does not know what IB, Consulting, PE etc. actually is. She may change her majors or stay on the same track, it is too early to tell. As a parent, I think that she may be able to get into a top prestigious MBA (or other Grad) program few years down the line, so that will help with alumni recruiting instead of going to Darmouth as an undergraduate. We had visited Dartmouth last fall and it seems isolated from everything and my daughter may not be happy spending four years in that environment. She is also not into greek life, partying etc as I mentioned above. She has always lived in the suburbs but Boston/Cambridge has always been accessible from where we live. We are planning to visit Dartmouth one more time during spring break before she makes her final decision. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 11, 2021 - 12:32pm

As long as she's making the decision herself, it's all good. It strikes me as a bit odd that you're running this thread for her and getting advice on her behalf? What are her professional interests/is she genuinely into finance?

Apr 12, 2021 - 12:07am

IMO If she wants to explain for years what this Gabelli program is (noone will know) 500x to everyone who asks "so why did you go to BC?" then yes, otherwise just go to Dartmouth or a school of similar recognition. if she wants to study something like engineering then it's probably fine, but in the old school world of finance world, people still think ivies and ivy equivalents are the end all be all. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 12, 2021 - 4:06pm

feel free to match, i go to dartmouth and have been through recruiting for ib/pe. in all honesty, other kids in the same top internship programs these days are increasingly just from major target schools, so while BC is great and the scholarship is great, opportunities are more limited. i also had a relatively similar experience. i got into another urban ivy near home that my mom wanted me to go to but i needed to make the decision for myself to take the leap of faith for dartmouth. in retrospect, i really needed to go get out of the city for four years because i'll be back there post-grad. as a female, trust me my parents were just as worried about some of the stories about greek life, but every single one of my friends that stayed near home regrets it and dartmouth offers a pure college experience that is second to none

  • Prospect in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 16, 2021 - 1:42pm

I vote for BC! While it may not guarantee her a job at a top bank per se (if that's what she wants to do), if your daughter is as smart as it looks like she is, she will have no trouble working hard in order to secure these opportunities.

(for reference, I go to a school lower ranked than BC, and I have had multiple offers for prestigious grad schools/internships. Recruiting is actually leaning more towards schools outside the norm these days, i.e. non-Ivy)

it also sounds like your daughter will be happiest at BC. Again, from a biased non-Ivy perspective, I have worked with Dartmouth students in internships/networking programs before, and they have all been shockingly unfriendly (this is literally only a Dartmouth thing, as I've found students from other top schools to be more down to earth).

Overall though, congrats to your family! She will make the best decision in the end.

Apr 16, 2021 - 3:37pm

Sounds like YOU really want BC. You keep saying you want your daughter to have a normal college experience, but that is literally one of the biggest advantages of going to Dartmouth/Vanderbilt. Does she ACTUALLY not want to party, or is that what she just tells you because you're always hovering?

That's fine that you want her to go to BC, but let her decide. No one knows what the fuck that Gabelli Scholar thing is, all they'll see is BC and they won't be impressed by that, especially if she's aiming for finance/consulting. Seems like you're trying to find supporters for your delusional decision. If she wants to have a good college experience, go to Dartmouth/Vanderbilt. If she wants the easiest path to success, go to Dartmouth. Your school name stays with you forever, and BC provides nothing for her, especially if she wants to leave the Boston area.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Apr 16, 2021 - 4:56pm
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