Can someone PLS help me choose a school

Hey guys

Im an international student and I want to double major in (Finance/Economics + CompSci/Math)

I am definitely interested in pursuing a career in high finance(also doing an unpaid AM-internship this summer just to gain some experience) and I recently got accepted into the following schools

•UVA ~70K/yr(no aid)

•UCLA/ UCSB ~65K/yr (no aid)

•UM-Ann Arbor (LSA)- ~65K/yr (no aid)

•UT-Austin (college of natural sciences)- ~ 60K/yr (no aid)

•UF- ~40K/yr

•Villanova (B-school)- ~K/yr

•Bucknell (B-school)- ~30K/yr

•Lafayette- ~25K/yr

•Bates/ Hamilton(NESCACs)- ~25K/yr

•Trinity(NESCAC)- ~20K/yr

•Connecticut(NESCAC)- ~18K/yr

•Bard- ~15K/yr

As y'all can see… the cost varies (A LOT)

My parents are willing to bear ~20K/yr (max 25K/yr)… so I wud hv to take out a loan for anything above that :/

And as much as I would have loved to go to UVA/UCLA/UMich (have a few friends at these schools and I heard that they are targets according to Linkedin/WSO) … I have to keep the total cost in mind

What's your guys' take on this? What would y'all have done if u were in my shoes

Would you guys recommend going all out and accept UVA/UCLA/UMich or play it safe (and financially-wise for that manner) and go to the other schools?

I have heard a lot of great things about the NESCACs (which fall in my "affordability" range lol)

ANY advice is appreciated and thanks for taking some time out for answering a (rather confused) high schooler's doubts

Thanks in advance!

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Comments (13)

  • VP in IB-M&A
Apr 14, 2021 - 10:21am

I'd probably take Hamilton at $25K/year for best combo of education/value of the choices you have. They're a LAC so no finance, but you could do Econ and CompSci. They also have a pretty strong network and a decent representation in finance. Trinity also has a decent representation in finance and is a tad cheaper, so also an option. However, Hamilton is a stronger school overall, so I'd say it's worth the extra $5K/year.

I think you can safely cut the whole middle out of your list, as schools like UF, Villanova, Bucknell, etc. are not as strong as Hamilton/Bates and you would be paying more at each. I'd also cut out the very bottom (Conn College/Bard). If it were me personally, I'd be choosing between full tuition at UVA or partial aid at Hamilton, but that's just one chimp's opinion. UVA/UMich has a better direct feed to the "high finance" jobs, but you could do very well for yourself coming out of Hamilton or Bates.

Not to beat the ever-loving shit out of that old dead horse, but at the end of the day it's all about fit and personal happiness, so take all of this advice with a grain of salt and make the decision that's best for you.

(Full disclosure: I attended a NESCAC school that is not among your choices)

Apr 14, 2021 - 9:07pm

Thank you so much man! I'm pretty much deciding between Hamilton/Bates/Trinity now

Heard a LOT OF great things about the NESCACs and I feel that I would thrive in a small tight-knit (LAC) community

Wud u say that

  • the NESCAC alumni help out kids from other NESCACs?


-are Bates/Hamilton comparable to each other(in terms of career opps/academics etc)?

(LinkedIn shows that there are way more Hamilton ppl on the street but ig that's just cuz of the type of kids that go there)

Thanks a lot for your valuable feedback!

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  • VP in IB-M&A
Apr 15, 2021 - 10:32am

I would say there's definitely some cross-school support from NESCAC alumni. It's not uncommon to connect with alums from other schools at work or other events (lots of old but relatively friendly rivalries between the Little Three, the Maine schools cbb, etc.), and you might see a Bowdoin alum vouch for a Middlebury alum or a Wesleyan alum vouch for a Tufts alum because at the very least, there's a deep awareness of the schools and the understanding that attending one generally signifies a certain level of intellectual horsepower/ambition/hard work. If I see a resume come across my desk of a kid from Middlebury or Colby, I know he/she is most likely bright and hard working, and ceteris paribus, I'd probably pick them over a peer from most other schools.

Bates and Hamilton are comparable, though as you noticed, Hamilton seems to have better representation and a deeper alumni base in finance/banking. Not sure if you put a lot of stock in national rankings (I'm a bit ambivalent but recognize that they are important for student yield, fundraising, etc.), but Hamilton generally ranks higher on the U.S. News & World Report (#9 vs. Bates at #22 in 2021). 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 15, 2021 - 12:33am

Terrible advice. UCLA is a great school but it has worse finance recruiting than all of UT, Michigan, UCB, and UVA.

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