Canada vs USA Undergrad?

thefirsttimer's picture
Rank: Chimp | 7


I am currently enrolled in a private school in ontario. I am in grade 12, and have a very good chance of being accepted into Harvard or Wharton, because of my connections (through private school), 4.00 GPA, IB (International Baccalaureate), and 2300 SAT, and great EC's.
I don't want to go through my application, but I had trouble on a decision I have to make soon.

Lets say I got accepted into both Harvard, Wharton, and Richard Ivey.

My parents paid $40k/year for my high school education, and they will for my younger brother too (who is in grade 6).

They are going to have trouble paying off the $60k/year for my university and $40k/year for my brother, since their business is going down anyway, but they'll do it (and go into debt) if I wanted to go to H or W.

Which would be a better choice for both short and long term in terms of pay, finding a job, positions available, and MBA opportunities.

  1. Go to Harvard or Wharton, go into debt, in the six digits.
  2. Go to Richard Ivey, no debt.

Which would be a better choice? I don't know if its worth it to be paid a little more if I chose harvard or wharton, vs going into huge debt.

P.S. I will definitely aim for a Harvard or Wharton MBA, and those are what really matter, I know.

OH and i will be aiming to work in the USA. Preferable the L.A. or NYC
I would be willing to doing my analyst years in Toronto.

After my MBA, I want to enter Private Equity in NYC or LA or SF. Nowhere else.


Comments (13)

Nov 20, 2012

If you are planning on staying in Canada afterwards just go to McGill/Ivey. You aren't going to have better chances getting a good job in Canada with a degree from a top U.S. school vs. a top Canadian school and you wont be getting paid more. If you plan to work in the U.S. then yes go to Harvard or Wharton.

Nov 20, 2012

Go to McGill and later a strong American MBA program.

Fuck Ivey.

EDIT: I can't believe I'm recommending against Harvard, but I don't know how financial aid works for Canadian citizens.

Nov 20, 2012

Yes, I do plan on going to the USA right after undergrad, but I can stay in Toronto for my Analyst years, and then go to the USA for my MBA and go in private equity in NYC, LA, or SF. So, after undergrad, I would be willing to do Canada or USA. But post-MBA Private Equity I will only do USA!

Nov 20, 2012

Double Post! Sorry!

Nov 20, 2012

Get into Harvard or Wharton first before agonizing over which to pick. I'm highly skeptical of these "connections"; I hear that a lot from people who think they have some sort of 'in' at a particular school but are vastly overestimating the ability or willingness of a connection to influence the decision. (I have some experience working in the admissions office of a HYP.)

2300 SAT isn't bad, but it's also not great. International Baccalaureate isn't a real advantage (and I'm saying that as an IB grad myself); it's no different in the eyes of the adcomm as taking a reasonable number of APs. Unless you're black or Hispanic or Inuit, or have parents who are alumni, I would not be as confident of acceptances at these schools as you seem to be.

That said, IF you end up having to make this decision, go to Harvard. The MBA isn't "what really matters" -- your undergraduate degree/experience will put you in the position to get good internships, strong networking, a good first job, and then, yes - acceptance into a good MBA program. The Harvard name carries a lot of weight, both in the US and internationally. It's worth the short-term debt and will pay off in the long run.

...but seriously, stop counting your chickens before they hatch.

Nov 20, 2012

I'm a Canadian studying in one of the aforementioned US schools. If it's financially feasible, do it. Just comparing the opportunities (recruitment and otherwise) that I get here to what my friends see at Ivey/Queens/Rotman/McGill, the difference is immense. Personally I don't think the "I'll go to a better school for MBA" argument carries much weight, since a) getting into the MBA program is far from certain and b) with the kind of job you can get out of H/W/S undergrad, you may never need the MBA.

If you want to work in the US you will have a very tough time finding a good job after attending a Canadian school - if you look up employment statistics, you'll see that US recruitment is very scarce even at the "top" Canadian business undergrads.

Also look into financial aid at H/W. Both offer need-blind admission and full financial aid to Canadians.

[edit] Sorry I wanted to add links to these employment reports for your reference

http://www.ivey.uwo.c a/docs/placement-reports/IveyHBA-Permanent-Employment-Report.pdf
http://business.queensu.c a/ConversionDocs/commerce_annual_report.pdf
http://www.schulich.yorku.c a/client/schulich/Schulich_LP4W_LND_WebStation.nsf/resources/Documents/$file/2011+BBA+Salary+Survey.pdf

Can't find Harvard but here's Wharton
http://www.vpul.upenn.e du/careerservices/undergrad/reports/WHA_2012cp.pdf

Look at the salaries, geographic location (Canada vs US), and employer names and you'll see the difference

(can't post links - delete the space in the URLs)

Nov 20, 2012

If you can get into Wharton/Harvard, and do eventually want to work in the U.S., then go - don't do your undergrad in Canada.

Nov 21, 2012

Go to Ivey and later a strong American MBA program.

Fuck McGill.

If you do get into Harvard/Wharton and all the top Canadian schools, I would suggest US as you best option of gunning for a good job. However, given your stats you have provided, it seems like you will likely to succeed in Ivey/McGill as well. To be honest, if you are top 15% in Ivey/McGill, you will have a very good shot at BB banking. But being at a Canadian target right now, I would definitely choose Harvard/Wharton any day of the week.

Nov 21, 2012

Harvard/Wharton for PE in US by far are among the best names you could ever have on your CV.

Nov 21, 2012

40k a year? and they can't a afford the 60k?

Shame academic scholarships no longer exist.

Nov 21, 2012

Thank you all! And to G.M Trevelyan: They can afford 60k/year. But they cannot afford almost 100k/year, which is my university + my brothers 40k/year private school. Then after that, another 4 years of 60k/year, and MORE if my brother decides to go into medicine. They'll be lookin at hittin more than 500k, 700k if he goes into a long program, and thats a freaking huge number... II will still aim for the top then, and take wharton or harvard, I'll probably be able to assist financially because of the fact that it's a much better place to get my undergrad.

Nov 22, 2012

In the US, it's very difficult to get a post-MBA job in PE without having done PE prior to B-School. Even with prior PE experience, it's very difficult to go back into PE. Ask any 2nd year IB analyst, any PE associate or any B-School PE candidate. If you do your analyst years in Canada, you'll have a MUCH harder time than your peers in finding a post-IB PE job. I have a few buddies from my analyst class who had to transfer to a US office for a third year analyst gig just for a small shot at getting into PE.

Going to Harvard will make it much easier for you to get a good job out of college and make it easier for you to get into a good MBA program. From what i understand, MBA programs do put some weight on where you did your undergrad years.

Also, coming from Ivey, you'll be facing other Canadian candidates from US schools looking to go back to Canada after college.

Nov 22, 2012