Can't make a college decision, extremely overwhelmed... please help

Hi everyone, I need some insight.

I had my hopes set on going to IU Kelley, I got admitted with decent aid and I was super excited. Unfortunately I got into a bad car accident in May, and now I'm not sure I can go to IU because of all my doctors appointments and health issues that could take close to a year to resolve. (Concussion & pretty bad back problems) I could make it work and switch all my doctors up there but it could be a hassle. Really bummed out about it but it is what it is.

I did get full tuition offered from UT Dallas which I live close to, as oppose to paying 35k a year at IU. My parents would contribute quite a bit, leaving me with probably 80-100k in debt by the time I graduate, I was thinking I could go there for a year since it's free, and use this year to stay at home and fully recover. I could focus on grades and health recovery this year to transfer to A&M Mays next year. How difficult would that be to do? I live in Dallas so I would be an in state external transfer. How difficult would it be to transfer?

Don't really like the aspect of going to UTD for a year because it isn't really a good business school as you all may know. Especially since I want to do investment banking, I feel like it's important where I go. I also can't count on 100% getting into Mays as an external transfer.

Is it worth going to IU and trying to recover there? Full recovery could take a couple weeks, months or even a few years. I have been really down over this. Also considering the debt I would come out with as oppose to going to UTD for a year for free and then cheap tuition at A&M.

I worked so hard to get into IU and this accident has ruined so much for me. I hate that it's controlling my college decision so I need your guys' help. What would you do in this situation to help set me up the best way possible for a career in investment banking? Go to UTD for free for a year and hope I can transfer into A&M? Go take the chance at IU with everything going on along with the debt?

Any information or insight will help tremendously. Personal experience will go a long way too. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I want to get all the help and insight possible because this is a huge decision.

Thanks again for the help, anything that you guys can give me will help and will go a long way for me. I appreciate it so much

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Comments (15)

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Aug 3, 2021 - 9:28pm

Personally don't think IU is worth the ~$100k of debt especially with your current medical situation.

I would go to UTD be prepared to work my butt off and then transfer. However, I wouldn't transfer to A&M (complete non target) I would shoot for a school UT Austin (semi-target). Just searched it up and UT Austin's transfer rate is ~25% so if you're serious about getting into IB I would probably target there.

You'll get the best of both worlds 1) cheap tuition 2) Go to a school with equal if not better IB placement than IU. Best of luck kid, health is #1 so take it easy, IB will always be there

Disclaimer: I didn't attend either schools, not interested in a Kelley vs UT Austin debate 

Aug 3, 2021 - 9:31pm

Well obviously UT would be great. I didn't even mention it because I doubt I could get in, its so competitive. I fear UTD because what if I don't like it and try to transfer to UT or A&M but don't get in either? Then im stuck

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Aug 3, 2021 - 9:35pm

Not to sound harsh but your goal is getting into IB (with <5% acceptance rate). If you don't even have the confidence in yourself to transfer into UT Austin (nor the menality) how sure are you that you can even do well at IU to get into banking? Also I just searched it up again and the transfer acceptance rate for UT Austin for instate is 38% so even better than the aforementioned 25%. If you really want something (in this case IB) you better be willing to work hard for it

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Aug 3, 2021 - 9:29pm

If I were you I'd defer for a year. I'd assume IU would be super understanding. It might suck but then you'd still be able to go to IU which it sounds like you really want to. LMK if you need gap year ideas when you've healed a bit more.

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Aug 3, 2021 - 10:28pm

Why did you decide against a gap year? Sounds like the best of both worlds. 

Regardless of your decision, you have a huge uphill battle. Don't go to a school you don't want to, I did and was absolutely miserable. On the flip side, you need to put your health first. You absolutely do not want to be stuck with a bad back, limp, knee pain, or anything like that if you don't have to (I have no idea the extent of your injuries and frankly don't care. But you're still young and if there's anything your doctor recommends do it. (If they say PT, do all of it. If they say don't look at screens for more than an hour, then don't, etc). Your health is very important and don't sacrifice it this early in your life.) You need to decide what's best for you and WSO can't be super helpful because we won't have to deal with the consequences of what ever chive you make in 1, 10, or 50 years.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Aug 3, 2021 - 10:05pm

A&M placement to IB is pretty ass, not that I've bothered looking but it's A&M ffs. If you're going to UTD expecting to transfer you better go somewhere equivalent of UT or better - transferring after a year with a 4.0 is not as hard as it looks and I've actually seen a good amount of kids from UTD transfer here. If you don't get into McCombs, the Econ program is not a bad option with a possible finance or business minor - incase you don't get into mccombs you'll still have an easy road to UTs MS program which is also pretty good and has good IB placement/recruiting support.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 4, 2021 - 1:25am

I mean I won't claim that A&M places as well as UT or SMU but the placement has definitely gotten a lot better in the past couple of years. A&M has solid placement at most banks in Houston and there's currently some alums at BBs and solid MMs in NYC. Again not claiming that it's on par with UT placement but everyone I know who wanted banking out of A&M landed at a decent bank. 

Aug 3, 2021 - 10:52pm

Not related to your post but feel free to PM me if you ever want to talk. I know firsthand how grueling of a recovery something like that can be and would like to help in any way I can. Best of luck in wherever you decide to go. Remember this verse from the Dream Theater song The Answer Lies Within: "You've got the future on your side, gonna be fine. I know whatever you decide, you're gonna shine". 

Most Helpful
Aug 4, 2021 - 12:49am

I was in a similar situation. Graduated undergrad a while back, decided I wanted to get into finance, busted my behind and worked unpaid at a search fund, decided to attend a masters for another chance to recruit. Between attending a target in a different country vs staying in my own (Canada) I ultimately chose the latter cuz of tuition, certainty of placement etc. Although I landed good buy side placements, a few good friends of mine took the former route and landed GS/BX/MM banks. Moral of the story, if I could go back in time I would attend the target school even if it meant paying 4x my domestic tuition, as the opportunities I could've gotten would've been endless. Obv, I'm unaware of your circumstances but unless there's absolutely no way of staying at IU, only then would I look for an alternative.

Aug 4, 2021 - 8:16pm

If you want it, you will make a way.

Honestly w your story I can see you getting into ivys for transfer and that's if youre ambitious. Personally would attend what's cost effective and transfer. I know some people who transferred into targets and am more than happy to advise you.

Check out Cornell, Ross, Stern for external transferring too (cost should even out w doing your first year cheaply).

Aug 5, 2021 - 7:18pm

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