Comprehensive Undergraduate Target Schools Tier List 2020

Hey everyone!

This is a tier list I made as a HS Junior/Senior based on opinions from WSO, Poets&Quants, USNews, CollegeConfidential, Reddit, etc.
As I am done with the whole college app process, I'm sharing this list in hopes of helping you develop your own college lists.

Feedback is appreciated, but please leave positive criticisms.

Disclaimer: This is purely a list created as a reference for high schoolers. It's an anecdote from a frosh so please take it with a grain of salt. Seriously, you shouldn't choose your school based on this list. Choose where you want to go to, based on your best fit. This is just a way to get a general idea.

In general order...

Tier S++ (Super Target)

Harvard / Yale / Princeton - HYP
Wharton - UPenn's undergrad business school - 4yrs

Tier S+ (Target)

Stanford - The most prestigious western school
UPenn / Dartmouth / Columbia - Mid-tier Ivies. Non-Wharton UPenn is still a target school
Duke - The most prestigious southern school
UChicago - The most prestigious midwestern school

Tier S (Target)

NYU Stern - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
Cornell Dyson - Part of the Ivy League. Undergrad business school - 4yrs
Cornell / Brown - Part of the Ivy League. Non-Dyson Cornell is still a target school.
UMich Ross - Public School. Undergrad business school - 4yrs
UVA McIntire - Public School. Undergrad business school - 2yrs

Tier A+ (Low Target to Top Semi-Target)

Williams - The most prestigious LAC
Georgetown McDonough - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
Notre Dame Mendoza - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
UCB Haas - Public School. Undergrad business school - 2yrs
Amherst - A great LAC

Tier A (Semi-Target)

WashU Olin - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
Middlebury - A great LAC - not as well known as Williams/Amherst
UNC KF - Public School. Undergrad business school - 3yrs
Indiana Kelley IBW - Public School. Undergrad business school - 4yrs
USC Marshall - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
UT Austin McCombs - Public School. Undergrad business school - 4yrs
UCLA - Public School
CMC - A great LAC - not as well known as Williams/Amherst
Emory Goizueta - Undergrad business school - 2yrs
BC Carrol - Undergrad business school - 4yrs
CMU Tepper - Undergrad business school - 4yrs

Tier A-/B+ (Low Semi-Target to Non-Target)

Bowdoin - A great LAC - more recognizable than the LACs listed below
Wake Forest
Washington & Lee / Colgate / Hamilton / Wesleyan - Great LACs

Tier B (Non-Target but still recognizable) Not in order

Colby / Bates / Davidson - Good LACs
Georgia Tech Scheller
BU Questrom
College of William and Mary Mason
Northeastern D'amore McKim
U of Illinois Gies
Ohio State Fisher
Penn State Smeal
U of Florida
U of Maryland Smith
U of Minnesota Carlson
Miami of Ohio
U of SC Darla Moore
Baruch Zicklin
U of Georgia Terry
Fordham Gabelli

Feedback is appreciated, but please leave positive criticisms.

**Edit: **

Thank you for your input.

Stanford down to Tier S+ (from S++)
Brown up to Tier S (from A+)
Vanderbilt down to Tier A (from A+)
Emory up to Tier A (from A-)
Added Rutgers to Tier B
Amherst seems to be lacking recently compared to Williams so I will hold off on editing it.

UPenn up to tier S+ (from S)
MIT down to tier S (from S+)
UVA up to Tier S (from A+)
Williams down to Tier A+ (from S)
Northwestern down to Tier A+ (from S)
BC up to Tier A (from A-/B+)
Added JHU to Tier A-/B+
Added U of SC, Baruch, U of Georgia, Babson, Fordham to Tier B
Added "IBW" Tag to Indiana Kelley
Changed wording for Tier A+ (from "Top Semi-Target")

Middlebury down to Tier A (from A+)
CMC down to Tier A (from A+)

Clarified disclaimer.

Bowdoin up to Tier A-/B+ (from B)
Hamilton up to Tier A-/B+ (from B)
Colby down to Tier B (from Tier A-/B+)

Feedback is appreciated, but please leave positive criticisms.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (371)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 27, 2020 - 12:17am

rankings are usually stupid but tbh this is pretty accurate - one change is that Princeton isn't really a super target for most firms in finance

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 27, 2020 - 12:47pm

it's not lol most EBs have no on campus presence and most BBs know it's a good school but like you said, they know there aren't a ton of interested kids so they don't regard it as a top target

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 28, 2020 - 3:07pm

Not sure why I am getting MS... I speak the truth.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 11:32pm

agreed. BC is a target for pretty much every BB except like 1 and a good number of EB's. sends atleast 70 kids into banking and the number grows every year

Apr 29, 2020 - 4:14pm

I went to Princeton and I made an account just to add on that this is a horseshit take. The Pton school teams at BBs are massive and fiercely loyal, and several MDs themselves travel to recruit on campus for the evening for every event. Princeton gets the same number if not more interview and superday candidates as Harvard and Yale despite having 25% fewer undergrads. EBs and PE funds get resumes through the career center and cold email students (yes, not the other way around) to set up informational interviews and coffee chats. Sure, MM banks don't recruit on campus - that's because nobody takes their offers so few Princeton alums work there and its not even worth their time. You claim to go to Princeton, but either you screwed things up for yourself and are jaded or you're living with your head under a rock. Peace

  • 3
  • 2
  • Prospect in RE - Comm
Apr 28, 2020 - 3:08pm

I would agree, it is at worst a low semi target and should be In the semitarget with UT, USC, and Vandy

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 27, 2020 - 12:33am

Very good but I would move Amherst 1 up to Target and Emory Goizueta up to Tier A semi-target

Most Helpful
Apr 27, 2020 - 12:50am

Brown, Haas and Georgetown seem a tad low. Brown for sure.

This is just from my personal experience in finance seeing these slums over there years. Also a little controversial, but Stanford's distance from NYC and focus on tech make finance recruiting sort of second tier there and take it out of the spotlight. There's a lot less in the way of resources so while the opportunities and OCR are certainly there, it's marginally tougher. Would say they are prestige-wise still a super target but from a practicality perspective getting to where you want in finance - a smidge below HPYW. VC and West Coast is a big big exception of course and you get to come up with the easiest story for why you want to do TMT/Tech banking.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 1:14am

Yeah Brown is definitely on the same tier as all of the other Ivies. Fewer people tend to go into IB at Brown but that's because fewer people recruit, but all of the same opportunities are there.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 27, 2020 - 2:02am

I agree with this assessment for the three schools but have a different viewpoint for Stanford (where many of my friends went). All banks recruit at Stanford, but Stanford kids don't really go into banking. Almost all of my Stanford finance friends went directly into VC, UMM PE, quant or MF analyst roles. Even one of my friends who is not close to top talent at Stanford went to a decent group at GS.

I went to Cal so that's how I know these people, but the recruiting at Stanford is in a league of its own and I think they send less to banking because most of these kids are getting looks from buy side (from VC to Growth to Buyout) right out of school and they're taking it.

Apr 27, 2020 - 2:13am

This very well might be the case. Things may have changed in the 5+ years since I graduated. When I was there, all the banks certainly recruited and had events there (except I think DB for some reason). If you were on top of your game (which I certainly wasn't) you could get into the top VCs like Sequoia and Andreesen but it wasn't common and it wasn't the pure typical finance kids that could/would do this. I had a friend go to SilverLake directly. the Stanford Finance club (the prep pipeline for OCR) was very exclusive and took only a couple of kids. I'm certain it's changed but I know for west coast recruiting Stanford is and was unparalleled. GS PSI also used to take a bunch of Stanford kids which is just an oddity due to alums there. When I was going through all this, it was Wharton and Harvard that got the KKR and BX PE analyst looks right out of undergrad. I remember thinking if I had to do it all over again no regrets but it would probably have been a breeze from Wharton/Harvard. I'm really glad to hear we're crushing it now.

Apr 27, 2020 - 12:56am

I think BC Carroll should be moved up. I've seen a lot of alum on LinkedIn. Pretty comprehensive list tbh that should be able to help a lot of people in decision making progress.

  • 9
  • Prospect in 
Apr 27, 2020 - 1:04am

This is purely speculative but I did not see as many Yale and Princeton people at many of my final rounds and don't think they should be ranked as high. A data point from a BB last summer, the top three school (# of undergrad) was Wharton (~40) > Harvard (~20) > NYU (~20). That being said, this BB is only one of many banks and they may have strong pipelines / networks in those schools.

  • Prospect in IB - Ind
Apr 27, 2020 - 1:08am

As a Huntsman graduate (so I'm not biased), College students have the exact same opportunities available to Wharton students. More Wharton students recruit for banking jobs, so more end up at the most coveted firms on campus (GS, JPM, PJT).

Given my experience on both sides of the interview table, a College student who is studying something unique (e.g. astrophysics, history) and has demonstrated interest in business would be a more attractive candidate than the Wharton student studying finance, accounting and management.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 6:05am

Coming from someone with no Penn affiliation but friends there, I completely agree with this. For all matters, I don't see how regular Penn, Columbia and Dartmouth are any different.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 1:16am

Brown is definitely a bit low, no way any Ivy can be considered a semi target. Placement there on a per student recruited basis is very strong, much stronger than Cornell NYU etc which are 1 tier above it as is. Would put it 2 tiers higher towards the bottom of the target category

UPenn and Cornell should probably be one tier higher, as every Ivy is a target.

Seeing these lists makes me realize how much I wish I went to a target lol

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 1:55am

Came to shit on another ranking thread but this one is actually solid. Only thing I disagree with is Dartmouth should be lower and Brown should be higher. Both are in the same general league as Cornell

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 1:06pm

Every single year there is a material amount of Dartmouth undergrads that go straight to megafund PE and top hedgefunds. Bain Cap, Sankaty/Bain Credit, Blackstone, TPG, Bridgewater etc.

If anything, given that and the exceptional alum network the school has, you could make an argument for it being in the top tier of this list. Especially given it's an arbitrary list made up by a college freshman and holds no official importance one way or another.

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 29, 2020 - 11:18am

No, it's pretty common knowledge that Dartmouth places lights out. Honestly, within the Ivy League, it probably places third best behind Wharton and Harvard, based on per capita placement, buy-side ops, OCR, alumni network, etc....

  • Intern in _none
Apr 27, 2020 - 2:01am

I hate to get baited into something like this, but you are going to have to move UVA up to Tier S or S+. This year, UVA became a target for Goldman Sachs and KKR. Target for literally every BB except MS (still sends 1 to 2 kids per year) and every EB except Moelis (because UVA students stopped signing return offers there so Moelis stopped recruiting). UVA recruiting is lights out.

Apr 27, 2020 - 9:36pm

Can't speak to KKR specifically but I'd also say McIntire is at least on par with Stern and Ross. Every analyst class I've seen has McIntire as one of the "usual suspects". And I'm not one to split hairs but they've been consistently above average analysts where Stern/Ross is more of a mixed bag where you have some of the best in the class and some of the worst at the same time.

Any program that makes you apply as a college sophomore is bound to have more consistent quality than a program that admits 17 year olds.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 2:04am

would push back on stanford being the top tier. There seem to barely be any alum on the street

Apr 27, 2020 - 2:24am

Move up UVA, Georgetown, and Cal, drop Northwestern down a tier (more a target for consulting than IB, and friends I know there have had trouble recruiting on the street).

UVA and Georgetown's non-business schools also place as well as the b schools at analyst level (Georgetown SFS has most of the top econ/IR kids and most recruiting at UVA is wrapped up before junior year when people start McIntire classes anyways)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 5:31am

Graduated from Stanford last year. This is going to be super long, but I just want to paint the full picture about the school because I've recently noticed a bunch of prospective students are posting on this website, and I want to give a full, updated view (I was on here years ago as a high school senior and remember second-guessing myself for months after choosing Stanford over Princeton and Wharton).

Out of the firms that recruit there, GS MS and BAML have the best presence for NY (bankers fly out and do breakfast sessions, dinners in Palo Alto, etc.). Good chunk go to JPM NY and SF, but not really relevant anymore with their whole removing target schools thing. GS TMT and MS Menlo also have the biggest West Coast group presence for Stanford students. Have seen kids do CS NY and SF. Barclays recruits for Menlo. UBS and Deutsche actually have no presence (saw a rich African international kid do UBS NY SA once, maybe connections). We have a funny thing with Citi where their VC arm did (and still does) projects during the semester for Stanford kids that anyone can sign-up for, and heard people get fast-tracked for NY IB first-rounds if they just do that.

Evercore, Lazard, Centerview and Greenhill have the best EB presence but try to initially recruit you for West Coast offices. These firms do on-campus coffee chats, etc. though so you can easily ask the West Coast bankers and Stanford MDs there to put you in touch with their NY counterparts (I did this as someone targeting NY EBs). Every year there's a few kids that interview/do (~3) Evercore NY.

For buy-side, KKR, Bain Cap, Ares, Permira, Silver Lake and Audax have a great presence, especially Bain Cap (All 2 FT offers last year went to Stanford). General Atlantic and Insight do on-campus coffee chats and GA especially has always taken at least 2 for their 4 or so-person analyst class. JMI and BDT do resume drops and interview kids. All these for NY/Boston, with the exception of Ares, JMI and BDT. Couple of Golden Gate-spinouts would always take 2-3 kids per summer analyst class. Someone correctly pointed out that Blackstone doesn't officially recruit out of Stanford, but every year a couple go to BX superdays before getting rejected. Vista Equity also handed out interviews. If you want to be 100% certain you lock something up in NY, Stanford also has a "study abroad" program in NYC, which boosts your GPA and gets you a ton of free time to network.

For hedge funds, Point72, Bridgewater, DE Shaw and Citadel have a huge presence. VC-wise, Accel and TCV come to mind that recruited heavily for investing, while Andressen tried to get you to do some BS consulting-y portfolio support work.

Not going to touch the quant firms.

So, TLDR, all the above opportunities are available to you as a Stanford kid, and the insane thing is that there's only 50-60 people who're actually gunning for all these things because most business-minded kids are either 1. Gunning for MBB or PM, or 2. Convinced one of Stanford's Mayfield Program/Sequoia/Peter Thiel that you and your half-working brain are good enough to be in a fellowship program, which secures you an ungodly amount of funding for a couple years, parades you around VCs and tech execs, and spoon feeds you to develop a startup post-graduation.

If you have your shit together, you have a great shot at some elite banks and at elite buyside funds, NY or otherwise. And for the few elite firms (ex. PJT and BX) that don't officially recruit, it's not hard to get interviews. When I was a Senior, I knew some people in my grade and grades below who's dads were heads of IB at places like Lazard and GS, and children of execs (Founders and CEOs) of one of TPG/Warburg/H&F and of two very well-recognizable UMMs. My buddy landed an SA gig at a very, very recognizable PE fund because he boozed regularly with the CEO's kid. Conversely, also heard of a kid who landed a business-y gig at Microsoft and was tight with Gates's daughter. No doubt these kinds of things also happen at a HYP, but think this is the underrated plus-side of top schools no one mentions.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 3:09pm

By the time I finished your post, I had done so much reading that I qualified for an English major at my school

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 4:43pm

Yeah Harvard would be very hard to pass up because it's the stronger global brand and there's no exclusive opportunities (outside of tech) at Stanford that Harvard kids probably don't also have, even in VC probably. But if I had to do it again, I'd again pick Stanford over all the others. Grade-inflation let my friends and I study engineering, graduate with 3.85+'s, and still have bunch of time for things outside of class. Hopefully I can get into HBS in a few years lol

  • Intern in HF - Other
Apr 27, 2020 - 1:13pm

Big emphasis on LACs here... is CMC really a top semi target vs UCLA...? I would say UCLA and USC are more top semi targets in the west, and bigger targets than CMC in LA and overall. Is Middlebury more of a top semi target than UCLA/UT Austin/UNC?

Apr 29, 2020 - 9:31pm

CMC is just as good as UCLA/USC if not better on ease of recruiting. CMC is around 1000 undergrads total while UCLA and USC are both 20k+ so it's infinitely easier getting a position from CMC than those two other schools. Not saying UCLA and USC are bad but just sticking up for CMC since it gets shit on because people haven't really heard of it due to its small size.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 7:33am

It really depends on division/group. You can comfortably place Rutgers as a semi target knowing that it places over 50 kids in FO every year. There are cs and engineering kids who go along the quant route at banks and buy side shops like SIG, Akuna, etc. and are often left out of the tally just because it may not be accounted for properly. Rutgers has been a target for certain groups within Citi, CS, BNP, most divisions at Goldman and some other large banks.

Rutgers is less of a target for IB but still has a decent number of alumni in IB. The school places fairly well in S&T. It helps that they have a decent amount of representation across the street with alumni holding a variety senior management role within the global markets. The Global Markets CEO at CS being an alum

A-/B+ at a MINIMUM for Rutgers. Can't go wrong with lower levels within A under CMU before Rice.

Im a Rutgers alum and already have my FO role so I got no skin in the game. Just speaking the truth.

A quick LinkedIn search for "investment banking" with some of the topic companies mentioned on WSO will result in over 1200 current students and alumni

  • Intern in 
Apr 27, 2020 - 2:54pm

I don't think so... i'm from nj and have many friends at rutgers. it's a non-target.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 27, 2020 - 2:22pm

Georgetown should not be below Michigan, NYU, and Northwestern

May 5, 2020 - 10:47pm

As a student there, it's about on par with them. Michigan is just higher bc of chicago imo


  • Summer Associate in IB - Ind
Apr 27, 2020 - 2:33pm

good list. would also throw Johns Hopkins on the Tier A- list (non target but aroundish). it's historically much more of a premed/academic school but those that do get interested in finance and put in work to network can land at top tier banks due to academic reputation and recruiting has gotten significantly better since i was there years ago. would not lump it with the tier b's looking at that list of schools.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Apr 28, 2020 - 9:43am

But totally agree. The pool from JHU interested in IB is very small (~5-8/year) but there are always a handful who place BB (highest concentration at MS, CS, Barclays, JP, GS) so the overall placement rate tends to be very high. Of those 5-8 kids, most place somewhere they're happy with.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 2:58pm

Any other thoughts on BC Carrol? Planning on attending there in the fall. Definitely not trying to shill for the school, but from my research I thought that it stacked up well with the likes of Emory, Indiana, and Vandy, while being roughly on par with Notre Dame for NY. Would appreciate any insight just so I know what I'm getting myself into. Thanks.

  • Associate 2 in Other
Apr 27, 2020 - 4:50pm

see my other comment as to why IU should not be in that level you described

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 3:16pm

Current BC student (so take this with a grain of salt) -- I think it should probably be higher on the list. Not sure of anyone who take IU over BC. BC has the investment banking association, which if I remember correctly has ~40 people almost all of who place at a solid bank (IB only -- people also get S&T jobs and such) plus the 10+ others who aren't in the club, but also place a good bank. BC is a target for Citi, GS, Barclays, UBS, DB, RBC, Bofa(?), and a whole host of smaller banks, so you definitely have a really good shot of getting a banking job from BC (anecdotally this year pre rona we have a recruiting event with 30+ banks including MS and JPM, but I still don't think we are core there). I'd also say people at the school are less interested in IB than I would have thought, which I think makes it easier to get a job/internship from BC overall.

I also think from a placement perspective, BC is on par with something like ND (raw number) and probably even Ross (% of people placing vs people wanting a job in IB). However, I still think the school might lag behind those schools in terms of prestige, which is what I think OP may be accounting for. Either way, you shouldn't have any issues getting a good banking job from BC, and let's be honest who wants to live in the middle of the bumblefuck anyway.

  • Analyst 2 in PE - Other
Apr 27, 2020 - 3:56pm

No offense, but being on the other side I would 9/10 times take an IU kid over a BC kid no question. Their IBW sends 70+ kids to top BB, EB, and MM firms (GS, MS,Lazard, PJT, Moelis, Evercore, BofA, Citi, WB, etc). They also occasionally send kids to buyside roles out of school ex. Audax

Agreed that BC is a great school, but when recruiting the IU kids come off as more polished and knowledgeable. Makes sense given they were pioneers of a workshop tailored toward IB. Just my $0.02. I still consider BC a well regarded school.

Also just as an FYI, I've been to IU and BC for recruiting and Bloomington, IN is 10x more fun than Chestnut Hill. The B1G schools go big or go home

Apr 27, 2020 - 8:33pm

Not to take away from the point of this thread, but I was wondering if I could gain some perspective from you as a current student. While browsing I've found relatively few threads from students/alumni of BC with up to date information of BC's placement status (likely supporting a student body which is not set on IB). While somewhat bleak, this is one of the most detailed responses that I've found within the past year. I was wondering how this viewpoint compares with your own. If anyone else wants to chime in with their opinions of the information below, that would also definitely be welcomed.


Citi (OCR)- recruits mostly diversity, good luck getting an offer as a white male from BC. There's certainly a few, but after DDing all those kids they had freshmen summer internships elsewhere.

UBS (OCR)- recruits almost entirely diversity. Also isn't a BB, and is just a shitty bank (I'm biased on this one), but still.

RBC (OCR)- Not a BB

BAML- They don't recruit IB out of BC. The one junior who got an offer there, her daddy is a VP there. Right now, there's 2 analysts at BAML. One is legit, other is diversity hire.

Barclays- Good

DB- Trash anyways and only 1 offer to a girl from there for SA2020. Also she had family connection

GS- You have a chance

Moelis Boston- 1 BC guy analyst there. Stand out kid.

Morgan Stanley- Forget it lol

JPM- will be tough
CS- As far as I know, only 1 MD on the st. No recruiting

EBs: Centerview recruits OCR. Pretty cool. They only extend 1 or 2 offers. I don't even know if there was one this year. Hope there was. Lazard came, no idea if they took anyone, wasn't OCR.

William Blair- a couple spots for BC kids
Harris Williams (OCR)- 1 spot maybe
PWP- 1/2 spots for BC kids
Canaccord Genuity- Handful of spots
4-7 more random boutiques- recruit OCR



  • Associate 3 in IB - Restr
Apr 27, 2020 - 10:16pm

BC CSOM yields 229 individuals in IB on LinkedIn and IU Kelley yields 597. Looks like IU Kelley has more than 2x the amount of people in IB. Regardless both are good schools and will get you into IB.

Aug 10, 2020 - 9:53am

I know this is an old thread, but I just want to give live stats from ND (current student). I think about 120 kids a year go into IB whether in NY, CHI, SF, LA, etc. (for EVR, Leerink, DBO, the all the BBs) and along with that there are current seniors going back to Vista, Blackstone, Bain Credit, GTCR, GA, Ares and other buyside roles after this school year. Not trying to rip on BC, just trying to provide more info on why ND is higher on the list.

  • Associate 3 in HF - Event
Apr 27, 2020 - 4:05pm

Agreed with the above. Typically see a decent amount of BC kids recruiting, but I've always been surprised at how many IU kids I see on the street. Very strong alumni network from what I hear and the few I have interviewed IU Kelley > BC Carroll. Both great schools nonetheless.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 1:45pm

From someone who has experience/good friends at both schools:

  1. IU is undoubtedly more fun than BC. The BC bar scene is nonexistent unless you head into fenway/allston/downtown boston which can be very costly and lacks the same community feel that Bloomington's college bars offer. Moreover, nearly all students (barring Juniors) live on campus, and the party scene suffers greatly because of it.

  2. The IBW is a more impressive and well-oiled program than BC's IBA. The head of the BC IBA explained that the club is intended to be modeled after IU's IBW but in reality, they're not even close. The IBW requires 2 classes in investment banking, whereas the IBA at BC only consists of some evening lectures and lacks the same alumni network that IU has.

  3. On a related note, IU places far better if you are in the IBW. EB placement at BC is extremely rare, and among top-tier BBs for this year's graduating class, the only two placements were into GS financing and GS classic (from a student who did a full-time lateral from a lower-tier firm). That said, BC places extremely well into Citi, UBS, and DB. Ignore what a previous poster said about these being only diversity; each of these firms recruits a pretty wide variety of students at BC, straight white males included. There is also a strong presence at BCS. IU has placement across the street, and you won't be hard-pressed to find alumni at any shop. You'll also notice that BC presence at MFs is minuscule compared to IU.

  4. Where BC wins is generous financial aid (if you're a lower-income student) and a very high quality selection of professors and smaller classes.

All in all, you will do well at both schools if you are driven, but IU has a stronger placement network if you're among the top of your class and is more fun generally. Be wary, however, if you're uninterested in greek life, you may want to consider BC as greek life is not permitted (aside from one off-campus SigEp chapter.)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 30, 2020 - 11:24pm

Would disagree with your point about Vandy recruiting well. I've met a few Vandy kids/Alums at BBs who've mentioned that recruiting is actually very difficult given that there's a very small alum presence at most banks. Prestige isn't the problem - it's just the alumni pool on WS. I agree with ND having great placement though.

May 19, 2020 - 9:57am

I graduated from BC a few years ago. Banks are all over campus, and the comment below mentioned the Investment Banking Club, which has a near 100% placement rate. I have some friends that went directly into PE / Growth equity jobs from undergrad as well. I think we are underrated on this list. Also, it's worth noting we place very well at consulting firms and advisory firms as well. Can't go wrong from BC whatsoever, and if you know what you want it won't be hard to achieve (outside of *some *of the elite boutiques).

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 3:04pm

TCU is a non-target but is getting more recognition. They started a IB prep program 5 years ago that is starting to reap results. The program only takes 35 students but the alumni is really going out to bat for us.

Becoming a target for Texas (Moelis, Citi, BofA, Jefferies, HL and Goldman SLG (placed under SSG) etc recruit on campus).

For NY, there is a good pipeline at CS (send 2-3 kids every year) and have sent people to BofA, Moelis, Evercore, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Vista Equity Partners for SA/FT in the past year.

I myself have been recruiting for SA 2021 and I am getting some looks that I wouldn't have expected to get a year ago.

Apr 28, 2020 - 6:47pm
Prospect in IB-M&A:

Becoming a target for Texas (Moelis, Citi, BofA, Jefferies, HL and Goldman SLG (placed under SSG) etc recruit on campus).

I have a few friends at TCU and even if they have placed well, sending 1 kid every year or so to those banks doesn't make them a target, not even in texas...

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 1:49pm

Can verify. Have a friend from TCU going FT to Vista who mentioned that they also had their first EVR NY placement this year as well.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 4:00pm

A lot of people comparing number of placements at given schools. Makes no sense because obviously state schools are much larger. Placing ~20 kids at a small private school at EB/BB is much different than a state school placing 20.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Apr 27, 2020 - 4:05pm

You should throw Baruch in that non-targets category. The school sends people to BBs/EBs every year in decent numbers (extremely low % of student body). I have seen these students come up on roster lists for NYC IBD multiple years in a row at much higher frequency than some of the non-targets youve listed (U minnesota, UW Madison, etc.)- anyway just a thought

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 27, 2020 - 4:16pm

Would say H/W on a different level than Y/P, if not for the size of the talent pool / amt of finance interest in student body, but also the quality of the pool. UVA up to S as well, tons of UVA kids across the street. Stanford in an odd spot, you don't see as many Stanford kids in NYC banking but that's a combination of Stanford kids not trying to go to NYC banking and firms realizing that. WashU does well. Don't see a ton of Amherst but maybe not looking in the right places. Some Canadian schools do really well too but I dunno if you're trying to keep this list domestic.

I think A+ and below can be consolidated into two tiers. Certain schools like Gtown and some I mentioned above have expansive Wall Street alumni networks, while others are much smaller and present a completely different networking / interviewing battle. Like a lot of tier a-/b+/b is just splitting hairs. actually all of this tier list can prob be consolidated into fewer tiers, but hey, WSO loves its arbitrary specificity

Apr 27, 2020 - 4:29pm

Kelley is only really a tier A if you make it into the IWB, correct? What would it be if you didn't make it into the IWB?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 27, 2020 - 4:50pm

Probably low semi-target to strong non-target; you will still get IB interviews and can reach out to alumni but IBW kids will get almost all the BB/EB spots. Though, for a lot of schools, your IB chances at good banks go way down if you're not in a specific program: Illinois IBA, Wisconsin IBC, Villanova M&A, UCLA IBW, Florida MSF, etc. This is always part correlation, part causation, in that the program gives you a platform and a network but the stronger applicants are generally in the program.

Apr 27, 2020 - 5:24pm

Yeah, I'm thinking about going to Kelley if I don't get into Ross. I am going to work my hardest so I can get into the IBW. If I get a good gpa, what else do I have to do to get into it?

Apr 27, 2020 - 5:15pm

Having spent a few years on the street (but mostly because i'm stuck inside and WSO has been helpful to me previously) I thought i would add a few corrections with context here based on my experience:

MIT is not a big feeder into corporate finance jobs (save for life science / tech VC). For quant jobs yes. Bring down to Tier S

Yale / Princeton / Stanford - should probably be a tier down. I remembered meeting a Stanford kids during recruiting years ago telling me how hard it was for him to break into finance (IB / PE) - think it has to do with general student interest / network. Seems like kids there are more into tech / entrepreneurship / getting funding for whatever app they are working on. H/ W students are more corporate fiance / consulting gunners than kids at Y/P/S.. Basically having an existing strong network in finance matters but can be overcome through outreach effort especially if you are from a good school. Bring down to Tier S+

Cornell / Stern / Ross - consistently sends too many kids to Wall Street (top 5-6 most years along with Harvard Wharton and Columbia) with unbelievably strong networks to boot. These are very strong targets. Bring up to Tier S+

Northwestern - very strong school but not as strong placement as others in the tier. Bring down to A+.

Georgetown / UVA - Both have very strong placement. Bring up to Tier S. Only reason Haas is not here as well is because being on west coast finance opportunities are less than on east coast but obviously a very strong school with outstanding students.

BC Carroll - bring up to Tier A. Closer to the names here than they are to Tier A-/B+

Apr 27, 2020 - 5:20pm

Tier A+ needs to disappear completely. UVA/Midd/Berkeley/Amherst/Georgetown should be combined with Tier S and the rest should join Tier A.

There should be a note next to Kelley in Tier A saying "Only for IBW/CW" and the rest of Kelley needs to join Tier B.

Tier A-/B+ shouldn't really exist either, just combine it with the Tier A.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 27, 2020 - 6:31pm

Change second to last tier to low semi-target. Then change last tier to low semi-target to non-target but recognizable. A lot of those are good schools and I wouldn't call them non-targets.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 27, 2020 - 8:57pm

Move UNC up to Top Semi-Target and Duke Down to Tier S Target. Yes, I go to UNC, but not biased.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Apr 28, 2020 - 12:44am

Little to no placement at EBs. Unimpressive placement from the finance clubs. Gonna have to disagree.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 28, 2020 - 10:20am

Point taken. UNC as a whole is weak for EB placement, however there are some who end up there. I'm just thinking in terms of BB/Top MM placement, UNC should be in the same level as Georgetown. The ratio of offers/qualified candidates for UNC is very high. There's just not enough precedent for EBs to recruit here, but as they expand, it should happen eventually.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 9:41pm

Jeez this is a long post. I guess you've already done the work, so I'll give my two cents.

I'm assuming your ranking uses usnews' ranking as a foundation. Wall Street doesn't target schools based on their usnews ranking. Your S and S+ tiers should really be merged because there isn't a material difference between going to a mid vs lower Ivy, Duke, UChicago, Mich, Stern, or UVA. I posted KKR's (a top MF PE firm just FYI) target school list somewhere else in this thread. It's Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Michigan, NYU, Penn/Wharton, Stanford, and 'other' in that order. Mixed bag and doesn't follow a traditional usnews ranking at all.

Williams and Northwestern are amazing schools, but their numbers don't come close to the others in those two tiers. Even Yale probably has fewer people on the Street than Cornell or NYU do. People aggressively push for their own alma mater and that triumphs going to a higher ranked school sometimes.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 27, 2020 - 10:16pm

The "order" is based on alphabetical order for that KKR list, but yeah all 8 of those schools work equally. Appears they focus on b-schools except for Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Duke.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 28, 2020 - 12:54am

What do you mean? Other than the top 4, they're in the low semi-target to non-target tier?

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

April 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (34) $348
  • Associates (182) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (104) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (95) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (26) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (389) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (317) $82