Cornell Dyson AEM vs Dartmouth vs UVA?

Hey there!

Current high school senior here. I was fortunate enough to be admitted to all three schools. However, I'm stuck on which one I should choose. I'm out of state for UVA and got $5k in aid. Dartmouth ranks a lot higher than Cornell in the US News Reports (putting Cornell near UVA in rating!), but I'm not sure how Cornell Dyson AEM would compare. If I went to Dartmouth, I would major in Econ, since Dartmouth doesn't have a business program like Cornell, and I heard that firms prefer the undergrad finance degree. Do you guys find this to be true? Which school should I commit to?

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Comments (17)

Apr 6, 2020 - 9:39pm

First off, congrats on the acceptances!

I just answered a very similar question (Dartmouth vs. Dyson):…

A lot of what you'll find in the link above may prove to be helpful although it was catered to a different person's question.

IMO, this is between Cornell and Dartmouth. UVA is a great school and they place tons of people on Wall Street but if you're out of state and not getting much aid, then I don't think it's worth the price tag (would be a much harder call if you were in-state and only had to pay $20k - $25k per year).

You're correct, Dartmouth is ranked considerably higher on US News (it's a great school) but Dyson has a considerably lower acceptance rate than Dartmouth as a whole (as well as the other programs at Cornell). I also think people put a little too much emphasis on US News rankings (these guys just ranked HBS as the 6th best MBA program behind Kellogg, Sloan, and Booth). I was also accepted to UVA and school that was ranked higher than Dartmouth that also didn't have an undergrad business program (think UChicago / Northwestern / Duke) but chose to go to Cornell for various reasons (e.g., major - thought economics would get a little too theoretical for my liking, cost, being closer to home, etc.).

While some firms actively target kids who went to undergraduate business schools, they tend to focus more on the college you went to. Sure you'll see a lot of Wharton, Stern, Ross, Dyson, McIntire kids on Wall Street. But you'll also see a ton of kids who studied liberal arts from the other Ivies, Stanford, Duke, UChicago, Northwestern, Williams, Amherst, etc. Why? Because they're all great schools.

I don't think you can go wrong with either school (I think UVA is great but I wouldn't personally be considering it in this situation). I think most people here will recommend Dartmouth (tighter network, better Greek life, perhaps more prestige) but I felt that Dyson / Cornell provided me with a great network and experience. I wouldn't get as caught up in the rankings and would rather focus on which school you think would be a better fit for you. Feel free to PM me.


  • 2
Apr 22, 2020 - 6:29pm

Thanks for the details! I heard the having a finance degree, which is offered at Dyson, trumps having the economics degree, especially in times of recession. There's a lot supposedly offered with a finance degree, like financial modeling and business skills, that isn't normally offered at economics programs. Is this true? If so, how do I demonstrate during interviews that I have these skills?

P.S I want to go into hedge funds

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 6, 2020 - 9:49pm

Know a few AEM kids - apparently grading there is a joke and you can graduate with above a 4.0. IB recruiting there is also top notch. Can't go wrong between Dartmouth and AEM, I'd still lean towards Dartmouth overall though if only because the name is a notch above Cornell's

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Apr 7, 2020 - 12:49am

Congrats on your offers! Given the fact that you're already on here I'd say you'd rock it at any of those schools, but I'd recommend Dartmouth if the culture is a fit. I had some of these choices, so feel free to PM

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 16, 2020 - 9:35am

Cornell's alumni network beats Dartmouth's... change my mind. went to a peer Ivy and see more Cornell kids at my EB + generally across street. also can name more Cornell people at the shop i'm exiting into this summer and the ones I interviewed at vs. Dartmouth people

anyone agree / disagree with this read?

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Apr 6, 2021 - 11:13pm

That's because Cornell nearly has 4x as many students in each class. You are a dumbass if you cannot factor that in. 

Per capita, Dartmouth has a much better alumni presence.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 16, 2020 - 9:38am

Dartmouth ... make sure culture is a fit but otherwise it's a no brainer. Much more prestige, AEM is selective but that prestige won't carry as far/long as you think.

Apr 7, 2021 - 1:03am

Cornell is a bigger school, but AEM is far more selective and that's where most of the grads placed into Wall street are going to be from (though you'll see hotel students as well, they just tend to end up in real estate more often than other groups). You can't go wrong with either but I'd go with Cornell AEM over Dartmouth Econ. For Cornell Econ it would be a toss up.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers
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