Deciding on my undergrad: Dartmouth or Amherst (and I mean Amherst/Dartmouth college, not UMass)

Hi all,
I'm currently an HS senior tryna decide on my undergrad ED.
I go to a pretty selective prep school, top ranked in the nation, and we have yet to have a dartmouth or amherst ED reject in the past 10 years with probably a good 20-30 applicants, and given my stats, I highly doubt I would either (I have a full ACT, a lot of XC's, 4.28 GPA, national science awards, etc.). However, because ED is binding, I would like to make a more educated decision. My target is IBanking/HFund but I'm not hard set (thinking of pre-med as well). I visited a lot of the northern schools and found that Amherst and Dartmouth were two schools I really liked; given their proximity to NY and Boston, they had fabulous opportunities, also I really liked their undergraduate-focus, + I liked the smaller feel of each school (more focus to each individual student), and I wanted a place that had strong alumni-relations for future opportunities, esp in IBanking where from what I've seen alumni relations are quite important. School-wise, I'm sure I would enjoy any one. I'm a semi-partygoer so I'd be down with the DM frat culture, but also I'm p sure I'd like my time at Amherst too.

I'm well aware of Williams as well, but my impression is that it is worse than Amherst opportunity-wise.

Just from your guys' views, from people on Wall Street or in econ in the northeast, what would you say about each? I know dartmouth has a stronger presence on the street, but keep in mind though Amherst is small and has a very tight alumni network from what I've seen, and I think maybe that also makes it a good candidate? From what I've seen, high ranking LACs usually are a pretty good target. Does each school get good recruiting? Which would you guys recommend, and why?

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Comments (40)

Oct 21, 2018 - 12:56am

What's a full ACT?

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

Oct 21, 2018 - 1:00am

36/36 in every subj sorry didnt clarify
i'm not really worried about getting into each respective school, but more of what kinda opportunities in econ/finance each one has to offer, alumni relations, recruiting, etc.
another main problem in my book is that my chances to these colleges drops significantly if I decide not to apply ED (binding), so I would like to commit to one of them early.

Oct 21, 2018 - 2:03am

From a top prep school and perfect ACT score, national science awards, and all, why do you want to lock yourself into ED to a school like Dartmouth and Amherst? They're great schools, but I feel like you'd have a chance at HYPS no?

Oct 21, 2018 - 4:11pm

in short, i live in texas. let that explain everything. amherst took 11 kids from texas last year..half of the number they took from Connecticut. same with DM, they barely take texas kids. the north schools kinda look down on the south imo, and the better ivies like harvard do take more from the south than amherst and dartmouth do, but so many people apply to them that it's practically random chance since all the apps are good.

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Oct 21, 2018 - 9:18pm

theaccountingmajor can't do HWS cus no security - northern schools dont draft very many kids from southern states, and also none of them offer an ED option. from the south, the Yale/Princeton/Harvard/Wharton/Columbia are just random chance, because of the insane number of people applying and the few spots. i would rather bind to a school I know I will be going to.

Oct 21, 2018 - 10:08pm

1) you clearly are a very qualified applicant but don't fool yourself into thinking anything is guaranteed. I've seen plenty of amazing applicants get rejected from schools they for sure thought they were gonna get in to

2) Wharton does offer an ED option

3) Not really sure what you're getting at with this whole north/south thing (are you implying that you being from the south means your less likely to get into HWS?)

4) to answer your original question, if you're strictly looking at breaking into wall street, I would say Dartmouth gives you a better shot (though it's not that huge a difference)

Oct 21, 2018 - 10:27pm

Okay, I get it now. I'm no admissions officer, but it sounds like you'd probably get into Dartmouth or Amherst in the early round. But what if you don't? Schools like Princeton have SCEA, where you're allowed to also apply to public, non-private schools. When I went through it, I applied to Princeton SCEA, and also applied to UVA and a couple other decent publics too as a safety. I really don't think the admissions officers discriminate against southerners as much as you think. They're smart enough to know better.

But anyway, as the other posters mentioned, Dartmouth is more prestigious, so it's better for finance, but Amherst is good too. Both schools are in the middle of nowhere, and you're probably going to run into people you know all the time walking around campus like in high school.

Oct 21, 2018 - 11:40pm

rest of my life huh? guess it's settled then.
Just curious, what are ur 2 cents on why DM is better? is it better recruiting, or is it a strong alumni network, or perhaps heavier presence on Wall Street, ..etc?

Oct 22, 2018 - 12:55pm
  • Better recruiting: Amherst is a very good school, but Dartmouth is near the top. It's like deciding between Peyton Manning and Eli Manning. Yeah, Eli occasionally gets the big wins, but Peyton is one of the greatest of all time.

  • Better alumni network: Going to Dartmouth gets you in the Ivy network. As an Ivy graduate, there are a handful of events and clubs that I get exclusive access to just to shoulder rub with other Ivy people. I don't, haha, but it's good to know that those opportunities exist.

  • WS Presence: I think Amherst punches above its weight here, I'd actually say the number of Dartmouth grads is only marginally higher than the number Amherst grads I've met. But the Dartmouth grads are regularly in a higher bonus bucket.

Oct 22, 2018 - 10:59am

Don't know if you realize this, but most colleges will lump you in with the other northeast prep schools. You won't be lumped in with the Texas kids. The reason is that they like to compare students against each other from similar schools.

So if you are at the top of your class at an elite prep school, you might have a decent chance at HYPSW.

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