Rising senior in HS. Considering applying Early Decision to one of the schools above. Need help deciding which is best from personal experience on WSO. They all seem to be very different.
Duke - I really like Duke. It's very close to home, and they will likely offer great aid to me. They also offer more of a liberal arts kind of education that is awesome because I enjoy learning a wide array of topics. Duke social life seems great, and the basketball program is amazing. Only downsides are that it is the hardest to get into of the three, and I'm not really a big fan of the whole separate campus for freshman. It seems sort of weird and disconnected from Duke itself.
Cornell AEM - I also really like Cornell. Awesome ibanking recruiting and the ivy tag. Draws a lot of parallels to Duke in regards to social life. Obviously AEM isn't really liberal arts oriented, but I've heard you can still take CAS classes from AEM. They'd probably also offer me great aid. Downsides are that it's in the middle of nowhere, and it's a bit of a hike to get there from where I live.
NYU Stern - Very ambivalent towards Stern. Really like the location, and just the incredible amount of recruiting and resources at Stern. Seems to operate in an almost factory-like manner, just pumping out ibanking analysts who are high in debt and stress. Obviously there is the prospective of landing a great job, but it can be a bit of a gamble. I would likely have to take out loans to attend (~$100k by the time I graduate), which adds onto more stress of having to find a job to pay them off. Probably the lowest on my list, but probably also the easiest to get into with the best placement of them all.
Any ideas on helping me narrow down my list? Stern seems to place the best in NYC finance, with Cornell not far behind. Not sure how well Duke does. Seems to place more into southern cities, than NYC. I really want to start my essays in the coming weeks, so there aren't all jammed in once school picks back up again. Thanks so much. Any help is appreciated.