Esade with 85% scholarship vs HEC ~ full tuition

Hoped it wouldn't come to this but here we are. I have admission offers from both. As the title suggests, esade gave me a generous scholarship totalling 85%. HEC gave me a tiny scholarship that would just make it at esade's original tuition.

I know HEC has the highest quality in the MSc level. The problem is that I would have to take an expensive loan (10% over 3-month libor, and prepayments would be subtracted from the total compounded amount, in this case €97k) to cover tuition only. Esade on the other hand offers very cheap loans for international students (2% fixed annual rate with flexible prepayments options, but keep in mind I'd only consider borrowing some €5k here to aid with living costs, so it's almost free).

Is HEC worth the high expense? Or should I be content with esade?

I'm currently interning in deal advisory at a big4. Hopefully I'll do something better in the coming months now that I passed CFA level 1. My goal is to get into London AM, second to that is SS ER.

Happy to hear your thoughts.

Comments (14)

Oct 26, 2021 - 6:16pm

Clearly HEC. You will repay your debt within a year (or two/three max) with the future salary you will get. The difference between ESADE and HEC is pretty big and in the long term you will have much more to gain from being an HEC alum. All the best :)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 26, 2021 - 6:37pm

These loan companies prying on international students are garbage tbh. Good thing you know how to get your calculations so you're not screwed over.

HEC is infinitely better. But your circumstances do weigh in favour of esade. Sure you can close your debt within a few years but if we're talking about more than 90k I'd say you better spend that money on something else or just throw it in the market. If you need the HEC name you can opt for a CEMS year there no? I've seen a couple of folks do this and also got recruited for PE, IB, ER...etc. And it costs like 14k.

If you have the time smash CFA L2 before the program starts, and focus on getting finance experience for now. You'll have a smooth entry into ER (still not easy though, especially at the good banks). For AM hunting you'll be tortured but do take your shot. Look at other AM threads but don't get weighed down by the rampant cynicism on here. 

So my opinion is esade. Good luck.

Oct 27, 2021 - 7:09am

Just to add, at bachelor level I would have said to go for the cheapest option possible because you can always do a top master with the money you save with the bachelor. However, here we are talking about your master, generally the last degree you will get. So for me, it is quite clear you have to chose HEC. You will repay it in less than 2-3 years. Good luck :)

Most Helpful
Oct 27, 2021 - 8:50am

For someone aiming for London, I wouldn't have thought you would go for ESADE. It is no doubt an amazing school but compared to HEC in the London market it falls short. But is it doable? Definitely. It will take some extra hard work and networking, but you can get there. 
If you want it to be slightly easier than HEC is the choice. But than you have to compare the effort vs. cost. What is more important to you? 
If we look at the rankings per financial times, we are looking at #1 ranked school for masters in finance vs. #15 ranked school. Is prestige important to you? Remember higher ranked means that you open up to more opportunities - not only in the U.K. but rest of the continent. 

If U.K doesn't work out for any reason. What is your back-up? If its France than HEC. If its Spain than ESADE. *Remember knowing the regional language is important*.
Any reason you haven't considered U.K. schools? LSE/LBS/Oxbridge? Or even St. Gallen and Bocconi? Or maybe you have, but you might have not received an acceptance yet. 

I won't tell you what you should do. But hopefully the above points open up to all the points you should consider other than just the cost. If this is your last degree and you are not considering an MBA - boib_1 brings up a good point. 

*also I am assuming masters in finance since that career seems to be aimed that way. If not - please clarify in your post. 

Edit: I looked up the employment reports for both (assuming masters in finance) and that was enough for me to come up with a decision if I was in your shoes. There is one school that doesn't tell you much and there is another which tells you and checks off everything that you want. 

  • Intern in CorpFin
Oct 27, 2021 - 12:30pm

Thanks for the detailed response.

Just to clarify things a bit, I have looked into the other schools you mentioned there but their problem lies in deposit funding. I just can't find a way to get the deposit, for both esade and HEC there are many solutions.

Yes it is the master in finance. Just like I said, the problem is entirely related to funding. That's why I'm limited.

Oct 28, 2021 - 8:04pm

Given your conditions, I would go ESADE.

If you re good at ESADE, you will make it to London.

They bring all the nice banks (including PJT / GS / MS / BoA / GHL / etc) and even Blackstone to the campus and you just have to network. The alumni are also quite helpful in general, so if you network properly you wont have problems given your profile!

Best of luck!

Oct 29, 2021 - 12:21pm

Unfortunately I'm in no position to help you here, but I was wondering if you were willing to share you admission stats. (Either here or by PM) I'm considering applying to european masters next year and it would be really helpful. 

Oct 29, 2021 - 1:08pm

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