Fordham Vs. Baruch

Hello, I am a High School Senior from NY and I am making the decision to study Finance at either Fordham (RH Campus) or Baruch. I understand they are both "non-targets" but due to my not so great grades I must work with what I got. Here is my Dilemma:

Fordham: 

Pro: Student run investment group is very good and places well into IB, Pretty good social life, Strong alumni basis, more "college" feel I suppose

Con: About 25k a year (affordable), Would possibly have to commute about an hour every day, Student run fund is available to only 24 upper class men making it very selective

Baruch:

Pro: Would be free, Also has a good student run fund but IDK how it places in IB, Fund has about 60 spots available to all students(less selective?), would be shorter commute

Con: Alumni base exists but apparently they have "crab-in-a-bucket" mentality, Is much more competitive among students, lack of "college social life", less "prestige"

Sorry for my rambling but at the end of the day I just want to know what would be my best bet for a career or internship in IB or WM. IDC about social life that much and cost isn't too important but it still matters. I am just asking for a general opinion or if anyone who goes to either school could give feedback I'd appreciate it. Also everything I've mentioned above is just from what I've heard so don't hold me to it.

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Comments (35)

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Jan 14, 2021 - 9:03pm

Grad here from one of these two, have a lot of friends from the other and can give a fairly honest answer.

Fordham GSB RH – commuting here is toxic. Unless you live on campus (or go to LC campus) you're commuting thru one of the worst areas of The Bronx, so stay strapped. Their SMIF isn't as amazing as you think and while it's a known school, I've not encountered as many Fordham grads as Baruch on the street. Don't think about exclusivity – think about the # of students per year / cohort and how it plays.

Baruch – bulk of the school commutes so you aren't going to feel like you're missing out on social life. Lot of students and tougher to stand out but the best kids will shine. Their student run fund is fine, and places well, but that said you can choose to join a handful of different organizations and you'll find people who have been very successful at any of them. Or without them. It's not needed, just looks nice on a resume.

Net net, it's a number game for you, it sounds like. The top 1% caliber that makes it is the same at any school, just as much as the receptiveness of alumni. I always try to help kids from mine but as many on the street, I try to find the right kids to give my all to in recruiting help instead of blanket approach. Choose the school that fits you best and go from there. Both are enough, you're just spending $ for different things.

Where do you want to go more? That's where you should go in the fall.

Jan 14, 2021 - 9:53pm

Thanks so much for the advice! I am leaning more towards Baruch because of how much cheaper it would be. The competitiveness is just what puts me off. Knowing that prestige doesn't matter that much when you are at the top of your class as you said definitely reassures me. Thanks again for the insight!

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Jan 14, 2021 - 10:26pm

Np. Baruch is a fine school and you'll get what you're looking for assuming you come in day 1 with your eyes on the ball. You are looking to enter one of the most cutthroat and competitive industries available to you - school competitiveness is a distant memory when you are actually working a job.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 14, 2021 - 10:08pm

The above about commuting to Fordham vs. Baruch is absolutely right. Fordham offers the true college feel (assuming you live there) while Baruch is a commuter school. To commute to Fordham is a discount to COL, but can also possibly carry a negative effect on access to career resources offered by the school.

Regarding the above, to say Baruch "places more on the Street every year" is very much false. Baruch fills mid and back office positions, primarily. That can't be debated. While not as plentiful in size relative to targets of course, every graduating class at Fordham fills a large portion FO roles at BBs. Fordham has a growing presence at the biggest, and even the law school alumni base can be found at many banks or other firms.

Lastly, SMIF at any school has nothing to do with IB so not sure what your intentions are with that.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Jan 14, 2021 - 10:33pm

Again, the top 1% caliber at any decent school will place. Baruch class size is larger vs Fordham, so, to your point, yes - there are lots of kids who will take MO/BO seats. Can't debate it because there are so many more kids. And if you think about it, it's not a false comment - I'm sure that the number of students from Baruch every year that place traditional FO seats will always be greater than Fordham simply because there are more students at Baruch than at Fordham. Regardless, it doesn't really matter, both schools place well and a quick LinkedIn search will show that. 

And fwiw lastly - yes Fordham Law is reputable and known, have many friends who finished, but if you throw graduate programs in the equation, Baruch's MFE is #1 in the country and top tier for quants. 

Go bearcats, go rams... it doesn't really matter. You can place and make it from either school if you're not a retard. 

Jan 15, 2021 - 8:09am

Hey, thanks for your comment! You mentioned that SMIF has nothing to do with IB really so I was wondering, what should I look into if I want to be more prepared for IB?

Jan 15, 2021 - 11:56am

I think at any school, SMIF is a good experience because knowledge of and "real-world" exposure to public equity markets is Finance 101 regardless of career path. As for banking, clubs that focus on it - an IB club or PE/VC club at any school will actually give insight down that specific niche of finance. I'd recomnend SMIF to anybody at any school because it's helpful in staying up to date with daily headlines and how it moves markets, and it's a nice line item to your campus involvement, but I don't want you to think SMIF makes or breaks one's shot at IB, if that's what they want. It's networking, grades, interview prep, etc. etc.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 14, 2021 - 10:43pm

Fordham GSB RH grad, and I commuted. Currently at a BB in IB as well. Commuting to Fordham is not toxic - did it all 4 yrs, you'll get used to it (but 1hr commute is tough and will most likely require extra sacrifice to make your college experience as fulfilling as you'd like). SMIF is great experience to have on your CV and a very enjoyable experience to be a part of. While it is "somewhat" selective, with some effort and an internship under your belt you can get it. In terms of recruiting, it is of course an uphill battle, but a number of kids place in BB IBD/S&T every year, so it is possible. Strong/Recognizable brand across the street that is well respected by many seniors and has a reputation of producing hard working gritty kids. I cannot speak to the Baruch experience, but Fordham does have a tight and reliable alumni network that is usually willing to go to bat for other students. Regardless if you commute or not, you will have a much more normal/campus college experience at Fordham than you will Baruch. Only difference is you will sleep at home most nights- otherwise 95% of your time will be spent on campus, which I highly recommend. Feel free to ask any other Q's here.

Jan 15, 2021 - 8:17am

Hey, thanks for the response! I was also wondering, what would you say is the best things you did in Fordham to prepare you for IB? Like lets say the SMIF rejected me, would I still have plenty of realistic opportunities for breaking in? Also, could you give a rough estimate to how many Fordham ugrads place in IB every year? Finally, would you say that Fordham would be worth the extra about 100k compared to Baruch? Thanks so much again for your time!

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 14, 2021 - 10:58pm

I would go with Baruch since it's free. Fordham isnt worth the 100k difference as it places very similar.

  • Incoming Analyst in ER
Jan 15, 2021 - 3:42am

Baruch does not have a great campus, but location is better than Fordham. Places a lot of middle and back office every year, but also a pretty decent number of front office kids-more so at the lower/mid tier banks, some jp/ms/gs sprinked around. Thats because you do have a lot of people who are grinding despite being in CUNY, so it's good if you get in a club with those kids who are recruiting focused.

That being said, I do wish I went to a school with an actual campus life. In NYC I'd still prefer Baruch to Fordham.

  • current student
Jan 15, 2021 - 8:27am

Hey, thanks for the response! If you could estimate, how many kids go to FO roles from Baruch a year? Also, you said current student so I am assuming you go to Baruch; How do you think Baruch has prepared you for IB? Are the resources there? Was it an overall good experience? Thanks for your time!

Jan 15, 2021 - 12:14pm

Baruch actually has better placement than Fordham and is way cheaper. If you are a part of Baruch FLP cohort you are guaranteed a front office role. Fordham is overrated for career prospects, but it is a very fun school to be at. In terms of social life Baruch is probably the worst college in America. So take with that what you will.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 15, 2021 - 3:56pm

So based on your analysis, Baruch had 17 kids enter FO roles at banks this year. Fordham had more than that. Baruch has more kids than Fordham. So how does it "place better"? Fordham is not a target, but kids who don't get into some targets fall back to Fordham. I've seen so many more alums than Baruch.

Jan 15, 2021 - 7:57pm

Like I said this is a rough estimate based off of people I talked to. I also didn't include wealth management analyst or consultants. A lot of Baruch kids don't even aim for fo roles too not everyone is motivated at the school because it is essentially a community college. We have maybe like 50 kids tops actually seriously going for fo roles. So 17ish/50 is a solid rate of return. Fordham has pretty bad placement for a school that costs 70k and is located in NYC. Especially once you consider there are a lot more well connected people and a better career office to fall back on.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 16, 2021 - 12:28am

Echoing the sentiment here and also an alum. Baruch isn't as competitive as you described (perhaps the sentiment holds true with someone in your class looking to go for the exact same spot you're interviewing for), upperclassmen & people who have gone through the process are generally super helpful. None of the clubs (or FLP) are needed to break into front office but they do have some great resources and people motivate each other. Feel free to DM specific questions :)  

Apr 8, 2021 - 1:53pm

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 23, 2021 - 6:21pm

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