In a bit of a predicament.

So I got accepted into NYU Stern but after talking to my parents they wouldn't be able to afford it even with the aid provided by the university. Other than Stern I only applied to other UC's as a Bioengineering major and got rejected from Berkeley and LA. I've been obsessed about getting a job in finance and but it seems that this window is closing. Is there any other pathway I can take to get into Wall Street?

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Comments (89)

Apr 8, 2020 - 4:29pm

I got into USC Marshall and pretty much every other UC other than LA and Berkeley so Davis, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara. I was waitlisted at San Diego and Irvine however. All UC's are for biomed engineering. :/

Apr 8, 2020 - 4:31pm

Yeah I've been trying to convince my parents that a combination of early graduation/work-study/loans/and community college classes will be enough to get through the ~80 something thousand per year cost but it doesn't seem to be working.

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Apr 8, 2020 - 4:33pm

I'm in that middle class crush where I can't get any aid from the school but it's not easy to pay my way through college since I have a younger sister that my parents want to put through private education too. We also live in Silicon Valley so housing is expensive.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 8, 2020 - 4:34pm

If they aren't willing to take out that loan amount - maybe you can take out a private loan via your bank (they always offer student loans) and have your parents be uninvolved in the process. Might be harder to pull off but worth a shot and asking around at banks.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 9, 2020 - 4:17am

I think this is the right course of action. Take full responsibility for your career aspirations and go to your parents with a comprehensive plan--"I'm planning on taking a loan, have applied to xyz jobs, have started looking for a summer job for senior year, will be prepping early for my courses/clubs/interviews, and expect to intern at x bank by junior year. I'd love your support to cover part of the tuition but also understand if it's difficult for the family, and am fully prepared to take full ownership of my tuition/finances without your support."

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 9, 2020 - 6:53am

Assuming we don't talk about transfers or gap year reapply, I'd take Stern with debt in a heartbeat assuming I'm confident I can get strong offers and I know I want to get into the industry. And with internships throughout the year+ paid IB job in sophomore and junior summer, that'll cover the interest payments.

The problem with reapplying is that op doesn't seem to qualify for need-based scholarships in the first place, And, being rejected from ULCA indicates that a higher-tier school "worth" taking out loans for might be out of reach anyway.

Apr 9, 2020 - 1:54pm

The problem is I've been beginning to worry about how I'll realistically pay 80k/year loans realistically. Especially with what's going on with the economy right now, it seems that I might just have to take the UC route and see if I can save enough up to transfer to Stern.

Apr 9, 2020 - 5:02pm

don't take out 80k of debt a year for stern. Go somewhere affordable and try seeing if you can possibly transfer your second year. Anyone else telling you other wise is delusional. If it all fails, breaking in from a non target isn't impossible, it would just require more work but more than doable.

Apr 8, 2020 - 5:29pm

So, in essence, the issue here is that the state schools you got into are for engineering, and the ones you got into for business are all private? Did you happen to get any scholarship money at other private schools? I'm only asking because I think you need to consider the best value for your money option. Ultimately, taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt is a massive commitment-- one that few people who are 18 fully understand. Ultimately, if the choice is truly between NYU and USC for business, then the price difference isn't going to be massive. But it sounds like if you don't take this, you'll have to take the biomed engineering route. Another thing to consider is that you can always change your major/tack on a double major at some of the other UC's. So, while you enter engineering, you can also add a major in economics or finance (if they offer it).


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  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 8, 2020 - 4:35pm

Bank I work at has people from schools all over the country. State schools, small liberal arts schools, ivies. You're in high school. What you need to understand (and what only the kids who ACTUALLY get into IB understand, not the kids who go on this forums that are wannabees) is that it really comes down to your drive and networking skills, which can come with time. If you're willing to put in the work: go to the cheaper school, get amazing grades, take leadership positions, and reach out to everyone you can get in touch with to network for IB. You'll likely have more fun in college and end up in the same exact place as someone who went to Stern, and have no student loans.

If you choose a school ONLY based on its chances to get you into IB you are an idiot. I interned and am going FT in BB IBD. Got decent grades (3.5), went to a large state school (not a competitive one), and didn't have any family connections, but I just networked hard junior and senior year. Not as hard as everyone makes it out to be if you don't network like a weirdo and can learn some finance on your own. Pm me - happy to help.

Apr 8, 2020 - 4:42pm

Maybe that's the path I'll have to take. I've been so enamored by the sort of hustle culture that NY brings and the distance to large firms that I might be blinded by the value I could make at a less competitive state school. I'm worried about the humps that I'll have to go through to getting to the same spot as a student would have gotten by just going to Stern and if I'll actually be able to get that far from drive alone. I'm afraid that no matter what I do the circumstances (especially the state of the economy right now) will just be too much.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 8, 2020 - 4:58pm

I want to be as supportive as possible, but from someone who's been in your shoes, you need to change your attitude to a more aggressive, confident, "can-do" attitude. If you can't go to your "dream school," you are saving $100ks+ of money, but you'll need to grind. Don't question yourself, just tell yourself you can do it, or else you'll never get it done. Do you think banks want analysts who aren't confident to get the job done in the face of adversity and challenge? I know you're in high school, but just grind and get it done! Hate to sound like a motivational speaker, but I've met both types, and know which ones make it.

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:54pm

It's not that simple. Some schools make life much, much easier.

To the poster:

UC Marshall is also expensive af, placement is not the best although I've heard alumni really help each other out.

You can always switch your major, you don't have to study biomed if you don't want to. In the first year, you'll be fulfilling mostly general requirements, which are classes like literature, etc that all colleges want you to take to be well-rounded. This means that you won't fall behind at all if you switch majors. Heck, even if you change your major in your second year, it won't be that bad as you'll still be going through most gen ed classes.

Can you list out all of the UC's you got into, in addition to what you would be paying for each?

What is the yearly cost of attendance for NYu Stern? Is it 80k a year? Ehh that's so painful. You will definitely have amazing opportunities from there but that is so much money.

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Apr 9, 2020 - 1:40pm

Here's a list of what I got into for the other UC's.
UC Davis-biotech eng
UCSB-microbiology? they don't offer biotech eng for undergrads
UCSC-biotech eng
UCI (waitlist)-biotech eng
UCSD (waitlist)-biotech eng
NYU Stern-business core concentration
USC Marshall-business administration

all are around full price so total cost is ~35k for the UC's
Total cost for NYU is similar to USC's at around 80k.

May 23, 2020 - 5:52pm

Our backgrounds seem very similar based on what you've described. I have been having some trouble on the networking front though and would really appreciate it if we could connect to discuss this aspect. Could you please dm me? (You're anonymous on this thread)

May 24, 2020 - 2:03am

Could you PM me as well, please. Would greatly appreciate some insights. I go to a large state school too.

May 24, 2020 - 2:55am

I think this is accurate except you need to network and hustle even more. starting to hustle hard junior and senior year isn't going to cut it. these SAs for juniors are done even before the year starts. there's a realistic chance of failure but you can pull a ton of levers that are in your control from age 18 to lower that possibility now. the best advantage you have is that you know you want to do finance right the fuck now. I sauntered my way through 2.5 years of college before realizing I wanted to try it out and break into finance. I was a flub and didn't grind even when I realized what I wanted to aim for. I paid the price for it with the offers I got. we all do if we don't do everything we can.

  • Intern in CorpDev
Apr 8, 2020 - 5:47pm

Also keep in mind that biomedical engineering as a major likely wouldn't hold you back that much. Granted you would have to learn many technicals on your own, but banks recognize that engineering is difficult/time-consuming and might even place a premium on engineering majors.

I've seen my fair share of engineering majors from my school working in finance

Apr 9, 2020 - 1:33pm

Yeah, I'm just worried how going into the UC system with a Stem major's going to affect the outcomes. I don't really plan on absorbing all of my time into getting a good GPA in an engineering field and forgetting about everything else.

Apr 9, 2020 - 1:32pm

The thing is I'm worried about how going to a non-target school with a different major's going to affect my chances of networking and getting internships. It looks like I'm going to have to go with the UC route, might as well do bioengineering with a minor in finance.

Apr 9, 2020 - 2:58pm

One key factor to get into IB from non target is networking. As some commented earlier: you will need to network harder with a Can Do attitude, compared to coming out of NYU. Plenty people from non target took the route. Would it be easy? No. But going to NYU does not guarantee success either - you will need to be competing with other NYU kids. At UCD or UCSB, you may have a better chance of standing out, which would help you getting into WS. This is assuming, of course, you don't hate the engineering major courses and make good grades.

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:03pm

How much more money would you have to borrow to go to Stern vs the alternative? I'm sure its a big chunk of change but with low interest rates and long payment terms, I suspect its worth it compared to the value of having a big leg up on your chosen career.

If it was Stern vs. a semi target b-school like IU or something, it might be a closer call.

But Stern vs a non-target with the wrong major? I'd think that's worth a few hundred grand to have much better odds of getting the career you want. Consider that people regularly invest in MBAs at a full cost of $400-500k just to get their career on a different track.

Curious to know the cost difference. Anything below 200k and I think you at least give a hard look to Stern.

Apr 9, 2020 - 4:18pm

I've been told by my parents that getting loans for private school wouldn't be realistic since they wouldn't have collateral and it would be too financially reckless. To put things into context attending a UC would be around 50k cheaper per year just off basic costs alone. I really want to go to Stern but it seems going to a UC with a bioengineering major would be the better route as I wouldn't be encumbered by debt going out of college.

Apr 9, 2020 - 4:29pm

If indeed UC will cost 200k less to attend, then I think that's a little better. If it was closer to 100k difference, I might say Stern.

Any hard major like bioengineering can put you in a great position for finance down the road, at many different entry points. Maybe right after college as an IB analyst, or maybe later on if you want to be a tech banker or do VC, it's always better to have a real STEM major. You'll be happy with your decision.

I should mention that collateral is not an issue with student loans. But 200k isn't worth it.

Apr 9, 2020 - 1:31pm

Yeah, cost is the factor that's holding me back. It looks like I'll be going to a UC for bioengineering and hopefully saving enough within two years to reapply to Stern

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 8, 2020 - 11:58pm

You should really look into the starting salaries for decent IB jobs (which you'll have a much better chance of getting if you go to Stern). Pretty much all of them will have you making over $150k first year out, some up to $200k. If you feel like betting on yourself to get a good gpa and do a bit of networking in your first few years, getting a job like this is pretty much a lock. If I were in your shoes, I'd be personally taking out a student loan for Stern and grinding my ass off every day that I'm there until I have that job on lock. Say you have about $250k in student loans all in, that's paid off in under 5 years making that kind of money, as long as you aren't stupid with it. But that's just my two cents on the matter, and it's not my name on the loan at the end of the day.

Apr 9, 2020 - 2:51am

have you considered the possibility of transferring to a better school after one year at a state school? you get another chance to apply, as a transfer student, and who knows maybe you will get into a good school with a better financial package. also why don't you research on LinkedIn the placement result of people from those state schools you mentioned. see where they are working now. reach out, cold-email, ask them about their school, college experience, recruiting experience, etc.

Apr 9, 2020 - 1:28pm

I'll see if I can go to a UC for two years and save up to reapply into NYU my junior and senior year. It sounds like a good idea but I'm hoping I don't miss out on any opportunities that I'll get from staying at Stern since freshman year.

Apr 9, 2020 - 4:26pm

most people apply as a transfer student after their first year of college. people who transfer after two years at the original school typically end up doing 3 years at the new school. if you do two years at the state school, you might find yourself having to do 3 more years at the new school. instead of thinking only about saving enough to pay for the new school, think about/research the possibility of obtaining better financial aid when you reapply. Stern is not known for giving out large sums of financial aid, and NYC has high cost of living. you can and should look into other elite target schools schoolstprobablyprobably have better Chan

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Apr 9, 2020 - 2:02pm

Look, if this was HYPW, I'd get all this commotion. But seriously, this is pretty clear cut don't take out all that debt for Stern of all places. The school is very strong but not worth THAT much. Ridiculous advice here is going get this kid screwed with over a quarter-million in debt for a fucking undergrad degree at NYU.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 9, 2020 - 3:47pm

80k/year for stern on your own would be a horrible financial decision. Consider community college for ONLY 1 year and reapply to a competitive state school with a selective banking program for the remaining 3. Knock out a ton of credits in the meantime and get to graduate a semester early to further save $. I did this and managed a BB offer and multiple top MM offers relatively easily and will graduate with no debt. Also see if UC Berkeley and UCLA are transfer friendly and those could potentially be affordable being in state after a year of CC. Keep in mind, you need to absolutely kill it in CC, like, 4.0 gpa which really shouldn't be that hard given you should be taking gen Eds anyways. Also get a unique part-time job that will differentiate you against your peers. Don't serve at restaurant. Find a boutique wealth management firm, law firm, commercial RE office, etc.. that will take you under their wing. It's possible.

Your next best, if not the best option, would be to go to UCSB and switch to Econ/math or Finance if they have that and enjoy your 4 years of beautiful college on the beach while grinding and getting great grades and networking. I'm sure there are some UCSB grads on the street especially west coast.

Knowing you want to get into IB early and having a strong work ethic are the most important factors in getting an offer.

I wouldn't recommend majoring in STEM unless you are extremely confident you can get at minimum a 3.5+ GPA. If you can manage that, it could actually be a plus to your application.

Apr 24, 2020 - 10:48am

Cal and LA don't accept transfers until junior year. I did try raising the CC route, but my parents are heavily against it and are telling me to go to a regular school instead. What do you think I can do to mitigate the two-year transfer requirement at the UC's?

Apr 9, 2020 - 3:56pm

I was in the same situation when choosing between universities. I had the choice of a state school that was essentially paying me to attend vs a private school (significantly better) but my parents would have exhausted their resources by 3rd semester and I would have to figure out how to pay for school myself. I chose the state school simply because I could not afford to go somewhere else. My first year I regretted my choice and was a little depressed/let down, but eventually I realized that I had made the right choice because I was graduating debt free, with an IB job, and spent 4 years not being extremely financially constrained which helped me enjoy my time at uni.

Do not go to school if you will come out with debt. Completely not worth it. Think about it in best case and worst case scenario. Best case, you make 120k as an analyst coming out of College and your debt will be 80k+ minimum 15k in expenses for going to NYU and the like. It would still take your years to pay off the 80k. You would be fine in long term assuming you do not fuck up. And this is assuming after 4 years you are still interested in IB, have actually gotten an offer, and focus 100% of your being into getting that IB job.

Worst case scenario, you spend upwards of 95k in expenses including tuition, are up to your eyeballs in debt, and don't get an IB job paying 120k. You would be fucked in short term and long term. Go to the school you can afford and focus on breaking in from there. It is possible, but it comes down to how much you want the job. You will have to put in the same effort to break in at any school so why not choose the one that is more favourable to you and your family?

I rather go to a non-target and graduate debt free than go to a target and be paying off my tuition for the next 6 years.

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Apr 24, 2020 - 12:33pm

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 9, 2020 - 5:45pm

I'm gonna help you out here. I had a literal exact situation to you - I went to ucsb and I'm obviously interested in finance. It is completely possible to work in NY finance from UCSB, but you'll have to get a 3.8+ (which I would say is medium to slightly difficult, not impossible at all). If you have the grades and the networking skills, either apply straight to NY, or try and network with the SF/LA locations of banks. Also, do not worry about the party scene at all. The insane party scene is a thing of the past and it's completely optional. The school has made an effort to curb it which has worked. And if you don't like UCSB, then transferring to a school like UVA, Vandy, USC, Cal, etc. isn't too bad

Apr 9, 2020 - 6:38pm

Don't mean to offend or anything, but do you think your situation is some sort of survivorship bias? I'm worried that these opportunities to get to NY directly are far and few in between and stuff.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 10, 2020 - 3:45am

yeah I'll be honest, it's not easy at all, but if you work hard to become the investment club pres and network a lot then you'll have a shot. The good thing is you'll have no competition from UCSB, but you're going to have to network like an animal. likely 75-100 calls minimum.

With that being said, I'd go to UCSB because it's the best cheap school you got into and then transfer out to a semi-target/target. I didn't mention that in my first post, but I did transfer to a semi-target top 20 school and didn't even have a 4.0

Apr 9, 2020 - 6:49pm

I was in the exact same boat as you except I didn't get USC either. I took UCSB for a year, took classes I knew I had the best odds in acing, and applied for 1-year transfers to target schools that were also known for generous financial aid. It was an optimization of cost, acceptance rate, and reputation for recruiting on WS.

As a person who saw what non-target recruiting was like and how hard they had to work just to get a boutique FT offer, I would strongly suggest you try to get into a target school if you can, whatever means necessary. Even the super well-networked and hustle types in non-targets are limited to a select number of positions. The benefit of target schools is that the entire pool of options opens to you (mgmt consulting, ER, S&T, buyside even).

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Apr 21, 2020 - 11:35am

So it didn't matter on your application that you transferred from a lower-tier school? Do you think it'll affect MBA admissions because I've heard they really scrutinize your applications.

Also, thank you, I'll most likely go to UCD or UCSD in bioengineering and hopefully transfer to Berkeley by sophomore year.

Apr 21, 2020 - 11:46am

The UC school system is generally well-regarded and considered solid institutions so I wouldn't worry about that. It's also less big of a deal if you do a 1-year transfer which I did. You'll do 3 years at your preferred university this way anyways.

I wouldn't worry about this for MBA stuff. Your ending university and subsequent jobs after that will be most of what they factor anyways.

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Apr 24, 2020 - 10:41am

It seems that my parents can't foot the bill with loans at private schools and the UC system requires two years before transferring. Do you think there is an alternative so that I don't miss the sophomore year-recruiting boat?

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Apr 11, 2020 - 10:03pm

Went to Stern. Had a great experience that also culminated into the job I was seeking. That being said don't think I'd personally be comfortable taking out so much debt. UCs are great schools; you'll have to network hard but it's definitely possible to break in. If you're dead-set on going to Stern, it's only worth transferring after your freshman year. I'm really involved with recruiting at my bank, if students reach out to me near the end of their sophomore year it's too late.

Congrats on the offers and good luck!

Apr 24, 2020 - 10:38am

Most schools don't accept transfers until after two years of college. Is there any way I can be proactive and find internships remotely from a smaller/more rural college like Davis or Santa Barbara?

Apr 12, 2020 - 1:18pm
  • Don't take that much debt for NYU not knowing what the outcome will be in 4 years. Everyone is going in thinking they'll be IB/PE. Everyone won't be
  • Transfer is a good advice but don't wait 2 years. Most decent recruiting now happening in late sophomore year. You'll miss the boat
  • I would consider becoming a pre-med at StateU. if - as someone said - you need to have 3.8+ GPA W that biomedical engineering, might well shoot for med school. Most analysts flake out of banking / finance tracks 5-10 years down the road anyway so if it's for money you'll have more stable / good outcome as doctor with much better hours post residency
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Apr 21, 2020 - 12:39pm

Just don't transfer too late if you do. Recruiting starts sophomore year now so gotta do it after freshman year

Apr 24, 2020 - 10:37am

After some research it seems most institutions don't accept transfers as a sophomore, only after two years. I'm pretty dead set on joining IB but I'm worried about the lack of opportunity the small schools like Davis offer. What do you think I should do in this situation?

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Apr 21, 2020 - 11:22pm

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