Is Columbia/other targets worth dropping a Ferrari on?

Hello WSO!

I just graduated HS in a small country in West Africa and I'm currently taking a gap year Bc of corona and other logistical issues. IB is really intriguing and I'm interested in pursuing a career in it.

So I'll be applying to top US schools in America and probably Columbia ED. The thing is, I'm not going to be able to get any aid with COVID plunging many universities budgets into the abyss. If I did apply for it I'd probably just get straight up rejected from everywhere(this happened to everyone at my school at last year).

I'm a competitive applicant; I've got the stats and all to get in. But I'm just worried about how I'm gonna pay for the insane tuition bill. My parents and family can afford it but I want to pay them back eventually. So essentially it's IB or bust if I go to a top US school lmao. The way I see it the only reason why I would even consider this is bc of the networking/recruiting opportunities a school like Columbia can give me.

What are your thoughts on this? Should I drop 300k on a Columbia education?

Cheers lads!

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Comments (8)

Sep 18, 2020 - 7:51am

Thanks for your reply.

Pretty set on the US. I have family all over there and I don't really like the way the UK unis are structured with their strict majors and only 3 years.

Sep 18, 2020 - 12:03pm

I went to Columbia. Great school. Bunch of international kids too. If you come from some money and the debt won't be life crippling, I think it's worth it. If you think you would be a competitive applicant for IB, then it probably makes even more sense. Only caveat is that I'm not sure what the deal is these days with work visas / banks sponsoring international folks - something to keep in mind. 

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  • Business School in Research - Other
Sep 19, 2020 - 7:37am

I went to an Ivy league undergrad, but was on financial aid. Don't think I would have went to my ivy league undergrad if I had to pay full price. There's no way you can service 100k-300k in debt post undergrad on an entry pre-tax 150k IBD salary. 

More likely than not, you will probably need to get a Top MBA if you're gonna stay on the PE track. Its way more doable to get into a top MBA these days from a non-target than even 5 years ago. Any M7 with the exception of H/S will take you if you did the IBD->PE track, even if its lower MM/boutique. Wall Street has become less nepotistic these days; its very doable to get an IBD job from nearly any top 100 school if you put in the effort and time. 

Debt for a top MBA is fine.... program cost is 250k but all in comp can be 200k - 350k +, so its doable to pay off the loan within your first year out assumed you saved prior to B-School, etc. 

Have you looked into Oxbridge? Way cheaper, better reputation than Columbia globally (oxbridge is easier to get into than than ivies also..), and its only 3 years. Have a younger sibling; would definitely recommend him/her to go to oxbridge over the ivies since my family probably won't qualify for financial aid anymore. A school like Columbia is probably also gonna cost closer to 400k given the high cost of living in NYC

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