Is NYU Stern undergrad worth the huge debt?

It's around 300k that they expect us to pay. We will be able to pay it off with time; around 7-9 years after I graduate is a reasonable estimate with my family's income and inheritance (makes me cringe a little thinking about it but the reality is there is a large sum here). We're middle class but not super-wealthy, although my grandmother has been long in the market. I would like to pursue finance but have not received any offers from other schools yet but I'm waiting on a few business schools (Olin, Mendoza, Cal (which is 3rd yr business program for undergrad), Vandy, Northwestern). I will be hearing back from them soon but I expect only a marginally better financial aid package if I get accepted due to the strange nature of our financial situation (64k a year for essentially every private school listed here). I'd love to hear your feedback as I'm in a bit of a pickle. 

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Comments (21)

Mar 20, 2021 - 12:33pm

Might I ask why? I'm not questioning your judgment but I'd just like a bit of context to work with. Adding a bit of information, at all of the colleges I listed, aside from UC Berkeley, I will be paying 64k a year no matter what. Is Stern worth the 80k more debt or is this simply not worth it? 

Mar 21, 2021 - 11:02am

Dude, take Berkeley and run with it. Don't start your real life 250k in the hole. Berkeley is an amazing school and I don't think the difference between it and NW/ND/Stern is worth living under the burden of a quarter million dollars in debt. Go to Berkeley, join investment clubs, apply to Haas and you'll be fine.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 20, 2021 - 4:15am

If you get into one of your other options and it's much cheaper, go there. If you don't, or if you get into one of your other schools but there's no meaningful cost difference, take on the debt and go to Stern

Mar 20, 2021 - 12:31pm

The meaningful difference will most likely be around 20 thousand per year we'd be saving if I went to just about any other college,  even more if I get an offer from UC Berkeley. I already know they will ring us dry as much as they can so they will meet our demonstrated need and give us nothing more. In essence, it's a matter of whether or not Stern is worth the 80k more debt. 

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 20, 2021 - 1:09pm

20k is insignificant considering how much you're already taking on, so don't let it affect your decision. However, if you're in state at Berkeley and get in for much cheaper, then go there. Stern would be so much more expensive while only providing slightly better opps than UCB/Haas. 

Also, it goes without saying that if you end up having to take on this much debt, you should work hard to get the highest-paying job you can possibly get out of undergrad 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 20, 2021 - 8:32pm

Posting anon bc I'm at Stern at the moment. I'll break it down in the quickest way for us all.



On campus recruitment.

Very clear pipeline in IB.


Toxic culture.

No culture other than being toxic.

Getting the classes you want is impossible.

Ton of debt.

Nice to be in nyc, but redundant if you're going to worm the next 10+ years of your life here as well.

The people who are the heads of all finance clubs in stern are cut from the exact same cloth/demographic. If you don't fit it, no matter your credentials or skills, you're out of luck.

Not sure if I mentioned but toxic culture.

Overall, I'm happy I decided to come here, but would seriously explore other options if I were you. The only way you can justify stern is if you are 100% dead dick and balls set on finance, specifically IB. Then the ball is in your court.

Typing on phone, apologies for any tough grammar.

Mar 20, 2021 - 8:51pm

Stern obviously has a strong pipeline to IB. If you get into Cal, though, you could still do well in recruiting, especially for west coast banking. Studying in the bay area also gives you some optionality towards tech, whereas stern is highly finance focused. I go to a UC school myself (not cal) and I've really enjoyed it. Make sure you tour and get a feel for the students because you'll have to interact with them for the next four years. Do your future self a favor and seriously consider fit.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 31, 2021 - 1:54am

Also, not sure if this thread has been put to bed and/or you made a decision, but in reality, you wouldn't come out with 300k in debt. 300k is the price you'd pay if you decided to live in dorms for all 4 years and stayed on the mealplan which is crazy overpriced. 50k is tuition - sure, that part sucks. If you think an additional 30k is necessary for you to live in the city for 9 months out of the year, that is your problem. Get an apartment with friends, cook/eat cheaper than the mealplan, work over the summers, and overall don't be an idiot with cash.

One of my very close friends pays $750/month in rent (2 roommates), and says he averages about $300/month in groceries for himself. That right there would be right south of $13,000, which is under what you'd make in a summer working almost anywhere.

The main point I want to make here is you can go to school ANYWHERE and break into IB, PE, or whatever you want to do. Go to a school for the people, classes, location, but DO NOT underestimate the party scene and major sports teams no matter how introverted you are.

Hope this helps.

  • Prospect in PE - Other
Apr 30, 2021 - 10:58pm

Stern student here. I feel like a better question to ask is are you gonna get along with the rich kids at NYU. These kids have no problem at paying tuitions and parents can back them off in case recruiting fails. AND btw everyone is gunning for banking and you will feel peer pressured if you are some what competitive. Do you want to be that hardo who coffee chats someone everyday every week? If answer for these questions is yes then for it. If not, you can either go to stern, leverage that to transfer to Wharton or IVY (I highly recommend) or go to another cheaper option. If I were u I will try the external transfer path. Yes you will still need to pay the first year's tuition and transfer is guaranteed.

  • Intern in PE - Other
May 1, 2021 - 10:31pm

I turned down Stern because of the cost. I live comfortably, but $300k is a huge burden. A big factor in my decision was that I had much cheaper options that were still semi-targets.

It's pretty difficult if you don't have cheaper options and the schools that you are waiting on seem to be a similar. I would say, if you can get an option that is substantially cheaper and has a pathway to your desired career, you can work your way to where you want.

May 1, 2021 - 11:34pm

not that worth it, i graduated a couple of years ago with a 3.7 and make 70k annually, haven't seen the payoff yet. Also in regards to friends /social life very challenging. I only keep in touch with a few people post graduation

go get a traditional college experience

May 2, 2021 - 12:23am

Well, it's unfortunately too late for this now. I've taken my spot at Stern and will accept the costs. I'm hopeful I can keep it under 300k and at that point, we'd be able to pay it off 4-5 years after I graduate, no matter my occupation. Before you call me crazy, the fact of the matter is that none of the other schools I got into gave me aid. Boston College and Boston University accepted me but expected me to pay 80k each. What can ya do? Berekely and UCLA didn't even accept me so those were out the window, and my local state school would've cost us 45k a year. There was no way to beat the situation so I'll have to accept it and make the most out of it. It's a strange year and the winners in the college process are seemingly few and far between. I'm just fortunate to have gotten a great school at the end of it all! 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 2, 2021 - 2:50pm

Don't fret too much over your choice. You are clearly prepared and ready to get it done. Out of the schools you've listed Stern offers the most opportunities for the cost. Hustle and kill it at Stern, and you will succeed.

May 2, 2021 - 1:12am

Not questioning your experiences, but I tend to believe that I'm not one that would enjoy the "typical college experience". I wasn't a partier, I didn't drink or do any of that stuff, no football games -- I enjoyed grinding, alone time, and being an introvert as a whole. I'm not a loaner, but I enjoy it when my colleagues are competitive and pick my own friends carefully. If anything, Stern couldn't be a better fit for me. It's been proven multiple times that pretty much all private colleges aren't willing to give my family aid. I'll have to bite the bullet and attend the school. But I think it's more than likely that I'll enjoy the experience. 

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