Northwestern ECON vs IU Kelley vs Vanderbilt ECON

AQArgo's picture
Rank: Monkey | 30

With decisions out, I've arrived at the three options above; NU, IU-Kelley, and Vandy. I am currently a student at IU, but decided to apply for a transfer spot at these schools in the case of a "you never know" outcome. Fortunately, I was accepted into both schools, and am now looking for advice for this upcoming semester. Currently, I attend IU for an amazingly low price, and would actually graduate with a surplus of money because of scholarships and parental support. However, if I chose to pursue NU or VU, I would most likely graduate with around 50k in student loans.

I know the reputation of Northwestern for Consulting, which I am still considering as a career choice, however, I am also interested in the comparison of these three schools in regards to Investment Banking. I understand Kelley is one of the pathways into IB, however, I am frankly tired of being the underdog, and want to be in a position where my placement chances are strong.

Additionally, is it wrong to think 50k in student loans is manageable as a result of the two career paths I'm considering; Banking and Consulting? I would absolutely love to go to Northwestern, it has always been my dream school, and so I am also scared of the regret I might face if I choose to decline NU on account of finances.

Please let me know your thoughts below, I would greatly appreciate any help at all! Information on comparable placement, experience, loans, etc., would be amazing.

Comments (11)

May 16, 2019

Are you transferring as a junior or sophomore? If you're transferring as a junior you most likely won't get into IB -- definitely not worth it then. Since you say NU is your dream school but you'd have to go 50K into debt, I think your decision should come down to the non-career related factors. Plenty of sophomore transfers at NU end up at top banks in Chicago and NY, but so do students at Kelley.

May 16, 2019

I'd be transferring into NU as a sophomore! I understand your position, but does Northwestern really not funnel countless more students in IB? I was always under the impression it was no comparison between the two schools.

May 16, 2019

The number of students interested in IB at NU is far fewer than that of comparable schools, so I wouldn't say countless more students get funneled into IB. Tbh I don't know much about IB recruiting, but you definitely wouldn't be hurting your chances by transferring to NU as a sophomore.

  • topboy
  •  May 16, 2019

NU brah, my friend at the University of Chicago said all his superdays in Chicago were majority NU/UCH followed by UMich and then east coast/west coast targets with one or two IU IBW kids mixed in.

If you're an incoming Sophomore focus on killing your first semester so you have an awesome GPA and start networking with alumni in late Fall/Early Winter for resume pushes at banks during your second semester when recruiting kicks off.

NU is a great school. It's true that not a LOT of students pursue IB there, so placement is actually pretty nice if you're on top of things and actively pursuing IB

May 17, 2019

Do you know any information on how hard it is to place into MBB consulting from NU? I understand they recruit heavily from NU, however, I also know the competition for consulting is also heightened.

May 17, 2019

Any other insights would be extremely appreciated!

May 20, 2019

I'd vote for NU assuming you are okay with starting over socially, taking on debt, and can make the grades. Plus you can always extend a year, if everything doesn't transfer 1 to 1. The NU brand will likely pay dividends later into your career as well.

May 20, 2019

I think that is the new question for me. How much debt is reasonable to take on for Northwestern? I have decided NU is where I want to be for sure, but what is an absurd amount, taking into consideration I hope to go into either IB or Consulting (MBB).

Most Helpful
May 20, 2019

If you go through this forum and look at what a lot of people regret about their undergrad choice, I feel like you'd find a fair amount of anecdotal evidence that supports the decision to decide and pick a target school and debt vs a non target with no debt. I feel like I've read a handful of comments along the lines of "I got into insert ivy league school but decided to accept a full ride to insert state school and I wish I would have taken on the debt. It was harder to break in, network is everything, blah blah"

As unfortunate as it may be, the prestige of a school counts for a lot as well as the network you develop at that school. NU has a great brand, especially in the midwest and they place people all over the business world in high up places. IU isn't a bad school, but it's limited to the banking program. If you're looking for a bang for you buck way into banking, IU is pretty decent. If you're thinking longer term and want to set yourself up a career that could span different industries(or even entirely outside of business) NU would be a better choice.

If you're up for the challenge of a transfer and starting over in a new place, I think 50k to go to NU makes sense. What does that break down into? 20k a year or so? You could pay most of that off in your first few years if you go into banking. It sounds to me like you should go with NU if that's where your heart is.

    • 3
May 30, 2019

I have officially decided I will be headed to Northwestern for my next year! I was able to get a great financial package, and will only end up with, at most, around 15k total. Super excited at this opportunity, and appreciate all of your help!

    • 1
Oct 29, 2019