Notre Dame/Indiana/Michigan on Wall Street?

2024Banker's picture
Rank: Chimp | 11

I'm a high school student looking at colleges to break into Wall Street. So far, I have a lot of the targets on my radar, such as Penn, Brown, Princeton, Williams, and Amherst... I have the test scores, grades, and extracurricular accomplishments to get into these colleges. But at the end of the day, most who apply to these schools do as well and I might not get into any of them. At least, I'm not naive enough to expect otherwise.

However, I do have strong chances of getting into the colleges I listed above, and this is my "backup-plan" so to speak. Personal connections, extensive work done with them, in-state schools, etc.. Not going to be too specific. I know most people would rank these 3 universities as UMich>ND>IU. I'm in the predicament where going to ND or IU is free, but UMich is about 100k more over 4 years. My question to you guys is, is it worth it. I personally, don't think so.

To speak about my finances personally, 100k is something my parents would be willing to pay and they'd definitely be able to handle the extra cost, but it just doesn't seem right to me to ask them to do so, if the cost outweighs the benefits. Before WSO, I would've picked ND over UMich any day of the week, and the additional cost of UMich compounds its unworthiness in my eyes. However, I've gone through many past WSO threads and people seem to have a really high level of respect for Ross and its Wall Street placement. I'm not sure if its the fact that Ross and UMich just has more grads, or if it really as good as people say. On the other hand, Notre Dame's Finance recruiting is pretty insane and its alumni network is legendary. shows placement to companies across all majors and IB/PE/HF's are in there pretty heavily, not even including Finance and Econ majors.

My second question was... Does IU compare well with these two schools? I've heard that its IB workshop (which is hard to get into) places pretty well on Wall Street but Notre Dame and UMich seem more like names I'd like to have on my resume, 5, 10, 20, years on the Street as college prestige does matter somewhat in Finance as far as my high-school mind can understand (although I'm sure someone's going to correct me here and tell me that people only care about your work experience after your first job).

Edit; Before someone brings up the social/fit/culture aspect of college... I've lived on all 3 campuses and I definitely preferred UMich the best, then ND, then IU.

Thanks for reading the rant of an ignorant high-schooler (if you got this far).

Comments (7)

Sep 7, 2019

Honestly every school you mentioned are amazing at placing into banking; assuming you are a top student and network a little.
That being said I would pick the school that you believe you will succeed the most at.

I would recommend you read this article and the study that is linked in it.
It basically states that someone who is accepted to U Penn, Yale, Wisco, and ND. And decides to go to Wisco or ND will have the same financial outcome as they would have if they went to U Penn or Yale.

But if I were you I would pick ND if you think it will be free.
If you get into Ivy go to Ivy if you can afford it.

    • 1
Sep 9, 2019

I agree, on average, someone accepted to UPenn, Yale, Wisco, and ND will have the same financial outcome. However, to be nit-picky, 49 percent of corporate industry leaders (C-suite) graduated from only 12 colleges: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, MIT, Cornell, Chicago, Northwestern, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, UPenn, and UC Berkeley. At the very highest levels, it makes a huge difference where you went (not necessarily because of a superior education but many underlying reasons). Not that I'm ever gonna make it that high, just pointing it out.

Sep 9, 2019

Coming from a bottom-tier non-target, hearing kids from Notre Dame or prestigious Big 10 schools complain about how "Wall Street" will look at their resume is amusing.

Just go to the school that's the best fit for you and make it work.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
Sep 9, 2019

In the end, I agree is probably all perspective and to be looking at schools of this caliber in general, I guess I'm in a good spot.

Sep 9, 2019

Feel like you skipped a tier, any reason why? I'm talking about like UVA, Northwestern, places like that. People from those schools who want IB get in at high rates.

Ross is a good program, but is overhyped on places like WSO because its alums plug the shit out of it. Any neutral, knowledgeable person you find will tell you that its not any harder getting a Wall St job out of ND. Fewer alums but also less competition, and ND alums will fight for you.

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Sep 9, 2019

That tier matches kinda with UMich in that its more expensive for me and the costs might outweigh the benefits. I specifically did look at Northwestern and based on its reputation on recruiting here on WSO, I didn't think it would be worth the ~100k more I'd have to pay compared to IU or ND, just like Michigan.

Sep 9, 2019