Starting college again at Columbia or staying at a semi-target branch campus?

Hi. I am currently a freshman (rising sophomore) at an overseas branch campus of a semi-target school (think Duke Kunshan, Georgetown SFS Qatar, NYU Abu Dhabi). I reapplied to college this year and have been accepted to the Dual BA Program between Sciences Po Paris and Columbia GS (not Columbia College). Basically, I would get a BA from Sciences Po and another one from Columbia University School of General Studies after 2 years in France and 2 years in New York.

Also, I am a non-US citizen/international student. My goal after graduation is either to go to econ grad school or to work in MBB consulting after graduation (I don't mind overseas offices). Some of my concerns:

(1) None of the credits from my current school would transfer if I enroll in the Columbia/Sciences Po program (so basically I will redo my first year).
(2) Columbia is about 150k more expensive than my current school.
(3) I also have some concerns about the job prospect of Columbia GS students not as good as CC/SEAS. While If I stay at my current school's branch campus, I would still get the same diploma as those on the main campus.

Should I stay at my current school or restart my college career at Columbia/Sciences Po. What are your recommendations? Thank you.

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Comments (6)

Apr 24, 2021 - 9:15pm

Stay at the branch campus and do a US/UK/EU MSF after.

Redoing your 1st year for an extra 150K is a very hard pill to swallow. Even if the job options are terrible from the branch school, it may make more sense to do a target MSF in the US, UK or Europe after and then try for consulting. You'll probably save money doing so and instead of spending the 1 year re-doing your freshman year (how boring), you'll get a graduate degree out of it. 

Apr 25, 2021 - 5:27am

Hi. Thanks for your advice. I just have one problem with staying at the branch campus: it does not offer any advanced math classes other than Calculus I. Do I still have a chance to get into these MSF programs without a strong math background? Would a high quant score on the GRE sufficient to compensate for this lack of math classes?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 25, 2021 - 5:39am

Advanced math classes aren't required for MSF. You can demonstrate quantitative aptitude by taking more quantitative Econ classes, or stats, computer science, etc

Apr 25, 2021 - 7:49am

I'm in the Dual BA and I would advise you to stay where you are because the money is a really big issue. Though I will say, if you're dedicated enough, you'll land a consulting job, the GS poses no problem bc most people don't even know that there's a distinction between GS and CC.

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