Stern ($100k-120k in debt) vs Northwestern (no debt) vs Cornell (no debt) [UNDERGRAD]

Hello,

I'm a rising senior in HS, and this fall I will be applying to one of the schools above Early Decision. I'm trying to decide which would be the best option for me. In regards to an admissions viewpoint, I have an incredibly high chance at admission to Stern, with Northwestern and Cornell both being decent chances (I'm a high stats, great EC URM, who should also write great essays. I don't mean to come off as pompous in any manner. This is just how I feel, especially after talking with my GC and an admissions consultant). I have a decent idea of what I want to do when I graduate, but I'm not 100% sure. Career paths I've considered are: consulting, ibanking, or tech (and maybe later moving to VC).

Stern seems like the best school for NYC finance, but 2 things: 1. I'm really ambivalent towards working in NYC. I think I'd rather work in Chicago and 2. I'd have to take over $100k in loans to attend. So, while the connections are amazing and the experience is unique, It's hard to justify that much in debt coming out of college and living in an already very expensive city. If I'm working crazy hours with solid pay coming out of college, I'd like to have some money to enjoy myself on the limited time that I do, not just worry about paying off my loans.

I really like NU because of it's campus and it's Chicago placement. Won't have to take out loans to attend. Obviously IB isn't really strong at NU. Consulting seems to be a lot bigger at not only NU, but also in Chicago, which I don't mind as I'd be open to both job markets. My issue is that while I would likely do the FinEcon certificate, I won't be doing MMSS. I'm not sure if recruiters throw away NU applicants who aren't in MMSS. Also NU has some sick D1 sports that aren't necessarily a deal breaker for other schools not to have, but are certainly a bonus. Also, NU seems to have the whole urban feel of Stern, without having to live in the city. Like it seems like you can easily ride the subway into Chicago and hang out there. I'd have to say I'm leaning towards NU the most, but I just don't want to apply, possibly get in, and then 2 years later realize I'm going to practically a non-target for Chicago IB/consulting or SF tech (seems to have some good connections to SF tech with the engineering school. I would attend CAS though).

In regards to Cornell, similar situation to NU in that no loans, but it's hard to get to from where I currently reside. I would have to take a 2 hour flight to a nearby city and than drive an hour to get to Cornell or take an 8 hour trip that consists of 2 connecting flights to Ithaca. Also, Cornell, while it has the Ivy tag, still seems to place predominantly into NYC, not Chicago. Also, Ithaca doesn't seem like a huge place to have fun. I'm not looking for a "work hard, play harder" environment, but I do want to have some sort of social life in college.

Overall, I guess I'm currently leaning towards NU, but I'm not sure. Granted, I could get into none of these schools, and I'm aware of that, but I'm trying to decide which to apply ED to. Thanks everyone.

Comments (26)

Jul 23, 2015

So many questions about your thought process, but first, how are you sure to graduate with no debt from Cornell & Northwestern but not NYU. Am I missing something?

    • 2
Jul 23, 2015

I've had my parents run financial aid calculators for both schools, and the estimated aid is well within our range to not have to take out loans. Stern, on the other hand, estimates it will barely give us any aid.

Jul 23, 2015
modestlocke9:

So many questions about your thought process, but first, how are you sure to graduate with no debt from Cornell & Northwestern but not NYU. Am I missing something?

NYU is one of the most overpriced schools in the country for undergrad. Go to Northwestern.

Jul 23, 2015

Go to a school that will give you a degree for as little debt as possible.

Jul 23, 2015

Cornell / Northwestern > NYU

I'd take either of those, but if you get into both, decide based on personal preference and what job you want after undergraduate (Cornell does better in banking and Northwestern does better in consulting).

Jul 23, 2015

NU sounds like the clear choice here. The schools are in the same tier, there's no reason to take debt (especially for undergrad where you future path is still undetermined).

Jul 23, 2015

I'm going to take a shot in the dark, but do you work in Chicago consulting? (By your consulting tag and your CM Punk avatar.) If so, do you see a lot of NU guys? Do you know if they are all MMSS?

Jul 23, 2015

Never even head of MMSS

Jul 23, 2015

NYU is arguably less prestigious than the other two AND more expensive.
I didn't even bother reading your full post, anyone with a brain knows that 120k is a lot of money. Take 100 business executives out to $500 dinners, you'll end up ahead in life and still have 70k to spare.

Jul 23, 2015
xelink:

NYU is arguably less prestigious than the other two AND more expensive.
I didn't even bother reading your full post, anyone with a brain knows that 120k is a lot of money. Take 100 business executives out to $500 dinners, you'll end up ahead in life and still have 70k to spare.

yeah do this

Jul 23, 2015

In all seriousness, what if I took 10 business executives out to $200 dinners.

Think it'd turn out good?

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

Jul 23, 2015
UTDFinanceGuy:

In all seriousness, what if I took 10 business executives out to $200 dinners.

Think it'd turn out good?

Probably well enough... it'd be cheaper too.
If you do it right, you'd figure out how to get OTHER people to pay for it too.

Jul 23, 2015

If you want to work in Chi, do NW. If you want to work in NYC, do Cornell. Don't do NYU either way... worse school and more expensive than both other options.

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

Jul 23, 2015

Go to Northwestern and don't look back, unless you want to be in the toxic environments of Cornell and NYU for four years.

Jul 23, 2015

Just out of curiosity, what exactly is toxic about Cornell? I can see the toxicity of Stern, but not as much with Cornell. I guess it has the typical white, rich, frat star, lax bro environment and is in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Not sure if that's what you're referring to.

Jul 23, 2015

Cornell >>> NU

Jul 23, 2015

5 minutes ago, you just gave a huge explanation on why Cornell was better than NU. Granted you gave some awful reasons "WORK HARD PLAY HARD DOESN'T EXIST, BIG 10 SPORTS ARE BORING, YOU'LL GO TO SCHOOL WITH NERDS." Didn't go to NU, so I don't really know the scene there, but it seems to be the premier (maybe aside from Ross and UChicago) school to get to Chicago finance. Also, it is actually pretty close to Chicago. It's about an hour subway ride to the Loop and about a 30-40 minute car ride. Granted it's not IN Chicago, but if you wanted to go there for a weekend or even a night, it's certainly feasible. Same situation pretty much for UChicago and they market being in Chicago a lot more than NU. Hell, at least NU isn't in the fucking hood.

Jul 23, 2015

If Big 10 sports are the reason you're going, I hope you're cheering for the visiting team. Last I heard they have trouble filling up the football stadium for games, and whenever OSU or Michigan or anyone else comes in there's more red (or yellow) in the stands than purple.

Jul 23, 2015

If you think you're a shoe-in for Cornell/NU then why aren't you applying to HYPMS?

Jul 23, 2015

I never said I was a "shoe-in", which should actually be "shoo-in." I said I had decent chances, like I'm at least competitive if I apply ED. Getting into Cornell/NU/schools of that tier are in no way similar to getting into HYPMS.

Jul 23, 2015

I don't think you'd pigeonhole yourself regionally based on your college. I'm at a midwestern target, and the BB/EB interns/full-time graduates are 50/50 at NYC and Chicago. I'm personally looking Houston and just won't be doing OCR.

Jul 23, 2015
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