Transferring - worth it?

Hi everyone,

Current freshman at a non-target (IU Kelley) and on pace to get around a 3.8-3.9 GPA my first semester. Been wondering if it's worth it to transfer out as getting into the Investment Banking Workshop at IU is a huge gamble and would really suck ass if I spent all this time grinding towards it and didn't get in. Is this GPA good enough to transfer to a higher tier college like Cornell, UVA, or NYU? Also any other good transfer recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks

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Comments (45)

Most Helpful
  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Oct 9, 2021 - 12:00pm

This may be the first time someone actually at IU Kelley referred to it as a non target

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 9, 2021 - 12:43pm

Doesn't hurt to apply and keep options open. I transferred target to target, but met plenty of kids who came from random state schools. Several of them are now going into banking. Hustle for opportunities at IU also.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Oct 10, 2021 - 2:36pm

He / she doesn't have the GPA yet and it's in the low end if you want to transfer to a top school. The transfer admit is ~5% for a lot of them. I think Cornell has a higher one but they also have a guaranteed transfer program and a lot of random colleges. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Oct 10, 2021 - 2:34pm

Just apply and then evaluate your options when you hear back. No point in debating it now. 

It also seems early in the semester to know where your GPA will land up. 3.8 is definitely on the low end. Most of these schools are harder to transfer into than they are to get into from HS. If you are serious about transferring, I would aim for a 4.0. 

Just apply to every Ivy ex-HYP and then uchicago / duke. Maybe JHU / Williams. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 10, 2021 - 2:46pm

Yes, definitely transfer. The unfortunate reality is that you carry your undergrad name throughout your career. During the first few years it really makes a difference for not only undergrad recruiting, but on-cycle, lateraling, B-School, and even other kinds of exits. Even beyond that, having a large successful alumni base in the industry is helpful. This isnt to say nontargets cant have incredibly successful careers, but it's just more of an uphill battle. The transfer process sucks ass, but you won't regret it. 

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Oct 10, 2021 - 3:47pm

Definitely worth applying and you can decide later on, late spring or summer even. As a sophomore year transfer they'll still consider your high school grades/SAT along with your college GPA, so the below list assumes you had solid performance in high school.

I'd add UMich Ross (caveat that I'm not sure if you can transfer directly into Ross these days) and Georgetown to your list, and potentially one or two of Duke/Columbia/UChicago (low transfer acceptance rates, less worth it if you have to write a ton of essays or recommendations for any of those). Penn Econ may be worth a look too, less competitive than Wharton.

Cornell and NYU are great, although NYU Stern transfer rate is literally 2%. TLDR here is apply as widely as you can.

UVA won't let you transfer directly into their business school unless you're a sophomore. Great school, but you're still going to be gambling there to get into McIntire, especially as a transfer who is competing with the rest of the school.

Oct 10, 2021 - 7:53pm

Went through the transfer process and am now at Columbia. I would say that the school has less of an impact than people think, plenty of people break into the industry from non-targets. If you have other reasons for wanting to leave tho (can't imagine Illinois is very fun) then I'd say go for it.

Oct 10, 2021 - 8:33pm

Would you be willing to elaborate more on where you transferred from and your stats?I think the most difficult aspect of being at a non target is there is "no light at the end of the tunnel" whereas being at a target gives you some assurance. However, networking and developing relationships is key.

  • Prospect in RE - Comm
Oct 11, 2021 - 2:39pm

wait I thought kelley was the lowest of the semi-targets, but a semi-target nonetheless. Am I wrong? Im a high school senior so im not exactly sure if it is or isn't. 

  • Teller in Risk Mnmgt
Oct 11, 2021 - 3:17pm

Cornell sucks all around. Shit location, kids are weird, overpriced, and still not an Ivy. Kelley to UVA is certainly not worth it. Maybe NYU if you can pull off an external transfer into Stern, which is difficult. Kelley places well. Stick around

Oct 11, 2021 - 4:25pm

Welcome. However, I'm not saying don't test the waters. Kelley to like UVA or UNC does not make sense. But apply to Penn (arts & sciences), Duke, Dartmouth. If you get in, take one. If not, fuck it. Kelley is great and does really well both with EBs and BBs. Don't listen to all the other literally prospective interns on this site talking shit about Kelley and other public undergrad B schools. I went to a target (H/Y/P) and tons of kids still didn't land even remotely top gigs bc they were fucking lazy and thought they were going to get everything handed to them. You need to be grinding for a good sophomore internship and go balls to the walls for your junior year internship. Meanwhile, have fun and enjoy Bloomington while Cornell kids eat eat their boogers and stay virgins for life

  • Intern in PE - Other
Oct 12, 2021 - 8:44pm

NYU arts&sciences may be worth as well (if there is some sort of contingency option to the application process to stern or you if you want to play it safe), plenty end up at solid banks/funds

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Oct 11, 2021 - 4:22pm

I know someone who transferred to my target from IU Kelly. He's been doing pretty well for himself, got a BB job, so I'd say yes if you get into a good target school

Oct 12, 2021 - 11:50am

USC, Vanderbilt, and Cornell all take a good amount of transfers each year. Would definitely advise applying there as recruiting from those schools will put you at a significant advantage compared to Kelly even with the IBW

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Oct 13, 2021 - 1:31am

might be biased but transferred to USC from a non-target and broke into NYC BB IBD, alumni network is really strong and it's pretty easy to get in as a transfer imo

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Oct 12, 2021 - 4:05pm

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