U-Mich vs U-Illinois (paying $80k vs in-state tuition)

g-baby1's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 71

I want to get into Wall Street. I know that UMich is well respected in banking and is able to place many students into prestigious jobs in NYC - but is it that much better than UI that it would be worth it for me to swallow $80k in loans rather than going to U of Illinois (public / in-state tuition)? Thanks for your advice.

Comments (67)

Oct 19, 2011

I am a prospective UNDERGRADUATE student by the way

Oct 19, 2011

If you go to Ross, the finance recruiting for NYC is much better. However, top employers at U-M target mainly business and engineering students, so if you are not in that group, I'd say it doesn't matter. Bear in mind that recruiting for finance jobs in the next years might suck so as to make any differences small.

Oct 19, 2011

U of I has some on-campus recruiting for the BBs in NYC, but Michigan has significantly more as I understand it. For Chicago the schools are probably about equal. U of I is good enough to get you in the door at most places on Wall Street, and there are plenty of alumni in finance to network with.

If cost is no object, you will have more opportunities coming from Michigan, but if you don't have money to blow, U of I is a great option. As the above poster alluded to, the shrinking pool of Wall St jobs tends to impact the borderline/semi-target schools the most. If you believe that there will be many fewer finance jobs in 4 years, then you may be best served at Michigan.

If I was going into undergrad today, I would think strongly about studying computer science or EE as that's where the good jobs will be when you graduate. Personally, I don't believe that finance will be rebounding anytime soon. If you were to decide to take that path, U of I would set you up perfectly for a great tech job, and from what I've seen, U of I has a better pipeline into the Bay Area tech community than Michigan.

Oct 19, 2011

Thanks for the comments both of you. Now, which of these would be most beneficial to me. Should I major in finance, major in accounting, or double major in finance/accounting? I have heard that an accounting degree is much more useful and gives you many more options than a finance degree? Is this true? Also, anyone else feel free to comment on UMich or UIUC.

Oct 19, 2011

I agree with the feedback NRG and Techbanking gave you. If you look at a starting analyst classes at most bulge bracket banks there will usually be 4-8 kids from Michigan and maybe 2 from Illinois. Illinois is a fine school and it's definitely possible to get into finance, but it probably will take a little more work than at Ross.

In terms of major - if you want to do finance then major in finance. Certain accounting classes will be helpful and translate very well to banking and investing (financial accounting, financial statement analysis), while others will be completely irrelevant (all cost accounting classes). So if it's easy to double major then I guess you might as well, but otherwise just take the applicable accounting classes and make sure you bring that up in interviews.

Oct 19, 2011

Ok, also my EFC will be $0. Do you know if either one of these schools is good on financial aid? If not, I feel like I would go to U of I to avoid the 80K debt. One more question, if I decided to double major in acct./finance and took an accounting job at a big 4 company, could I still have exit opportunities to bulge bracket banks?

Oct 19, 2011

I double majored in Accounting & Finance at UMich. It was in-state tuition for me, which is the primary reason I wasn't looking at Ivies, or Stanford / Chicago / Northwestern. I got where I wanted, as I knew I would, and graduated with like $15k in student loans instead of $150k. So, as much as I love Big Blue, I'd recommend going with U of I - it's a great school, and while not as heavily represented in NYC as Michigan is, you can still make it there, and you can definitely make it to Chicago as a backup. The ratio of income / expenses tends to be much better in Chicago anyway - a lot of places pay NYC money (or close to it) but COL is easily half, depending on where you're at in NYC.

As for Accounting vs Finance vs Both, that all depends. I can tell you Accounting is generally considered to be more rigorous; not because it's conceptually difficult, but probably because it's so voluminous and tedious. There are just a lot of rules you have to learn, and be able to apply in different scenarios. Finance was pretty easy, I had like a 3.9 major GPA in that degree and put in about half as much time as I did in Accounting.

Like someone else pointed out though, if you can handle Computer Science then U of I is the obvious choice. Michigan has an awesome engineering / CS program (top 15 maybe?), but U of I is like top 5 - comparable to Stanford, MIT, Carnegie, etc. You'll have a lot more options with that route too - including Finance if you still want it when you graduate.

Oct 19, 2011

Isn't CS more engineering and science geared than accounting or finance? Money and success is extremely important to me, but I still want to do something I enjoy. I don't really enjoy science and have always been intrigued by the business world. So, judging by that I feel like I wouldn't enjoy CS. But, correct me if I am mistaken about something.

Oct 19, 2011

I go to U of I (obviously) and I love the school. Recruiting has been picking up in recently since the investment banking club has gained more traction. They do a event in Chicago over winter break where alumni from ~10 banks in the city come in to talk and do a meet-and-greet and established relationships with most banks in the area. Off the top of my head I know people going to JPM NY, Evercore NY, Greenhill CHI, Lazard CHI, JPM CHI as well as places like Baird, Sagent, BMO, Lincoln etc. I'm pretty sure there are a few going to Citi/Deutsche/BofA also. Is it the best recruiting? No, but if you want to break in you can break in.

Also echoing Computer Science at U of I. They get the shit beat out of them in their classes, but can graduate with salaries around 100k for a 40 hour work week. Also, if you want to trade GET A COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE! DRW and a few other serious trading shops were recruiting last year and they were looking for CS majors. But seriously, if I could do it all over again I might have gone into CS over finance. Like others have said, that is where most of the jobs will be soon (now).

Oct 19, 2011

You are not mistaken. CS, especially at U of I (but really, equally so at Michigan), is hard core math. Doing something you enjoy is well and good, it if exists as a career and pays what you want it to. Careers in Finance as they have been for the last x number of years seem to be dwindling a bit as banks get squeezed, in favor of the folks that are much heavier on the quantitative skills (CS, Math, etc.).

Also, the "business world" is everywhere. Being a banker is a narrow view of that world. I'd argue that the really interesting aspects of the business world today are in the technology realm anyway. CS guys are the ones starting all the new companies. But, it's not for everyone. If you don't love it, you'll probably fail. Computer Science at a good school makes Accounting and Finance look like 6th grader work. (I studied CS in grad school so I can compare).

Oct 19, 2011

http://cs.illinois.edu/alumni/profiles

  • Cofounder of Youtube
  • Cofounder of Paypal
  • Founder of IronPort (sold to Cisco for $800+ Million)
  • Guys that created Netscape browser
  • Founders of Yelp
  • Founder of Farmville FB game
    etc.
    etc.

These guys aren't sitting in a closet writing code for 40 years and calling it a career. They are changing the world, and getting rich while doing it.

Oct 19, 2011

CS at U of I will be the death of you. From your posts, you seem more keen on the accounting and finance side of things. CS will give you a great career path but it will be a real long 4 years and a severe lack of a social life at least at U of I. I just don't get why people recommend CS so often at U of I if you want to do IBanking. Just double major in accounting and finance, join the investment banking club and enjoy an awesome social life while you're at it. Both U of I and UMich are great schools regardless and do place well in investment banking in Chicago as illinipride mentioned.

djfii, I wouldn't exactly say creating a FB game is changing the world but I guess neither is creating all the pitch books that your heart desires.

Oct 20, 2011
GED or Bust:

h are great schools regardless and do place well in investment banking in Chicago as illinipride mentioned.

djfii, I wouldn't exactly say creating a FB game is changing the world but I guess neither is creating all the pitch books that your heart desires.

a bit convenient for your point to isolate the one frivolous accomplishment on that list, wouldn't you say? (even though he sold it to Zynga for high 8 figures). Care to weigh in on the others?

Oct 24, 2011
GED or Bust:

I just don't get why people recommend CS so often at U of I if you want to do IBanking.

I recommended that because I believe that it will be substantially more difficult and less lucrative to get an investment banking job in 4-5 years than it is today. The industry is going to continue to go through a contraction, and the government and shareholders are going to prevent big banks, who do most of the analyst hiring, from maintaining high comp numbers. Banking will still be around, but I wouldn't advise anyone that is just going into college to count on it for the best possible career path.

Banking is still a great place to start your career, but I believe there are other great options as well. If you study CS and maintain high grades, you leave your options open to pursue tech jobs, banking and trading. In my mind, at the beginning of your career you want to maximize your available options; comp sci/engineering is the best way to do so, particularly if you also take some basic business classes.

Full disclosure: I studied engineering and finance in undergrad. I am now a burned-out, mid-career banker, and I sometimes wish that I had just gone the engineering route and moved to Silicon Valley.

Oct 19, 2011

Thanks for all of the replies guys.

Illini Pride- Can anyone get into the investment banking club? Are you in it yourself? What year are you in and have you received interviews yourself?

Djfiii- If I was admitted directly into U of I Business school would I still be able to take a few CS classes and later change majors if I wanted to? Also, just curious what is your job yourself?

Everyone else, thanks for the input and keep the replies coming.

Oct 20, 2011

You actually have to apply to get into the investment banking club, but it is mainly to weed out those who aren't serious about trying to break in. Even if you don't get into the club for some reason, people will be happy to help coach you up. I'm not officially part of the club but I help people out from time to time.

If you do come to U of I make sure you apply to the Finance Academy the second semester of your sophomore year. I've been a member the last few years and through it I've met a president from Mesirow, former Sec Trans Sam Skinner, the CIO of Grosvenor, the Chairman of Madison Dearborn, Casey Wold from Tishman Speyer, Cary McMillan, and a whole bunch of other heavy hitters I can't remember at the moment. It is the best way to tap into the U of I alumni network that I know of.

Oct 20, 2011

Oh yeah, I'm a fifth year senior and I've already accepted for FT at the same place I did my SA. I think I applied to 7 or 8 banks, got 6 first rounds, 5 superdays and 2 offers.

Oct 20, 2011

It really just comes down to whether or not you think the Ross name is worth the 80k in debt and/or if you think you can stand out enough at UI to negate whatever advantage Michigan would have given you.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Oct 20, 2011

Another question, around what GPA would I need at U of I to have a good chance of breaking into IB? How about at UMich as well?

Oct 24, 2011
g-baby1:

Another question, around what GPA would I need at U of I to have a good chance of breaking into IB? How about at UMich as well?

At U of M, I would say 3.5 since a lot of companies make that the cutoff for their application.

Oct 20, 2011

at U of I...probably like a 3.6-3.7+. I'm a student there who is interning in investment banking in NYC. you can pm me if you'd like.

Oct 24, 2011

I chose a lower ranked school (although not by that much) over UM because of the money.

Oct 24, 2011

Go to Illinois and major in General Engineering or maybe CS. Ross has an EXCELLENT finance program, but UIUC Engineering is a top five program that gets recruited by everyone from Citadel to Google. It will be tougher to get in than from Ross, but the difference isn't worth $80K in loans.

Engineering at UIUC isn't quite as bad as the USMC, but I'd imagine it gives you a hint of how bad it gets. Lots of all-nighters working on projects. But lots of fun hanging out at Perkins or Dairy Queen afterwards, too.

The NCSA has a lot of cool projects going on. You can work on anything from helping our nuclear engineering profs develop new lasers for building chips to improving weather models. Illinois is the quintessential low key mass-market research institution. It is very easy to get lost in the system and there's a large of smart though not quite genius professors working on just about everything. Our research gets a new Nobel Prize about every 5-10 years. This is probably a little more attributable to volume than skill, but it's pretty darned respectable even if we were a lower tier target nonetheless.

It's tough, it's a lot of work, and it's unpretentious; we're a simple state school that happens to rank well in engineering, accounting, math, and actuarial science based on the research, difficulty of the curriculum, and employer rankings. We give you your number, assign you your cinder block dorm room, stuff a bunch of books in your lap, and life is what you make of it and you're on your own. But if you can make it through the four years- and about 60% in Engineering do- you can go just about anywhere afterwards. After correcting for US News's emphasis on graduation rates, UIUC offers a top three or four Engineering degree in the national rankings.

Most engineers aren't interested in Wall Street, but a 3.5 GPA is enough to land here.

Oct 24, 2011

I want to get "in" to wall street too....

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.

Oct 24, 2011
Will Hunting:

I want to get "in" to wall street too....

Onto, into; the only folks counting prepositions here are the liberal arts majors.

Oct 24, 2011

As much as I like UM, I would also recommend UIUC over UM.

For you, going to UM means you are buying a higher probability in recruiting success. But $80K for a negligible increase in the probability that you will get hired into IB is a bad deal. Also, respect the fact that your chances at IB recruiting are always going to be low no matter what school you go to. It always comes down to you, not so much where you went.

Oct 24, 2011

If your EFC is 0 why don't you apply to a top private?

Any of the ivies / NW / CMU / JHU / Stanford / MIT I'd pick over those two depending on the aid / your intended major.

Oct 24, 2011

Yea, why not get an econ degree at an Ivy?

Oct 24, 2011

Top Ivies give great aid if you get in ^^.

Oct 24, 2011

Yeah. If FAFSA is saying you can't afford school, you may as well apply to a private school. They do give great aid packages. Don't forget UChicago and Wash U, too. Unless you really want to be an engineer or CPA or really like the culture at Midwestern state schools (still good reasons to stay), Illinois and Michigan become a tougher sell if you can get a lower price from an Ivy.

If your parents make more than $75K/year each or have their home paid off like many suburban parents do, you will most likely be going to a state school. That is what my parents had me do.

Oct 24, 2011

Just to follow up on IlliniProgrammer's post:

Here's a great example; Jump Trading is arguably one of the more prestigious prop shops you can land at, even though it's not in NYC (although I think they just opened an office there to attract NYC talent).

Look at where they recruit:

http://www.jumptrading.com/opportunities/recruitin...
(note: UW-Madison is a recent addition; it used to be only Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Carnegie, and....... you guessed it: UIUC).

Oct 24, 2011
djfiii:

Just to follow up on IlliniProgrammer's post:

Here's a great example; Jump Trading is arguably one of the more prestigious prop shops you can land at, even though it's not in NYC (although I think they just opened an office there to attract NYC talent).

Look at where they recruit:

http://www.jumptrading.com/opportunities/recruitin...
(note: UW-Madison is a recent addition; it used to be only Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Carnegie, and....... you guessed it: UIUC).

I know DRW gave a FT offer to a UIUC senior this year. For what it's worth, I know that all the trading firms skipped the business career fair this year and went straight after the engineers. They were cool with finance students, but you had to make the trip up to the north quad.

Oct 24, 2011
illiniPride:
djfiii:

Just to follow up on IlliniProgrammer's post:

Here's a great example; Jump Trading is arguably one of the more prestigious prop shops you can land at, even though it's not in NYC (although I think they just opened an office there to attract NYC talent).

Look at where they recruit:

http://www.jumptrading.com/opportunities/recruitin...
(note: UW-Madison is a recent addition; it used to be only Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Carnegie, and....... you guessed it: UIUC).

I know DRW gave a FT offer to a UIUC senior this year. For what it's worth, I know that all the trading firms skipped the business career fair this year and went straight after the engineers. They were cool with finance students, but you had to make the trip up to the north quad.

I know people who landed FT with DRW Trading as well. They're business majors, not engineers. Don't know any engineers who work there from UIUC, but I'm sure there definitely are some.

Oct 24, 2011

UIUC is really convenient to Chicago where you've got a lot of nice prop shops like DRW, Getco, Citadel (ok, they're a hedge fund), Wolverine, Peak6, The Gelber Group, Rosenthal-Collins, etc. And the top five engineering program is awfully darned convenient for these shops to pick off quantitative talent from. I would imagine that if Penn State or UVA were a little closer to NYC, you'd see the same dynamic there. As it stands, Baruch does see significant recruiting for trading shops.

It's going to be a bit more difficult to get in if you're not doing engineering. Engineering Open House along with the two engineering career fairs are huge. If you win UIUC's EOH, you're basically the #3 draft pick among companies after Berkeley's and MIT's engineering fairs. We have an EXCELLENT Accounting program (tied for #1 in the country) and a strong finance program, but for some odd reason, that has never translated well to recruiting outside the Big Four and the mid-upscale consulting firms.

Oct 24, 2011

Yeah, the guy i know is a fin student. Just pointing out that they only went to the engineering career fair.

Oct 24, 2011

they're both shitty schools

Oct 24, 2011

Thanks for all the comments guys. First off, I don't think I would want to do CS or especially engineering because I don't enjoy science very much at all and am very interested in business. Do I still have a high chance of obtaining a high paying, successful job with a finance and/or accounting degree coming out of UIUC?
Second, I am not applying to top privates or ivy league schools for 2 reasons.
I enjoy the feel of a big school and also don't want to get burnt out on work. I'm afraid going to a private will not be nearly as much fun and the work might overwhelm me.
Also, my stats are 31 ACT 3.99 unweighted GPA and 2 APs. (only 2 offered at my school.) I don't think those are good enough to get me into a top private or ivy. Am I correct on this? I look forward to some more responses.

Oct 24, 2011

Thanks for all the comments guys. First off, I don't think I would want to do CS or especially engineering because I don't enjoy science very much at all and am very interested in business. Do I still have a high chance of obtaining a high paying, successful job with a finance and/or accounting degree coming out of UIUC?

Absolutely. If you do as well in college as you did in HS, you stand a very good chance of landing at a Big Four firm. This is not going to put you into the capitalist class of multimillionaires, but it's clearly a very nice white collar job.

If you get into UIUC's business honors program or Campus Honors Program, more doors open up. I think you stand a decent chance of getting into one of these programs with your HS GPA. 50% of CHP winds up in academia, but we get about 10 kids out of 100 every year who wind up on Wall Street. In the Business Honors Program, you get a mentor who typically has IBD/PE/HF/C-level experience. They'll be able to give you some help landing on Wall Street if you're cut out for it and that's what you want.

Your 31 ACT score is a little below par for UIUC Engineering, but your GPA cancels out a heckuvalot and being an Engineering major does afford you more opportunities for recruiting. General Engineering involves some physics and math courses but is essentially the College of Engineering's liberal arts program. It can be essentially operations research if you'd like and has a lot of practical applications if you're comfortable with math.

Are you willing to double-major in Math or Actuarial Science? Illinois has strong programs in both. It's a good signal to recruiters that you've got your quantitative house in order and it's really important to graduate with strong quantitative skills.

Your GPA gives you a lot of options. I think you stand a decent chance at Cornell or UPenn. Harvard is a reach school, but Cornell and UPenn are just barely within target range. If you had a 33+ ACT and really strong recs, I'd call Cornell and UPenn unqaulified targets.

Illinois and Michigan follow a formula based on test scores and GPA- their honors programs are more selective and look like UPenn and Cornell. UPenn and Cornell want to hear your story and what you've done with the cards you've been dealt. Harvard is looking for ahtay and this self-confidence of excellence (yes, I know it's spelled ate, but I can't get accented e's to work).

Oct 24, 2011

If your school only offers 2 APs, it's probably small/not that great academically, and will be underrepresented at top private schools. Ivies definitely like these applicants. With 3.99 and 31, plus some compelling essays and good extracurricular activities, you definitely stand a shot at an Ivy League or top private school like Northwestern. Give it a shot.

Array

Oct 24, 2011

1)Do you guys actually think I have a shot at a top private school like an Ivy? I need 100% truthful replies. If so, what schools would I have the best shot at and what ones would be best for finance/ Wall Street jobs?
2)Also, is the workload at top schools way,way more than at a state school or is it similar? I really don't want to be so overwhelmed that I fall apart. lol. Also, Would I still have a great college experience?
3) Also, I've always thought that if I wanted to major in business, it would seem more beneficial to go to a school with undergrad business majors, but most ivy schools don't have business majors. How do they prepare you for finance jobs then?

Oct 24, 2011

1) You have a shot at lower-tier Ivies like Cornell, Dartmouth, etc. Probably not high tier like Columbia, Yale, or Harvard since they deny thousands of students with perfect standardized test scores and GPAs.
2) Workload should be about the same between Ivies and top public schools. The classes aren't that much different, and how busy you are in college also depends on how involved you are in extracurriculars, how much you want to party, and so on.
3) The students major in econ. They might not get the finance experience from an undergrad bschool, but for recruiting, an econ major does the trick just fine.

Oct 25, 2011
tryharder:

1) You have a shot at lower-tier Ivies like Cornell, Dartmouth, etc. Probably not high tier like Columbia, Yale, or Harvard since they deny thousands of students with perfect standardized test scores and GPAs.

Looks like someone goes to Columbia.

PS: The trick to getting into Columbia isn't necessarily to be particularly smart or driven. You just need to go out and visit them two or three times, tell them that they're the best school in the country, and have a background that probably won't get you into H/Y/P. They just want to see that if you get accepted, you'll go. Columbia and MIT have been gaming the US News/World reports selectivity rankings for years.

Oct 25, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:
tryharder:

1) You have a shot at lower-tier Ivies like Cornell, Dartmouth, etc. Probably not high tier like Columbia, Yale, or Harvard since they deny thousands of students with perfect standardized test scores and GPAs.

Looks like someone goes to Columbia.

Nope, not at Columbia.

Oct 25, 2011

i was in a similar situation...choosing between UIUC and UMich. For me, I ultimately 100% did not want to go to a private school/ivy. But Illinois has a solid business program with decent recruiting. If you keep your GPA high (3.6+), active on campus, and do solid internships, you will be a competitive candidate.

I don't know much about engineering, but I have close friends who study engineering and they work their ass off. If you enjoy studying/learning about the sciences, math, etc. go for it. But if you are definitely not interested in it and more interested in business/finance, then study that. I know for fact that if you don't have the slightest interest in engineering, stay away, because your gpa will be shot and you will hate yourself.

Plus, business is pretty fucking easy. We have a lot of free time...and we like to party. hah sorry engineers, had to say it.

Oct 25, 2011

IlliniProgrammer & IlliniPride and others have nailed pretty much the engineering and business aspects of UIUC.

UIUC's business and engineering programs are good programs. But it really does sound like you have no interest in engineering. There is nothing wrong with business at U of I but you must stay with a 3.6 GPA or above as a business major to remain competitive for Wall Street and some trading firms in Chicago (though i see more UIUC engineers than business at Chicago trading firms). On top of maintaining your GPA in business, be very active and involved (should be easy, bus-majors have a lot of free time). While business is easy as shit, it is very easy to get caught up (as in partying). :)

UIUC's undergraduate accounting program is very, very good. The Big 4 breed there and at UTexas.

And considering your situation with ECF, I definitely agree with others on apply at some private schools like Northwestern, some Ivies, and maybe even Stanford. You really have nothing to lose in applying. I overlooked Northwestern in HS and wish I didn't. Northwestern's Econ is very engaging and they also have a program for undergrads where you take classes at Kellogg for a Financial Economics or Managerial Analytics certificate (in addition to your major).

Oct 25, 2011
Inception:

IlliniProgrammer & IlliniPride and others have nailed pretty much the engineering and business aspects of UIUC.

UIUC's business and engineering programs are good programs. But it really does sound like you have no interest in engineering. There is nothing wrong with business at U of I but you must stay with a 3.6 GPA or above as a business major to remain competitive for Wall Street and some trading firms in Chicago (though i see more UIUC engineers than business at Chicago trading firms). On top of maintaining your GPA in business, be very active and involved (should be easy, bus-majors have a lot of free time). While business is easy as shit, it is very easy to get caught up (as in partying). :)

UIUC's undergraduate accounting program is very, very good. The Big 4 breed there and at UTexas.

And considering your situation with ECF, I definitely agree with others on apply at some private schools like Northwestern, some Ivies, and maybe even Stanford. You really have nothing to lose in applying. I overlooked Northwestern in HS and wish I didn't. Northwestern's Econ is very engaging and they also have a program for undergrads where you take classes at Kellogg for a Financial Economics or Managerial Analytics certificate (in addition to your major).

I would say UChicago is even more overlooked than Northwestern, and is arguably a more prestigious / rigorous school (at least for the sciences), but it's definitely heavy on the theory and light on application. It's an institution for very specific types of people, mostly those that plan to spend their lives doing hard core research. That said, similar to NW, Econ undergrads have the opportunity to take classes at Booth.

Oct 27, 2011
djfiii:

I would say UChicago is even more overlooked than Northwestern, and is arguably a more prestigious / rigorous school (at least for the sciences), but it's definitely heavy on the theory and light on application. It's an institution for very specific types of people, mostly those that plan to spend their lives doing hard core research. That said, similar to NW, Econ undergrads have the opportunity to take classes at Booth.

No doubt UChicago is overlooked at the undergraduate level. I grew up in the southside and UChicago was the school I aspired to be at some day (as I grew older, I decided more so for grad school). UChicago for undergrad is a very, very different college experience. One must visit to truly know whether or not they like UChicago (opinions will be strong, as the OP has had).

Oct 25, 2011

As for Michigan, this was another school I considered (not for academic reasons, more so to watch the Michigan football. What can i say. I was young). I would suggest applying for their BBA since you have no interest in engineering. Again, a very good business program that is slightly better than UIUC except for accounting. But if you can't get in, I personally can't justify the price of going there.

Personally, I wish I would have done General Engineering with a business minor at UIUC or gone to either Northwestern or Stanford for Econ. Though CS at UIUC or Stanford would've been sweet!

Oct 25, 2011

The world has 7 Billion people, not enough food or oil for all of them to be in the middle-class, and IIT, Oxford, Cambridge, Munich, New South Wales, and dozens of other top schools churn out a lot of brilliant students every year.

IMHO, your strategy looking out 40-50 years is to avoid as much debt as you can and start saving as early as you can. Genius and brains are going to be a dime a dozen- at least over the next ten years- but resources and cash are going to be a lot more valuable. If you can get a full ride to Cornell, that's great, but it's not worth $80K of debt to go to UMich or Harvard for that matter. These Wall Street jobs may not be here and we could be looking at $50K/year for Harvard grads and $40K/year for state school grads in four years for all we know.

Oct 25, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

The world has 7 Billion people, not enough food or oil for all of them to be in the middle-class, and IIT, Oxford, Cambridge, Munich, New South Wales, and dozens of other top schools churn out a lot of brilliant students every year.

IMHO, your strategy looking out 40-50 years is to avoid as much debt as you can and start saving as early as you can. Genius and brains are going to be a dime a dozen- at least over the next ten years- but resources and cash are going to be a lot more valuable. If you can get a full ride to Cornell, that's great, but it's not worth $80K of debt to go to UMich or Harvard for that matter. These Wall Street jobs may not be here and we could be looking at $50K/year for Harvard grads and $40K/year for state school grads in four years for all we know.

This is spot on. As hard as it is for me to encourage a qualified kid to head someplace other than Ann Arbor, the long term impact of $80k of unnecessary debt is insanity to even consider. Take the in-state tuition. If you're good at life, the delta between UIUC and UMich won't make any difference at all. The make or break factors will have nothing to do with which one you choose, and everything to do with how well you perform, how capable you are of building your network, how savvy you are at navigating through career choices from day 1, etc.

Oct 25, 2011

I don't mean to be a school snob, but Columbia is not really in the same camp as Harvard/Yale/Princeton. It is more in the camp of NYU/Cornell/Penn (ex Wharton).

Oct 25, 2011

1)Do you guys actually think I have a shot at a top private school like an Ivy? I need 100% truthful replies. If so, what schools would I have the best shot at and what ones would be best for finance/ Wall Street jobs?

I think you've got a 50/50 shot of getting into Cornell or Penn. Obviously they are also looking for extracurriculars. For Cornell and Penn, you will need to take the SAT IIs and line up two or three references from your teachers.

2)Also, is the workload at top schools way,way more than at a state school or is it similar? I really don't want to be so overwhelmed that I fall apart. lol. Also, Would I still have a great college experience?

I would imagine it's a little tougher in the liberal arts, but not as hard as Engineering would be.

Engineering at UIUC is carrying a 60 lb backpack. Accy at UIUC is carrying a 5 lb briefcase. Liberal Arts at Cornell is probably a 20 lb Murse. Engineering at Cornell is probably about the same as UIUC.

3) Also, I've always thought that if I wanted to major in business, it would seem more beneficial to go to a school with undergrad business majors, but most ivy schools don't have business majors. How do they prepare you for finance jobs then?

You do Applied Econ or Applied Math. Wharton and Cornell also have business programs, though my assessment above is for Penn ex-Wharton. I'd want to see a 34 ACT or 2250 SAT and a sport to say you've got a good shot at Wharton.

Oct 27, 2011
IlliniProgrammer][quote:

Engineering at UIUC is carrying a 60 lb backpack. Accy at UIUC is carrying a 5 lb briefcase. Liberal Arts at Cornell is probably a 20 lb Murse. Engineering at Cornell is probably about the same as UIUC.

The engineering vs. accounting statement at UIUC IS SO TRUE. Dare I say ECE or CS is more like carrying a 100lb backpack vs. carrying nothing for accounting.

Oct 25, 2011

Thought I'd add another thing. Last summer, I visited Northwestern and UChicago. I thought Northwestern was pretty nice. I went to UChicago and, no offense to anyone, absolutely hated it. It was not my type of atmosphere at all. Then, I visited UIUC and it blew Northwestern out of the water as to a personal fit. I know it isn't as prestigious though. Saying all this, would most top privates and ivy schools be similar to UChicago because I did not like UChicago at all. And is it worth it going to a more prestigious school that you only somewhat like over a lower ranked school that feels like a great fit? I look forward to the replies.

Oct 25, 2011

Thought I'd add another thing. Last summer, I visited Northwestern and UChicago. I thought Northwestern was pretty nice. I went to UChicago and, no offense to anyone, absolutely hated it. It was not my type of atmosphere at all. Then, I visited UIUC and it blew Northwestern out of the water as to a personal fit. I know it isn't as prestigious though. Saying all this, would most top privates and ivy schools be similar to UChicago because I did not like UChicago at all. And is it worth it going to a more prestigious school that you only somewhat like over a lower ranked school that feels like a great fit? I look forward to the replies.

Cornell may feel a lot like Northwestern but the other Ivies- maybe excepting UPenn- will probably be worse than Chicago. I'm surprised you don't like Chicago. Yes, there are a lot of stuffy old buildings, but the culture is pretty darned unpretentious and modest relative to Yale or Dartmouth. IMHO, Chicago, Northwestern, and Cornell have some of the highest intellect/arrogance quotients out of the target schools.

But yes, if you go to any private school, there will be rich kids there. People will think they're the coolest thing ever. And sadly, there's a fairly strong correlation between schools with a high pretentiousness factor and well-paying jobs. Fortunately, this all ends once you graduate, and there's actually a negative correlation between arrogance and landing a good job.

There will be normal people at ALL of these schools. There will be MORE normal people at Cornell and maybe UPenn than there will be at the other Ivies.

Oct 25, 2011

If you're looking to avoid a University of Chicago like environment among the top private schools, your best bets are Dartmouth and Duke. Both these schools have better finance recruiting than any of the top 6 Midwestern programs/schools (Michigan Ross, University of Illinois, Wash U, Northwestern, U Chicago and Notre Dame) and are known to offer fun social experiences like big greek life and in the case of Duke, legendary D1 athletics.

Your 31 on the ACT is a little low but if you are graduating at the top of your class and have some interesting extracurriculars, then hey you might stand a shot.

Oct 27, 2011

CS isn't that hard. And UOC CS department is garbage and is reflected by them being ranked 35 in graduate rankings.

Oct 27, 2011

LIEK OMG GUYZ BIG O' POLYNOMIALS LINKED LISTED WITH MY SPARSE MATRIX TO QUE WITH MY STACK HOW WILL MY TREE ASSIST IN MY CONTAINER?!?!

on a more serious note p != np

come at me bro.

Oct 28, 2011

Alright listen up for the real skinny. I have both an MBA and MS in Engineering from UIUC. I can tell you that the shit hot Prop trading firms like DRW, Optiver, IMC Chicago, CTC, and others recruit engineers at UIUC.

Some companies like DRW and CTC are almost completely to the point where if you aren't in engineering they will tell you to go fuck yourself. They know from hiring business flunkies that most of them can't think, can't analyze, and can't do math. An engineering degree at UIUC opens so many more doors on the prop trading side because if you make it through that caliber of program, then a recruiter will know that A. you are capable of analyzing and solving problems, and B. you don't waste your superior's time with the constant need to have someone hold your hand. An analytical mind in general isn't taught, it is bludgeoned into you relentlessly.

An engineering degree is an easy entry into the business world and sets you apart from the rest of the business flunkies who learned marketing of cough syrup and other non-analytical fluff.

Inception and IlliniProgrammer are right about the difference between accy and engineering. Accy/biz will have you humping all the time with busy work that is not hard. An idiot can do it, it just takes time. Engineering will having you staring blankly at a paper for hours on end just to figure out how to get started on a problem. Guess which one teaches you how to think and which one teaches you to look busy?

So you have to ask yourself, are you avoiding an engineering degree because you aren't smart enough or because you are a lazy?

Oct 28, 2011
kocmodpom:

Some companies like DRW and CTC are almost completely to the point where if you aren't in engineering they will tell you to go fuck yourself. They know from hiring business flunkies that most of them can't think, can't analyze, and can't do math. An engineering degree at UIUC opens so many more doors on the prop trading side because if you make it through that caliber of program, then a recruiter will know that A. you are capable of analyzing and solving problems, and B. you don't waste your superior's time with the constant need to have someone hold your hand. An analytical mind in general isn't taught, it is bludgeoned into you relentlessly.

There's smart folks everywhere, especially at UIUC. One of the smartest kids in my senior seminar in CHP was an agricultural science major- and there were a lot of business kids, too. I do feel like engineering is one of the toughest majors the school has to offer, though.

I do think that an engineering/hard science math sequence (Calc III, DiffyQs, Calculus-based probability, and linear algebra) is a necessary/sufficient demonstration of quantitative skill to most recruiters. Mind you that these are TOUGH classes. I am telling my younger brother to drop the engineering minor and do the math sequence instead.

An engineering degree is an easy entry into the business world and sets you apart from the rest of the business flunkies who learned marketing of cough syrup and other non-analytical fluff.

It is a cheap entry, not an easy entry. I guess it is easier than doing ROTC or a military academy to keep the cost of college down, but it takes a fair amount of mental toughness to get through Engineering at UIUC

Inception and IlliniProgrammer are right about the difference between accy and engineering. Accy/biz will have you humping all the time with busy work that is not hard. An idiot can do it, it just takes time. Engineering will having you staring blankly at a paper for hours on end just to figure out how to get started on a problem. Guess which one teaches you how to think and which one teaches you to look busy?

So you have to ask yourself, are you avoiding an engineering degree because you aren't smart enough or because you are a lazy?

Engineering will also have you learn how to understand thick accents. I still remember my ECE Circuits course. We thought we were there to learn circuits; the professor thought she was there for an English as a Second Language speaking course. She would put a slide on the projector, with badly written Engrish (missing articles, possessives, and prepositions, sometimes mixing up plurals). She follow word with finger, read slowly. Sometime, she step away from projector and draw on circuit graph saying, "Ok, its like current flow this way. Remember- current constant here and potential constant here." Right prof. I understand exactly what you're saying.

There's smart, successful, and tough people in every major. But success requires the discipline and toughness to take on big challenges, and that's something you have to learn somewhere. Some kids coming into school already have it. UIUC's Engineering program is one place you can learn it; the US Armed Forces is another (MUCH BETTER) place to learn it; I am sure that mental toughness gets taught to some extent at most target schools in most degrees as well.

If you hate engineering, don't do it, but if you did OK in Calculus or Precalc, don't be afraid of the challenge.

Oct 28, 2011

^mostly because people who arent interested in engineering dont want to flunk...

Oct 28, 2011
RonaldBacon:

^mostly because people who arent interested in engineering dont want to flunk...

As opposed to people who are interested in something else do?

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Oct 28, 2011

Lol, I learned circuits my second semester in Physics, why would you even use that as an example (Lol).

In a more serious note. The 6 classes you listed the order form easiest to hardest would be as follows.

Calc 1, Calc 3, Probability , Differential Equations/Linear Algebra, Calc 2

the best part of being a cs/engineering major is that you are very close to people in your major and they become good friends

:)

and i restate the P != NP

fuck you who every threw ms at me it's only a matter of time until some one proves it.

Oct 31, 2011
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Oct 28, 2011
Oct 28, 2011
Oct 28, 2011
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