UCLA vs IU Kelley

Just got off the waitlist for UCLA's Econ program, running out of time to decide. Currently conflicted because in terms of numbers, I think IU places significantly more than UCLA into investment banking, while there was a recent thread that I saw basically putting down UCLA regarding its placement into banking, how it barely sends any students into banking (like 30ish a year) and how most kids (their econ program is something like 1500 kids in one grade) end up in accounting.

I can afford to go to UCLA, so cost isn't a concern.

Should I take UCLA for the brand name?

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Comments (53)

May 2, 2020 - 12:32pm

number 1 public school vs number 31? UCLA is a West Coast Target, not sure if IU is a target anywhere. Likewise, at both schools if you want to do IB you will be able to do it

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  • Investment Analyst in PE - Other
May 2, 2020 - 12:43pm

Because UCLA doesn't focus on just IB. They also send several kids to MBB, Corp Dev, Buy Side Gigs (HFs, PE (RE), and AM) all out of the econ/biz-econ program. Also, there are a lot of kids going into finance that aren't in the econ program (sciences, engineering, etc..).

I believe the undergrad business society (UBS) and consulting groups have very high placement into tops firms (though the groups are selective themselves).

You are also not even in college yet, so the likelihood that you switch focus from IB is very high. So consider the fact that UCLA has a great alumni network in all industries.

Congrats on the acceptance!

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 2, 2020 - 12:47pm

Cant comment on IU but UCLA is solid for IB. Target on some WC MM/EB firms but those firms have limited spots. USC and Berkeley are definitely better from an IB standpoint. If you know NOW you want to do IB you can realistically get anything out of UCLA, it won't be a bad mark but not as good as an Ivy. Also a lot of competitive groups/clubs here, but assuming you already know about IB you don't need those exclusive nerds to get an offer

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  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
May 2, 2020 - 1:09pm

If you want IB or any type of finance role choose IU. UCLA as a whole as a better brand name than IU, but the Kelley name carries decent weight and will place you wherever you want granted you get into the workshop of your choice. See below for IB placement from another post.

Analyst 2 in PE - Other:

Doing a quick LinkedIn search so take this as you will. This includes only IB (filtered out). Screams semi-target to me vs. target, but nonetheless good placement.

Moelis: 22 IU alum
JPM: 22 IU alum
Goldman Sachs: 20 IU alum
Rothschild: 14 IU alum
Lazard: 13 IU alum
PWP: 12 IU alum
Evercore: 11 IU alum
Greenhill: 5 IU alum
PJT: 4 IU alum

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 2, 2020 - 1:11pm

If you choose Kelly over UCLA - oh boy you've read to much of the IU circle-jerk on this site. UCLA is so much more respected, it is a full on west coast target amongst Berkeley, USC and Stanford. The peers you are surrounded by will be smarter, people will respect it more for your entire career. To be perfectly honest, if I hear someone went to UCLA I think that they were ivy caliber in hs, when I hear IU I think above average

May 2, 2020 - 1:17pm

exactly, on the West Coast its pretty much Berkeley, Stanford and UCLA are the only 'academic powerhouses.' The East coast has loads more as they have been around for a much longer time, which is why they have built stronger academic reputations. People disregard UCLA because its in LA, yet it has one of the largest and smartest, and well rounded school populations worldwide. UCLA has overtaken Berkeley in the public school rankings....IU will most likely never even come close. But if you want to choose IU go ahead

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 2, 2020 - 10:10pm

I would add USC, Caltech, Pomona, and CMC as the other prestigious west coast schools that can compete with east coast history and reputation

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 2, 2020 - 2:33pm

100% UCLA. It is much more prestigious, more academically respected, and the location/weather can't be beat. Some of my friends went to UCLA and they all did well in west coast finance recruiting. IB is not the school's specialty, however UCLA punches above its weight class in MBB consulting, and tech. I think UCLA which is strictly superior as a school over IU will give you much more career optionality.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 2, 2020 - 9:17pm

UCLA actually does horribly in consulting recruiting. They only place about 5 kids a year total into MBB, and half their Consulting workshop members can't even place into legit consulting roles.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
May 2, 2020 - 5:23pm

Imagine picking a school with an 80% acceptance rate over a school with a 12% acceptance rate haha

May 2, 2020 - 8:27pm

Kelley has a 30% acceptance rate and their IB placement for workshop is over 70 students a year, 95% get a job/internship and #3 in wall street placement among public universities.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 2, 2020 - 8:32pm

The best part these Kelley shills don't realize is how important guaranteed admission is. In recent years, Highschool GPA and test scores have been reduced in important because everyone seems to have the same high stats. A mediocre kid with mediocre stats can have guaranteed admission into Kelley, while having a literal 0% chance of getting into any actual target or semi-target.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 2, 2020 - 9:30pm

the acceptance rate would be even lower than 12% if they didnt have such a big 'transfer' system in CA

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 2, 2020 - 5:46pm

Man- I can't believe this is a question. This is why wallstreetoasis sucks ass- All these IU circlejerkers have actually found a way to make someone falter about choosing UCLA over IU. UCLA 100% and don't look back. It's a very respected school. IU is dog shit.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Ind
May 3, 2020 - 9:18am

You're a prospect.

OP should definitely choose UCLA, but you're acting like IU is fucking Ball State.

  • Intern in PE - Other
May 2, 2020 - 6:50pm

I'm impressed that these IU kids have inflated their perception on this site enough that anyone is taking more than half a second to decide between them and one of the best public schools in the country

May 2, 2020 - 8:29pm

Kelley has a 30% acceptance rate and their IB placement for workshop is over 70 students a year, 95% get a job/internship and #3 in wall street placement among public universities

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 2, 2020 - 8:34pm

Agreed with many of the other posters on this post. IU kids have continued to jerk themselves off over the prestige of their school, even when they themselves know that they would have taken any other semi-target school if it was an option for them. Don't even consider IU.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 2, 2020 - 9:37pm

Notice how all these accounts defending Kelley have 0 or negative bananas. It's one or two kids in their workshop making fake accounts to try and prop up their school. Imagine being so desperate to defend your school (and your fragile ego) that you make fake accounts on WSO to lie to HS kids.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 2, 2020 - 9:43pm

A lot of these comments aren't even from people in the Workshop or in IB. It's literally freshmen and high school seniors that are going to Kelley next year trying to prop up the reputation of the school.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 2, 2020 - 10:17pm

The truest thing I've read on this site. Kelley is definitely better than a non-target, but I pity any highschooler who had their college decision influenced by the Kelley kids on the forum. It's not even limited to the IB placements. In an attempt to further prop up the image of their school, they will also put campus life and the social scene on a pedastal. The school is nothing special, but every IU kid on here seems to think that its the best of the best of big 10 party schools while simultaneously giving wharton-level placements in bumblefuck Indiana.

A 30 ACT and a weighted 3.8 with no extracurriculurs is guaranteed admission. Barring extreme exceptions, you wouldn't have a chance in hell at any decent semi-target in the entire USA with these scores.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 2, 2020 - 10:14pm

Even as a USC student though I must admit, UCLA is a prestigious and very reputable school that will give you any opportunity on the west coast.

May 3, 2020 - 12:02pm

Assuming you don't live close to either campus, would you rather spend 4 years in LA or Bloomington, Indiana?

Signed by prospective employee at all companys (require fat stacks)
May 3, 2020 - 12:19pm

UCLA. This shouldn't even be a question. The two schools aren't even in the same league. The one thing about UCLA, it will be a tougher experience to get a high GPA and get into the top clubs there that place kids into IB. UCLA is a much more competitive school, classes are graded based on threshold of a low percentage of kids that can get A's and B's etc. Your peers will be much smarter so it does make it more difficult from that perspective because you're competing with smarter kids. However, UCLA is a target school for banks. Even with IU's emphasis on banking there would still be a difficult hump to get over to land top banking gigs and buyside gigs later on. This is especially true if you wanted to do finance outside of the midwest like NY, LA, or SF as well. That's where the top buyside post banking gigs are too.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 3, 2020 - 9:21pm

Are you sure that your peers at UCLA will be much smarter? Every Kelley kid on here seems to be saying that Kelley is full of ivy-caliber students.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 3, 2020 - 5:27pm

UCLA has the sports and the smarts. What other schools do you have Russell Westbrook/Kareem Abdul Jabbar on one hand, then the founder of Blackrock and Uber on the other....whilst being in a place with great weather

Duke is probably the only comparable school

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