UMich CSE vs UIUC CS for an undergraduate for a high school student wanting to get into a career in quantitative finance

Hello Everyone!

I'm an international high school senior trying to pick between UIUC and UMich for CS. I will be paying roughly the same amount at both places, so the cost isn't really an issue for me. I wish to pursue an education that encompasses both CS and Finance. Both fields really interest me, and after much experimentation with various niches in the CS fields such as webdev, blockchain research, I really liked applicational-CS, and as such I wish to eventually start my career as a quant/algo trader or builder/analyst in the finance industry, with the help of my CS skills.

Some things that I like about UIUC are:

  • The CS program is top 5, and I have observed that doing well at Illinois will set you up well for lots of careers in the CS field, and might give an edge over UMich in something like high frequency trading
  • James Scholar and Honours which I was directly admitted into, which may open other doors.
  • Slightly Cheaper, however, not much of a difference
  • Proximity to Chicago for Internships / Local job opportunities, as compared to Ann Arbor which is further away from any booming major cities (Detroit excluded because it is mainly an auto city)

Some things that I like about UMich are:

  • Better connections and diversity, as well as the alumni network in the finance an management consulting industry as UMich is generally well reputed across the board of disciplines of study, unlike UIUC, which is known most. This might be beneficial as I hope to take a lot of econ classes during college.
  • Possibility of a dual degree with Ross in finance, as I hear it is one of the best business schools in the nation.
  • Better general public perception, may help me down the road. (Not really banking on this)
  • Ann Arbor being a more fun place in general than CU

Could someone help me narrow down which exactly I should go to, as I feel that both have equally good reasons to attend.

Thank you all so much!

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (4)

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 6, 2021 - 12:24pm

I'm currently at umich and if you know you're interested in finance, I would go there. Its one of the top placing schools on Wall Street, Ross has an amazing reputation and even though you won't be a ross major you'll be able to take advantage of its clout/opportunities through Ross specific clubs and networking opportunities. Granted I don't know anything about the other school you're talking about, but I know for certain Ross is above it in terms of finance recruiting

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Apr 6, 2021 - 12:26pm

The location also doesn't really matter for recruiting at all. Most people at umich get placed in the east or west coasts and not as many in Chicago as you would think - recruiters are coming here to find students not the other way around

Apr 6, 2021 - 3:26pm

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

April 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (34) $348
  • Associates (183) $233
  • 2nd Year Analyst (104) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (95) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (26) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (390) $132
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (317) $82