UNC Chapel Hill vs. UGA vs. Vanderbilt vs. Boston University vs. Boston College vs. Northwestern vs. Northeastern


Hey guys so I've gotten into all seven of these schools listed above as a transfer student. I wanted to know which of these schools would prepare me best for a good finance career in Investment banking, consulting, investment management, etc. I am also still waiting to hear back from NYU Stern and USC Marshall.

UNC- I would be able to study at least econ, but ideally would want Business Administration (B.A.)major with concentration in finance. Will try to get into K-F, but at worst case, will apply for minor to B.A. major. Will i still be able to get decent opportunities coming out as an econ major if I cannot get into K-F?

Vandy- great school, nice campus, have questions about the recruitment apart from the southeast, would have to basically retake all my coursework (need to complete all Gen ed requirements), 15-18k more/yr than unc and would graduate a year later

UGA- in state school, in-state tuition and can graduate in 5-6 semesters

Northern finance schools- don't see much difference between them and other options; Boston good for potential Asset Management opportunities

Northwestern- great school, have some concerns about safety in Chicago (have never visited Evanston), don't mind working closer to Chicago at BB or MM bank, but would ideally want to work in either South or NE

What would you guys recommend if you were me?

Comments (65)

May 22, 2017 - 10:40pm

Evanston is in a nice Chicago suburb that's close enough to Chicago to make day trips convenient for interviews but far enough away so safety is not even close to an issue.

Vanderbilt and Northwestern are the best schools you got into, so I'd try to select between those two as they will have the largest reach. Both will pigeon-hole you a little geographically, but their names should carry. I'd personally select Northwestern but that's because I liked it a lot when I visited a few years ago. It should give you comparable options to Vanderbilt.

May 22, 2017 - 10:42pm

In Order:
1. Northwestern (Target school)
2. UNC Chapel Hill (Beautiful campus, great culture, also Target)
3. Northeastern (Personal favorite, New England is spectacular)

"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man" - Samuel Johnson
May 22, 2017 - 10:56pm

Woah woah woah... never said I was a Pats fan.. Im NY born and raised so I am giants and yanks 'til I die. Haha, but nonetheless what makes you want to be in the south? The lower you go geographically, the lower you go financially.

Aside from that, NYU is probably your golden ticket in finance (Aside HPY, UPenn). Your in the financial center of the world, and you can walk out of your dorm and network yourself like crazy. Stern is a phenomenal school with a lot of $$$. Me being from the north, I look at schools like UNC and think party, name, nice weather, and a great business school. Are you in it for the experience or the education?

"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man" - Samuel Johnson
Jan 13, 2020 - 11:44am

I don't think Northeastern should be above BC/Vandy if the goal is IB. I've seen a lot of kids there really struggle to get into the space and the Alumni network isn't as strong.

That being said, go wherever you think you will be most successful as cliche as that sounds.

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom
May 23, 2017 - 12:37am
  1. Northwestern
  2. NYU (if accepted)
  3. Vandy
  4. UNC
  5. Georgia / Northeastern

As others have mentioned, Northwestern is completely safe. It's in the North suburbs and far from the violence issues. It will provide you by far with the most career options. NYU is a close second, if you get in.

May 23, 2017 - 12:46am


Would you say that if I wanted to work in NYC or the South/SE exclusively, then I could still get there by attending UNC or Vandy? Would you also recommend to save money now by attending a solid, public school with a good reputation like UNC and then saving money through work experience after graduation for a M7-Top 10 MBA? Would the MBA be just as valuable/prestigious as a degree from northwestern or vandy?

As a state school grad (UIUC), I will tell you to go to the best f'ing school possible. Worry about paying for b-school when/if you get there. Northwestern gives you a better opportunity to have branding for a top b-school than any other option on your list. It's also national enough that you should be able to get a job in any region you choose.

You can get to NYC or the SE from either UNC or Vandy, but if you think getting a MBA is your goal, you'd be making a mistake to pass on Northwestern. And, as an Illini, I hate saying that because the purple kitties suck.

May 23, 2017 - 2:44am

I would go Northwestern then Vandy, providing that you don't get into Kenan Flagler. Especially for consulting a see a lot more Northwestern alumni in Chicago or NYC offices then any of the other schools named. It really is a toss up for Vandy or UNC, both are good choices for consulting or banking, but for UNC you really need the Kenan Flagler name on your resume.

May 23, 2017 - 9:42am

There are a lot of good choices here, I think I'd rank them how the majority of the thread already has:

1) Northwestern University
2 tie) UNC Chapel-Hill
2 tie) Vanderbilt
4) UGA
5) Boston College
6) Boston University

Regarding the schools you're waiting to hear back from (USC and NYU), I'd likely put them below Vandy/UNC but above UGA with the caveat that you'd probably want to consider USC if your goal is to stay on the West Coast after graduation.

May 23, 2017 - 3:57pm

As a current student from Georgia who attends an out-of-state target, do not go the easy route and take an in-state offer at UGA. I have plenty of friends at UGA who are having a tough time finding top internships/jobs. If you are looking banking, I'd have to rank the schools in the following way:
1. NYU - Stern (if you get in)
2. Northwestern
3. Vanderbilt
4. UNC - KF
Personally, Vanderbilt was my favorite campus that I visited, but I have heard that recruiting there is a bit tougher since they don't have a business program (just a bunch of econ majors). Honestly though, if you work hard and have a solid resume, you should do fine at any of these schools.

May 23, 2017 - 8:29pm

Current UGA student here (headed to NYC with an EB (LAZ/EVR/MoCo)), made an account to give you some info on why you might not want to discount UGA as a potential option. Great schools either way though and it sounds like you'll make enough of an effort to break in anywhere. As for UGA:

  1. Great placement this year, with 15 or so juniors heading to internships with BB/EB firms. Over 30 placed across IB/S&T/Consulting in NYC/Atlanta/Houston/San Fran through the Corsair Society (student organization)
  2. On campus recruitment with Citi (took 6 last year and 4 this year, most in Industrials/Sponsors)
  3. Target school for STRH, usually around 10 get offers through OCR

Judging by the fact that you got into the schools you're deciding between here, your GPA is obviously good and you would be a great candidate for IB jobs out of UGA, which there is definitely a lesser-known market for. Could save your parents some money, too. PM if you have questions

May 25, 2017 - 11:42pm

Current Northwestern (NU) student. The name carries, and often people recognize how notable the school is, more so then when I first enrolled. In terms of recruiting:

IB: Placement is growing pretty strongly, albeit the vast majority of people at Northwestern pursue consulting. Goldman is the only NY firm that comes on campus, but NY placement is still very possible, the alumni network is growing.

Consulting: Hands down the most sought after job here, MBB will take 5-6 junior interns and maybe 12-15 FT every year. Plus all the other consulting firms recruit pretty heavily, so if this is at all an interest for you I would recommend.

Investment Management/Other Careers: Past year's career fair has had PIMCO and a decent amount of hedge funds (Hall Capital, Akuna, etc.) Prop trading is pretty big here too, if that's of interest.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me. Personally have enjoyed school here, outside of recruiting (Big Ten, access to Chicago, etc.)

Jan 13, 2020 - 10:58am

NEU Student here...

NEU is a great skills to gaining professional skills (technical and behavioral skills) that will let you hit the ground running through the mutitude of internship / co-op opportunities. NEU does not currently have the clout on the street in terms of IB but is growing. MS, RJ and a few other smaller coastal banks recruit at NEU. Will need to network hard in Boston but have friends working in M&A in both Boston and NY. Definitley great op to get in IB if you go to NEU but from a strictly post-grad viewpoint, would rather go Northwestern, UNC, Vandy, or Stern if the option presented itself.

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