Undergrad at Fordham Gabelli Lincoln Center with $160k debt. Is it worth it?

Hey guys. I've always wanted to be an investment banker, and I knew how important going to a target school is. I worked really hard throughout high school and had amazing test scores and everything (1520 SAT, 790 and 780 Math2 and chem, 3.8 out of 4 GPA), but unfortunately got rejected from most of my schools. The only options I have now are Fordham's Gabelli school of business at LC and the University of Rhode Island.

I know that neither of them are even close to target schools and my chances of getting into Investment Banking are very slim; however between the two of them the Fordham option seems more desirable to me given that it's in Manhattan and everything. To go to Fordham though I'd have to take a really hefty amount in student loans: their annual tuition is about $75k and I've been given a $35k/annum scholarship, which means $40k per year in student loans. Becoming an investment banker and working on wall street has been a lifelong dream of mine, but is racking up $160,000 in debt for a school like Fordham worth it? Because if not, my only remaining option is URI, from where my chances of investment banking are in all probability virtually nonexistent.

I've read tons of threads about Fordham here, and I know most of you think very little of it but it'll still give me a tiny shot of making it to wall street. Is that tiny shot worth $160,000 in debt?

P.S I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and severe depression in my sophomore year in high school, and the only thing that kept me going this entire time was the thought of one day becoming an investment banker at a place like Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan, so this dream means a lot to me. I know how unlikely it is at this point but I'm still desperately clinging to the tiny sliver of hope that all is not lost. Please knock some sense into me.

Comments (28)

Apr 14, 2019

How much debt would you take out at Rhode Island? You could potentially go to community college 2 years in state and then transfer to a big time school to help limit your future debt

Apr 14, 2019

At Rhode Island I'd be taking out about $10k a year. So you would advise against Fordham though? Plus if I got rejected from all those places rn they'll also reject me as a transfer, and wouldn't it be better to graduate from Rhode Island rather than a CC?

Apr 14, 2019

IB is relatively difficult to get into from any school. You could get in from Fordham but geez 160k in debt that sounds awful. Maybe some of the others on this forum will have different advice for you but I wouldn't go that much into debt.

Apr 14, 2019

Maybe unrelated, but you suffer from bipolar disorder and from depression and your dream is to get into Investment Banking? This industry is potentially the worst industry you could pursue given your conditions

Apr 14, 2019

Thanks for your concern haha but I'm deadset on IB. What do you think about my question though?

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Apr 14, 2019

What is your why for wanting to go into investment banking? Given the fact that you already have bipolar disorder and depression, if you don't have a strong why you will be perpetually depressed, more so than now given the brutal lifestyle IB entails. If it's for the money or the prestige, you're in for a rude awakening. However, if it's something stronger and you believe that IB will open doors for you that previously were unavailable or something along the lines, I can see the justification. Regardless, have a why for everything you do..

Going back to your question, Fordham is a good school, but not worth $160k in debt. You seem like a smart kid, do the 2 years at a CC, kill it, and transfer into a semi-target/target. URI will be an uphill battle, but not impossible.

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Apr 14, 2019

Not worth the 160k. Trust me, I would really hate to see you spend that much, and then if you don't get into IB, I can only imagine your reaction. Spend the time networking, build up a decent resume of internships, and you will have a good shot.

yeah aight, blueface baby

    • 1
Apr 14, 2019

Thank you and yes I agree that it would break me if after accumulating more than $160k in debt I don't even get a good job. So with Fordham out of the question, I wanted to know what you think about going to Baruch rather than Rhode Island? People have been telling me that because of its location Baruch would be a better place to spend my time before I transfer. What do you think about this? Plus it's also possible I get rejected from everywhere all over again when I try to transfer; in that case which would be the better place out of the two to graduate from?

Again thank you so much for the help, you saved me from making a terrible mistake lol.

Apr 14, 2019

Not really familiar with either of those schools. Would recommend seeing what alumni presence is within IB (if any), and seeing what placement reports for these schools suggest. Just going off a quick google search Baruch seems to be more selective, not sure for what reasons, that may mean it is more respected?

In terms of if you rejected when transferring after your first year, then it is definitely worth going to Baruch. I see no reason to go to Rhode Island over it. Prefacing this by stating that I am personally biased because I love NYC, but the simple fact that you are in Manhattan, will have access to professionals working at any sort of financial firm you can think of, access to conferences/events where you can meet people. These will be the biggest factors as you can make better connections and get those initial internships your freshman and sophomore year which I would imagine are essential for non-target students.

yeah aight, blueface baby

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Most Helpful
Apr 14, 2019

Don't do it, despite it s NYC location there seems to be very few Fordham alumni on the street (even compared to like Baruch).

Go to Rhode Island for a year (and get a good GPA) and then transfer to a better program. Your grades and test scores are really stellar. Not sure what happened in your admission process but evaluate what you think may have gone wrong and reapply as a transfer (or pick a new set of schools, I think you'd have a good chance at like UMich, NYU Stern, Cornell, Northwestern, etc.)

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Apr 14, 2019

Thank you so much for the advice. I've been told that instead of going to URI I should try going to Baruch, it's much cheaper and because I have to transfer anyway I'll be able to use it's location to my advantage in the time I spend there. What do you think about this? I seem to get the impression from your comment that Baruch isn't the most ideal place to go to, so if worst comes to worst and I get rejected from everywhere all over again, what would be a better place to graduate from, Baruch or URI?

Apr 15, 2019

This is my rec as well. Fordham is not worth $160k in debt lol.

Apr 14, 2019

Thanks for the advice. What do you think about Baruch or URI? I could go to either one of those then try transferring..

Apr 14, 2019

Go to URI, kill it, transfer after 1 year. Apply to UVA, NYU, Cornell, BC, UNC - CH, Vanderbilt, all those schools. You will be a pretty solid applicant as long as you kill it.

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Apr 14, 2019

Thank you so much for the response man. I'd really appreciate it if you could help me with one more thing:

Quite a few people have been advising me to go to Baruch rather than Rhode Island, since it's in NYC and I plan on transferring anyway, they think my time would be much better spent in NYC compared to Rhode Island (before I transfer). Plus everyone's saying Baruch is much cheaper too.

What do you think about this? Also if for some reason I get rejected everywhere all over again in my transfer apps (it can happen), what would be a better place to graduate from? If they're both more or less equal to each other does Baruch's proximity give it an edge?

Apr 14, 2019

I would go Baruch - all else being equal (tuition wise). Currently in the transfer process myself, happy to provide any insights or information.

If you are worried about being rejected, I would cast a wide net.
This should be your list of schools:

Reach:
Cornell
Columbia
Duke
Penn

Reasonable:
Vanderbilt
NYU
UVA
Hopkins
Georgetown
USC

Safety:
Boston University
UNC - CH

    • 1
Apr 15, 2019

Fordham consistently places at least a few kids into BB IBD each year and many others into boutiques. Fordham has a small but close-knit alumni network on the street, and it all comes down to who you know.

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Apr 15, 2019

Take a year off. Move to California, get a job doing something unique/interesting, establish residency, then apply to Berkeley amd UCLA. Both are target schools and you'll pay instate tuition if you get accepted.

Apr 14, 2019
FellowTraveler:

if

Sounds awfully risky to me

Apr 15, 2019

More risky than $160k in debt for a non target school, or trying to get into IB via URI?

What's the risk? You spend a year doing something interesting, growing up a little, living independently, and potentially solving your in-state residency problem. Colleges don't admit it readily, but ad coms like applicants who have taken a year off. They're more mature and focused, and need far less of the babysitting that a lot of incoming freshman require.

Apr 15, 2019

Baruch is a great school, nothing compare to Harvard but it's definitely a decent school for IB placement. As mention above, you may want to reconsider career, if you have trouble with people.