Undergrad: NYU Stern or Cornell AEM - I got an extension!

Hey guys,

New here. So I've been accepted to both NYU Stern and Cornell AEM and just cannot decide which to go to(I got an extention to decide which to go to). I love both the city and the college campus experience so that's where the debacle begins. Both have pretty prestigious business programs - Cornell AEM being ranked fourth by bweek and Stern being ranked eigth. Stern however, I believe has more of a name on wallstreet and is more of a developed school. Cornell AEM, however, still has the ivy league tag and is only looking to improve. I've also heard that AEM is now the hardest major to get into at Cornell but one of the easiest. NYU Stern, on the other hand, is brutally competitive and the Stern Curve doesn't help one bit. The thing that suprised me also was that Stern had suprisingly better statistics: 1470 or so for SAT mean while Cornell had 1340 or so (I got 1480/1600 or 2280/2400 and am in the top 10 of my class). Both schools also have great study abroad programs but NYU has more of that international focus. My interested majors are International Business and Finance, which I'm told Stern rocks at. But I guess what it all comes down to is getting that first choice job. I know that if I go to Cornell AEM I'd be a great student and would enjoy myself very much. If I go to stern I do not know what position I would be in. Cornell AEM has 100 ambitious but laid back students, and eventually becomes around 200 at graduation from transferrings. Stern, on the other hand, has 500-600 VERY ambitious, almost cut throat students who are both extremely competitive and intelligent. So I was wondering which would ultimately get the big job: Stern or Cornell. Please take into account that I would probaly do better at Cornell because of the lesser competition. Also, does it really matter how good the finance and international business program is at Stern or is the academic difference paperthing between the two and not such a big deal to big firms on wall St.. Hence, Stern or Cornell? Looking forward to your input and feedback.


Comments (23)

May 1, 2008

Cornell, hands down.

May 1, 2008

I have no feedback for you on NYU, but having attended Cornell engineering as an UG I'll offer you my perspective. Cornell is a very large school which is comprised of 7 different colleges. Each college is very different from the others, with very different admission standards, grading policies, and classroom atmospheres. The opportunities and options are nearly limitless.

The most difficult part about being sucessful at Cornell is realizing that no one will hold your hand or provide you with much guidance. Cornell is not Harvard. You will not become friends with your advisor or spend weekends at barbeques with your professors having philosophical conversations. I saw my advisor twice in four years and knew only two professors by name at the end of four years - my experience was typical. Expect 200+ person lectures. Expect classes taught by TAs who barely speak English.

You will be handed a course catalog as thick as a phonebook and turned loose to do pretty much whatever you please at one of the worlds greatest research universities. You will be able to work on cutting edge research as an undergrad. You will be able to intern at Fortune 500 companies and BB I-Banks. You will be able to start and run your own company. However to do any of these things you will have to be extremely proactive. You really need to be involved in planning your education and forcing the faculty to look up from thier research long enough to help you. For every classmate who did something great, there were five who simply stumbled through classes earning C's and D's because no one told them they shouldn't take advanced fluid dynamics if they haven't taken non-linear differential equations.

I had a great time at Cornell, and it launched me into exactly the career that I wanted at the time. The education I recieved has allowed me to stand out amongst my peers. Even the C students I knew at school have gone on to do wonderful things. I have a housemate currently at Stanford Law, another who graduated from HBS a couple of years ago, another represented the United States at the World Track and Field Championships. I would never tell anyone who had the opportunity to attend not to go. That said, know what you are getting into. It is a difficult place, and I do not think I know one person who would call it laid back.

That said AEM (then called ARME) was where the engineering school sent all the sophmores who couldn't make at least C's freshman year. All those guys got good grades once they switched and are probaly way richer than me right now :)

May 1, 2008
May 1, 2008

I can't speak for NYU, but I am currently matriculating at Cornell as an AEM major.

AEM is becoming a lot more competitive and the requirements for AEM are a lot harder than previous years.

If you are concerned about job opportunities with bulge bracket firms, Cornell gives you just the same amount as Stern. Top employers are Lehman and Goldman here at Cornell.

Cornell is still within the IVY League system and the AEM program is only going to get better from here on.

There are great opportunities to take classes in other schools which give you an enriching college experience; some of the more interesting classes are in the Johnson Grad School and the Hotel School.

I'm really enjoying my time at Cornell and believe we will be in the number 2 spot by the time I graduate - 2010 (By the way as a sophomore I'm working for Citi's Sophomore Rotational Program this summer which was highly competitive 2500 applied and only 30 spots available; 2 Cornell 5 Wharton 1 Harvard 1 Princeton 1 Stanford 1 Columbia 2 MIT [0 NYU- maybe NYU kids didn't know about it, I'll be living in their dorms this summer though... ] )

May 1, 2008

Oh and your entire post is completely false.

"I've also heard that AEM is now the hardest major to get into at Cornell but one of the easiest." - maybe relative to its internationally ranked engineering and pre-med majors, but it's still Cornell, supposedly one of the easiest Ivies to get into but the hardest to graduate from...

"The thing that suprised me also was that Stern had suprisingly better statistics: 1470 or so for SAT mean" - try 1380.

"I know that if I go to Cornell AEM I'd be a great student" - hahahahahahahaha

"Cornell AEM has 100 ambitious but laid back students, and eventually becomes around 200 at graduation from transferrings." - are you talking per class? Because if you're saying we have 200 students total, try multiplying that by three... and laid back? I'd really like to see you say that to any Cornellian. I know people who transferred to Cornell from NYU who say people at NYU were way less ambitious

"I would probaly do better at Cornell because of the lesser competition" - again, hahahahahaha

What I think you don't get is that Stern isn't a major, it's a college with eight majors. AEM is one of six undergraduate business majors at Cornell spread among the colleges (others include Economics, Policy Analysis and Management, Operations Research, Industrial and Labor Relations, Hotel Administration (which also houses the Real Estate Finance program)). So yeah, you're right, if you want to analyze AEM against all of Stern, be my guest - but it's dumb and you should take those poor analyzing skills to Stern :-)

    • 1
May 1, 2008
May 1, 2008

Thanks to everyone except meehgs for the feedback so far.

Meehgs- I wanted feedback to make a difficult decision not harsh biased censure. I will not be berated for schools I worked so hard to get into. If you're going to speak with that narrow mindset please just shut your mouth - your opinions are really unwanted and irrelevant.

1) AEM is (from what I've heard countless times) the new hardest major to get into with at Cornell - less than 11% acceptance rate or something like that

2) sorry I did get the wrong SAT score for both -
1336 For Cornell AEM (sorry, I tried to help by rounding up 4 points)
1438 For NYU Stern - 1470 was off the top of my head and thats the number I heard for this years accepted class
http://bwnt.businessweek.com/interactive_reports/u... There's almost 100 point difference - let's not try to hide the facts

3) Hence why I said 500-600 for Stern (their average class size) and obviously the ones I'd be competing against. AEM starts off with about 100 students and eventually goes up to 200 by graduation becaues of transfers. These are facts.
Oh and great inference-analysis skills. Not. You might want to work on those.

4) I would be a better student at Cornell because their AEM major is more laidback than Stern in general. I got a 2280/2400 and 1480/1600. Um..NYU Stern's SAT score is 1440, Cornell AEM's SAT Score is 1340. Over a third of Stern's students have an SAT score greater than 1500. Cornell AEM's middle 50% SAT score range is 1240-1450. Average ACT score is 29. NYU's Average ACT Score is 31.1. For AEM- 64% of the students came from the top 10%. NYU Stern- 92% of teh students came from the top 10% of their high school class. I'd say on average Stern's students are more ambitious and generally did better on standardized tests. Also, it's rumored that Cornell AEM, the hotel school, and ag in general house most student athletes who being recruited, bring down the SAT Score.
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/unde... http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/unde...
"AEM only has a bad rap b/c people consider it to be one of the easier majors at Cornell...."
"It is a well regarded program, the only criticism seems to be from Cornell students, which is a shame, because it seems to be more to inflate their egos than actual criticism."
"AEM is by no means regarded poorly. It's an incredibly popular major at Cornell, and AEM majors get very lucky with job placement. I think Cornell students like to tease AEM majors a lot since the median grades in AEM classes tend to be high; hence it's reputation as an easy major. There might be a little jealousy in there too."
-It's known to be an easier major at Cornell. Get over it. Research it and you'll see more than enough testimony.

5) I'm very well aware of the fact that Stern is a school within a college. Thanks for the clarifaction though sport. The AEM department is what is ranked, not the major. Nothing else. Those other majors are trivial to me because I didn't apply to them. Again, get your facts straight.

You're a narrow-minded fool. Please do your research and have a nice day.

May 1, 2008

"Thanks to everyone except meehgs for the feedback so far." - good luck getting into banking without tough skin

"http://bwnt.businessweek.com/interactive_reports/u... There's almost 100 point difference - let's not try to hide the facts" - not trying to hide the facts, I misread down one line and was quoting MIT's Sloan program, honest mistake

"Hence why I said 500-600 for Stern (their average class size)...Oh and great inference-analysis skills. Not. You might want to work on those." - nowhere did you mention a reference to class size, just that Stern had 500-600 students. Oh and great lying skills. Not.

"Also, it's rumored that Cornell AEM, the hotel school, and ag in general house most student athletes who being recruited, bring down the SAT Score." - ouch. Looks like someone has something against athletes. Did the quarterback tease you in high school?

"It's known to be an easier major at Cornell. Get over it." - haha I said myself it was an easy major. Relative to other majors at Cornell :-)

"I'm very well aware of the fact that Stern is a school within a college. Thanks for the clarifaction though sport. The AEM department is what is ranked, not the major. Nothing else. Those other majors are trivial to me because I didn't apply to them. Again, get your facts straight." - 1) it's a college within a university, not a school within a college. 2) the AEM "department" is the MAJOR... duh. You applied to a MAJOR. If you want to compare MAJORS, compare a MAJOR in Stern to the AEM major. Either that or get all of the statistics for all of Cornell's undergraduate business majors, which if put together would comprise one undergraduate college, and compare that against Stern.

"please just shut your mouth - your opinions are really unwanted and irrelevant." and "You're a narrow-minded fool. Please do your research and have a nice day." - you've been a member for five hours. You have contributed nothing to this forum as of yet. I have. Before you try to wage a war from your high school's computer lab, keep in mind that you are joining an already established community that doesn't appreciate rude, presumptuous, and uncouth newbies.

May 1, 2008

I would also caution the OP no to be too cocky regarding the ease with which he believes he will achieve top marks at Cornell. The 1370 mean SAT score is deceiving. Cornell is a big school and there are a lot of programs. Some of these programs are very niche, and unpopular, but remain because they are mandated as part of the NY State land grant agreement. While I don't mean to be critical or put anyone down, some of these programs are so specific and unusual (ex. Feedlot Management in the Ag. School) that admissions is not very competitive by Ivy League standards. The more popular programs (Pre-med, Engineering, Business, Economics, etc...) are far more competitive. A mid-1400's SAT will not set you apart in these programs (I think the mean SAT in CEE was 1430 my freshman year). I came to campus with a 1500 (circa 1996) and it only took me 15 minutes to meet someone with a better score (my freshman year roommate had me beat by 100 points).

EDIT: I don't mean for this post to be critical of the OP. Just friendly advice. I made the mistake of thinking I would be hot sh!t at Cornell and I paid for it with some terrible freshman year grades.

May 1, 2008

a few people from my high school went to Cornell (none doing AEM), and a few of my friends are in Stern as well. From what I know about Cornell is that they work hard and they PARTY HARDER. I heard these kids just go crazy with a huge frat scene. Take that into account when you decide because NYU has no frat scene.

Do not base your decision solely (or to any significant amount) on Business Week rankings. Have you noticed that year to year sometimes colleges may jump up 3-4+ spots and others completely drop out of the top 10? Ever wonder why? Look at their ranking methodology. They base a heavy part of it on student surveys basically asking students what they thought of their undergrad experience.

Saying the AEM program will only get better is a bit silly. What college does not want to get better? Of course both Stern and AEM are getting better as the years go on. (good indicator of which school will not just talk about getting better but actually do something: look at donations from prominent alumni. Not to NYU or Cornell as a whole, but for the specific programs. Cannot speak for Cornell but from what I have heard coming out of NY is that Stern is doing a $30mil renovation project funded entirely by alumni...approx $10mil from a nice guy named, John Paulson)

Reputations is extremely important on the Street (as are alumni connections). Cornell should be better at this hands down.

Living in suburbia or living in the city is a big choice because if you are actually a good student you will excel in both locations.

"'The thing that suprised me also was that Stern had suprisingly better statistics: 1470 or so for SAT mean' - try 1380."
Do not know where 1380 comes from. The data is right here and I do not see 1380 near Stern.
Stern does not 500 very ambitious students... They have 450. Just kidding. In all seriousness the Stern curve is getting under control by administration because they realize it is hurting the community.

My recommendation, go to Cornell with the intent of getting a 4.0 and transfer after Freshman year to a power player. (if you think you can score the 4.0 at NYU then do that)

May 1, 2008

Sorry if I came off as cocky but from the information and research I have done it seems as if AEM is easier work-wise than Stern. Also i think AEM is the second largest major at Cornell now (not 100% sure). Anyways, I'm just saying that numbers are the only real solid thing I have to base the level of difficulty on. That and testimony from students I know in both schools which only further solidified my understandings. I'm not saying I will receive top marks in the AEM major but, again, from what I've heard it is easier than Stern, has no Stern Curve (20% As, 40% Bs, 40%Cs), and is an easy work-wise, hard-to-get-into major at Cornell. I know it all depends on what courses you take but from what I've heard from kids who have taken AEM classes (inside and outside of AEM) they are relatively easy and give high grades.

Could we please get back to the original post? Sorry to everyone else for the offense-defence game going on and your input would be greatly appreciated!

May 1, 2008

NYU - Stern hands down.



May 1, 2008

^^^ is that a joke??

Cornell...hands down


May 11, 2008

You should make this decision on your own after visiting both schools and consulting, in details, with live persons. NOT on a forum with students of those schools who are obviously getting emotional and erratic with their responses. While you're at it, you should control your arrogance. You may have some reasonable points, but respecting seniority is an important trait that you should learn early, especially if you want to work in a conservative environment like banking.

Anyway, on to the main topic: I remember when I was in high school, ALL of my peers (not an understatement) who applied to business programs had to make this decision. That is, everybody who applied to these schools got in. Obviously, those who were accepted into the better programs (single or dual degree at Wharton, preferred admissions at Ross, etc.) went to those schools instead. However, when it came down to the final decision who were restricted to NYU and Cornell, everybody selected Cornell. Most made the decision on an immature desire to crawl into the Ivy League, but there were other reasons as well. When it's all said and done, I agree with their decision.

Cornell is a great school and you shouldn't generalize anything about the easiness of their academics. Granted, I can't speak for them since I attend neither of those institutions, but Cornell is quite renowned for its difficulty.

I stand by what I recommended earlier: make this decision more intimately with live people. This thread has clearly become a slugfest and will serve you no knowledge. Look at figures and not base your reasoning on what seems right to you. For example, check the employment profiles for both schools and compare them.

May 29, 2008

You probably already made your decision but I thought I would add to this for anyone interested in AEM and correct some of the inaccurate opinions in this thread.

-Until you go to Cornell, you have no idea how difficult it is. Do not expect any class or major to be easy. As said before, easy is relative.
-AEM is becoming more difficult each year. Median grades for most of the AEM intro classes have been dropped from A/A- to B over the past 1-2 years.
-The low SATs scores are due to the athletes.
-AEM's rep is improving every year. It is the only other ivy undergrad business degree besides Wharton and no other ivys have plans to add an undergrad business degree. It will eventually become a 1a to Wharton (5-10 years). In 10 years expect it to be HYPSWA instead of just HYPSW when people refer to the very top for recruiting and prestige.

May 29, 2008

Just adding some insight good luck with your decision. Either route you choose will give you lots of opportunities.

Getting a 3.7+ even with the curve is NOT that hard. You seem to have a pretty accurate idea of the stern student body. There are a lot of hard working motivated kids and at times it is cut throat. The student body is racially divided. There are the clubs and business frats that put everyone in the same room, but for the most part the Asians stick with the Asians, the Indians stick with the Indians etc etc. The school is recruited well for IB, some what well for S&T, and barely for consulting. I was never interested in the Fortune 500 corporate finance route so I can not really comment on how well Stern is recruited by those firms. The Dean is actually doing some good things with the curriculum. She has added some cool courses on designing trading systems and financial engineering that I am sorry were not available for me to take. Its easy to get internships and have work experience being that you are in NYC. On the downside if you are not in housing meeting people can be difficult if you do not have a good fake or a good apt to throw parties in.

May 30, 2008

these are two great schools so it's a high class problem. i think it depends on your goals for college and when you get out. if your dead set on wall street, i'd probably recommend stern just because they have the 2nd best finance program, strong recruitment and you'll have real internship opportunities being in the city.

i don't know much about the AEM program but my perception is if you're still undecided about what you want to do, i'd choose cornell. maybe stern has changed in the last 4 years but when i was there it felt much like a vocational school. everyone knew what job they wanted to get out of college and much of the experience was spent gunning for that - taking financial valuation classes, joining business frats, interning, etc.

cornell will give you more of college experience, a more diverse curriculum and has the ivy brand. in the end, as mcmo said either school will give you great opportunities and both will you in a position for success should you take advantage of it. my brother went to cornell majored in biology and history, interned at Merrill investment management but ultimately became an ER doctor. i chose to stern over cornell hotel management and now i work in private equity.

oh and one comment about level of difficulty - in comparing my brother vs. my experience i would have to say cornell definitely takes it although our majors were different and he did confirm that it is one of the easiest ivies to get into but hardest to graduate from. i didn't consider nyu very difficult but i had a very mediocre 3.5 gpa. people commit suicide at cornell because of the stress of their courseload, people commit suicide nyu because they're tripping off drugs

May 11, 2009

I just want to let you know that you really shouldn't come into Cornell thinking that AEM is easy and that you'll finish your first year with a 4.0 GPA. I can't say much for Stern, but the way you are talking about AEM makes it seem as though it's a truly easy major and everyone gets above a 3.8GPA. WRONG!

I'm currently a freshmen in AEM and I've honestly never worked or studied so hard in my life. You might think that in all your classes you're just competing with AEM majors (lots of athletes it's true), but you'll soon find that the intro classes you have to take freshmen year don't just consist of AEM majors, but people from A&S and engineering.

Also, I've heard that the professor for AEM 1200 (business management) one of the intro courses required for AEM has received pressure to make his course harder, so the median grade has dropped. I feel like the general direction of the major is to make it harder. Seriously, if you come to Cornell with an attitude that you're better than most people in AEM, you're wrong. Some of my classmates are smart enough to get perfect scores on engineering prelims. Expect to work hard! I learned that the hard way when I finished first semester with a 3.52 GPA.

And just so you know, AEM is a MAJOR. There are different specializations you can pick in the major, but keep that in mind. I understand the department is being ranked, but it's the major's department... it's not a separate school.

It's finals week and libraries are crowded, but it's very true that Cornell students study hard, party hard. Social life here is very good, just in case that's one of the factors you're looking at!

May 11, 2009


Aug 14, 2009

haha this post is a year old, but OP if ur still there where did u decide to go?

Mar 14, 2010

I got over 1520 SAT out of 1600. I picked Stern over Uchicago and Duke.

Feb 8, 2015