Undergraduate Education: Macaulay Baruch vs. Duke

I was recently accepted as a sophomore transfer student to Duke University and will probably be majoring in economics with a concentration in finance and minoring in computer science. Currently I am a student at Macaulay Honors, Baruch College majoring in financial mathematics.

I am not receiving any financial aid from Duke and will be taking on significant loans after I graduate. Will transferring to Duke give me better career choices and an edge in business school applications? Is it worth the money?

Thank you.

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Comments (10)

Jun 19, 2018 - 12:43pm

What's the expected cost of attendance you're looking at? Normally top 10 schools are worth it but I cringe when people start talking about 6 figure undergrad debt

Duke is a better bet for just about everything but costing out sophomore to senior year assuming full freight and living expenses we're pushing $200K

If you're already pretty successful in your Honors Program better to live to fight another day and spend that money on grad school/real estate/life

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Jun 19, 2018 - 1:07pm

TheGrind thank you for the info. I will be paying roughly 70K per year (everything included). Currently, I am near the top of my class for Baruch's financial math program. I just think that Duke's education is much stronger than Baruch's and I will have access to better facilities, resources, and alumni network.

Jun 19, 2018 - 5:11pm

You're definitely right that Duke will give you many more opps for anything going forward. What are your goals for the future? IB, HF, PE? I don't know too much about Baruch's Honors Program and how many more opps it might give you over regular Baruch as well as the types of jobs that financial math may provide (though they lean more towards quant stuff rather than something like IB). Regardless, there will be a lot more OCR and easy access to most jobs you want because of the network.

Nevertheless, I suggest listening to what others have to say as well. That amount of debt can be pretty daunting for the future.

Most Helpful
Jun 20, 2018 - 4:47pm

Baruch alumnus here (international student, non minority). Although I wasn't in Macaulay, I knew a few kids there and they all got solid FT jobs. Some Macaulay students also told me that OCR recruiters favor them, but that's all I know about the program. Well, that's already a lot considering you don't pay tuition, get early registration and a free macbookpro.

Regarding my experience and considering I'm not a minority - I had first rounds at most BBs, 4-5 MMs (no EBs though - they seem to focus more on target schools although I didn't even network for them) and firms like Point72/BlackRock via OCR. Reflecting on my years at Baruch and the students I've seen succeed there, it's not that hard to break into IB if you are a US citizen and know what you are doing. I'd imagine it should be easier from Macaulay.
Few steps are important: keep your gpa at 3.8+ at least for non minority finance majors (would guess it's more like 3.6+ coming from STEM), do a finance internship while attending school your freshman/sophomore year (PMW part-time at BBs are easy to get, check OCR). Leverage that for a boutique IB summer internship your sophomore year (they usually recruit between december-february). Ideally, you would squeeze in another finance internship part-time your second semester of sophomore year. You should take advantage of the fact that few small boutiques take year long interns meaning you only compete with NYC kids. Be an active member of a relevant club (IMG/wall street club for IB). Last, network with alumni and send cold emails, there are some at every BBs/EBs/MMs. If you follow these steps, you should be good to secure a solid junior summer internship.
Speaking about alumni, I reached out to 20+ of them during my sophomore/junior years and the response rate was close to 100%.

If you're interested in trading, the trading club did really well the past few years and seem to open decent opportunities to NY/Chicago trading firms. The master in Financial Engineering at baruch is also top notch for quant jobs. The BIG 4 also heavily recruit via OCR in Audit/TA/Consulting

While you will have better OCR, alumni network and a considerably better social life at schools like Duke, 200k is a lot - If I were in your shoes I would apply again next year (for spring 2018?) and consider schools that offer scholarships. That way you would still be on time for your junior year SA applications. I would then consider the pros of Baruch mentioned above but also the following cons. Two main ones are: social life is close to non-existent and the students going to Tier 2 consulting or top tech firms are mostly minorities (i.e, anything else than white/asian/indian male). Last time I checked on LinkedIn, no alumni ever went to MBBs straight after Baruch, so don't even consider that an option. Therefore, if you're interested in anything else than finance jobs, I would seriously consider transferring and maybe cover your living expenses working part-time for the next 3 years.

Regarding business school, I don't think the edge that a target school gives to your application is worth 200k (or even half of that) since you're already at Macaulay, should get a 3.6+ in a STEM major, then most likely land a solid job along with a 730+ gmat (considering you'd do very well on the quant part).

hope that helps

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Jun 22, 2018 - 3:32pm

Thank you for the great info. It was a hard choice to make but I ultimately picked Duke for several reasons:
- Academics: I will be challenged with more intensive coursework, have the option to pursue econ research (always wanted to), and will be able to explore science fields (biomedical maybe), guest lecturers, intense and involved math curriculum
- Social Life: living on campus, selective living groups (unsure about frats yet), more and higher quality clubs, sports culture
- Work/B-school: larger alumni base, name recognition, Fuqua program for undergrads, better finance career resources, possible career paths in tech/consulting

I understand it will be a hustle to pay for school and get scholarships, while simultaneously keeping my head in the books. Obviously I will be making some sacrifices but I think in the end it will be rewarding.

Jul 1, 2018 - 8:52pm

May I ask if the Point 72/Blackrock opportunities through OCR were FO or not? I was just under the impression that buyside firms like these two only recruit the creme of the crop from HYPS.

Jul 4, 2018 - 3:59am

The Point72 position was the "academy summer internship". I don't remember which one it was for BlackRock but I believe they had several different opportunities. Honestly I wouldn't rely on OCR anyway considering the amount of Macaulay and minority kids at Baruch. Just reach out to alumni in the city for coffee chat it will be much more efficient

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