USC Marshall vs. NYU Stern

I posted here a while back when I was deciding between USC and VSB and found the advice extremely helpful. I ended up committing to USC, but today I was accepted into Stern. I'm honestly going back and forth on where to commit and would love some help.

USC would be free to attend annually and NYU would cost around $7k a year to attend. I'd like to go into management consulting or IB, but I'm still undecided between the two. I've seen NYU's "campus" and loved it, I just don't know how the lack of a typical college life will compare to what USC's college lifestyle offers. Also, I'm a spring admit at USC, so I can't start until Jan. 2021.

I have until Friday to decide and any input would go a long way. Thanks.

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Comments (25)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
May 14, 2020 - 3:06am

wait I just saw that Stern would be $7k a year.

Student body will be less chill and less cool than USC but at that price, you should def go

May 14, 2020 - 3:01am

NYU Stern hands down. If you want to work in LA after going to NYU you can. The same cannot be said if the situation was reversed. If you want to work in NY after going to USC it will be much harder. People who've applied to both go to Marshall when then don't get into Stern, that's just the truth with all other factors being equal. And contrary to what another user has said NYU has a much cooler student body as a whole and you'll meet a much more diverse set of students. USC is also in very undesirable part of downtown LA, NYU is in the heart of downtown Manhattan. Also consider studying abroad if that's something you ever want to do - NYU has a huge study abroad culture and many people who graduate from other schools regret not doing it. $7K is pennies for a top notch education that you will be able to pay off within a year of graduating.

EDIT: Disclosure - I turned down Marshall to go to Stern. Doesn't make what I said any less true.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 14, 2020 - 3:53am

I don't disagree, but at least be honest with the kid and tell him you went to Stern so you're definitely biased.

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Most Helpful
May 14, 2020 - 9:40am

prob a bit of a contrarian viewpoint but I'd personally go to USC. You can get the jobs you want there if you hustle (especially in LA) and going to USC seems way more fun than Stern.

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  • Summer Associate in IB - CB
May 14, 2020 - 12:07pm

I'll make the argument for USC, it's where I'd go in this situation. Unless you are dead set on NYC, which you can still get to with USC with some networking and effort, USC will serve you better on the west coast. (Ex: there are 3 USC kids in my intern class and none from NYU in my SF IB spring internship) NYU is very IB focused, it's stressful and not a traditional or fun college experience unless you have money to go clubbing every weekend. NYU will set you up better for a first job in all likelihood, but if you were going to get there from NYU u can get there from USC with some effort. Also NYU places very poorly into grad school while USC is top 20 for HBS, Wharton and GSB.

Both are strong semi-targets when accounting for the entire USA. Good luck

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 14, 2020 - 1:38pm
Summer Associate in IB - CB:

Also NYU places very poorly into grad school while USC is top 20 for HBS, Wharton and GSB.

NYU is top 10 for GSB and top 15 for HBS. And Stern -> LA/SF is easier than Marshall -> NYC.

May 14, 2020 - 12:18pm

I made this same decision a year ago, except cost wasn't a concern. I chose USC for the more traditional and enjoyable college experience. I've really enjoyed my time at USC as have all of my friends, 1 of my friends from Stern transferred to WashU because of the social sense/snake-culture. That being said if your dead set on NYC IB and that's all you want from college NYU Stern would be a no brainer.

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May 14, 2020 - 12:34pm

I would probably choose Stern. The 7k per year difference can definitely be made back easily with the better job opportunities at Stern and you're a spring admit for USC which is not ideal socially anyways. Moreover, all the people saying that USC will be a better college experience overrate the experience at USC and underrate the one at Stern. Sure, there might be sports at USC, but at NYU there's NYC. Don't let other's peoples' perception of an ideal college experience affect what you want to get out of school. In the long run, Stern is 100% better in terms of career trajectory and WAYYY more prestigious and you're getting it at 7k a year which is a steal compared to the kids that pay 80k a year. USC is normally considered a semi-target on the West Coast which isn't great as the West Coast banking industry is much smaller and has way less opportunities than east coast banking. Keep in mind the USC Marshall has almost 1,500 more students than Stern does which means that you're competing against more kids for less spots which in my opinion would make it more stressful than life at Stern. At the end of the day these schools are in completely different tiers for your goals so overall, I would say that Stern is the better option.…

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
May 14, 2020 - 5:47pm

OP, do not listen to the above comments. Absolutely go to Stern. It is in a different tier than Marshall, and for 7k/year, it seems like almost too good of a deal. Your future self will regret it immensely if you go to USC and dont land an ib gig. And lol at "NYU placing very poorly into grad school."

If you want finance on the west coast, Stern will get you it (especially if you have a compelling reason for going West). But lets be honest, why would you want to leave the financial capital of the world to go to the West Coast, unless there are extenuating circumstances. That's why no NYU kid was in Summer Associates SF internship class.

May 21, 2020 - 9:32pm

Stern is great for banking placement but as a place to spend 4 years of your life, it fucking blows. Just by reading this forum it seems that the culture really is snakelike/uber-competitive. I definitely don't want to be stressed out of my mind with no personal space in the middle of busy NYC.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 25, 2020 - 1:01am

USC Trojan here so welcome! Don't know if you changed your decision but I think usc is absolutely what you make of it (kinda cliche I know) and it is possible to do IB NY buttt Stern for sure would facilitate that process. So IMO at USC you get beautiful campus with a great student life but you gotta work really hard to get the job you want or NYU where the job might come a little easier.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jan 13, 2021 - 11:23am

I go to USC and every bank you can think of recruits here. Almost every single NY bank has an alumni that will get you an interview. The only banks that don't have alumni are grreenhill, and harris williams.

Apr 26, 2021 - 11:07am

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 26, 2021 - 11:32am

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