Student from Germany needs help selecting colleges





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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: Student from Germany needs help selecting colleges
By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 09:01 am: Edit

Hi everyone!

First of all, I want to laud your great forum for its helpful members, who are always a rich resource for high school students. I hope that you will take the effort to read my long email - I will truly be grateful.

The question which I want to ask is the following:
I want to major in finance and later on work as a stockbroker (you know, the person, who has clients and invests their money-or is that officially called an investment banker). Thus I wanted to ask you, which colleges you would recommend me to apply to. Money does play a little role, which means that I will take both expensive private as well as less expensive, public colleges in consideration. For the more expensive ones I will try to get some financial aid or partial scholarship help - if I do it would be great, if I don't it's ok. Other things about the college don't matter. I ask you to please take my personal information in condsideration, when giving me advise. Thank you

As said, to aid you in answering my question, I will supply some info about myself:
Originally, I come from Germany, where I studied till 8th grade. I am German, but my family won the greencard so that I now want to study and live in the US.
Then I went to a public high school in Irvine, CA during 9th grade, where I (I have to admit) took the easiest courses (Algebra 1, Science 1 etc), since I was not too confident back then.
The following school year, 10th grade I went back to Germany.
Last year,11th grade, I went to a private high school, called Mercersburg Academy(in PA) and took the following courses: English 3 (87%grade), US History(90%), Latin 2(97%) (again too easy), Physics 3(98%) Honours and AP CAlculus(98%).
I also took the SAT 1, where I got a 1230 - 570 English[very happy] and a 660 in math [very sad, studied this summer, very sure to get above 700 next time, hopefully around 750 ;-)]. So, I am shooting for a ~1330 next time.
In addition, I took the AP Calculus AB exam, where I got a 5 [very happy].
Plans for next year: Attend Mercersburg Academy again. Take English 5, 3 for graduation required courses related to religion music and art(each for one term), AP Physics (get a 4 on exam), AP Statistics (get a 4 or 5 on exam) and either AP Calculus BC (get a 5 for sure) or Math 60 (more advanced than AB Calc BC) - which course would you guys recommend. Furthermore I want to take the SAT 2 MAth 2C (hopefully around 650-720), and SAT 2 Physics (around 750) and SAT Writing (between 600 and 700).

Well, I hope that you will help me with my college search and be a great guidance.

Thank you for your help,
Maher

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 09:15 am: Edit

If you can raise your SAT math to over 700, you have a shot at several of the top programs.

The best place to study Finance is Wharton (University of Pennsylvania).

Cal-Berkeley
Carnegie Mellon
Michigan-Ann Arbor
MIT
NYU

Are also excellent.

Another good school in Business is Texas-Austin.

However, you can major in Economics and get a good job at an Investment Bank if you go to an elite university like Brown or Chicago, neither of which has a Business School for undergraduate students, but are certainly very highly respected by the elite Investment Banks.

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 10:46 am: Edit

Hi,
Thanks for your answer. I checked these schools out, but unfortunately they are all pretty expensive. During my research I came across: Baruch College , College of William, Wagner College, Susquehanna and Southern Methodist University.
What do you think about these colleges and how do they compare to the ones you mentioned? Will my job prospects change if I would attend these ones?

Thanks for your answer and I am looking forward from more input.

Greetings,
Maher

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 11:03 am: Edit

Baruch is actually quite good. Do you mean College of William and Mary? If so, yes. They are not quite as good as the schools I mentioned initially, but they are still quite respected.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 01:35 pm: Edit

Gstudent~

I encourage you to play with the FAFSA form to have an idea on financial aid. This may provide you more flexibility in looking at schools. The cheapest schools may end up being pricier (after calculating the impact of finaid). You should also check for financial aid in Germany.

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 02:12 pm: Edit

Hi,

Thanks again for your advice and suggestions. I appreciate all your help. Alexandre, since you definetly seem to know what you are talking about,(of course I am certainly open to suggestions from others) I wanted to ask if you could put the list of colleges in order, depending on whether I can easily get in and maybe get a scholarship, whether I should try or whether I should cross it off my list:
Cal-Berkeley
Carnegie Mellon
Michigan-Ann Arbor
Texas-Austin
MIT
NYU
Baruch College
College of William and Mary
Wagner College in NY
Susquehanna
Southern Methodist University

You would really help me a lot.

Thanks,
Maher

PS.: I would appreciate any other advice

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:06 am: Edit

Why is nobody responding???????????

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:15 am: Edit

Cal-Berkeley and Michigan-Ann Arbor will not give much in way of financial aid. Even if they did, your SAT score is a little lower than what is generally acceptable to those two universities.

Texas-Austin won't give scholarships either, but Texas costs $20,000/year, room and board included.

MIT does give scholraships, but your scores are not good enough to get in. Your SAT verbal has to be at least 600 and your SAT math has to be over 750 if you want to even have a chance with MIT.

The rest of the schools may give some aid, but you really need to retake your SAT and get over a 700 on the math and if possible, over a 600 on the verbal.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 12:56 pm: Edit

I'd also consider U of Maryland and Penn State...both would be matches for you... great great business programs and the price tag is about $10,000+ lower since they are public schools

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 01:00 pm: Edit

Great recommendations Steve. Wisconsin-Madison, Purdue-West Lafayette and Indiana-Bloomington are also excellent, and they are not that expensive.

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 04:24 pm: Edit

Hi,
Thank you Alexandre and Scubasteve.

I have updated my list according to your answers from the forum and come up with the following list. Which 3 of the 5 reaches should I keep(where do I have the best chances) . It would also be nice if you could categorize the other into reaches, matches and safes so that I can narrow down my list.

University of Texas-Austin -reach
NYU -reach
College of William and Mary -reach
UVA -reach
UNC chapel hill -reach

University of Maryland -College Parl -match
Penn State -match (is Penn really good for finance- read bad stuff about penn)

Southern Methodist University
Baruch College
Susquehanna
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Purdue University - West Lafayette
George Washington University
Bentley College
Indiana University Bloomington
Miami University in Ohio
University of Illinois - Champaign Urbana
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities


Someody said that Baruch college would be a bad school and that he had never heard of Susquehanna.
- Should I still keep those ones

Thanks,
Maher

PS.: I already crossed some previous colleges off my list. To do that I used studentsreview.com and the unbiased Kaplan Guide.
Does somebody have the list of the top colleges for finance from usnews (or another good source)

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 04:33 pm: Edit

Your list looks good. You obviously need to narrow it down a little.

I would remove George Washington, Southern Methodist, Miami and Bentley for your list right off the bat.

To have any shot at your reaches, you need to raise your SAT math by at least 100 points.

With regards to Finance, the US News and World Report ranks their top 5 as follows:

#1 Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)
#2 Stern (NYU)
#3 Michigan-Ann Arbor
#4 Haas (UC-Berkeley)
#5 McCoombs (Texas-Austin)

It is not surprising that those 5 schools are among the most fertile hunting grounds for major investment banks.

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 07:39 pm: Edit

Hi,
Thanks for the advice, Alexandre. I will remove those colleges from my list. Just one question, why would you take off Soutern Methodist and Miami (I'm just curious).

Could you do me the favor and categorize those colleges so that I know my chance of getting into those colleges:

Baruch College
Susquehanna
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Purdue University - West Lafayette
Indiana University Bloomington
University of Illinois - Champaign Urbana
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Thank you,
Maher

PS.: I pretty much know now the top 5 by heart ;-). What I was looking for was more like the rest of the list of finance colleges - If that's not possible, it is also ok with me - just a minor concern

By Path1 (Path1) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 09:22 pm: Edit

IMO if you do well at almost any respectable university you will have a shot at an entry level position when you graduate. The fact that you are fluent in English and German and employable anywhere in the EU and the USA also makes you stand out from the typical applicant. I think you should try to visit a few representative schools to get a feel for what sort of campus you'd like to attend and then read more about colleges/universitites with the characteristics and programs you want. I've heard good things about Bucknell if a rural LAC interests you.

By Lordmandean (Lordmandean) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 08:23 am: Edit

Gsstudent....For stock brokering the essential requirement is the ability to sell. If trading is what you actually want to do (especially options), it is better to major in a subject which builds your quantitative skills like Physics, Maths or Engineering. Just telling you this cos no one told me things like this when I went to university. I majored in the wrong subject and now I am having huge regrets. Best of luck!!!

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 10:06 am: Edit

Hi,

Thanks path1 and lordmandean for your opinions. Lordmandean, may I ask what you are studying right now. As for the stockbroker issue, I have always been pretty strong in math and thus am also going to take difficult math courses as well as finance courses, while working towards a degree in finance(I believe that the one doesn't exclude the other).

Alexandre, I am eagerly looking forward to seeing your ranking of the following colleges (anyone else is also welcome to categorize this list):

Baruch College
Susquehanna
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Purdue University - West Lafayette
Indiana University Bloomington
University of Illinois - Champaign Urbana
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Thanks for your great help so far,
MAher

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 10:16 am: Edit

That's a great list.

Wisconsin-Madison
Indiana-Bloomington
Illinois-Urbana Champaign
Purdue-West Lafayette
Minnesota-Twin Cities
Baruch
Susquehanna

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 12:45 pm: Edit

Cool, thank you Alexandre. I was just wondering if you could kindly categorize those colleges into reaches, matches and safes.

This would defintely help me for my college application plan.

Thank you,
Maher

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 01:10 pm: Edit

Sorry (forgot the list), the list would be composed of the following colleges:

Wisconsin-Madison
Indiana-Bloomington
Illinois-Urbana Champaign
Purdue-West Lafayette
Minnesota-Twin Cities
Baruch
Susquehanna
University of Maryland
Penn State

And again, why would you cross off Southern Methodist and Miami University in Ohio? I heard good stuff about them, but you will certainly have a reason for crossing them off -I'm just curious.

Thanks,
Maher

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 01:28 pm: Edit

I crossed off Miami of Ohio and Southern Methodist because you can only apply to a limited nunber of schools. You lose nothing by applying to them. They are indeed fine universities.

As for reaches/matches and safeties?

REACHES:
Wisconsin-Madison
Maryland
Illinois
Penn State

MATCHES:
Purdue
Minnesota
Indiana

SAFETY:
Susquehnna
Baruch

If you can raise your SAT by 100, they all become matches and safeties.

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 01:47 pm: Edit

Hi,
Wow, thank you Alexandre. I finally have my college list completed :-).(really happy) I will definetly follow your recommendation and keep your list. Now, I will take a very detailed look at each one of those colleges. I am also studying for SAT's right now. I will keep you updated on my college application progress.

Thank you for your help and great effort,
Maher

By Lordmandean (Lordmandean) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 08:25 am: Edit

Gstudent....I am a law graduate from a UK university. While a legal background is good for for corporate finance work in banks, derivatives instruments require ppl with heavy quant skills. I think you are on the right track but to open your options further I would suggest you to Major in Economics and Minor is Maths (specialising in Partial differential equation and Stochastic Calculus. Then you can jump into any field of finance you want to get into. Check out http://www.math.nyu.edu/financial_mathematics/
for the module requirements for a Masters in Finance. Best of luck and e-mail me if you want to ask or share something. Bye!!!

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 11:09 am: Edit

Hi,
Thank you Lordmandean for your reply and the fact that you are willing to help me with my long term career plan - you are a great help for me.

Alexandre, I again made a list of all the recommended colleges, but I noticed that a lot of them are under reaches. Do you think that I might be able to put some on my matches list?

Here is the updated list:

Reaches:
University of Texas-Austin
New York University
University of Virginia
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
University of Maryland College Park
Pennsylvania State University
University of Wisconsin Madison
Bentley College
Miami University in Ohio
Southern Methodist University

Matches:
Indiana University Bloomington
Purdue University
University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Safes:
City University of New York - Baruch College
Susquehanna University

Thank you far all your help,
Maher

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 02:38 pm: Edit

Hi,
Could someone check whether I can move some reaches o safeties on my previously posted list?
(see last post)
Thank you,
Maher

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 03:54 pm: Edit

Hi,

Alexandre could you please check whether I should put the following colleges into reaches, matches or safeties.

University of Texas-Austin
New York University
University of Virginia
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Bentley College
Miami University in Ohio
Southern Methodist University

You didn't rank those colleges bc we crossed them off before we categorized the remaining - but I just want to see whethere I could add some to matches or safeties.

Thank you,
Maher

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 04:06 pm: Edit

UTA, NYU,UVA and UNC are reaches.

Bentley, Miami of Ohio and SMU are matches.

None of those 6 schools are safeties. But if you can raise your SAT by 100 points, the matches will become safeties. The reaches will remain reaches as those are truly very selective.

By Gstudent1 (Gstudent1) on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 05:26 pm: Edit

Hi,
Thank you very much Alexandre. I will keep you updated on my progress.
Thanks,
Maher


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