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To transfer? Or not to transfer?

daer2godaer2go Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
I am currently a student at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. I applied ED to Penn and the day after I heard I got into Wharton, I heard I also got into BHP at UT Austin and started to regret my decision to commit to Penn so early. Coming from Houston, TX, all my friends were going to state schools in the area, and most of my senior year I spent questioning my decision to choose academics/prestige over community/social life. I thought that going to school would suppress those fears, but first semester actually intensified them. Of course, I was dealing with a LOT of changes. Going to college + culture shock of the northeast + the competitive nature of Wharton as a whole took quite a toll on me. Almost everyday first semester, I would (as hard as I tried not to) wonder what my life would have looked like if I went to UT.

That being said, my family is not on financial aid, and I just don't know if Wharton is worth the $70k? People tell me it is and that its the best of the best, but is that really going to pay off $280k in the long run, when I could get instate tuition at UT for way less?

I am heavily considering transferring to UT given the financial burden and the overall stressful/not-fun environment, but I fear I'm throwing away a great opportunity? To be honest, I am not exactly sure where I want to end up after college. I thought I wanted to work in NYC, but after experiencing the culture of the northeast, I really question if that's truly what I want. But I don't think I'd be satisfied living in Texas my whole life either.

Obviously the experience at UT would be much more enjoyable, definitely more of the college experience with fun people and football games--things I definitely have missed. Plus the BHP program is very well respected. As long as I am motivated I could honestly get the same opportunities career-wise. Am I dumb to want to transfer from the #1 business school in the country to a top-tier state school? I've already worked really hard this semester and have done well in both school and extracurriculars, but I just still am not happy.

Who transfers to UT Austin from Wharton? I feel like it normally goes the other way around. Would I regret it from a career standpoint or enjoy it from an enjoyment standpoint?


Replies to: To transfer? Or not to transfer?

  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 Registered User Posts: 3,992 Senior Member
    Sounds like you never actually made a commitment. You chose a school, but you aren't committed to it. However, it sounds li I ever if you elect to transfer you might still have a hard time commiting. Your post suggests that with either choice you feel like you are missing different parts of the total college experience package. You need to decide what is most important to you and make a decision based on that. However, if it is about cost differencephalitis and just how far your parents are stretching their budget then that a whole other issue.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,915 Senior Member
    I am heavily considering transferring to UT given the financial burden and the overall stressful/not-fun environment,

    One of the things about hanging around on CC for a while is that over time you see patterns. Every year there are a number of 'all my friends back home are having a ball and I am stuck over here not having as much fun' and 'I could get just about as good an education there as here so why be here'.

    Sure as anything, some number of those people transfer to the school back home.

    And sure as anything, some number of them are back later to say either:

    = it didn't go as planned and would School #1 possibly take them back? Turns out that the friends have moved on or dispersed / the classes aren't as good / too much partying-not enough taking work seriously / etc.


    = after I got accepted to School #2 I started really liking School #1 and now I don't want to go but I have told everybody back home that I am coming.

    The grass may or may not be greener, but as @NorthernMom61 points out the real thing is that you never committed to the path you are on: you spent all spring second-guessing yourself, and all fall wishing you were at UT games (though really, given the season that was in it, you didn't miss much...).

    Objectively, a Wharton degree (and the contacts and internships that can go with it) will take you more places than the UT degree- unless you want to be in Texas.
  • yourmommayourmomma Registered User Posts: 1,197 Senior Member
    Undergrad. Doesn't really matter. UT ain't bad at all. If you would be happier there then go there. Don't force something you're not happy with.
  • NashSaddleNashSaddle Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    If you're struggling at Wharton, then you won't be able to take advantage of the opportunities. However, if you're able to do well, then it's worth the $280k ($210k now that you're already 1/4 done).
  • NuScholarNuScholar Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    edited February 2018
    @daer2go Getting into UT business school isn't a cakewalk first and foremost. Most of the students at UT business school could've gotten into Wharton had they applied so your credentials won't really stand out much there as they would at other Texas schools. And the fact you already turned down UT may work against you in the admission process.

    UT is just as competitive as Wharton (undergrad and grad level) and only have a small number of open spots in their business school considering the high number of applications they receive (it gets more competitive each year).

    So first get into UT and then you can worry and finally weigh the pros and cons of both. IF YOU GET IN, maybe do UT undergrad and Ivy League grad or vice versa. This way you have the best of both worlds. Life at UT in Austin definitely seems to be more interesting than life at Penn in Philly so you're not crazy
  • pkchamp89pkchamp89 Registered User Posts: 612 Member
    edited February 2018
    I knew a student who applied to UT-Austin and was accepted to the business school as a freshman. He decided not to attend and went to another college. He then decided he had made a mistake. He applied to transfer to UT Austin and was denied. This happened in 2017. If it’s something you really want then apply. Nothing worse than having regrets and “what if’s.” If you are accepted then decide what would make you the most happy. Just seriously way all the pros and cons. @daer2go
  • NashSaddleNashSaddle Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    @NuScholar by what metrics are your claims true? I find it hard to believe the programs are comprable in terms of student base. UT has almost no representation in top finance.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 6,292 Senior Member
    Transfer. Especially if you plan on going to grad school . Enjoy college. You are paying too much.

    But there is no guarantee that UT-Austin will accept you as a transfer student so apply to several schools. Consider Michigan-Ross, the University of Virginia, Indiana & , if you can get substantial merit scholarship, maybe SMU.
  • NuScholarNuScholar Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    edited February 2018
    @NashSaddie What are your sources? My sources are the UT/McCombs websites.

    When it comes to quality of students, there's not much difference between McCombs and Wharton. The average ACT/SAT scores are similar, the percentage of students graduating in the top 10% of their high school classes are similar, the number of students who go on to win prestigious fellowships/scholarships are similar, the top companies recruit at both schools, on and so forth. The data is readily available

    Many public schools are on the level of or surpassed Ivies in recruiting top talent, it's not like how it was 30 years ago when pretty much all the top students went to Ivies or some other "small" wealthy private school (Rice, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Duke, Tulane, etc). I read stories on CC of students denying admissions into Ivy League B-Schools for McCombs
  • NashSaddleNashSaddle Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    The average SAT score at Wharton is much higher. Even if a student were to be in the bottom quartile in both math and reading they would still be well higher than the average at McCombs. The public data clearly shows the two programs are at completely different tiers.

    The top companies point is more salient though, because it’s what matters to OP here. First,
    Wharton has a number of exclusive opportunities for top students, and there are a myriad more opportunities that take almost exclusively from the top schools. But even for average students, it’s much easier to grab a good finance job. Wharton places much better and has a much better reputation. UT is a fine school, but is irrelevant in finance (except presumably for Houston offices).
  • NuScholarNuScholar Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    edited February 2018
    @nashsaddle I objectively disagree. I'm not a fan or supporter of Wharton or UT b/c they are both very elitist/classist schools but I did the research and know they are similar in caliber, recognition, and in the type of students they attract. That's where I stand and it won't change
  • NashSaddleNashSaddle Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    @NuScholar No data supports you at all. You’re just spreading misinformation and trying to persuade kids into poor decisions.
  • blevineblevine Registered User Posts: 872 Member
    I had a bit of the geographically opposite experience. I started at Tulane and as one from the northeast, it was culture shock to me. I did make friends and liked the school but couldn't see myself in NO for four years much less working in the area after graduating. Also the crime in NO was just terrible at the time, had a professor stabbed walking home from campus and lots of other incidents while there. Was among the top murder capitals of the US back then.

    So I did transfer...to a city in the northeast with a lower crime rate and more familiar culture.
    At the time Tulane was more "prestigious" than the school I transferred to (no longer true of my uni
    which has since climbed the rankings).

    One more detail, I TURNED DOWN PENN for a couple of reasons, including better awareness of crime at the time in Philly (didn't realize NO was as bad or worse). Also turned down because they only accepted me to liberal arts not engineering (encouraging me to transfer to engineering as a soph).

    All that said, I agree prestige isn't everything, after all I turned down Penn and no regrets.
    But OTOH, I strongly believe in hindsight that I was being impulsive in transferring.
    Tulane is a fine school and I left behind friends, without accepting that no place is perfect and that one
    should make the best of what they have. You are in a top school, surrounded by smart people.
    Make every effort to befriend them, find people from TX and make an effort to get to know NYers.
    Stereotypes are just wrong and you'll see so when you make the effort to make friends.
    You are NOT required to stay in the northeast if you go to Penn, it is a world renowned school and can take you anywhere. But you may grow to enjoy the locals and you may find some amazing career opportunities.

    The grass is always greener....until you get there.
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