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Need help choosing school for DD---Business Analytics/Accounting/Finance/Actuarial

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Replies to: Need help choosing school for DD---Business Analytics/Accounting/Finance/Actuarial

  • TexasMustangTexasMustang Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    I have a son that graduated with a Bible degree from Liberty. As a pastor that has served him well. I have another son who is a high school senior and like your daughter is considering a major like accounting. Most Christian colleges aren't that strong in business, Liberty included. I would not consider it for this son. Also, my older son went there when the former president was alive. I do not think it is currently as strong of a Christian school as it was previously.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,429 Senior Member
    As an accountant for most of my life, I think you have a good list of school to work with. Here is the general rules for further screening:

    1. You will get a good accounting education in an AACSB accredited school and you will have a chance at the Big 4 if you do well in that. All Big 4 accounting firms recruit in AACSB schools.
    2. Eliminate all non-AACSB schools, ie Liberty
    3. Compare FA packages once you get offers and if UF is the best, take UF and do not look back.
    4. Prestige does little in accounting field, GPA is the key, you will have a good chance at Big 4 if you have a high GPA no matter where you went to school. I came from a US News ~200 school and our graduates had the same opportunity in "Big 8"(now big 4) recruiting as any other AACSB schools.

    The real grind came AFTER you are hired by the Big 4, about 50% of the Associate Accountant (lowest level) will "leave" in two years.
  • carolynelizabethcarolynelizabeth Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    That is very helpful insight about the value of a Liberty degree, depending on the major chosen! It's unfortunate that STEM majors have to look elsewhere due to Liberty not having much strength in their STEM or Business majors. Hopefully, they are able to improve their reputation in those areas in the coming years. Thanks for the advice!
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,188 Senior Member
    A year ago, we were in a similar situation. My S was accepted to the UF Honors program and was awarded the Presidential scholarship so, with Bright Futures, all in was very inexpensive. He visited and we set up a one-on-one at Warrington. Understand that he is a lifelong Gator fan (from Tampa) but he just didn't care for the whole scene. That said, he felt MUCH better about it after spending an hour or so with a leader in student services at Warrington. He explained how the school of business makes the whole place a lot smaller. They've carved out their own first yr experience seminars, career services, etc that are housed within the business school, separate from the rest of campus. Basically said, look once you're in Warrington, it's a school of 3500 kids. You'll spend all your time here but you'll get to go to Gator football games and be part of all that.

    Actually a compelling story. However, S just couldn't get over the size, lack of intimacy. Not what he had always pictured re his college years.

    We looked at several small schools with great academics and he settled in on Wake Forest. He LOVES it. Although the business school starts as a junior, he is taking his prereqs, has joined business clubs (The Dow Jones Club - where they actually analyze stocks, pitch them to the Associates, and manage a mock portfolio - actually meet every week). Their accounting program is top notch and is heavily recruited by the Big 4. FOr the past several years, they have had a 100% job placement, many receiving multiple offers before their final yr (right after their required internships). He's replaced the Gator nation sports thing with the Deacs and he loves going to games. Ton of school spirit, just on a smaller chassis with an undergrad student body of 5000 kids. It is a world of difference compared to Gainesville; not better, just better for him and he thrives in the more intimate settings (always has). Small discussion based classes even as a freshmen (most with around 20 kids), residential focus as everyone must live on campus for 3 years (fosters tremendous community), ample traditions in which virtually the entire student body attend and participate. He's meeting kids from all over the country and the world which is great.

    Cost wise it is tough. No aid for us and the merit is VERY competitive. Basically, everyone's a valedictorian and president of several things so you have to stand out among outstanding candidates even to get 10-15k. Only 1%-3% receive merit. Fortunately, we have the resources to pay for it. We have him paying some out of a small loan and summer job so he appreciates it. He'll graduate with debt and he realizes what that means vs. being debt free (small amount of debt) but still wanted this. Schools like Wake provide many opportunities and an experience that's hard to find at large universities (I went to a large state school and loved it but we certainly didn't have the resources, attention, collegiality, etc. that these kids get). We view it as we're giving him a set of tools for him to use the rest of his life. Hopefully he makes the most out of it. So far, so good!
  • carolynelizabethcarolynelizabeth Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Thank you for that insight! That's pretty awesome that at that age he was able to step back and see the bigger picture and not get too caught up in his love of the Gators. It seems like the high-achieving students in Florida REALLY get caught up in getting into UF, and it's such a status symbol for these students. I worry that her Gator family legacy, her "brainy" friends and the lure of a very inexpensive education will overshadow what she is TRULY needing in a university for the next 4 years. I've told her she can always come back and be a Gator in grad school! :-) Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to help her much with the out of state private schools, so if she does end up at a school like Wake, she will no doubt incur a lot of debt. Not necessarily a deal-breaker, but as a numbers girl, the idea of being $150k in debt upon graduation does scare her. She is heavily leaning towards a degree in Statistics/Analytics and has moved away from the Accounting option. She had no idea how much she loved stats/probability until her AP Stats course this year...very grateful she took that course and was able to learn that about herself.
    Also, she has been talking to Stetson...and the package they are presenting her is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. She is submitting for the J. Ollie Edmunds scholarship and they have already awarded her nearly full tuition, the ability to bypass many of the gen-ed courses as well as the promise of a paid job doing what she loves (numbers) on campus. The small campus/town does appeal to her, and she is happy to hear that NONE of the classes are taught by TA's. You can really see how the personalized attention and focus is something that just can't be overlooked. My son went to UF and we saw first hand what happens when you are one person in a sea of 55,000 students. Did you happen to look at Stetson with your son?
  • BasicOhioParentBasicOhioParent Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    Miami of Ohio is always worth a look for high stat kids seeking merit aid at a college with an excellent business program. On the other hand, there is a lot to be said for a college that you don't have to fly to, or better yet, is within a half-day's drive of home, so that picking up & dropping off kid does not have to be an overnight trip.
  • jamesk2014jamesk2014 Registered User Posts: 288 Junior Member
    Id add SMU if interested in southern-ish schools and add it to other private schools listed.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,483 Senior Member
    Depending on your EFC/ income, meet need private colleges OOS may even a good alternative.
  • carolynelizabethcarolynelizabeth Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Very true! That was at the top of her criteria list...school must be drivable in less than a day. She has limited her applications to the Southeast for this reason. However, she did apply to Harvard, UPenn and Cornell...and if any of them accept her, it will change our conversation considerably. :-)
  • carolynelizabethcarolynelizabeth Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    We are just above what's considered "need". Too poor to afford the private schools, but too rich for need-based aid. I think that a lot of middle-class American families fall into that category!
  • carolynelizabethcarolynelizabeth Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    I would love for her to consider schools in Texas! Unless there's a compelling program, she isn't interested in states outside of a day's drive. Oh well.
  • evergreen5evergreen5 Registered User Posts: 1,097 Senior Member
    TCU ?
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,188 Senior Member
    We were in a similar situation a yr ago. S was accepted into UF Honors, Presidential scholarship, etc. He just didn't like the environment. We did spend a good amount of time at Warrington and he liked that but was fond of the rest of it. His mother and I agreed he would be far happier (and receive the type of experience we were hoping for) at a smaller, more intimate school and decided on Wake Forest. He has thrived there. The place is amazing.

    Regarding accounting, you'll not find a better set of professors, curriculum and outcome. It is clearly a program designed for public accounting. Wake Forest has had the best 1st time CPA pass rates 15 out of the last 18 yrs. That's pretty astounding. They also boast 100% job placement of all grads (most with multiple Big4 offers). One thing that is unique is their Financial Transaction Services track, so many of their grads work in valuation, M&A due diligence, etc. right out of undergrad.

    It's not really a matter of better or worse as that is quite subjective. For us, there is no comparison between the resources, small discussion based classes, overall environment, etc. But that's for us. We place a different value on certain things and are able to afford the huge expense of a fine private education.
  • chb088chb088 Registered User Posts: 544 Member
    Wake is a great option if she gets good merit aid there. I did Accounting at UNCCH and it is a wonderful program, but tuition costs should definitely factor into your decision.
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,188 Senior Member
    I should also mention Wake places quite well in banking and consulting. Pretty large numbers relative to the size of the school.

    Another school to look at if she has any interest in the northeast is Bentley. They do a great job preparing kids for the real world in many business sectors. Heavy placement in the NE at all the major firms. A nice thing about the Boston market is there are several large asset management companies (Fidelity, MFS, Wellington, Putnam, etc) for internships in the city. All the major banks and BIg4 too. Big tech exposure as well.
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