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UMICH LSA (In-State, No Debt) VS Cornell SHA ($150K in loans)

confusedgiraffeconfusedgiraffe 1 replies2 threads New Member
Greetings, excuse me if this discussion is misplaced, I've never used CC before.
I am currently a student in Umich's LSA school (think run of the mill liberal arts), and I've been accepted to Cornell SHA for 2022. I want to go into management consulting and then private equity, and would like my undergrad to be preparatory, which is more likely at Cornell than Umich considering I was denied from their business program (Ross).
I realize that both of the programs do well with consulting recruitment, and that the chances of my choice affecting job prospects is marginal.

My experience at UM thus far has been much less than enjoyable, as there is a severe lack of cultural fit. Additionally, my UM experience is marred by my ineligibility to study business at the university. The only thing tying me to Ann Arbor is the in-state tuition. From what I've gathered online and from conversations with alumni, what I'd gain from the transfer to Cornell SHA would be happiness, prestige, and potentially $150K in debt.
I know that happiness is hard to quantify, but is Cornell, and thus my satisfaction with my degree, really worth $150K in loans?
I'd also like to add that I plan on getting an MBA if I stay at UM, but I'd forego that plan if I go through with the transfer to Cornell.

Can anyone speak about their experience in a similar position or offer any advice?

TLDR: I could stay at UMICH and graduate debt free, albeit with a degree I have no desire to earn; or transfer to Cornell SHA and get the degree I'm substantially interested in, but with $150K in loans attached. MBB recruiting is a concern, but both schools do well on that front. Help?
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Replies to: UMICH LSA (In-State, No Debt) VS Cornell SHA ($150K in loans)

  • ciscoprociscopro 30 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Cornell SHA is Hotel Administration. The ILR school is the closest thing to the business school at Cornell. If you were really passionate about going into the hospitality industry, it would be an easy decision. SHA for the win.
    First and foremost avoiding $150k in debt is my recommendation to anyone, especially if they are attending a school with a great reputation like U Mich.
    If you are very unhappy at UMich and it is just not a good fit for you, then making a move can be excused....but $150k in debt will follow you for 10 years. Be sure....
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  • rickle1rickle1 2675 replies22 threads Senior Member
    That is a crazy amount of debt. It sounds like your real issue isn't not getting in to Ross (as you can do great with an econ major for your desired field - many econ majors in consulting and banking, PE, etc.), but maybe UM in general. You mention it not being a cultural fit. You probably just haven't found your tribe yet. Whatever it is that you like to do, there is either a club doing it or a group of kids with similar interests. Open yourself up to finding that group. Re the whole Ross thing, does that provide constant bother and is it real or perceived? Meaning do people treat you as an inferior because you didn't get in to Ross (doubtful) or is it something you feel?

    Much of college is what you do with who you are. Do well and you will have many options. They won't really care if you have a finance or econ degree.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10405 replies123 threads Senior Member
    I agree that the hotel school is not worth all that debt, especially coming from UMichigan.

    PS - The undergraduate business school at Cornell is Dyson, not ILR. Hotel falls under Dyson but is a more concentrated on hospitality.
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  • tchit87tchit87 153 replies21 threads Junior Member
    @ciscopro There is a Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, which is part of the SC Johnson School of Business. It is a very good business school, but is so small it has a 2.9% acceptance rate, so not really a viable option for many. The next best thing would be ILR or Hotel Administration.

    For the OP, I can't say much as I am not even in college yet, but I will say I understand your concerns. UMich is huge and public, and if I wanted to go into consulting and private equity and could not get into Ross, it would be tough. But when you say the benefits of Cornell is happiness and prestige, I wonder if you actually will get happiness at Cornell. Its a beautiful campus (I want to go just for that), but the classes are said to be the toughest among ivies (Harvard w/ grade inflation vs. Cornell with bell-curve grading), and it can get lonely up there. I can't know what I will dislike and like about college yet, but you probably have to consider that and what you will really gain before you take $150k in debt. Also, this is the school of Hotel Administration. You're getting that degree for your whole life, and you are going to have to work to get into a good consulting gig from there just to pay of the $150k. For me, Michigan Ross and Cornell ILR are two schools I would love to attend, but both will cost the same $75k a year, which may or may not be worth it. On the other hand, a full-ride to Univerisity of Florida will offer so much more freedom with my life, even if I don't get a Wall Street job or get the Cornell experience. I don't know if you could apply to transfer into Ross next year, but if you could, I would say try for that, because Michigan is a school that many OOS students would attend for in-state tuition in a second.

    P.S. take it with a grain of salt. I love Cornell as well, but I also don't have Michigan in-state as an option.
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  • tchit87tchit87 153 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Also, the Hotel Schools has an 800 hour practicum requirement I believe. This is working in hotel, etc. Consider if you want that when making the decision.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43281 replies471 threads Senior Member
    What about trying to transfer into another university that'll be a better fit but wont be so insanely costly?
    If you're not interested in Hotel Administration you should stay at UMich but what makes it a poor fit? What are our majoring in?
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2942 replies8 threads Senior Member
    No bachelors degree is worth $150k in debt regardless of which career path you pursue. That kind of debt will crush you. Keep in mind that management consulting is only one occupation out of literally hundreds of career paths in business. Don't tie yourself to a school because of one occupation, especially when the school costs that much. A common misconception is that your education adapts you to the career world, when in fact, the opposite is true. The job market is like a giant clothing superstore. You know what size, style and price you want, all you need to do is find it in the right fit. If your sights are too narrow, then you won't find the clothes you want, or it's going to be a poor fit.

    That being said, if Michigan denied you for their business school, which is pretty common, don't fret. You could transfer to Michigan State. Believe me, prospective employers are NOT going to care either way. Both are excellent schools.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7589 replies36 threads Senior Member
    So it seems that you are getting the same advice that you got on your Michigan thread on the same topic.

    So.. Do this. Meet/email an advisor. Tell them you want to do something similar to the program at Cornell. Then do itt. At Michigan you can do anything pretty much that you want even without Ross. Let's just say it takes an additional year to make it happen. It would still be a lot cheaper then spending an extra $150,000. Right now it's just numbers to you. But it can deter you from your future goals and success later in life. You have the "privilege" to going to one of the best Universities for virtually free. How about actually taking advantage of what they have to offer?
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  • CT1417CT1417 4611 replies25 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2019
    Agree with those who advise against taking on $150K debt. There is no guarantee that SHA will lead you to a position in mgmt consulting or PE. Stay at Michigan, join a few clubs that will provide you access to consulting or related fields. (I know nothing about Michigan but there must be an investment club or something similar.) See if there are programs/info sessions hosted by Ross that you can attend. Put yourself out there. Michigan is a wonderful university with offering many opportunities.

    A couple of comments in response to above posts.

    The 800 hour practicum requirement is very flexible. Students can work during their three summers or during the school year, but only 400 hours can be at one employer/position. Jobs range from what people may think of as typical hospitality (hotel operations, food & beverage) to real estate, finance, human resources, Excel analytics work, accounting, etc, etc. It it not difficult to satisfy the work requirement, however, it is a firm graduation requirement.

    SHA falls under the SC Johnson College of Business umbrella: SHA, Dyson, and the Johnson Graduate School of Management. While ILR does offer some business courses, including several that satisfy the requirements of the undergraduate business minor, it is not considered a business college.

    Here is an overview of the College of Business: https://business.cornell.edu

    Dyson's low admit rate is not really due to its small size, but instead to the high # of apps. I have not looked at the #s in several years, but they used to enroll a first year class of approximately 100, and then admit a similar # of sophomore transfers, divided almost evenly between internal and external.

    Best of luck to you!
    edited August 2019
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