Admitted direct business (Finance) both Clemson and Wisconsin Madison need help deciding

Out of State, from San Diego area need help deciding pros and cons. Visited and loved both campuses. Hopeful for some merit aid.

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Do you care about weather? Totally different climates. Also, I believe Clemson is more conservative.


Mostly indifferent to weather for the most part. Prefer not to have a divided political climate. There is plenty of that division and craziness here in CA, which explains why I want to attend a college outside of CA.

Well one has a lake…oh wait, two have a lake )

One is literally in the middle of nowhere. And is hard to get to.

The other - in a medium size city and not hard to get to.

So there’s that.

What’s your major?

Is cost a factor?


Good luck.

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Both require similar travel times and connections.

Really - because UW-Madison is 6 miles to the airport.

And Clemson is 45 miles to Greenville and 120 to Atlanta.

I was referencing not the flights - but the “drive” after.

Personally I wouldn’t factor travel because it’s infrequent -

Bottom line

Do you want warmer (but not always warm) in a self contained school in the middle of nowhere or do you want a school in society.

Not that it matters - because it doesn’t - but US News doesn’t rate Clemson at all for finance and Wisconsin is in “other schools graded.” And Niche rates Wisconsin 21 vs. 45 for finance and 28 for B school vs. 48 for Clemson.

I think Wisconsin rep will be stronger but for a major like finance - assuming not looking for Wall Street - where do you want to be?? That is the question - and we cannot answer that for you.

For me, I’d choose Wisconsin all day long - but that’s because I’m Jewish and I’d be very uncomfortable at Clemson.


Please keep in mind this is a high school student you are interacting with; it’s good to point out the pros and cons, but perhaps trashing a school a student is genuinely interested in isn’t the most helpful.

I can speak to Clemson’s Finance program, as DH is a graduate and has had a career in corporate treasury /Treasurer for the last 30+ years. The program prepared him well for the beginning of his career and his eventual MBA program. They have a highly ranked career center which can help with internships and job search. They have partnerships with many corporations and are close to one of the top US banking hubs (Charlotte) which houses BOA and Wells offices.

As for location, GSP is about an hour. Most fly out of GSP or Charlotte, as traffic in Atlanta is too unpredictable. The university offers shuttles to both airports for holidays.

The town is small, but has everything you need. If kids want to visit a larger town, they go to Greenville. The students skew conservative liberitarian, but as a centrist and an outsider from the northeast, I’ve always found everyone to be very warm and welcoming. D20 skews left and she’s found everyone to be the same. The student climate is rather a-political, so you don’t see large protests or movements. D20 loves broadway and goes to the Peace Center in Greenville for touring shows and concerts. Not sure what you like to do outside of school, but feel free to ask if you have any questions. You’ve visited, so hopefully you had a chance to explore all of the outdoor activities.

I’m not familiar with
UMWs COA and merit system, but
Clemson may not be the cheapest; I don’t know what your budget is, but if you’re considering an MBA a couple years after graduation, consider undergraduate costs and costs of grad school. Both schools will prepare you for an MBA. If finances are equal, I would consider where you’d like to live after graduation. Most of Clemson’s graduates are more concentrated on the east coast/southeast, so that’s where you’d have the most networking opportunities. If you’re looking to settle in the Chicago area, UWM would probably have more alumni in that region.
Good luck with your decision.



Let me rephrase for those that think my accurate description was somehow harsh. Do you want a large expansive campus several, 20-30 minutes off the interstate, far from a sizable city.

Or do you want to live on a campus in a city, with all that a semi major, capital city has to offer but it will be frigid in the campus.

Hmmm. Im not being insensitive. That’s what this is. A campus known to be in a great college city that has an airport and all that a city offers or……a campus in the middle of nowhere although known for football tailgating and b4 they killed my Syracuse team, I’ll admit everyone was super hospitable.

It is what it is. The other factor would be weather. I’m not huge into rank but Wisconsin’s B school has a solid rep. Less important to me would be distance to airport bcuz you make the trip infrequently.

One thing I’ll throw out and I don’t know your religion or ethnicity - but Wisconsin will be far more diverse and with more religion and religious tolerance, etc. and probably tolerance in other areas.

As for where you want to be after, in business Wisconsin will offer wider geographic opportunities due to its rep but with the way recruiting is today, both can lead to any destination nationwide.

Two great choices but vastly different choices.


Poets and Quants, rather than US News, is the premier site for undergraduate business school info. You can find detailed profiles of the schools and where their graduates end up on that site. Note that Clemson has some of the best career placement in the country.


Depends on who’s looking - they say the same for grad. There’s many rankings out there - and i go to what’s easiest to source. Most use US News…some use poets and quants.

Truth is, for 90% of kids, where they go won’t matter - as long as they go to the right fit.

If someone went to say Nebraska instead of Clemson - outcomes in 3 years are unlikely to be different.

Placement, like anything else, can be gamed. It’s how Clemson moved up in general rankings - go back to 2009 and there’s lots of articles about it. Oklahoma too.

Do you really think Alabama has better placement than Florida, UGA or Vandy…well according to one study they do…so…

Well my NYC metro area irish/Italian Catholic very liberal daughter is at Clemson and couldn’t be happier. She might even be a finance major (started with actuarial science I believe, switched to the business school, now 2 advisors are helping her make sure she has the right math classes to take a few exams before graduation, she loves them). She says everyone is so friendly, and even though some of her friends have different political views, it’s not an issue because it’s so less political than home. On the other hand, another daughter’s friends at UDel are way more argumentative (she’s pretty left). I was afraid she’d get bored after the newness wore off (she loves NYC, we are 10 miles away), but now she wants us to move to a lake and get a boat. Clemson has free airport shuttles before and after breaks, but with so many OOS students with cars, finding rides is easy. Football and basketball games have been awesome.


For suppply chain, absolutely. Alabama is one of the national leaders in supply chain, for example. Hence the importance of delving into PQs information on where the grads work upon graduation. The site has info on the top employers for each school for several years. The schools emphasize different areas, and that is an important consideration for potential students/soon to be employees. Kohls was a key employers for Wisconsin business school last year. Many find consumer industries fascinating, and if so, that is a good fit. Clemson students were more likely to be employed by the accounting than consumer industries.

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Unless you get into an M7 program, a MBA after a BBA is a waste of time and money.

If the cost is the same, I can’t think of a criteria, outside of a few months of weather, where I would pick Clemson over Wisconsin.


P&Q is very good and can provide more insight into business schools. However it has one big flaw with its methodology and rankings. It relies on self reported data. If a school doesn’t reply they don’t make the list. UCB Haas comes to mind.

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Wisconsin doesn’t give much financial aid. They have a long list of scholarships on their website, but those are likely to be small and perhap some time only. There are a few large awards.

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Want the right mix of happiness, culture, academics, and for the price… for it to make the most sense. Eventually I do want to get a graduate degree.

Hi @tsbna44 My family is considering rankings but it’s not going to drive the decision for me. Best college I will thrive at will. I do want to get a graduate degree at some point. Thank you for commenting.

This is smart - and you’ll earn admittance to your MBA, not on where you attend, but on your work experience and GMAT as well as grades. Both schools are fine.

I think you are smart to look at fit - that’s what matters most - and they are vastly different as one is in a capital city and one all by itself. My one hesitancy would be - if you’re not Christian - that would pervade at Clemson - right from the football coach on down. I don’t know of any Jewish students in our area who look there but many look at U of SC and Charleston (as an example).

Good luck to you

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Hard to say because the OP has told us next to zero about himself(herself?). Most would say that WI is a better school overall. It’s business school is very good.
WI has a lot of “school spirit”. Students seem to love it there, and alumni remember it fondly. There are good or better than good academics, and it is getting harder and harder to get in. Academics respect it. I would imagine that a biz grad would be nationally recognized. There would be many opportunities in Chicago and Minneapolis, for sure. It is well known for an active party scene- State St. can be quite the hopping place on weekends. Lakes are nice. Like most colleges, it swings liberal, but in an inoffensive mid western way. I would call it slightly left of Center…we are not talking Swathmore, here. More like BeerMore.
I know nothing about Clemson, so I may be offbase in saying that WI is more highly regarded.

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Political division will be present in Wisconsin and South Carolina, although the proportions of left and right leaning people will differ in different states and local areas.

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