Columbia GS or Swarthmore?

Hi guys I am a first year applicant of fall 2021 who has more than one year gap year experiences. I am struggling with two offers - Columbia GS or Swarthmore College.

I’m interested in IB and hedge fund, planning to study math and CS.

Columbia GS has great location, alumni networking but I am worrying that will recruiters treat GSers as the second class citizens (compared to CC and SEAS)?

I love Swarthmore’s academic and vibe but it’s a pretty small college so I am worrying about whether I will be disadvantaged on school’s reputation, alumni networking and location.

Please feel free to give me your suggestion! Thank you!

What are costs and what can you afford?

Columbia GS offers a lot but if finances were not a concern, I’d probably go with Swarthmore. Small classes, profs who actually care about teaching, and community count for something.

Columbia GS, being in NYC, does offer potentially great networking opportunities, though, if you’re good at that.

Hi thanks for your answer! I can afford the full tuition for each of them so finance is not my problem. Which is better for education and recruitment concern in your opinion?

Swarthmore punches above its weight in finance. And do not confuse the numbers that float around the internet about Columbia’s heft in hedge fund/IB hiring which are specific to the business school (as an undergrad, you do NOT get to log on to B-school interview schedules) with interviews from GS.

Swarthmore for the win if you are just focused on outcomes. If you are more interested in a large university experience- Columbia.


If you are looking for IB job, Columbia is better. I do not know if IBs have their eyes on Swarthmore graduates but surely they do for Columbia. Most of the undergrad hires in IB are through their summer analyst program in penultimate year. Competition is high as you will face applicants from all sort of majors.

However, you may want to consider MFE to boost your chance as your competitors may be from MFE or even PhD judging from your intended majors.

There is no difference between GS, CC or SEAS in terms of IB hiring. Just get high GPA to prove that you are as competitive as Columbia students as a transfer student.