Columbia vs Penn (Wharton) vs Stanford vs Yale for Economics

Intended major: Economics (undergrad)
Potential Career: Slight interest in consulting/IB but more in economic development/international Economic policy etc and social entrepreneurship

Main factors I want: I am a British student looking for a more holistic college experience: great social life and activities, good school community, academic rigour, good alumni network, collaborative atmosphere, reasonable grading systems


Pros: great Economics programme, great finance network, nice cultural city, offered me to be a Joseph Wharton Scholar

Cons: environment seems to be very competitive, don’t want to feel pressured to enter IB/consultancy and broaden other interests eg public policy/entrepreneurship less well-known Internationally eg here in London


Pros: most different experience from London eg weather, architecture, strong entrepreneurial focus, seems more collaborative, more room to explore new interests eg in quarter system, great study abroad programs, strong STEM network, increasing importance as technology improves

Cons: focus is a lot on STEM as an Econ major may be overlooked/less opportunities, east coast location may be better eg NY/PA as closer to financial centre/institutions especially as more likely to work on the East coast so will all my connections be in the east, ‘Stanford bubble’ lack of city to complement student life


Pros: in NYC great student life, financial centre, strong international network, good Economics programme, better diversity and international presence, offered me to be a John Jay Scholar

Cons: less flexible curriculum with the core - more writing too and time spent in humanities whilst I prefer social science/STEM , low school spirit, higher cost of living


Pros: more room to explore, good economics reputation,

Cons: New Haven offers the least in terms of location, less practical approach to economics than other schools, the most similar to Uk unis eg Oxford and would like a change

I was lucky enough to be admitted to Penn (Wharton), Stanford, Columbia, Brown and Yale and am currently trying to consider which would be the best fit for me (harder as I cannot visit due to covid). Similar aid except Brown.

Brown - I kind of ruled out due to my aid being not as good as at the schools above.

I am also considering a masters in either Econ/business perhaps on a different coast to the one I went to undergrad on to broaden networks but prone to change.

Has anyone gone to any of these schools for undergrad/grad or have any advice or opinions on anything I have said. Which seems like it would be the best fit?

I think it’s between Columbia, Stanford and Penn … and I think if econ is your fancy … it’s between
Columbia and Penn … and I think Columbia wins …