How does Xavier’s Williams College of Business compare with Miami (Farmer) and Ohio State (Fisher)?

My S18 and I recently visited Xavier and just loved it. My son is not decided on a major yet, but he’s considering a Business major, among others. I know that Miami and Ohio State have well-regarded undergrad business programs, and he’s likely to be admitted to those with merit aid to boot. Does going to Xavier make sense with admits from those other two?

I have a son who is a business major at Xavier. He loves Xavier and the business school. The small size of the school has led to a level of interaction with professors that I think would be much more difficult at a large school. On an apples to apples basis, Ohio State and Miami will offer more opportunities than Xavier due to reputation of those schools (see business school rankings) or the name recognition (esp. for Ohio State), than Xavier. But, the top kids at Xavier are getting great offers and internships as well. My suggestion would be focus on where your son would be happiest and most comfortable. Happiness is likely to translate into better grades and more involvement in school, regardless of where he goes to school, which will lead to good opportunities. Separately, if your son would get merit aid from OSU, he will get a ton from Xavier too.

Would he get into Honors at Xavier in addition to the business school?
Has he been admitted to all and do you have the scholarship/financial aid package, thus are looking for “best value”? If so, what would your net cost be at eaxh and what’s your budget?
Is he applying anywhere else?

We don’t have admits or FA packages from OSU or Miami yet. He also applied to U. of Cincinnati (admitted but still waiting on FA), Butler (admitted, still waiting on FA), and Dayton (admitted with large merit scholarship but still waiting to see if it will provide additional funds to meet need). He is also applying to Notre Dame (but that’s a longshot), U. of Alabama and U. of Mississippi, where he qualifies for the maximum merit scholarships.

EFC is $19,000, which is about what we can afford. I plan on taking him to look at the Southern schools, but I’m not going to force him to go if he’s not on-board.

Maybe I need to wait for more info, then re-visit this thread.

My suggestion would be to decide first based on best fit — ie where your son would feel the most comfortable — and perhaps use placement rates as a tie breaker. A pet peeve of mine is that after graduation job placement rates don’t seem to have much of a bearing on college rankings despite the fact that that’s pretty much the whole point of getting that degree.

Getting back to your question…I don’t have direct experience with all 3 business schools but as a parent of 3 I do have experience with 2 of the 3 schools and am about to get more experience with the 3rd:

Regarding Ohio State — our oldest son selected OSU and majored in Aerospace Engineering. He chose the school primarily because he wanted the big school experience, and they are also very well rated across multiple engineering majors. He enjoyed his time there; was involved in a club Ultimate Frisbee team, and graduated in 4 years with a 3.1 GPA. However, he then struggled for 1.5 years to find a job…eventually found one by offering to start as an intern and that later became a full time job, but the whole experience was very hard on him. After doing some digging, I finally found the placement rate info for OSU engineering graduates and was shocked to see placement rates in the 60ish percent. That’s terrible for a highly ranked program! In fairness, my son wasn’t persistent enough to get an internship, didn’t participate in any engineering clubs, etc. So, although his grades were ok for an engineer, he didn’t help himself much. I’m sure kids who are true go-getters and take advantage of all the opportunities do well. My son loved his time at OSU, but as a parent, I’m not a fan. Of course, this is an engineering story and not a business school story, but when my 2nd child starting looking at colleges as a business major, I checked out OSU business placement rates and found they were surprisingly low too.

Regarding Miami — My daughter was interested in majoring in business and although she started out totally against Miami due to the preppy reputation and Greek culture, she ultimately decided to go there. She started out in University Honors and was later also accepted into Business Honors. She has had a phenomenal experience — she contacted the head of the Marketing Department the first semester of her freshman year, and he connected her with a professor who she’s assisting with consumer market research projects. She engages with her professors frequently through office hours and knows several very well who have submitted internship reco letters for her. She had a career-related job even before she started at Miami, an official internship after sophomore year and has accepted an internship for this coming summer already. She took a January-term class to learn about Disney Marketing that culminated in a week at Disney where she worked on group projects with classmates and then presented to the professors. Her Business Honors class did a case competition that they ultimately presented to Abercrombie and Fitch executives in Columbus. In fairness, my daughter definitely is a kid who seizes every opportunity, but with a 97-98% placement rate for FSB graduates, it seems Miami is doing a lot of things right. (As a side comment, despite her original adversion to Greek life, she also joined a sorority — she lives with friends that she met in her honors dorm freshman year who didn’t join a sorority but also has many great sorority friends.)

Regarding Xavier — This is the one with which I have little direct experience; I’m on this board because my youngest has chosen Xavier and will be starting in the fall. He also wants to major in business, but Miami doesn’t feel as good of a fit for him: He is very interested in social justice issues and wants to be closer to a city. He also has a learning disability, so a small school with more support and closer professor/student interaction feels better to him. (My daughter felt like Xavier would seem too much like her high school whereas that appeals to my son.). Importantly, despite the fact that their business college isn’t as well known, their job placement rates are about the same as Miami’s. It appears that’s because there’s a lot of handholding every step of the way by Xavier staff guiding the students through the career process whereas at bigger schools, the schools offer the services but the kids have to take the initiative to take advantage of them.

So, that was a super long response and just one person’s perspective based on experiences of 3 very different kids, but again, I’d choose the school based on fit for your son and placement rates.


Thanks for that most helpful answer. I’m stunned at OSU’s low placement rates, but that’s great info to have. OSU has been a selective institution for only 20 or so years; perhaps its desultory approach to placement is a holdover from the open-admissions era.