Kelley IU pros/cons?

Parent of H.S. Senior who has been accepted (direct admit) to IU Kelley and to the U. MD honors business program. Scholarship $ offered at both. Either one is affordable based on what we have saved, though MD would definitely be the least expensive option.

Curious to know people’s thoughts on the two programs, potential for longer-term options (MBA or business connection/opportunities), etc.

MBA won’t matter where you go. Nor will major (MBA programs get everything from business to engineering to English undergrads). What matters is work experience after - and your GMAT.

I’ll let others who attended answer the rest - but grad school / connections are not going to differ here.

What area of business is the student interested in?

Both are large - but Kelley really large. Most will tell you Kelley because the rank is higher but there’s a lot more to a choice than a rank.

Congrats on two great choices.


Thanks! Mostly seems interest in investment banking/finance, but also has a lot of math/engineering interests as well (which might translate to analytics-based approaches).

I do agree, both schools are strong and ultimately it will be the networks that matter.

The Honors Business program at UMD is a bit newer, though–so hard to get a full sense of how that compares to a more established program like Kelley’s.

I think the networks are overrated. I know two kids at Penn State and they’ve both struck out job wise - and they’re known to be tops.

In the end, kids that are go getters find jobs and kids that aren’t - don’t. Many companies today are not hiring on campus but rather kids have to apply on line directly.

Most would tell you that IU will be better for I Banking - but you could google U of Maryland and I banking and they are there.

Don’t forget, few are getting those jobs and there’s a lot of firms…not just the big name ones.

Both are fine programs. If there’s any interest in engineering as well, then you can’t go to IU.

You can do a minor at UMD. UMD is also solid in math - but honestly, both these schools are fine.

Where does your student fit best - i.e. where is their comfort when on both campuses? That’s where I’d go.

Minors | A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland (

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I don’t have experience with either school but every college has what’s called a “first destination” report often by school within each university or college that provides data on where the student has landed after graduation. Some of these reports with undergraduate business schools have very detailed data by employer, etc.

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I’m considering Kelley and actually just talked to a current student yesterday for like an hour LOL. At direct admit day they passed out a packet with stats about Kelley…average starting salary is 67k a year, most popular employer is EY, and most popular destinations are: Texas, Indiana, New York, Illinois, (then I think Ohio? don’t have the paper in front of me). They have 19 majors in the Kelley School and majority are ranked in the top 10 (plus there are some that aren’t eligible to be ranked because not enough schools offer them)

Kelley has the workshops that are great for securing internships, and they have relationships with lots of companies through Handshake, professors do a good job of portraying a neutral standpoint when discussing topics that can be political, some classes can have a lot of students but there are always an appropriate amount of TA’s, finance tends to have average gpas of 2.8-3.2 for classes in that major––but no Kelley curve like you encounter at a school like Notre Dame (infamous Mendoza curve). The person I talked to mentioned that for a lot of his interviews for internships he actually was interviewed by Kelley alums, and that they’ve gone the extra mile to help him. Some people in Kelley have bad grades but that’s because they party too much. Person I talked to has a 3.75 and he said his Friday - Sundays he never has work to do and he just decides to not have a sip of alcohol Monday - Thursday…most of the people who complain about failing exams will have partied too hard the night before or something so of course they’re going to perform poorly. Greek life at IU is pretty messy in terms of sexual assault cases, but you get that at every university.

So in my personal case I’m between Notre Dame and IU. I think IU does have a dedicated alumni network (from what I have heard from talking to professors and current students)…now is it something as renowned as ND? I don’t think so, but it’s nothing to scoff at. I don’t know how that would compared to UMD, but I’m sure it’s at least equal. MBA depends on work experience…however I think Kelley is better for job opportunities in the first place. Ranked better than UMD.


UMD is $66,190 at 50th percent - for business. IU is $65K at the 50th percentile (median).

Most these state flagships are placing people in similar roles - short of the few that make the prestigious (i-bank, consulting) but there are kids from everywhere in those roles too.

No question IU the bigger name - but both are strong - and for 90%+ of the kids, my personal belief is it won’t matter.

When you look at the data, you have to remember salaries are location specific. I got my MBA at a lesser school and was paid the same as the two from UCLA and Dartmouth. My son last Summer (at Alabama) made the same as his two roomies (Ga Tech)…

Find the right school for your son…if there’s any chance at all he’ll want to go STEM (especially engineering), UMD is your better choice.


Outcomes – KelleyConnect | Kelley School of Business (


Yup, we visited a few weeks back and got those same stats. Definitely a good network and a lot of opportunities, which can be enhanced when in the LLC. Campus does have a strong “party vibe” like a lot of others—definitely have to walk a fine line (I wish I had buckled down more my first year, too :slight_smile:

Good luck deciding, sounds like you have great options as well!

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Agree re:engineering, UMD is the stronger program.
Funny thing, because I think he really wanted to get farther away from home, but he did like the campus and programs, so it will be a tough choice!

IU doesn’t have engineering at all. Just systems and CS. They have physics but not engineering. It’s why I said if there’s any possibility they lean out of business UMD would make more sense. How hard it would be to transfer in I don’t know.


Different perspective maybe -

Not much of a difference, but I choose UMD. Kelley has gotten easier to get into over the last 5 years while UMD has gotten tougher. I believe the students will be slightly stronger at Maryland and IU’s high admittance rate may start to hurt Kelley’s stellar reputation (ever so slightly).