Northeastern vs. Richmond vs. Fordham Honors

Hi guys, I’ve been accepted to a variety of schools but have narrowed it down to Northeastern, the University of Richmond, and Fordham. I also have my state school (Rutgers) but I’m not considering it too much at the moment.

My intended major at most of these schools is finance, but the specific major varies. At Northeastern, I plan on majoring in International Business and Finance. At Richmond, I plan on majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Analytics. And at Fordham, I’ll be majoring in Applied Accounting and Finance.

Cost is where I’m a bit confused as to what to do. Northeastern will cost me 59k/year without the National Merit Award (which I may have to appeal soon, once NMF decisions are out). Richmond will cost me 48k/year. Fordham is my least expensive option, at 20k/year, and it is also cheaper than Rutgers.

At Fordham, I’ll be in the Global Business Honors Program, a selective group of 20 business students who travel to various parts of the world. I’m not in the Northeastern honors program and Richmond doesn’t have one. I’m not sure about Rutgers Honors since those decisions aren’t out yet.

I like Northeastern’s co-op program but I’m not sure if it’s worth the steep cost. I love Richmond’s size and reputation but it’s also quite expensive. Fordham seems great with its location but I don’t know if Gabelli is on the same level as my other options and if it would be a good investment. I’m also not sure about its safety.

Does anyone have experiences with any of these schools? It would be so helpful. Thanks again.

I lean towards Gabelli with honors…certainly on par with NEU, probably a bit above Richmond and Rutgers (which I know is subjective and arguable). Then, when you layer in the fact that Gabelli is cheaper, it seems like a no brainer…especially if your family would have to take out loans to fund the higher price schools. Save your money for grad school.

Congratulations on having such great choices, good luck.


What do you expect to learn studying business?
How are the curriculums different?
(what in NE’s curriculum is worth the extra $ over Rutgers)
Which campus/lifestyle will make you happier?
Does the cost matter at all (for some families its like rounding error) ?

If you are an NMF and designate Northeastern as your first choice you will be eligible for an NMF scholarship up to about $35,000/year. That would replace any lower merit awards you received.

When you say “up to $35,000/year” do you have a sense of what the minimum might be? I had read on other threads that the typical formula was whatever initial merit you got + $5,000. So if you had a low initial merit award, could your National Merit award be much less than $35k?

I doubt if that is the “typical formula” for their NMF awards.

Thank you…that’s reassuring to me. My S21 received $16k merit initially, no honors college, so I was afraid that would mean significantly less than $35k once he was a finalist.

I would contact an admissions officer and ask exactly how the NMF scholarship works wrt to the current award. Here is the info on the website.

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Yes, planning to do that, although I saw some posts from previous years that parents weren’t able to get a specific answer to this question. I am attending a Financial Aid session tonight, so I’m hoping it might come up there.

I doubt if they will give a specific amount but they should be able to confirm that the “plus $5000” is not true.

Thanks for the input! I don’t see a lot of differences in curriculums, but Fordham has a core (which I’ve heard is rigorous) and NEU has its co-op learning program. Aside from the co-op, I don’t think there’s a lot of differences between my options. I haven’t had a chance to tour any of my options which is why it’s scary to decide on the campus I’d like best. I like Fordham’s size, but I’m not sure about the Bronx location or the environment as I’ve heard it can be preppy and not too diverse (I’m a POC). I like NEU’s location in Boston but I don’t like its career-oriented focus, I feel like it may be too competitive for me. Campus life is really important to me and I’m not sure if any of my options other than Rutgers have the close-knit feeling and spirit I’m hoping for. And as for cost, I’m looking to keep it under $40k. I plan on taking some loans out but it obviously depends on the school.

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Have you visited all campuses? location wise Northeastern and not even close. Have you visited Fordham. The surrounding area is terrible with high crime rate. I also think Boston is the best college city and I’m from NY.

Northeastern by far is the better school. Also, you don’t have to do co-op if you choose not to, but it’s helpful for future employment.

I have the same award as your son (semifinalist with 16k and no honors). Were you able to ask an AO at the session? I’m hoping that I’ll receive the full 35k since that would make NEU much more affordable for me and a top option.

Also, @TomSrOfBoston, is there any way you know more about the NMF process? 2 of my schools (NEU and UF) require me to name them as my 1st choice to receive their merit scholarships, and they both are enticing. If I name NEU my top choice, when would I find out my new scholarship and would I be able to change my top choice back in case it is not enough to make it affordable? I need to name UF my top choice by 5/31 or 3/1 to receive top consideration.

How much in total loans would you have after 4 years of NEU at $59k? At UF wouldn’t you qualify for a full ride under Benaquisto and NMF?

Yes I would, but I think NEU’s reputation may be better and possibly worth the cost. If I were to somehow receive the $35k NMF scholarship, NEU would cost me an additional $160k over four years since UF would be free. It seems like such a big difference but Florida is so far away and might be a culture shock since I’m in the Northeast, which is what I’m afraid of. Most of the student population is in-state and I don’t want to feel out of place, especially with COVID possibly making class virtual.

Students who are admitted to Northeastern and are recognized as National Merit Finalists* or National Recognition Program Scholars** will receive a competitive merit-based award, and may also be eligible for financial aid.

Northeastern National Scholarships replace any Honors, Dean’s, Connections, Sophomore Achievement, International Scholars, or other merit awards and may result in a change to previously awarded Northeastern University Grant funds.

*National Merit Finalist Deadline:
In order to be eligible for the Northeastern National Merit Finalist Scholarship, National Merit Finalists must be admitted to Northeastern and should designate Northeastern University as their college choice to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). In order to receive an updated scholarship prior to May 1, 2021, students must designate Northeastern as their college choice by the priority deadline of April 1, 2021. Finalists who list Northeastern after the priority deadline are eligible for the scholarship, but are not guaranteed to receive notification of the scholarship from Northeastern prior to May 1, 2021.

Merit Scholarships | Northeastern University Admissions

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I know engineering (and especially CS) students do well in COOP programs, as they
are able to contribute.
How’s the COOP experience for other majors?
(in my time, generally, non-engineering students struggled to find good coop positions)
I agree Fordham isn’t in the best area of the city, but New Brunswick should provide a great college experience. It’s close enough to the City and also a decent place to have a campus life.
Given the cost difference (unless your parents truly don’t care), I wouldn’t disregard this option.

I’m a little confused as to what you mean. Fordham is in the Bronx and Rutgers is in NB, so which college are you referring to when you mention ‘a great college experience?’ Other than that, thanks so much for your input on NEU’s co-ops!

How much of that $160K would be in loans? You can take $27K loans in total over 4 years of undergrad, the rest of the loans would be on your parents. Would Fordham require more than $27K in loans?

Regarding UF, a number of their business classes are always virtual (pre-pandemic), so do look into that.

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That poster was referring to Rutgers at that point.