UW Foster School of Business vs UMICH Econ LSA (No Ross)

Hello! I’ve been accepted into the University of Washington Foster School of Business as a Direct Admit and the University of Michigan into LSA, where I would major in Econ. However, I was not accepted into the Ross School of Business, and cannot reapply. I could minor, but that is no guarantee because the minor is quite competitive. As well, I am interested in Finance, but not set on that. I am worried that if I pick UW, I will not have as good of a college experience as compared to Michigan, but I am worried that if I pick UMich, then I will miss out on a lot of connections and would not be able to get many of the resources I could get from UW and because I would be overshadowed by Ross students. I will put a list of pros and cons about each school below and it would be great to get some feedback and advice on my decision.

UW Pros:

  • In business school as DA, apparently is competitive and hard to do
  • Seattle is great for jobs
  • Cheaper by about 15k, but I am not paying (parents are)
  • Higher respect in University
  • Can stay on West Coast (from CA)
  • May not need grad school
  • Can make connections easier

UW Cons:

  • Weather- rainy/cloudy for most of the year
  • Student life is not as great
  • Mainly relevant on the west coast, harder to get recruited from other parts of the country
  • Program might be a bit overhyped than it actually is

Umich Pros:

  • Possible Minor in Business
  • Very strong alumni network
  • Student life is one of the best in country
  • LSA Opportunity Hub for Internships
  • University is more well-known/has a better reputation

UMich Cons:

  • Cannot reapply to Ross
  • Might not get into business minor- competitive
  • Harder to make connections and could be overshadowed by Ross kids (I have interest in Finance)
  • Would most likely have to get an MBA
  • Have to work a lot harder than I would at UW
  • Is an Econ major good?

Ultimately I was wondering, will I be less appealing for jobs if I am an econ major versus a business major? Would it be better to have the connections versus fewer connections? Does my major even matter THAT much? Any feedback would be extremely helpful, thank you.

Why isn’t student life as great? Are you basing that on overall rank? I don’t see why your student life wouldn’t be as great.

So let’s see - UW is cheaper. UW - you can study what you want.

Michigan is great but when you go get a job, few employers will treat Michigan differently than Oregon differently than Nebraska. Yes, it’s elite - but most won’t realize.

Econ is a great major and if you can double it with math (or a minor), it’s phenomenal and great for consulting. UW is a fine school - many students there can get into Michigan.

As for an MBA, your major doesn’t matter. What does matter is you get two years work experience. That you went to Washington or Michigan will matter less than your GPA, GMAT and quality of work experience.

Why do you assume you’d have to work harder at UMIch than UW? Again, are you making a generic statement based on rank?

I know a Wharton MBA - and their rigor was less than mine at ASU. They were looking for jobs from day one.

I think you are unfairly diminishing UW. Rank wise - UM is better. But UW is a great school and you can study what you want. But what you can study at Michigan is also incredible.

This is a win win - you are wanting the “higher rank” but realize the lower rank meets your needs.

If you choose UW (and I would), go in with the right attitude - it’s not lesser - and you’ll be surprised to find many a classmate that is bright, articulate, and flat out brilliant.


To answer your last question about would business be better - depends on the discipline…if you major in accounting and want to be an accountant, then sure you need a business degree. If you want to do marketing, take a couple classes…econ will be better. Anyway, both are great schools - neither gives you a guarantee of success but both will educate you very well. Good luck.

Thank you!
From what I have heard, sounds like most students are more introverted at UW, but I am sure if I found the right group I’d be fine. As well, want more spirit, which I believe Umich has.
I was assuming I would have to work harder in the econ major because have to put myself out more to get recruited, make connections, etc., whereas UW I would get them easier through Bschool. Doesn’t have to do with rank.

You have colleges of 30K+ - you will find all types. You will find your fits politically, socially, and otherwise. I would not put much fait in “what i have heard”…there’s also the opposite of what you’ve heard.

I think you’re mistaken on the recruiting. Michigan will have equal job fairs to that of UW - and both will have tech companies. Michigan will also have more industrial companies, etc.

I think you are making a lot of assumptions but my personal belief is your assumptions are not correct.

I’m a Michigan alum. I would go to UW in a heartbeat.

You mentioned rainy/cloudy for most of the year. You do realize Michigan is rainy, then cloudy, then snowy and cold, right? I had a hard time adjusting to Michigan and I was from the Midwest. With you coming from CA (I’m there now), it will be a challenge at either place. At least Seattle isn’t freezing.

I think your job opportunities are better with a Finance degree than an Econ degree.

Save the $15K/year, apply the $60K total to an MBA program (if your parents will let you, or keep it), and go to UDub.

The cost difference is in UDub’s favor. Foster is known as a very good Finance school. The strong Michigan alumni network is totally overblown. It never really benefitted me in business.

@tsbna44 is correct. MBA programs care about your GPA and GMAT score, as well as your work experience. My Michigan degree helped, but so would a UW degree, especially in Finance, and if you get a better job with the Finance degree and still want an MBA, then your better work experience will help you with MBA admissions.


I agree with most of your analysis regarding your options. I think that you have a fairly clear choice between studying what you want to study versus having a more enjoyable social experience during your undergraduate years.

The University of Washington is a serious school with outstanding academics and a well qualified student body.

Like Michigan, the University of Washington at Seattle is among the top 5 universities for research & development spending.

Ann Arbor is mainly a college town, while Seattle is a major West Coast city.

Michigan offers placement throughout the country, while UW is more West Coast focused.

If you want to be in business school then your choice is made. UW is a fine choice. But the misconception with Michigan is that if you don’t have Ross your toast. So many business companies recruit at Michigan non Ross kids. Your not competing with them per se. Your coming with a different skill set. The alumni are Michigan are great “if” you take advantage of them but of course not in every situation.

It’s all about what you do on campus and really not what school you go to. Few CEOs have business backgrounds. Think about that for a minute. Michigan is an international brand. Washington is a regional brand. Nothing wrong with either.

Don’t count on getting a minor in business. Hard to get. Entrepreneurship minor is amazing at Michigan. My son’s class’s were taught by CEOs one from Biggby Coffee. I am reading his book “Grind” now. Read that and save the 4 years… Lol…

Good Luck.

You are for sure right!
Anyways, thank you for taking the time to read through my thread and offer the advice!