Help with college decision!


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I got into BYU and the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. I really love Cornell and the Statler hotel. Their academics are ranked #1 in the nation for hospitality, and they have everything I want to study. I want to either go into consulting or manage mutual/hedge funds. Cornell has a fantastic alumni network, and everyone I know that goes there has high-paying job offers.

BYU is also a really good school, and I'm specifically interested in there business management major with an emphasis in strategy. This is basically there program for consulting. However, I don't really know how involved the curriculum is in terms of real estate, investment banking, hedge funds, etc. Also, I don't know how BYU's alumni network compares to Cornell's. I've heard that BYU isn't a "target" recruiting school.

However, even though I'm in love with Cornell, I'm really worried about picking it over BYU.

I plan on serving a mission right after high school, so I'd have to defer. I'm mostly worried about whether I'll be able to find a wife at Cornell! The branch is tiny, and most of them are grad students. There are maybe 3 undergrad LDS students, and I don't even know if they are girls. And if I don't get married in college, then my selection goes wayyy down. Especially if I have a job and I'm really busy because of that, and won't have much time to date and stuff.

Both schools have great campuses.

Both have great academics (Cornell has the advantage)

BYU is a LOT cheaper

BYU has more potential wives

Cornell has a better alumni network/connections (I think)

Cornell I could probably get a higher paying job

Cornell is Ivy League

Lastly, I'm not focusing on social > education. I'm focusing on healthy family > lucrative career. Unless I can have both.

What do you guys think?

Edited by ThatLDSKiD
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Based on what you have told us...Cornell.

I work in higher ed. There are a number of reasons to pick a school:




academic standing


religious affiliation or lack thereof

family tradition

job placement rates

and many, many others.

Picking Cornell just because it is Ivy League probably isn't a great idea. Picking it because it is #1 academically in your chosen field of study definitely is. In my mind you go to school to gain an education not to find a spouse. 90% or more of the student population is NOT married when they leave school. That is a pretty distinctly LDS trait. So based on what you've told us here, Cornell every time.

I have a daughter that is looking at colleges. MIT, US Naval Academy, Michigan Tech are on her short list. I don't even know that I would let her consider BYU. Good school yes, but not so much in her chosen field of study. That and her personality is not a good fit for BYU. My middle daughter when she is ready for school in a few years I will encourage her to attend the Y. It is a great fit for both what she wants to do AND for her personality.

In short, do what is best for you, not just because every other LDS YM/YW that you know aspires to go to that school too.


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I have been an alumni recruiter for my undergrad and masters program. I have been on admissions committees for doctoral and masters programs. WE ALWAYS LOOK AT THE SCHOOLS. Don't believe anything else. When you look for a job, you want to have graduated from the best place, or as close to the best, as you can for your field.

Question tho - why go to a hotel school for mutual fund consulting? Do they offer a non-hotel business program? If you are looking for strategy, there are many other strong business programs you should consider.

All that said, Cornell is in Ithaca, right? Lotsa waaaay left libs. You might as well be in San Francisco. Gird your loins.

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I'm by no means an expert in the hospitality industry, but when dealing with non-academic fields I've noticed that often having an accredited degree is substantially more important than where you got it from. I have definitely known people who have gone to very expensive schools and come out with very low paying jobs, so in my mind at least going to Cornell won't necessarily guarantee you a lucrative career.

I will also say that my fondest memories from my LDS days come from the time I spent in a small branch vice the larger wards. What they lack in membership they typically make up for in being tightly knit. There is something to be said for the experience.

As for dating, I remember going to YSA events when the were only four or five of us in the stake (which encompassed much of the state). Most managed to get married, either there or after they all magically moved to Provo after college. My point there is when you finish college, unless you take forever, you'll probably still be well below the magical 25 year old age and have time to move back to more heavily Mormon-populated areas to find a wife.

I also personally would factor in cost, as student loan payments, particularly at expensive schools, can be pretty crippling for a very long time.

Just my thoughts on the subject. Remember that whichever you choose, God still loves you!

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