Cambridge vs. LSE vs. Columbia Watch

♥Samantha♥
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
UPDATE: I got accepted into Yale but the financial aid is much worse than Columbia. If after an appeal it is low enough then I may choose it, so can you also consider all the following points in respect to Yale also. I need to decline one of Yale and Columbia by the end of the month so I could use the advice on that also!

I am fortunate enough to have received an offer from the 3 institutions in the title and Yale (amongst others) but I am having difficulty deciding where I wish to study. I plan to firm Cambs and insure LSE on UCAS. My questions are:

1. Assuming I meet my firm offer, should I choose Cambridge or Columbia?
2. If I miss my firm but meet my insurance, should I choose LSE or Columbia?

At Cambridge/LSE I will study BSc Economics, at Columbia I will most likely major in Economics or double major in Economics and Mathematics. I am considering minoring in Mathematics, Politics or Chemistry (most likely Maths).

These are some factors to consider which I have thought of so far:

- LSE/Cambs are 3 years, Columbia is 4 years
- All are world renowned institutions in the field of Economics, but league tables vary in their order
- All are 'target schools' for financial services industry. I believe LSE/Cambs are more connected to the City than Columbia is connected to the Street (it's beaten by HYP).
- LSE and Cambs are cheaper, however I will graduate with a lot of student debt. Columbia have given me a grant of $55k, but I will need to pay the excess fees and living costs myself (estimated at $25k). Financially, it would be a struggle, but I should not graduate with any debt
- At LSE/Cambs I am locked into only studying economics. I would prefer to be able to study a range of subjects, which you can do at Columbia. I an interested in studying economics, politics, chemistry, maths, philosophy, and foreign languages.
- On the flip side, Columbia have a rigid core (general requirements) so I would be forced to study things I am not interested in like American history, literature, music etc.
- May be easier to get into top US graduate schools from Columbia
- Obviously Cambridge has the 'prestige' factor
- LSE and Columbia are in big cities (I prefer big cities)
- Higher rent in London/NY.
- Columbia may eventually lead to opportunities to work in the US

I would really appreciate any advice! Thank you.
2
reply
¡Muy bien!
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#2
Report 2 years ago
#2
First of all - well done! All these unis are amazing and you can't really go wrong with any of them!
Now, obviously it's your decision to make, but I thought I could highlight some additional factors for you to consider:
- Distance: the US is far away, you'll see your family and friends less, will you be ok with that? How vulnerable to home sicknesses are you?
- It's a different culture, you might have an initial cultural shock. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it's good to get to know another culture, but it's another thing to consider.
- Which uni are you most likely to regret not picking? I've made important decisions guided by this type of thinking.

Last thing - when I decided on my uni, I made a list like yours, then ordered the different factors according to how much theyre important to you/will affect you. Some things will float to the top and it might affect your decision. Good luck!
0
reply
♥Samantha♥
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#3
(Original post by ¡Muy bien!)
First of all - well done! All these unis are amazing and you can't really go wrong with any of them!
Now, obviously it's your decision to make, but I thought I could highlight some additional factors for you to consider:
- Distance: the US is far away, you'll see your family and friends less, will you be ok with that? How vulnerable to home sicknesses are you?
- It's a different culture, you might have an initial cultural shock. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it's good to get to know another culture, but it's another thing to consider.
Thank you for your response! On these points, I have spent months at a time in America and don't really experience homesickness. I have a lot of family in America and near New York. I doubt that even if I go to Cambridge I will see my friends very frequently, but that's just life.

(Original post by ¡Muy bien!)
- Which uni are you most likely to regret not picking? I've made important decisions guided by this type of thinking.

Last thing - when I decided on my uni, I made a list like yours, then ordered the different factors according to how much theyre important to you/will affect you. Some things will float to the top and it might affect your decision. Good luck!
I think I would most regret not picking Cambridge over Columbia, mainly because yknow its Cambridge, but then when I picture myself going to Cambridge I think it might be boring and horrible and I'll just wonder how much more I would have enjoyed myself in NY. I really don't know! The grass is always greener on the other side and I feel like whatever I chose I'll regret it. And then Columbia and LSE seem very close, both big city unis.
0
reply
♥Samantha♥
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#4
Anyone else?
0
reply
hossein178
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#5
Report 2 years ago
#5
Honestly if the rep factor of cambridge is pulling you in that much there's always coming back for masters/PhD and from what I've seen, if you know what you want to do the top tier unis seem to be easier to get on than at undergrad and you can get full funding to avoid debt.
0
reply
Hirsty97
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#6
Report 2 years ago
#6
Congratulations on getting offers from such prestigious universities. If you want get into IB then based on stats I've seen I'd recommend Columbia university, if the money isn't an issue

Do you mind if I ask what A level results you received?
0
reply
♥Samantha♥
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#7
(Original post by hossein178)
Honestly if the rep factor of cambridge is pulling you in that much there's always coming back for masters/PhD and from what I've seen, if you know what you want to do the top tier unis seem to be easier to get on than at undergrad and you can get full funding to avoid debt.
Hm I guess thats true. Though I hadn't really pictured myself staying in the UK for postgrad.
0
reply
♥Samantha♥
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#8
(Original post by Hirsty97)
Congratulations on getting offers from such prestigious universities. If you want get into IB then based on stats I've seen I'd recommend Columbia university, if the money isn't an issue

Do you mind if I ask what A level results you received?
I haven't completed my a levels yet but i am predicted 4 A*s in economics, chemistry, maths and further maths.
0
reply
username2110825
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#9
Report 2 years ago
#9
(Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
Anyone else?
A lot of people do actually move after their degree, especially for postgraduate reasons (I intend to fwiw). If it's living in America you want to do eventually I think you could go to Cambridge (ideally) and use that to get into a great uni abroad or something.

Not exactly the best solution, point is more it's not like if you don't go now you can never.
0
reply
Doones
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#10
Report 2 years ago
#10
(Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
- LSE and Cambs are cheaper, however I will graduate with a lot of student debt. Columbia have given me a grant of $55k, but I will need to pay the excess fees and living costs myself (estimated at $25k). Financially, it would be a struggle, but I should not graduate with any debt
- At LSE/Cambs I am locked into only studying economics. I would prefer to be able to study a range of subjects, which you can do at Columbia. I an interested in studying economics, politics, chemistry, maths, philosophy, and foreign languages.
- do you have access to the funds needed for Columbia without incurring commercial debt? Student debt (i.e. SFE) is not the same as a normal commercial loan and shouldn't really be compared as such.
- don't forget the Tripos system does mean you can change course midway at Cambridge. You could, at a pinch, potentially change from Economics to, for example, HSPS. And Cambridge does offer languages via CULP http://www.langcen.cam.ac.uk/lc/culp/culp-index.html (I'm sure LSE would have something similar).
0
reply
♥Samantha♥
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#11
(Original post by Doonesbury)
- do you have access to the funds needed for Columbia without incurring commercial debt? Student debt (i.e. SFE) is not the same as a normal commercial loan and shouldn't really be compared as such.
- don't forget the Tripos system does mean you can change course midway at Cambridge. You could, at a pinch, potentially change from Economics to, for example, HSPS. And Cambridge does offer languages via CULP http://www.langcen.cam.ac.uk/lc/culp/culp-index.html (I'm sure LSE would have something similar).
Yes, if I go to Columbia I would have the funds, it would just be difficult and I'd feel guilty if my parents are struggling.
And the tripos let's you change course, but I am not interested in changing course. I want to do economics, just with the freedom to do other subjects simultaneously as well. And language courses at Cambridge are not actually part of the degree so I would have to give up free time to go to the language courses.
0
reply
Doones
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#12
Report 2 years ago
#12
(Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
Yes, if I go to Columbia I would have the funds, it would just be difficult and I'd feel guilty if my parents are struggling.
And the tripos let's you change course, but I am not interested in changing course. I want to do economics, just with the freedom to do other subjects simultaneously as well. And language courses at Cambridge are not actually part of the degree so I would have to give up free time to go to the language courses.
Yes, indeed, to all that
0
reply
unknowntsr
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#13
Report 2 years ago
#13
I think personally Cambridge for undergrad then US schools for postgrad, just because Cambridge’s style of teaching is unparalleled, besides Oxford of course. And it should not be hard going from a UK undergrad to US postgrad especially because it’s Cambridge (if you really want to you can also attend other lectures in different subjects at Cambridge). I know the social life at Cambs is nowhere near as cool as Columbia’s NY but for Economics especially I just personally don’t think anything compares. With regards to LSE and Columbia, I would also personally use a US school as my insurance (which i’m hoping to do too) but because Columbia’s core curriculum is so inflexible, it may not be as beneficial as LSE’s course. :?
0
reply
♥Samantha♥
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#14
(Original post by unknowntsr)
I think personally Cambridge for undergrad then US schools for postgrad, just because Cambridge’s style of teaching is unparalleled, besides Oxford of course. And it should not be hard going from a UK undergrad to US postgrad especially because it’s Cambridge (if you really want to you can also attend other lectures in different subjects at Cambridge). I know the social life at Cambs is nowhere near as cool as Columbia’s NY but for Economics especially I just personally don’t think anything compares. With regards to LSE and Columbia, I would also personally use a US school as my insurance (which i’m hoping to do too) but because Columbia’s core curriculum is so inflexible, it may not be as beneficial as LSE’s course. :?
Hmm I guess this makes sense. It would be beneficial to graduate in 3 rather than 4 years.
0
reply
EconNinja
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#15
Report 2 years ago
#15
(Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
I am fortunate enough to have received an offer from the 3 institutions in the title (amongst others) but I am having difficulty deciding where I wish to study. I plan to firm Cambs and insure LSE on UCAS. My questions are:

1. Assuming I meet my firm offer, should I choose Cambridge or Columbia?
2. If I miss my firm but meet my insurance, should I choose LSE or Columbia?

At Cambridge/LSE I will study BSc Economics, at Columbia I will most likely major in Economics or double major in Economics and Mathematics. I am considering minoring in Mathematics, Politics or Chemistry (most likely Maths).

These are some factors to consider which I have thought of so far:

- LSE/Cambs are 3 years, Columbia is 4 years
- All are world renowned institutions in the field of Economics, but league tables vary in their order
- All are 'target schools' for financial services industry. I believe LSE/Cambs are more connected to the City than Columbia is connected to the Street (it's beaten by HYP).
- LSE and Cambs are cheaper, however I will graduate with a lot of student debt. Columbia have given me a grant of $55k, but I will need to pay the excess fees and living costs myself (estimated at $25k). Financially, it would be a struggle, but I should not graduate with any debt
- At LSE/Cambs I am locked into only studying economics. I would prefer to be able to study a range of subjects, which you can do at Columbia. I an interested in studying economics, politics, chemistry, maths, philosophy, and foreign languages.
- On the flip side, Columbia have a rigid core (general requirements) so I would be forced to study things I am not interested in like American history, literature, music etc.
- May be easier to get into top US graduate schools from Columbia
- Obviously Cambridge has the 'prestige' factor
- LSE and Columbia are in big cities (I prefer big cities)
- Higher rent in London/NY.
- Columbia may eventually lead to opportunities to work in the US

I would really appreciate any advice! Thank you.
Im confused why LSE is lower than Cam. In terms of reputation for econ it goes LSE, Cam, Col.

LSE compared to the others is the most mathematical and hence is the best prep for masters.

Cam is great if your not too mathey but like the policy side of econ and also has the nice college life

Col is very good if you like the lib arts system but for econ is not at the level of LSE but is the top choice if you like the idea of not just doing maths and econ in yur degree.

Good luck in what you choose, Im happy to expand or answer any questions (2nd year LSE econ student)
0
reply
Doones
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#16
Report 2 years ago
#16
(Original post by EconNinja)
Cam is great if your not too mathey but like the policy side of econ and also has the nice college life
Cambridge Econ is very mathsy. They like you to have FM.
0
reply
Puffin Boffin
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#17
Report 2 years ago
#17
(Original post by Doonesbury)
Cambridge Econ is very mathsy. They like you to have FM.
They like you to have FM but don't require it, LSE require it.

In Cam you can't study advanced time series analysis, this is not to say the Cam is not good nor is it to say that Cam is not good at maths- it is excellent, just don't quite the level of LSE in terms of maths.
0
reply
Puffin Boffin
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#18
Report 2 years ago
#18
If you want a job when you graduate then you should choose LSE. Otherwise I fear you may become homeless at one of those other 'lesser' choices.
0
reply
EconNinja
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#19
Report 2 years ago
#19
(Original post by Doonesbury)
Cambridge Econ is very mathsy. They like you to have FM.
Im sorry but in comparison to LSE that is simply wrong. For example in year 2 at LSE you do non-stationary time series and 2SLS which you only get to do at cambridge if you choose a specific 3rd year option. Moreover at LSE the first year is a minimum of 50% math and stats but most do 75% which compared to the one math module at cam is undoubtedly more. Yes Cam is more math based than some econ programs but it is at far lower level than LSE.

Also if you like maths you can take advanced math options such as probably with martingales stochastic, real analysis and number theory which is not available at Cam but useful for post grad econ particularly in Metrics.

Cambridge is very good for econ it simply in terms of mathematics is a different level to LSE and if your a student interested in mathematical economics in the uk there is no where close to LSE.
0
reply
Doones
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#20
Report 2 years ago
#20
(Original post by Puffin Boffin)
They like you to have FM but don't require it, LSE require it.

In Cam you can't study advanced time series analysis, this is not to say the Cam is not good nor is it to say that Cam is not good at maths- it is excellent, just don't quite the level of LSE in terms of maths.
No, LSE L101 does not "require" A-level FM:

"Further Mathematics at A or AS level is a valuable indicator of potential for our highly quantitative degrees. However in Economics at LSE we expect it as a fourth subject only, and also welcome applicants with an essay-based A level such as History"

http://www.lse.ac.uk/study/undergrad..._BSc_Econ.aspx
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Bournemouth University
    Clearing Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 31 Jul '19
  • Staffordshire University
    Postgraduate open event - Stoke-on-Trent campus Postgraduate
    Wed, 7 Aug '19
  • University of Derby
    Foundation Open Event Further education
    Wed, 7 Aug '19

Are you tempted to change your firm university choice on A-level results day?

Yes, I'll try and go to a uni higher up the league tables (158)
17.73%
Yes, there is a uni that I prefer and I'll fit in better (77)
8.64%
No I am happy with my course choice (529)
59.37%
I'm using Clearing when I have my exam results (127)
14.25%

Watched Threads

View All