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Thread: Should I transfer?

  1. #1
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    Should I transfer?

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    Hello All,

    I hope this post could interest some of you.

    I would like to get some insight into the matter of transferring undergrad institution.

    To briefly provide my background:

    My goal: get into the best possible Ph.D. in economics program (>=T30)

    My current institution and My current plan: get BS in Math/Stat + Econ minor (Purdue, Math/Stat>T30, Econ T40ish), and get MS in Stat in the same institution (all completed in 3 years from now).

    If I transfer: (if I get in) Brown, Cornell, Umichigan, Claremont McKenna (T10 LAC) ECON or Math/Stat or both (I only can apply to these institutions because I will be transferring in Spring 2022)

    If I transfer, I plan to just complete my BS and apply to ECON PHD programs, and the cost would be roughly +$100,000 from my original plan (completion estimated time would be 2.5 years from now - half year decrease from my original plan).

    So, I would like to ask you all if I should transfer (of course, given that I get in) to those institutions or not. If I do transfer, I would be able to take more courses as undergrad since I will have completed quite a lot of math/econ courses at Purdue. I question is focused on "would transferring worth it (better chance in getting into better program & given the cost)?" I "can" afford the additional cost, but it would be quite a burden for my parents of course.

    Please provide me with some insight into this matter. I would appreciate any comments on this. I hope I could be able to make the decision based on your comments. Thank you.


    ++ Just to add, I would also like to know some thoughts on Duke MAE.

    So, if I were to pursue Duke MAE after graduating Purdue (BS Math/Stat + Econ Minor), it would take 3 years from now to complete it, and it would be roughly +$150,000 from the original plan. Does anyone think this might be the best option among the three (stay at Purdue and do MS Stat OR Transfer (no MS) OR Purdue+Duke MAE)?

    I know I kinda rambled on, but please help me out. Thank you, all.
    Last edited by hscjoe; 05-01-2021 at 09:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Should I transfer?

    I personally, in your situation, would not transfer. I have had several comparable decisions to you, and so far, I've chosen the cheaper options. Purdue is a pretty strong STEM university (in applied mathematics, stats, and economics), and $100,000-150,000 is A LOT of money. But only you can decide whether that much debt is worth the potential benefits from transferring.

    If I were you, I'd focus on doing very well at Purdue. Get excellent grades in your math and stats courses. Try to work as an Economics RA. If you can handle it, take some grad coursework or reading courses (in Econ, or perhaps Math/Stats if you have interests in theory/metrics). If need be, a top post-doc or foreign MAs are possible later. Just remember that while signaling is important, your education is what you make of it - especially at the undergrad level. A quality R1 institution like Purdue can provide you with many great opportunities.

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    Re: Should I transfer?

    It might be too late to get into Brown or Cornell. You would not have the same connection as to find RA work or strong letter. Do your best at Purdue, and get all the As, RA work and strong letters you can get. Try to do pre-doc if you can and want. If not, let's just say that a high GPA at Purdue would play a lot better than the same GPA in other schools you mentioned. Good luck.

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    0 out of 2 members found this post helpful. Good post? Yes | No

    Re: Should I transfer?

    Absolutely not! I got into a t15 from a strong applied math, t100 econ school. I have a corporate job right now, did it for 3 months, decided I hated it and went for the PhD. I have no debt and I am very happy about that.

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    Re: Should I transfer?

    Very bad idea to transfer in this situation. Purdue will set you up in a great place

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    Re: Should I transfer?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuanJuDe View Post
    It might be too late to get into Brown or Cornell. You would not have the same connection as to find RA work or strong letter. Do your best at Purdue, and get all the As, RA work and strong letters you can get. Try to do pre-doc if you can and want. If not, let's just say that a high GPA at Purdue would play a lot better than the same GPA in other schools you mentioned. Good luck.
    Thank you for your reply! I just want to ask some follow-up questions if I may.

    1. What do you mean by "too late"? Yes, some schools do not accept juniors or seniors as a transfer student, but Brown and Cornell do not seem to care about this too much. Or, do you mean "too late" as in "waste of time and money"? Also, why would I not have the same connection with professors? Is it not likely for me to gain good relationships with professors if I join as a transfer student?

    2. Why do you think I would be better off getting straight A's than transferring and getting straight A's?

    3. Yeah I would prefer doing a pre-doc, but the odds don't seem to be with me, so I am thinking of a master's in statistics at Purdue. Do you think this would be better for me than transferring? How about the plan in general-do you think this would help me?

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    Re: Should I transfer?

    Thank you so much, @rtj! I agree with you on the financial matter. Yes, I will be joining labs and am doing research as well as acing the courses. Actually, this was why I thought maybe I can do well in better schools, and further increase my chances of getting into prestigious programs.

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    Re: Should I transfer?

    Quote Originally Posted by econstudentcorp View Post
    Absolutely not! I got into a t15 from a strong applied math, t100 econ school. I have a corporate job right now, did it for 3 months, decided I hated it and went for the PhD. I have no debt and I am very happy about that.
    Thank you! What do you think about doing a masters?

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    Re: Should I transfer?

    Thank you so much for an encouraging comment, @econliker. Yes, I do prefer to stay since I am already well settled, but I wanted to increase my chances by doing what I can at the moment.

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    Re: Should I transfer?

    Overall, I would like to also focus on doing a master's.

    What do you guys think about doing a master's in stat? Or should I do MAE at Duke? Or not at all?

    Not at all option is not the best one for me since it seems harder for me to get research jobs outside of school, and I think it is better to do Purdue's research jobs with a "student" status. Maybe it is cuz I am an international.

    BTW, I am an international. This might make a lot of difference in all of your opinions.

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