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Too Many International Students in MSF?

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Too Many International Students in MSF?  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2019, 16:24
This may sound like a very controversial topic, but I assure you I am making it with the best intentions.

As a domestic student (and someone interested in getting an MSF) I've noticed that a lot of programs now are around 80% international students and have been increasing over the years. As a domestic student, I am wondering what this means for me. I understand why international students are attracted to these programs and support it all the way, but how do employers now view the MSF? Has it become the prototypical feeder for international students and could that harm me as a domestic student wanting an MSF because of this impression?

Again, it's hard not to sound like a bigot with this question, but I am genuinely interested in what others think about this. Impressions are important in the business world, and I want to be aware of what that maybe with an MSF tacked to my name.

Wishing you all professional success and thank you in advance for your responses!
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Re: Too Many International Students in MSF?  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 15:40
salems69 wrote:
This may sound like a very controversial topic, but I assure you I am making it with the best intentions.

As a domestic student (and someone interested in getting an MSF) I've noticed that a lot of programs now are around 80% international students and have been increasing over the years. As a domestic student, I am wondering what this means for me. I understand why international students are attracted to these programs and support it all the way, but how do employers now view the MSF? Has it become the prototypical feeder for international students and could that harm me as a domestic student wanting an MSF because of this impression?

Again, it's hard not to sound like a bigot with this question, but I am genuinely interested in what others think about this. Impressions are important in the business world, and I want to be aware of what that maybe with an MSF tacked to my name.

Wishing you all professional success and thank you in advance for your responses!


Hi salems69,

Well it is usually the top 15-20 schools that have high percentages of international students. This is natural, as Tier-1 programs will attract applicants from all over the globe and secondly, schools want to increase the cultural diversity in their class profile, hence they are looking to include students from all nationalities.
Now, as a domestic student, this does not really harm your chances except for the fact that the competition is tough for the Tier-1 schools and you must have a good profile and a stellar application to stand a fair chance.
Anyone who has the above two elements will get into one of their target MSF programs - Be it a domestic or an international student.
Once you get into the program, it is up to you on how you utilize the school's resources to land your dream job - Recruiters will hire for the skill and talent, they would not differentiate as such between domestic and international students.
So don't worry being a domestic student is not a major disadvantage - Just means that you need to be willing to outdo your competition like everyone else :)
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Re: Too Many International Students in MSF?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2019, 17:17
Here is the answer. Money.

US MSF programs are graded based on placements. Students use these programs to get into a good paying finance job because they didn't do well in UG, didn't realize they wanted to do finance in UG, went to a school without OCR, etc. So they go to an MSF. The best programs have consistent placements and these programs admit fewer international students because those students have issues getting placed.

Years ago some schools decided to simply use the MSF as a way to boost revenues. Most of these MSF programs are just built off the back of MBA programs which have seen a consistent decline in applications. What better way to utilize slack MBA teachers? So they started to admit more and more international students. This causes a vicious cycle because most domestic students don't want to be in a call where the vast majority are international. It impacts placements. So domestic students avoid these programs and they become more and more international.

Tulane is a really good example of this.

30% or so is the right number of international students and they should be drawn from all over. I believe the UIUC MSF program is like 80% Chinese or something (this has probably changed since the trade war). Professors would literally speak Chinese and if you were the one or two domestic kid you definitely felt left out (I've been told this first hand).

Look at Vanderbilt, UT Austin, WUSTL, all have lower international percentages. MIT is the anomaly, but MIT is getting the absolute best international students. Go look at some less prominent MSF programs and you can tell it is about the tuition money and not the outcome.

This is why.
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New post 19 Dec 2019, 17:39
MSFHQ You make some valid points. However, I think there might be some exceptions. For example, it seems big east coast cities attract more international students. You say MIT is the exceptions but it seems that its a trend in Boston as well. I wouldn't say that programs such as Boston College or Boston University are necessarily "less prominent" programs and they are both in the 80% international range. In fact, BC and BU average GPA are on par or higher than Vanderbilt and UT Austin programs. This is not just limited to Boston, NYU's program (granted it has an affiliate in Shanghai) has 90% international students. Any thoughts on my theory?
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Re: Too Many International Students in MSF?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2019, 08:16
salems69 wrote:
MSFHQ You make some valid points. However, I think there might be some exceptions. For example, it seems big east coast cities attract more international students. You say MIT is the exceptions but it seems that its a trend in Boston as well. I wouldn't say that programs such as Boston College or Boston University are necessarily "less prominent" programs and they are both in the 80% international range. In fact, BC and BU average GPA are on par or higher than Vanderbilt and UT Austin programs. This is not just limited to Boston, NYU's program (granted it has an affiliate in Shanghai) has 90% international students. Any thoughts on my theory?


Boston University doesn't have a Masters in Finance. Boston College? I checked and see an over 80% international percentage. You should reach out and ask about their placements. BC is known for their PT program.

Reality is it is incredibly hard to get a visa in the US. This is why every program is STEM now. You cannot place a high number of students if your whole program is international. It is a clear money grab.

MIT - the exception. Any other school with such a high number of international students is bolstering their income statement because MBA admissions is declining.

FYI - in the US, BC isn't a main MSF full time program. The school has a good brand, but the program placements are not close to other schools.

NYU's program is designed for international students.
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Re: Too Many International Students in MSF?   [#permalink] 20 Dec 2019, 08:16
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