Go to Duke. UChicago > Penn for the $30k difference, but UChicago is not better than being debt free from Duke.
Edit - I'm unclear as to why it has to be Duke that goes?
It had to be Duke that went because I couldn't commit at the time of the deposit deadline.
(and I asked about extending the deadline but nope).
I can't lie and say that there was no effect (well, actually, people seemed to focus in really quickly on clerking, which was only ever a minor thing for me, so all the posts on clerking I sort of skimmed), but it wasn't huge because I guess I was already leaning in that direction. My last poll went strongly in Chi/Penn's favor, and I think it was how I wrote the OP.
This might go down as the worst decision in some people's eyes based on the poll, but I think I'm actually going with Penn. Factors I didn't elaborate that ultimately swayed me:
- Duke (and Michigan) felt like my undergrad. I wanted to live in a city and was kind of dreading the more suburban setting...that's literally been my whole life.
- I liked the campus/building/area around Penn more. I thought Duke undergrad was great but was less impressed with the school itself.
- Proximity to family/friends meant my family lives about 45 min away and my best friends are in Center City (I'll let you guess which school they were pulling for).
I always had a bias for Chicago because it was one of my final choices for undergrad as well. I visited and I really liked it...but I didn't go because I had essentially a free ride at the school I went to (and I think Chicago didn't even have the major I wanted), and there was no way in hell I could justify the 30k or 40k per year for Chicago for undergrad. But with the aid issue between penn/chicago, I feel like Chi might be too much of a gamble since I didn't get to visit and really just feel like I don't know enough about the school. When I got waitlisted I wasn't expecting to hear back until after the other deposit deadlines so I kind of just forgot about Chicago and took it as a reject. Then once the initial excitement over being accepted wore off, I started thinking of a bunch of other factors that weren't solely school-related.
I KNOW it was a lot of money to turn down Duke, and it was probably one of the hardest decisions in my life, I even cried after telling my mom (don't judge me ok
). But I feel a lot better today.