SO TO SUM UP A BIT FOR ANYONE WHO FINDS THIS POST-
Ann Arbor - great family location, inexpensive, lots to do, academic, kids and parents love it. Great schools. Midwest friendly with the northwest academic style. Cold long winters.
Ithaca- Fun for kids, but not much going on. Decent schools.
Chicago- It can be done well if you are willing to commute a bit into school. There are some good schools and neighborhoods, like in Tinley Park for example. But be prepared to be taxed into the ground and high expenses are the norm.
AustinIf you aren't from texas, good luck getting in. THAT SAID, its an amazing location, solid schools, TONS to do, never gets really cold, and decent cost of living.
LA area- Beautiful with some nice areas and always stuff to do for kids and parents alike. REALLY expensive to live there and TERRIBLE public schools. Good private schools, even in the 12k per year range.
Twin Cities- Hidden gem, fun, booming, quality of life and education mixed with low cost of living. BRUTAL winters. Great place for families.
Charlotsville- Not bad, good climate, decent schools. Not a lot of people said much one way or the other.
PhillY & DC - You won't live in Philly/DC, but the commutes aren't terrible, and while very costly, there are quality subs that have decent schools, etc.
Bay area (SF, Oak) - The cost of living is quite high, but the K-12 school systems are amazing, crime is low (at least in the south and north bays -- avoid Oakland/Richmond/etc.), weather is great, etc. Some of the schools (Lowell) are awesome, but others are pretty horrible, and I've been told there is some kind of bizarre raffle as to which one you get to go to.
I'll edit this/edit the original post eventually if people want to include details on other schools- just post them and Ill copy them into my edit later.
Thanks everyone for the help. Seems that Ann Arbor followed by Chicago (northwestern) would be my best bet at this time. Right now I'll just be focusing on raising that 170. With my GPA and work experience (6 years working mail room to director of a team of 20+ accountable for the biggest chunk of profits in the entire company, then my own startup) I feel like I'll have a shot at Northwestern but need to boost my LSAT to have a shot at Michigan.
Last edited by Remnantofisrael
on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.