There's the possibility for money at USC. I doubt I'll get anything at Fordham (but won't have to relocate, and would live driving distance from pretty much everyone I know, ultimately saving quite a bit). I haven't visited USC, and won't have time to now. I've been to Fordham, though. Anyone have input on USC's campus? I know the surrounding area is debatably sketchy...
Also, I called USC's Admissions office today to ask a few general questions before making my final decision, and they put me on the phone with one of the deans, who talked to me for about 10 minutes. She said USC does recruitment events in NYC and DC, and that USC placed 14 graduates in NYC last year (100% of the total # who interviewed for a NYC job and wanted one, she said). According to her, USC places very well on the east coast, esp. NYC and DC. Obviously, Fordham would be the safe, practical choice for definite NYC living, but USC has definite appeal...and wouldn't make it impossible for me to move back east...anyway, they offered to extend my deposit date to Monday (I didn't have to ask for the extension), and are putting me in contact with a student who chose USC over Fordham last year (This was brought up before I mentioned that Fordham was my other school)..overall, exceptionally nice Admissions Office. I was impressed.
The area gets a bad rap but it is perfectly safe because so many students live in the area; Unless you start driving south of 35th street to practice your gang signs, tough guy stare and crip walk, you'll be perfectly fine.
Whatever faults the area has are more than made up for by the campus. It is fantastic. The first time I went there it took my breath away. Many many places to study, sit by one of the 20+ fountains and relax, or sit on a park bench and admire the fresh flowers. USC spends over a million a year on landscaping alone, and it shows.
Throw away your shoes, socks, pants, heavy coat, mittens, ear muffs and buy a pair of sandals/flip-flips/slippers or whatever you like call them.
I wish I could go back in time and do it all over again.