Well, were you admitted to CU? Because in the end all of this could be for nothing. The decision could ultimately be made for you.
Coming from out of state... I'd probably go to CU over DU. I have yet to be offered a scholarship from DU, and I don't expect to be offered one (if by some chance I am, that'd change my whole view on things) As it is it's hard enough to seriously going to Denver over one of my own state universities, both of which are at least 20 spots higher in the rankings.
Once you live in Colorado for a year, you're able to pay in-state tuition for the second and third years at CU. The DU scholarship has a 3.0 requirement, as you said. Now, I think that'd be great motivation to work hard and not allow yourself to slip (not you in particular, but anyone) But there's definitely more security in the CU in-state tuition for second and third years.
Beyond that... CU's class is much smaller than DU's... I'm assuming that being ranked 36 over 77 entails that the school does enjoy some deal of greater prestige. That's not to say DU is a bad school, it may mean DU is a great school but CU is just better.
DU looks awesome. So does CU. You have to worry about a wife and kids, so you may have to choose the cheapest option (which would be DU, if you can keep the scholarship) plus wherever you would deem a better place for your family to live for the next three years. I don't know much about Denver or Boulder (besides the fact that I wouldn't mind living in either city) but I'd assume that, being a huge city, Denver would have greater options for your family.
Anyway, as I said, this could all be a moot point. It's all pending on your acceptance to CU. I hope I, too, have to make such a decision. Best of luck!
Agreed. I think that for people who want to practice in Denver there is a whole different issue in regards to your talk about schools in your home state. If you wanted to practice in Denver I think going to one of the higher ranked schools in your home state would be a poor choice. So DU does get the nod because of its regional appeal, and it DOES have it, over T2 schools in other states.
Like I mentioned previously, I think the only advantage to CU, in regards to prestige, is that you can seemingly rank lower in your class and still get a great job. But, common sense would say that you can rank higher in your class at DU than CU.
I just don't see much of a reason to hold one school much higher than the other, especially if CU is 20,000 more expensive.
And yes, this assumes that I would be getting accepted. And yes, it is possible (maybe likely 3.42/162), that I won't get accepted. But clearly I am trying to plan like I am accepted to both and if I am not I will go to Denver. So I don't really see the need to point that out. About 90% of this site is probably speculation about acceptances and decisions anyway. I hope you get into both though, just for the record