I don't think they will turn down a qualified candidate solely because he/she did not interviw, but I do believe having a good interview will GREATLY improve your chances.
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Soft Factors: decent -- student job, leadership role in small organization, etc.
Any idea on the amount of money (if any) that I would get from OSU?
Incomplete list of [slightly reach-esque] schools likely for application:
In an unrelated note, do the interview. Otherwise, there is virtually no chance of you being admitted.
is this true? any links?
Self-selection. People at those schools generally choose to stay in their area. Duke and Mich grads are more likely to move around because they aren't in a major market.
i could be wrong but it sounds like those of us who are not going to T6+ schools are pretty much screwed.