should I expect the same for northwestern?
I've never been to chicago, so I don't know a whole lot. but I've heard that uchicago is in the ghetto and nu is in the nicer part of chicago. does that make a difference in social scenes?
3 months later . . . .
First off, I went to UVA undergrad and my wife is a PhD candidate at UChicago (I also lived in the close-in DC burbs for 3 and 1/2 years after undergrad. The U of C scene is not fun - there are 3 bars, all of which are pretty lame and dominated by hard-core intellectuals in thick, dark-rimmed glasses. I've met some really nice people here, but not so fun. I lived in Hyde Park for 9 months; I've been on the North side for a year and a half now, which is much more fun than DC, but it's a serious hike from Hyde Park.
UVA is fun. I was in a Jewish fraternity (ZBT), so we probably had a disproportionate share of New Yorkers, but there was a great friendly north-south rivalry there. Charlottesville is a great mid-sized town with clearly delineated bar scenes for undergrads (the corner) and grads/yuppies (downtown mall). Although it's in rural VA, it's a different world; I grew up in Waynesboro (1/2 hour west of UVA), and THAT town is redneck. UVA law especially is a national school - you won't feel out of place as a southerner.
I'm just hoping I have the UVA option - it's my #1 choice easily over U of C (and I have a couple connections here, so I might have a shot). Good luck - you can't go too wrong.