« on: March 08, 2005, 02:24:43 AM »
God I'm facing the exact same dilemma. Well I'm also throwing Loyola into the mix. I love Northeastern too, with the co ops and the whole environment, but after you get into a better ranked school it's really hard to wonder if you're not throwing away a real opportunity. Some people have told me that ranking after a certain point down doesn't really matter, i.e. the difference between about 50 and about 75 is almost indistinguishable. Sort of like is Harvard really better than Stanford? Some would say yes, but I doubt an employer would really rank one above another.
There are few reasons I'm really hesitating about going to American. To start with the cost and standard of living aren't going to be great. It's in a really exspensive neighborhood that it's doubtful you'll find anything affordable in, so you'll have to commute. There is virtually no parking and the parking there is, is exspensive. And I heard somewhere it's like a mile walk to the actually school. Public transport is ok, but you still have to get a shuttle to the school so it's a better, but not great option. I've also heard that American is perpetually in the shadow of Georgetown and GW. Unlike Northeastern that is sort of unique in its own right and gives you opportunities other schools don't (although I'm not denying reputation goes a long way). American is also extremely liberal, I'm very liberal also, but I've heard its to an extreme.
I think if you want to go into a field that is well ranked at American go there, but if you don't really know, NE will give you 4 chances to figure it out and make a lot of contacts in the process, which will probably get you a lot farther with that first job, if your smart, that ranking alone.
Basically I'm kind of bashing American, but it's still a real option for me. I'm visiting both schools in early april for their accepted student open houses, so I'm hoping that will clear some things up.