UPDATE: after some negotiating, it now turns out Pitt will cost $6k/year less than Penn State. I went to visit both schools, and came away thinking Pitt was a dump (decent city though) while PSUs brand new building was great. I'm not wild about living/working/school in western PA for the near future, but $18,000 over 3 years sounds like a lot of money. Leaning towards Penn State at the moment but open to suggestions.
estimating the cost of living over 3 years, my total debt for PSU would be approx. 95-110K vs. 80-95K for Pitt. run those #s through a loan calculator and PSU would end up costing me about an extra $150 per month when I'm paying off my student loans.