The difference in debt (Case vs. Syracuse) scares me. Assuming that I keep my scholarships for all three years and that tuition stayed the same (I know that it won't), it would cost me $39,900 to go to Case vs. $21,960 to go to Syracuse. And then there's living expenses. So the debt is a big issue for me. I had some credit card debt, and paying that off was awful, so I am very wary about acquiring new debt.
I haven't had the best dealings with the Case admissions office, and that left me with a negative impression. Maybe I have let that influence my decision-making too much.
Why did I pick Syracuse? Many reasons. First of all, I have some ties to Syracuse already. My grandmother lives there, as do various distant cousins etc. My family has a summer place on one of the finger lakes, so I have been going to that general area for years. And it is closer to the rest of my family (in NJ, CT, and the greater Boston area) than Cleveland.
What I saw of Cleveland the city did not impress. In fact, when I was exploring the greater Cleveland area during my visit, I wandered into East Cleveland, which is a horrific area. And it ends only a few blocks from the law school. While I was visiting, I read an article in one of the law school's publications about how the SBA recently acquired 100 parking spots for law students at non-school business in the area. Why did they need those parking spots? Because apparently the lot that law students used to use was closed for construction, and they were forced to walk some distance to a satellite lot in an area that is not-so-safe after dark. And the article said that the school shuttle stops running at 10PM. Hello, isn't is reasonable to assume that some law students may be at the library past 10PM? When I asked about parking at Syracuse, the tour guide said that if you get to campus early, you can get a spot in the lot right across the street from the school. Otherwise you can park in a lot that is down the hill a ways but still on campus.
One other factor I am considering is my BF's potential employment prospects. He is a 3L, and ideally he'll be coming with me to the Syracuse area. We were thinking that he would have better job prospects in the Syracuse area than in the Cleveland area, considering how many law schools there are in northern Ohio.
Another thing that I don't like about Case is the CaseArc program. One year of legal reading & writing seems like enough to me. I'd rather do a clinic, moot court, or externship.
So maybe my decision isn't rational, considering that I am interested in health law and Case has a great program for that and Syracuse only has a few health law classes. But I am really excited to start at Syracuse, and I feel good about my decision. Am I crazy?