I think the best reason for choosing one over the other is location. Do you want to be near Atlanta or in downtown Chicago?Which one is better? Emory or Northwestern?
They're both equally ranked. Is there a legitimate reason for choosing one over the other? (maybe given the money is the same)
chicago also has nice comfortable summers versus atlanta's very hot humid summers.The relative strengths and weaknesses of academia-related issues between these institutions have been laid out already. I offer another perspective -- the weather. I grew up in Atlanta, moved to Chicago for undergrad, and am matriculating at Emory this Fall. For the student who is unsure: Chicago winters are no joke. They are cold. Really cold. And they are loooong. Take today as an example. It's nearly the end of April, and the high downtown will barely get above 50 (w/ the lake having a cooling effect as it often does). Atlanta -- 80s all week. The weather in Chicago is dicey from October to May. Atlanta? Cool weather sure from November - February. But come Masters weekend you can count on comfortable conditions for the next 6 months. Not so in Chi. Chicago is an awesome town, much more opportunity for finding a good time than Atlanta, but with it comes a brutal winter season that will test anyone's resolve. Good luck w/ your decision and congrats on acceptance to both schools.