Backstory in the post - which school would you choose?


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MemeLord
Feb 21, 2018
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In this criteria, I'd pick the school that has the easiest commuting to.
Yah, I am not a fan of traffic and hate drives longer than 30 minutes. Is that possible at SB? Short commutes to live within the area of campus?
 
Oct 13, 2018
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With Feinberg/northern Chicago, is it feasible to live a few miles out at COA and commute via transit?
I’m from the Chicago suburbs (Western) and went to undergrad at NU (undergrad campus is in Evanston). You could actually live in Evanston and take the NU intercampus shuttle to and from the Chicago campus (it’s free and only for people with an NU ID). Evanston is very family friendly and is also accessible from downtown by the El. For convenience sake, I wouldn’t live anywhere outside of the range of the El or you’ll be taking buses and trains on a daily commute. The wealthy suburbs closest to the city are gonna be really expensive (Hinsdale, Elmhurst, etc.) and not El accessible (you could take the Metra train into Chicago and then a CTA bus to campus), but the public schools would be top notch. Your best bet within Chicago would be Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Bucktown, etc. I have no idea how the public schools are there though.

On a totally separate note, Feinberg has one of the youngest classes by avg. matriculant age. There are a lot of feeder programs from NU undergrad and there were a lot of students coming “straight through” from other undergrads, this was noticeable to me at Second Look. I don’t know if that would bother you, but you may not have a lot of classmates (or even older students who have navigated this before) trying to find more family friendly & affordable places to live.
 
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MemeLord
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Your best bet within Chicago would be Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Bucktown, etc. I have no idea how the public schools are there though.
From what I found, thoseareas are around 4 miles north of Feinberg and have good public schools - although I am finding contradictory information about affordability? Are those going to be the expensive type areas?
Evanston is very family friendly and is also accessible from downtown by the El.
Google maps tells me that is like an hour long ride for 12 miles - that sounds like too much, is that accurate?
On a totally separate note, Feinberg has one of the youngest classes by avg. matriculant age. There are a lot of feeder programs from NU undergrad and there were a lot of students coming “straight through” from other undergrads, this was noticeable to me at Second Look. I don’t know if that would bother you, but you may not have a lot of classmates (or even older students who have navigated this before) trying to find more family friendly & affordable places to live
I saw those programs on thir website. It is something like 40 students go straight on through (which is insane) but the age gap wouldn't necessarily bother me. It looks like they have a student services coordinator for students with families, so if I do end up applying there she would b=probably be a good resource for me. And y'all are helping me decide if I even do want to apply there, so thank you!
 
Oct 13, 2018
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From what I found, thoseareas are around 4 miles north of Feinberg and have good public schools - although I am finding contradictory information about affordability? Are those going to be the expensive type areas?
Google maps tells me that is like an hour long ride for 12 miles - that sounds like too much, is that accurate?
I saw those programs on thir website. It is something like 40 students go straight on through (which is insane) but the age gap wouldn't necessarily bother me. It looks like they have a student services coordinator for students with families, so if I do end up applying there she would b=probably be a good resource for me. And y'all are helping me decide if I even do want to apply there, so thank you!
Those areas in the city would be more affordable than Gold Coast/Streeterville where the medical school is (those lake views aren’t free!), but it’s still Chicago so it’ll still be somewhat pricy. They were the areas recommended to me by students and the fin aid office when I was considering going to Feinberg and wanted to save a buck on rent!

An hour is a good estimate if you’re going during rush hour. If it’s off-peak time, you can do it in 30-40 minutes depending where in Evanston you get off. It also has one stop at Loyola’s undergrad campus which is closer to the city than Evanston.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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You can get COA increases to cover costs associated with dependents. Your kids count as dependents and thus would qualify. You could easily ask for an increase in loan money to cover rent at some of these places as it would be an increase to help with dependents.
 

LizzyM

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With Feinberg/northern Chicago, is it feasible to live a few miles out at COA and commute via transit?
Yes it is possible to live a few miles north (Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, DePaul, Wrigleyville) , or south (South Loop) and take the Red Line suway to within a few blocks of campus. Students pay a mandatory fee (about $400/year) for a bus/subway ("L") pass. Ventra / CTA U-Pass: MD Education: Feinberg School of Medicine: Northwestern University

With Google maps you can enter two addresses, select the bus icon (rather than car or pedestrian) and get suggested routes and estimated trip duration. I use it in every city I visit.
 

LizzyM

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I see good public schools in these areas. Are they more affordable than downtown Chicago?
Most likely, yes. In large part it depends on the age (and height) of the building and amenities (doorman buildings will be more, on site parking will be more, up-dated kitchens will be more expensive than those that haven't been updated, in-unit washer/dryer > laundry room > laundromat down the block)

Do pay attention to admission requirements for public schools. Some are neighborhood schools, but some have selective enrollment and are harder to get into than medical school, particularly if you don't have an older sibling in the school.
 
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MemeLord
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Most likely, yes. In large part it depends on the age (and height) of the building and amenities (doorman buildings will be more, on site parking will be more, up-dated kitchens will be more expensive than those that haven't been updated, in-unit washer/dryer > laundry room > laundromat down the block)

Do pay attention to admission requirements for public schools. Some are neighborhood schools, but some have selective enrollment and are harder to get into than medical school, particularly if you don't have an older sibling in the school.
Yah, it is unfortunate- looking in to schools all of the ones that are like “wow, how is this fantastic school in this terrible neighborhood!?” Come to find out it is a magnet school.

But definitely will further delve in to. Looks like NW can stay on my list, I just won’t be walking to school :(
 

gonnif

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Yah, I am not a fan of traffic and hate drives longer than 30 minutes. Is that possible at SB? Short commutes to live within the area of campus?
If you live on campus apartments, little to no commute. Off campus can be close but I do not know how expensive to rent/buy house
 
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MemeLord
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If you live on campus apartments, little to no commute. Off campus can be close but I do not know how expensive to rent/buy house
Do you happen to know how dispersed their clinical sites are?
 

capriccio

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Honestly, the burbs are city enough for me. Would you recommend stonybrook over any of my other schools of equivalent or lower caliber (as far as both area and the med school itself) - Cincinnati, Creighton, Ohio state, Pitt, UCLA, UMich, UWisconsin, Dartmouth, WestMich
Will also second the other poster saying that UW is amazing (biased bc I went to undergrad here) and Madison is a very nice place for a family. Lived there for 4 years, and it's a good mix of suburb with a little more excitement, along with low COL and good safety. Although I don't have personal experience with the public schools there, the university itself tends to engage a lot with local schools and communities via volunteering and events. There will be a lot of fun educational events that the university offers for the community regularly if you are looking for ways to enrich your kid's educational experience outside of the classroom as well.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Don't know much about local schools or anything but I am a student at Einstein and I would say our school probably is a lot more family-oriented than most and there are a lot of families with young kids in student housing. So if you're looking for a community of families, that might be something to consider.

I grew up in the woods and don't know much about raising kids in a city but this part of the Bronx isn't bad. It's safe and residential.
 
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MemeLord
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Don't know much about local schools or anything but I am a student at Einstein and I would say our school probably is a lot more family-oriented than most and there are a lot of families with young kids in student housing. So if you're looking for a community of families, that might be something to consider.

I grew up in the woods and don't know much about raising kids in a city but this part of the Bronx isn't bad. It's safe and residential.
Thank you for your feedback. The general consensus I have picked up about Einstein is the school is great, the community/housing is great for families, but that the surrounding neighborhood itself is not the best.
 

Dr.Toboggan

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I've also been seriously looking into COL when making my school list (no kids, but I have a large breed, special needs/anxiety/stranger aggression dog so dorm style/student housing is out).

Unlike you though, I would prefer NOT living in a "big city", I'd be much happier in a small/mid sized city or suburbs or small town. Even if I didn't have pets, I don't think I'd have applied to the NYC schools, that's just a dealbreaker for me having to live there. I'd also prefer to stay generally in the midwest/south area, so I haven't looked too closely into some of the mid tier options too far outside of that area.

So anyway, I'm not sure if these are exactly the kinds of areas you're looking for (and I have no idea about school systems for your kids) but some high-tier schools I've found in what I consider fairly big or medium sized cities with good COL allowance and affordable housing are:

Vanderbilt (Nashville)
Baylor (Houston)
Emory (Atlanta)
Case (Cleveland)

somewhat lower COL allowance and/or not as (personally) stoked about the location:

U Pitt
U Cinci
Ohio State (Columbus)
Mayo (Rochester, MN - no idea really what this location is like except cold as F winters)

I also saw an earlier reply mentioned that you should be able to get COL increases for dependents. Not having (human) dependents I have no idea how that process works, but if so it could give you some breathing room if you're really set on living in one of the bigger/more $$$ cities.
 
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MemeLord
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I've also been seriously looking into COL when making my school list (no kids, but I have a large breed, special needs/anxiety/stranger aggression dog so dorm style/student housing is out).

Unlike you though, I would prefer NOT living in a "big city", I'd be much happier in a small/mid sized city or suburbs or small town. Even if I didn't have pets, I don't think I'd have applied to the NYC schools, that's just a dealbreaker for me having to live there. I'd also prefer to stay generally in the midwest/south area, so I haven't looked too closely into some of the mid tier options too far outside of that area.

So anyway, I'm not sure if these are exactly the kinds of areas you're looking for (and I have no idea about school systems for your kids) but some high-tier schools I've found in what I consider fairly big or medium sized cities with good COL allowance and affordable housing are:

Vanderbilt (Nashville)
Baylor (Houston)
Emory (Atlanta)
Case (Cleveland)

somewhat lower COL allowance and/or not as (personally) stoked about the location:

U Pitt
U Cinci
Ohio State (Columbus)
Mayo (Rochester, MN - no idea really what this location is like except cold as F winters)

I also saw an earlier reply mentioned that you should be able to get COL increases for dependents. Not having (human) dependents I have no idea how that process works, but if so it could give you some breathing room if you're really set on living in one of the bigger/more $$$ cities.
Thanks for the feedback on some schools. I don’t actually want to live in the city or at least I don’t know if I want to live in the city, I just want to have a couple of schools on my list that are in bigger cities. Neither my wife or I have lived in a city larger than Seattle or San Antonio, and those really aren’t that big in reference to the other place. Most of my schools are in rural or mid west type areas or Larger cities that are like city feel such as Boston or Los Angeles. Where they are not dense urban type areas. I just wanted to add a couple of schools on to my list that are in the city just to see if I get an interview there if it would be something that we would like because since we’ve never lived in a city and we’re both still in our early 20s that may be a unique life experience. And it’s looking like both of the schools in big cities that I’m gonna be applying to will be in Chicago.
 
Jan 12, 2019
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I can apply wherever I want which I didn’t anticipate lol hence why I have like 8 posts in the last week about school lists, because I don’t know any part of the US very well except for WA, TX and OK o_O
How strong are your connections with TX?

I ask because Baylor seems good for you. Tuition is very low.
 
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MemeLord
Feb 21, 2018
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How strong are your connections with TX?

I ask because Baylor seems good for you. Tuition is very low.
Not at all, stationed there for 6ish months otherwise Baylor would be on there.
 

Dr.Toboggan

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I just wanted to add a couple of schools on to my list that are in the city just to see if I get an interview there if it would be something that we would like because since we’ve never lived in a city and we’re both still in our early 20s that may be a unique life experience. And it’s looking like both of the schools in big cities that I’m gonna be applying to will be in Chicago.
Yeah that's understandable, might as well shoot your shot. I kinda wish living somewhere like NYC sounded even remotely desirable to me, cuz there's so many great schools there. I'm applying to Chicago too (despite its size, that was as far as I could compromise lol), never been but it seems like it would still give you that big city feel while being a bit more affordable.
 
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Oct 15, 2018
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With Feinberg/northern Chicago, is it feasible to live a few miles out at COA and commute via transit?
Would you consider the Manhattan schools while living in another borough? Some boroughs have areas with nice, cheap housing. Staten Island is like a mini-suburb with nice schools, with cheap rent in many areas (if you’re not looking to buy a house). The commute is about an hour to Manhattan, though.
 
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MemeLord
Feb 21, 2018
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Would you consider the Manhattan schools while living in another borough? Some boroughs have areas with nice, cheap housing. Staten Island is like a mini-suburb with nice schools, with cheap rent in many areas (if you’re not looking to buy a house). The commute is about an hour to Manhattan, though.
No, more time commuting yields less time with family.
 
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LizzyM

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Google maps tells me that is like an hour long ride for 12 miles - that sounds like too much, is that accurate?
In big city traffic with a bus that stops every two blocks to drop off/pick up, yes, an average of 12 miles per hour is about right. Maybe even quick.
 
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MemeLord
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In big city traffic with a bus that stops every two blocks to drop off/pick up, yes, an average of 12 miles per hour is about right. Maybe even quick.
Righteous. Might as well just get an electric bike...Or live at the 4 or 5 mile marker as opposed to 12. Someone recommended to me looking in to the "E1" IDK if that is a train or a streetcar, but def. This all sounds like Chicago schools (UChicago and Northwestern) will be/could be my "big city schools" with a little bit of planning.

Again, righteous. Thanks all!
 
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MemeLord
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Stony brook and hofstra are not in the city at all. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
For me from a town of 200,000 where "Suburbs" aren't a thing and 10 minutes in every direction from downtown is nature....Anywhere that you can drive an hour continuously without passing a farm is the city
 

txplcoord

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For me from a town of 200,000 where "Suburbs" aren't a thing and 10 minutes in every direction from downtown is nature....Anywhere that you can drive an hour continuously without passing a farm is the city
If that definition works for you then it works for you, but it doesn't make them urban or city schools...they're still suburbs. They're just not rural. If that's your definition of city, there are plenty of other choices to add.
 
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Not at all, stationed there for 6ish months otherwise Baylor would be on there.
With your stats you might get some love at Baylor even as an OOS with minimal ties. Also, don't have kids and all that but the area around Baylor and TMC seems very family friendly.
 
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MemeLord
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With your stats you might get some love at Baylor even as an OOS with minimal ties. Also, don't have kids and all that but the area around Baylor and TMC seems very family friendly.
I JUST finalized my school list yesterday at 20 schools....Don't be tempting me in to second guesses.
 
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Oct 17, 2017
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I JUST finalized my school list yesterday at 20 schools....Don't be tempting me in to second guesses.
Alright. Alright. Lol good luck to you sir. I have no doubt that you'll find the best place for you and your family.
 
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LizzyM

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Someone recommended to me looking in to the "E1" IDK if that is a train or a streetcar...
The "El" or "EL" or "L" is what Chicagoans call the light rail that is elevated in some sections, and ground level in some areas and underground (subway) in others. In NY it is called the subway, even if it runs above ground as it does in some parts of Queens and The Bronx.
 
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MemeLord
Feb 21, 2018
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The "El" or "EL" or "L" is what Chicagoans call the light rail that is elevated in some sections, and ground level in some areas and underground (subway) in others. In NY it is called the subway, even if it runs above ground as it does in some parts of Queens and The Bronx.
AH it is an L. That is why googling "Chicago E1 line" yielded no results. Gracias!
 
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