Vanderbilt vs Northwestern

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TaroBubbleTea

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Hello all, sorry to be posting another one of these comparison threads, but here goes anyway.

I have been fortunate enough to have been accepted to both schools, but I am having trouble making a final choice. My choice is ultimately between Vandy and Northwestern.

I think both schools are great, but I know I like Vanderbilt more. I like Vanderbilt's curriculum more so than Northwestern's PBL heavy curriculum. I also like how Vandy's class is smaller than Northwestern's. However, I do think Northwestern has Vandy beat in terms of location. Also, at Northwestern, I wouldn't need to get a car since I can rely on public transit.

The only thing keeping me from choosing Vandy is the financial aid. I received slightly better aid from Northwestern. After running some estimates, I will take out a total of 154k at Vandy and 141k at Northwestern over 4 years. After taking into account the interest, the amounts balloon to approximately 173k and 159k at graduation for Vandy and Northwestern, respectively.

I adapt to my environment pretty easily, so I think I would be happy at either school. Which school would you guys pick? Is the difference in loans (14k) so negligible that it won't even matter in the long run?

In order to make this post not just about my particular situation, I will also pose a questions: How big of a difference in loans between schools would it take for you to be dissuaded against picking one school over the other? I am curious in what others have to say.

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I'm not a financial advisor, but I say go to Vandy. Unless it's a total toss-up and you like both equally, I would pick the school you like more with a 14k total difference. I know that's a lot of money, but it's on top of a lump sum and I personally think that is worth picking the school you prefer. That differential over four years mean Vandy is only offering you around 3.5k less per year - you could even consider asking their financial aid office if they will match Northwestern's offer. It wouldn't be an exorbitant change to your package, and expressing your genuine concerns might cause them to match (though obviously no guarantees).
 
I'm not a financial advisor, but I say go to Vandy. Unless it's a total toss-up and you like both equally, I would pick the school you like more with a 14k total difference. I know that's a lot of money, but it's on top of a lump sum and I personally think that is worth picking the school you prefer. That differential over four years mean Vandy is only offering you around 3.5k less per year - you could even consider asking their financial aid office if they will match Northwestern's offer. It wouldn't be an exorbitant change to your package, and expressing your genuine concerns might cause them to match (though obviously no guarantees).

I agree with the above. In the end 14k isn't much.
 
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I'm not a financial advisor, but I say go to Vandy. Unless it's a total toss-up and you like both equally, I would pick the school you like more with a 14k total difference. I know that's a lot of money, but it's on top of a lump sum and I personally think that is worth picking the school you prefer. That differential over four years mean Vandy is only offering you around 3.5k less per year - you could even consider asking their financial aid office if they will match Northwestern's offer. It wouldn't be an exorbitant change to your package, and expressing your genuine concerns might cause them to match (though obviously no guarantees).

I've already tried that but unfortunately Vandy won't match Northwestern's scholarship. Northwestern actually gave me quite a bit more in aid, but is offset by the higher cost of living in Chicago and Northwestern's higher tuition.
 
I've already tried that but unfortunately Vandy won't match Northwestern's scholarship. Northwestern actually gave me quite a bit more in aid, but is offset by the higher cost of living in Chicago and Northwestern's higher tuition.

My biased vote is for Vandy. But they are both great schools in great cities. You could honestly flip a coin. Congrats on having such an enviable decision to make.
 
14K is not negligible, especially when you compound interest rates on top of that. You could buy a (cheap) car, but you would not need to in Chicago. Rent has gotten exorbitant near the Vanderbilt medical center. I live 10 min walking distance and my 2BR is 2200/month (shared with fiance). I visited friends at Northwestern and was impressed by the subsidized housing and the awesome city. I am here because of dual/couple reasons, but if you are single, you should experience life along with med school. I had to speak up because the others were biased for Vandy without good reason/support presented.
 
I've already tried that but unfortunately Vandy won't match Northwestern's scholarship. Northwestern actually gave me quite a bit more in aid, but is offset by the higher cost of living in Chicago and Northwestern's higher tuition.
I am accepted into the 7 year med program at Northwestern, and will be in my third year... if I may ask ... what was the scholarship amount that Northwestern awarded, just to see what I might expect when I get into the medical school
 

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