This post comes down to this fundamental question: can prestige of an undergrad school justify debt?
I'm choosing between Claremont McKenna, and a full ride from UIC (state school in Chicago). I would have to pay for room and board at CMC, which would total around $16,000-$20,000 a year. UIC would probably only amount to about $2,000 a year in costs.
The latter option seems like the safer choice, but I can't imagine passing up on an opportunity like CMC, especially since they seem to have strong ties to many employers that UIC doesn't seem to have (also has access to Silicon Valley) Although I'm not certain what field I'd like to go into, I like economics and the environment, and CMC seems to have huge strengths in those areas.
If anyone can offer some anecdotal advice on student debt, that would be appreciated.