I personally just wouldn't pick a program that isn't any better but is in the middle of nowhere when I can live right next to Chicago and go to a school with better social life instead.
Who gave you the idea that Cornell's social life ain't vibrant. Cornell's got a campus which is larger and more beautiful than NU. There 700 odd clubs and organistaions, Reasearch in every field and a vibrant clubbing scenario too. Having over 13000 othe UGs makes findings friends of ur like easy. If you call that a poor social scene, may god help you. As for being in the middle of nowhere...Cornell students don't need to leave campus for fun, they have all
they want on-campus...u don't need to travel 10miles for recreation.