I just got in EA, so I probably can't answer as well as a student could, but I know why I applied.
Learning for learning's sake / not grade-grubby
Quarter system > semester system
Awesome, awesome course offerings
Good size (4,900- you may or may not think this is a pro)
Seminar style classes, I believe
Extensive core curriculum (pro for me, con for some)
Fun doesn't really die.
Really cool study abroad options.
Chicago? Scav hunt? Other miscellaneous factors?
Cold and snow are one thing, but wind... wind is bad. And the ideal me isn't grade-grubby at all. But the real me sometimes says to the ideal me, "That's nice. Now go get an A so that you can get into grad school." So I understand...
RE: comparison to the other high-end schools, it's just as good academically (possibly even more so), and will likely be worth about as much of the resume boost by the time people applying this year graduate, what with the steps they've been taking to muscle up higher into the (moronic) USNW rankings.
EDIT: Hell, I'd actually say it's better than Cornell.
Thanks srrinath, I know I need high LSAT scores but a high GPA is also really important. LSATs I can work on later; GPA I'd rather not screw up by choosing a reaaaally hard undergrad.
And if we're talking USNAWR, Chicago's "way better than Cornell", according to my Asian father who reads USNAWR as the bible >_> Though personally, I would refrain from comparing the two; Cornell = huge uni in the middle of nowhere, upstate NY, and Chicago = much smaller in CHICAGO, lol, though I guess the weather's comparable.
Awesome classes, faculty, Core, etc.
Lovely, if cartoonish, campus
Grad students all about
$1 shakes every Wednesday
The study abroad is pretty sweet
Likewise the campus size
Grading's not actually that bad, in my experience
Likin' the dorms
Sort of secluded location (not very urban)
The bone-shaking, boot-soaking cold
liek so conservative omg
Weak name recognition
Not super fratty, if you're into that (me, not so much)
I think people stress the super-harsh grading more than they should. Maybe I've just been lucky, but it's not so bad. There's just not much room for coasting. Anyway, it's a cool place. Check it oooouuuuuut.
Why does Chicago have a rather weak name recognition? For me it doesn't matter, but when I tell people what school I want to go to (haha now I have to change that to what school I am going to) they don't really know the university. Only highly educated people seem to understand Chicago's unique prestige.
For having such a legendary Business/Economics school, it really should have wider name recognition. Probably because of the lack of sports, which is the only thing the vulgar commoners recognize :P Though it's not like Stanford/Caltech/MIT have big sports teams. Or any, for that matter (though I could be wrong, the only sport I follow is tennis lol). Northwestern and Wash U are also quite lacking in name recognition. Hmm...