I need to go to bed, so I can’t say that much now. BUT… You said: CMC would be “easier to get teacher recs for applying to grad school”.
I am currently a freshman at Yale. I took a lecture course with a top professor in her field, showed genuine interest in the class, and developed a relationship. I asked her to write me a recommendation letter for the most prestigious internship that I can apply for in my field as a freshman. I ended up receiving the internship, which has about a 3% acceptance rate.
If you make an effort at Yale, it is easy to connect with your professors and ask them for letters moving forward. There are a lot of shockingly small lecture/seminar courses with fantastic professors. And yes, the Yale name will help a lot when competing for jobs and internships.
That said, CMC is an amazing school. I really loved it, and was unfortunately wait listed. I decided to take myself off the waiting list because Yale was my dream school (CMC was ironically my dream “realistic” school–I guess I was wrong. I did get into Pomona, haha, which I thought was probably a better intellectual match for me, though I found CMC more appealing for whatever reason.).
I loved the athenaeum at CMC – but Yale has “Master’s teas” which are very similar, and I think in some senses more intimate, because they’re hosted by the college masters in their houses. We can also get fantastic speakers because… we’re Yale. This year, to name a notable few, I’ve seen: YoYo Ma, Sara Bareilles, Jimmy Carter, and Samantha Power, some in intimate settings.
Yale has amazing acceptance rates into law school and med school–around the highest in the country. I assume the same is true for business schools. If you compare the representation by undergraduate institution at top law schools, Yale (and Harvard) reign supreme.
If you work hard at Yale, you should be able to maintain a high GPA, especially if you’re not in the sciences. CMC and Yale have fairly similar students in my opinion, so I think you’ll have to work equally hard at each school.
But basically you can’t go wrong either way – I think both schools are exceptional places, and you’ll be happy no matter what you choose. Feel free to message me or tag me here if you have any follow up questions. Sorry if this post is confusing (I’m tired!).