Ok, so to give a little background I'm an upcoming senior in Ohio really starting to narrow down my college search (or at least trying to). This isn't a chance me post but i'll give you some stats: End of junior year, cumulative 3.54 UW GPA (have taken all honors and the one AP class my school offers), 2050 SAT (1360 CR+M) (will take one more time) and I'm going to be a four year varsity tennis player, am in several clubs, NHS, and have plenty of community service. Basically I think I'm a decent match for the two colleges I'm going to discuss: Wisconsin and Ohio State.
So anyway, I've recently taken in an interest in Wisconsin. I have not visited yet, but I plan to hopefully by the end of this summer, if not by the beginning of the school year. Based off what I've read from blogs, their website, reviews, etc. I'm really drawn in by their engineering and business programs which seem to be top-notch. I also like the liberal area and students (but not so overbearing like schools such as Boulder or Oregon), big sports, apparently beautiful campus surrounded by two lakes, and Madison seems awesome. But the real question is, how does it compare to Ohio State? Are they similar? Would it be worth the extra money coming from out of state? I have visited Ohio State and while I'd be okay with going there, I wasn't in love. The campus is too spread out for me (I'm okay with big campuses I just didn't like how there didn't seem to be one "central" point unless you count the overhyped Oval), Columbus is fun but growing up in Ohio, I've been there quite frequently. Also, while I want a big school I think Ohio State could be TOO big. And lastly, as you can tell by my username I really just want to leave Ohio.
As far as finances, my parents are divorced and I am dependent on my mother, however I still maintain a relationship with my dad. With my mother's income our EFC would be 0 so I would receive some financial aid (I'm aware that public schools don't give much to out of state students, but nonetheless I'd still receive some). My dad who makes 100k a year is expected to help with the remaining costs and I will be expected to take out some loans as well.
But still, would it be worth it? If I visit and love it, would a UW degree be prestigious? Any opinions would be so helpful, both from UW and Ohio State grads.