(For completeness: I was turned down by Stanford,
So. Which grad school should I pick? Bearing in mind that my main interests are in ethics and political philosophy, but with side interests in metaphysics and, well, pretty much everything...
All of these schools have pretty great faculty [PGR top 15] and placement records, so I assume none can be ruled out on those grounds. I guess it then comes down to more subtle differences: which offer a more collegial atmosphere, a friendly student environment, quality teaching and supervisor support, etc.? In short, where would be the most enjoyable and rewarding place for me to study over the next five years?
Or is there a big difference between the top 5 and, say, UNC or Arizona? Is the prestige of an Ivy especially valuable? (Might it, for example, help my efforts outside of academia, if I wanted to become a public intellectual or influence policy-makers, etc.? Or would the first-hand experience of public philosophy offered by UNC actually be more valuable? Do the more prestigous private universities offer anything comparable?)
(I also note Leiter's assessment that NYU could become "the top department by a wide margin", if all five of its recent faculty offers are accepted. One has been already.)
I'll hopefully get a better feel for it all when I visit each campus later this month. But in the meantime, any comments/advice welcome. Sensitive information may instead be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org -- at a time when all the schools are putting on their best appearances, it would be helpful to hear of any negative experiences too, in addition to the good. Thanks in advance!