Help deciding between two CRNA schools


Hello everyone,

I have been accepted into two CRNA schools and have had a very hard time making a decision. There are pros and cons to both so I was hoping someone might have some helpful insight/advice.

One of the schools is ranked as a top ten school but if I'm being honest I am not sure what they were going based on for the ranking. I do know they have a very low attrition rate and a 100% first-time pass rating for the board exam. This school happens to be in a great location with lots to do but is very expensive. Although I have saved up over $100 grand, I would still most likely finish with $150-200k worth of debt. I know a lot of people say they are able to pay it off fairly quickly but it would also be nice to graduate with very minimal if any debt as would be my case with the other university. 
The first school has amazing faculty who really seem to care about their students and they seem to have big hospitals in the area for clinical sites. This program also seems to be structured in a way that gives you an allotted time in each specialty during clinical ex. 1 month in cardiac 1 in OB. I am not sure if having random specialty exposure would make a difference or not in learning. The other school you get your specialty hours in where you can get them. 

The second school has a low tuition rate I would be able to pay off without taking almost any loans. This school is also close to home and so my social support system would include my family and close friends living there. I could also live at home for some of the program and save some money as well as have more time to invest in studies without the added stress of paying bills and rent. This school would, however, require me to travel to different states in order to obtain most regional hours and practice at CRNA independent facilities, but I would not mind that. They also have a very low attrition rate but not as good of a first-time pass rate for the board exam although it is over 85%. 

I think attending the first school would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am sure I would be able to make friends along the way,  but it would come with a lot of debt and most likely a heavy weight of stress accumulated from school studies, exams, etc. the second school seems like the most logical option in terms of location, support, and finances, but I am not sure if I would come out able to practice as confidently independent as I would were I to attend the first school. 

I have heard that all CRNA schools are hard and all will teach you practically the same things and it is what you put into it. I can't help but feel a pull to the first school because of how good a school it seems to be, the reputation it comes with, as well as the support offered by the faculty including the director. They seem to handcraft great quality CRNAS that are independent. I just am not sure if logically it would be the best option if I can still come out doing the same career just as well with the time I would save being able to invest in studying and perhaps follow more opportunities that arise in school since I would not have to worry about living arrangements/food/ and also finish with no debt and being close to family and friends during this challenging time. 

Both are good schools which makes this harder.

Has anyone been in a similar position before or have any advice? 

Thoughts are appreciated!

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care. Has 11 years experience.

I know nothing of CRNA schools, but one thing about NP school is getting clinical hours. Do either of the schools set you up with clinicals or are you on your own for them?