I am faced with the decision of choosing between two schools.

School #1 is geographically located where I would like to eventually live. It is a smaller program. Clinical sites have no anesthesia resident competition and some are 100% CRNA-run facilities. Students and instructors report lots of experience in central lines, epidurals, nerve blocks, etc. Board pass rate is 100%. Employment rate 6 months post-graduation is 100%. I have spoken and emailed with many current and former students of the program and they all felt well supported and highly recommended the program. School #1 is a newish program (<12 years).

School #2 is located where I currently live. It is a well-known program and highly ranked (in the debatable US News and World Report rankings). There are more students per class than School #1; though current and former students of this program feel well-supported. Board pass rate and employment rates are also 100%. With the exception of several sites, the majority of clinical sites have competition with anesthesia residents. Clinical sites are spread much wider and require being gone for whole clinical rotations. Tuition and fees for School #2 are 3x the cost of School #1.

I'm married with 2 young kids. My wife is from the area of where School #1 is located so she's happy to move back there. She has been actively looking for jobs and has had several recent interviews. Since we plan to eventually move to School #1ís area, regardless of where I go to school, we feel that moving while the kids are younger might be better for them in handling the transition to new schools, friends, etc. Above all, I am more excited about program #1. I like the instructors I've met and the students have all reported being well prepared for practice as a CRNA. Experienced CRNA's Iíve shadowed, who did not graduate from School #1ís program, have spoken very highly of the skills and abilities of School #1ís newly graduated CRNAs. Also, I feel that networking for a job in School #1ís area will be more productive after having had clinical experience in the areaís hospitals.

Is it worth paying 3x more for School #2ís name and recognition (after a great deal of due diligence, Iím not convinced I would get a superior education and experiences at School #2)? Beyond getting my first job out of school, does the anesthesia school I attend affect my job prospects later on in my career (all other things being equal)?

Sorry for the long post. Thank you for reading and sharing any thoughts, insights, or experiences.