Hi all, I am currently deciding between two schools for my PhD. One is a very highly ranked, top 10 school. The other is not nearly as prestigious, but it happens to be very close to where I live and work. The more prestigious school is about a 1.5 hour drive. Attending classes there will be difficult, as I'll have to drive 1.5 hours down in the mornings for class and then drive 1.5 hours back for work. It is workable, though. There are no courses offered online from the prestigious school, so I pretty much have to be present. I would consider moving closer to the school at some point in the future, but I cannot break my lease now. My question is: At the PhD level, is prestige really such a huge factor? Is it worth the sacrifice of driving 3 hours a couple times a week? I should mention that I am currently enrolled at the more prestigious school. The first course I'm planning on taking is at 8:55 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In order to get there, I'll have to leave my apartment at 7 AM. The class ends at ~10:30 AM, and then I'll drive back to work, arriving at roughly 12 AM. That is not terrible, but it could get to be a pain when I have exams, HWs due, and lots going on at "real" work. I might have to make up work hours late during the week or on weekends. My field is Aerospace Engineering and I do not have any plans of working in academia. I am happily employed by an aerospace company and I'd like to stay in industry. I understand that for people who want to head into academia prestige is an important factor -- but what about folks in industry who just want to delve deeper into their field? My current plan is to try one course for a semester and see how rough it is for me. I keep going back and forth on this issue and I'd love to hear some of your opinions. Especially if you've had a similar experience.