First off, my supervisor has connections at both, albeit under different forms: my supervisor postdocked at Ohio State, while he personally knows a professor at WUSTL and another research collaborator I worked with and that writes me a LOR knows another professor at WUSTL (connections at WUSTL: Alford and Bender respectively). As for Notre Dame, Mathews seemed to be enthusiastic about me and my interest in very early universe (inflation more precisely). An article is under preparation (I spent ~1 year on that theoretical particle cosmology project), although probably not submitted on time for applications. For now, though, here is my file, as an international student (not attending a school in China or India) 3.67 cumulative undergraduate GPA (physics GPA: 3.84), 3.80 graduate GPA, V162, Q167, AW4.0, 910 on the physics GRE. So here's my question: would you recommend Ohio State (astro dept because it's the better particle cosmology fit) Notre Dame or WUSTL (although Alford claims to do lattice QCD, he really does quite a bit of things in HEP-TH, including particle cosmology problems) because my budget is stretched to the limit and I think I cannot afford to apply to more than 11.