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Re: What programs should I apply for? (near Chicago)
It depends on your definition of "near". If you mean the immediate Chicago metro area, you have two top 10 programs, UChicago and Northwestern as well as the B-school Econ PhD programs at those schools, and one top 75 school, University of Illinois - Chicago. I am not sure if Nothern Illinois U is commutable to and from Chicago, but it is definitely outside the top 100 and if you are a top 5% student from Wuhan you should be able to get into someplace much better so I don't think you should apply there.
If by near, you mean someplace within a 2-3 hour drive that would also include UW Madison (top 15), UW-Milwaukee (top100) UIUC (top 30), Purdue B-school (Krannert, I think it is top 50ish), and Notre Dame (They are a relatively new program, but I think they are top 75, maybe top 50).
As someone who was regionally limited when I applied, your personal reasons should be extremely strong to limit yourself that severely. In my case, I am married with kids and my wife has decent job, so I limited myself to schools that were commutable from where I live. If I had not gotten in somewhere, then I would have considered applying more widely next cycle, but I got into a school I was happy with, so it was not relevant. But a much weaker reason (i.e. your girlfriend of two months is in grad school there, or having a sibling who lives in the area) should not stop you from applying more broadly to schools that are a good fit.