Thanks for the info, and for the encouraging words haha. It is quite rough, but I knew the risks going in, and am fully prepared to reapply another year! I did live in Seattle in University District for a year and a half, and wanted to say rents are quite a bit lower now than they were just a year ago. Walking distance from the university, you should be able to get a studio for about $1200/mo or a 1 bed for $1600, if you try to get a larger place like a house with other students, that will be even cheaper around $850-$900/mo. There is a big UW housing group on Facebook, you should check it out! Good luck with this difficult (but exciting!) choice!
I was accepted at both UCI and UW (ultimately declined both offers). I would have preferred UCI for a few reasons. I got the sense that UCI has a pretty positive department culture (and I think this is broadly part of their reputation). Didn't get that same sense from UCI. Also, it seemed like UCI's finances were in better shape than UW's. UCI also takes care of housing concerns.
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