I teach culinary arts at the high school level. I have had students go to JW and to CIA, and it all comes down to; you get out what you put in. CIA has the reputation, but if you are not planning on working in a big city, in a very large corporate setting, or teaching, the CIA rep will do little for you and may actually hinder your chances at a job. Imagine a hard working very talented executive chef who learned most of it on the job over 25 years thinking about hiring a CIA grad who "knows it all" after a few years in class. I'm not sure the CIA on your jacket would do you much good. But, the students of mine who have gone to CIA have received an excellent culinary education! JW has the reputation as the "other" school, but they are just as good in my view. I agree that the location is probably your best way of choosing, along with cost CIA is more $$. Good Luck!
We have done so much with so little for so long, we can now do almost anything with almost nothing. Dave Marcis