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Harvard vs College of William and Mary: A Comprehensive Analysis

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a student looking for other colleges

Harvard vs College of William and Mary: A Comprehensive Analysis

Regarding higher education, Harvard and the College of William and Mary are two of the most prestigious institutions in the United States. Both are well-respected for offering enriching academic programs, top-notch faculty, and diverse student bodies. However, each school has unique strengths that set it apart from its counterpart. In this article, we’ll compare Harvard vs College of William and Mary.

Location and Campus Comparison

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University‘s campus spans over 200 acres and features a mix of traditional and modern architecture.

one of the gates in Harvard University

In contrast, the College of William and Mary is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, spread over 1,200 acres with colonial-style red brick buildings and well-maintained gardens.

Harvard’s campus is bustling with student life and extracurricular activities, while the College of William and Mary boasts a more serene and laid-back atmosphere.

Despite the differences in size and atmosphere, Harvard and the College of William and Mary offer students a rich academic experience. Harvard is known for its rigorous academic programs and world-renowned faculty. At the same time, the College of William and Mary is recognized for its strong liberal arts curriculum and emphasis on undergraduate research.

Another notable difference between Harvard vs College of William and Mary is their proximity to major cities. Harvard is just a few miles from Boston, a bustling metropolis with a thriving arts and culture scene.

At the same time, the College of William and Mary is situated in a more rural area, with easy access to the historic city of Williamsburg and the beaches of Virginia Beach.

History of Harvard vs College of William and Mary

Both Harvard and the College of William and Mary have rich histories that date back to the colonial era. Harvard, founded in 1636, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S. The College of William and Mary, founded in 1693, is the country’s second-oldest institution of higher education.

Students at both institutions are immersed in history and tradition, with strong connections to past and present scholars, leaders, and innovators.

Despite their long histories, both institutions have adapted to the changing times and remain at the forefront of education and research. Harvard has produced numerous Nobel laureates, heads of state, and successful entrepreneurs. At the same time, the College of William and Mary has educated four U.S. presidents and many other notable figures in politics, law, and the arts. Both institutions also prioritize community service and have a strong commitment to making a positive impact on society.

Admission Rates and Requirements at Harvard vs College of William and Mary

When it comes to admissions, both schools are highly selective. Harvard, with an acceptance rate of 4.7%, is one of the most difficult schools to get into in the U.S. The College of William and Mary has an acceptance rate of 37%.

However, both schools require exceptional academic performance, strong extracurricular involvement, and outstanding personal qualities to gain admission.

It’s important to note that while acceptance rates are a key factor in the admissions process, they are not the only factor. Both Harvard and the College of William and Mary consider a range of factors when evaluating applicants, including essays, letters of recommendation, and standardized test scores.

Additionally, both schools have a holistic approach to admissions, meaning they consider the whole person and not just their academic achievements. Therefore, applicants need to showcase their unique strengths and experiences in their application materials.

Faculty Comparison and Expertise

Both Harvard and the College of William and Mary are home to renowned faculty members who are experts in their respective fields. Harvard has over 2,400 faculty members, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. The College of William and Mary has approximately 700 faculty members and a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Both institutions offer excellent undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines, with Harvard having an edge in business, law, and medicine and the College of William and Mary excelling in history and public policy.

Harvard’s faculty includes Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and MacArthur Fellows. The university also boasts of having some of the world’s most influential thinkers and scholars, including renowned economist Amartya Sen, philosopher Cornel West, and historian Niall Ferguson.

The College of William and Mary’s faculty includes several Fulbright Scholars, Guggenheim Fellows, and National Endowment for the Humanities awardees. The university also strongly focuses on undergraduate teaching, with faculty members dedicated to providing personalized attention and mentorship to their students.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities at

Harvard vs College of William and Mary

Harvard and the College of William and Mary offer a range of extracurricular activities and opportunities to get involved in campus life. Harvard has over 400 student organizations and is home to many notable alumni, including eight U.S. presidents.

The College of William and Mary has over 400 student organizations as well, but with a more intimate community feel that emphasizes student leadership and involvement.

Both universities also offer a variety of sports teams and clubs for students to participate in. Harvard has a strong athletic program, with 42 varsity teams and a history of success in football, basketball, and rowing. The College of William and Mary also has a competitive athletic program, with 23 varsity teams and a focus on sports such as soccer, tennis, and swimming.

male and female tennis players playing in the court

Additionally, both universities have a thriving arts scene, with opportunities to participate in theater productions, music ensembles, and visual arts clubs.

Sports Programs and Athletic Facilities Harvard vs College of William and Mary

Both schools have outstanding sports programs and facilities. Harvard competes in NCAA Division I athletics and has a strong football, basketball, and ice hockey tradition. The College of William and Mary, a Division I school, has a strong lacrosse, soccer, and swimming reputation. Both institutions offer modern athletic facilities that cater to various sports and recreational activities.

In addition to the traditional sports programs, both Harvard and the College of William and Mary offer unique athletic opportunities. Harvard has a renowned rowing program, with its crew team consistently ranking among the top in the country.

The College of William and Mary has a strong fencing program with several national championship titles. These programs allow students to participate in lesser-known sports and excel in their chosen athletic pursuits.

Tuition Fees, Financial Aid, and Scholarships

As two of the most prestigious institutions in the country, tuition fees at Harvard and the College of William and Mary are relatively high. In the 2020-2021 academic year, tuition and fees at Harvard were $49,653, while the College of William and Mary charged $24,277 for in-state students and $46,854 for out-of-state students.

However, both schools offer generous financial aid and scholarship programs to help students finance their education, with Harvard’s financial aid program being one of the most extensive and generous in the country.

At Harvard, financial aid is awarded on a need-based system, with over 70% of students receiving some form of financial assistance. The university’s financial aid program covers tuition and fees, room and board, books, and other expenses. In addition, Harvard offers a range of scholarships to help students cover the cost of their education.

The College of William and Mary also offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship programs to help students pay for their education. The college’s financial aid program is need-based, and the college meets 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted students.

In addition, the college offers a range of merit-based scholarships, including the prestigious William and Mary Scholars Program, which provides full tuition and fees, room and board, and a stipend for research and travel.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered at

Harvard vs College of William and Mary

Both Harvard and the College of William and Mary offer diverse academic programs and majors across various fields of study.

At Harvard, students can choose from over 50 undergraduate concentrations and over 100 graduate programs. The College of William and Mary offers over 40 undergraduate majors and minors, with graduate programs in fields such as education, business, and law.

business students brainstorming

Additionally, Harvard offers several interdisciplinary programs, allowing students to combine multiple fields of study. These include neuroscience, environmental science and public policy programs, and computer science and linguistics. The College of William and Mary also offers interdisciplinary programs, such as the joint degree program in law and public policy.

Both universities also offer opportunities for students to pursue research and independent study. Harvard has many research centers and institutes, including the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

The College of William and Mary has a strong undergraduate research program, with opportunities for students to work with faculty members on research projects in various fields.

Harvard vs College of William and Mary: Alumni Network and Career Opportunities

Harvard and the College of William and Mary have excellent reputations and impressive alumni networks. Harvard has produced numerous influential figures in various fields, including politics, business, and entertainment, while the College of William and Mary is known for producing many successful lawyers and politicians. As such, both institutions offer excellent career opportunities and resources for students and alumni alike.

Additionally, both Harvard and the College of William and Mary have strong career centers that provide students with guidance and support in their job search. These centers offer services such as resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, and networking events with alumni and employers.

Furthermore, both institutions have established internship programs with top companies and organizations, giving students valuable hands-on experience in their desired fields. With the help of these resources, students and alumni are well-equipped to pursue successful careers after graduation.

Research Opportunities and Funding Availability

Both institutions have robust research programs and offer ample opportunities for students and faculty to engage in research activities. With its extensive research facilities and resources, Harvard is home to over 100 research centers and institutes.

The College of William and Mary, with its strong emphasis on undergraduate research, offers students opportunities to work alongside faculty members and engage in cutting-edge research projects.

Additionally, both institutions offer various funding opportunities for research projects. Harvard provides funding through its Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, which offers grants for research projects, travel, and conference attendance. The College of William and Mary offers funding through its Charles Center, which provides research grants, summer research fellowships, and honors fellowships.

Furthermore, both institutions have partnerships with other research institutions and organizations, providing students and faculty with even more opportunities for collaboration and research.

Harvard has partnerships with institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, while the College of William and Mary partners with organizations such as the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Campus Safety and Security Measures

Harvard and the College of William and Mary prioritize their students’ safety and security. Both institutions have comprehensive safety and security measures, including campus police departments, emergency alert systems, and 24-hour security.

Harvard’s campus is patrolled by over 90 police officers from the Harvard University Police Department. At the same time, the College of William and Mary has a police department staffed by sworn officers and security personnel.

In addition to these measures, both Harvard and the College of William and Mary offer resources and programs to educate students on how to stay safe on campus.

Harvard provides self-defense classes and safety escorts for students walking alone at night. The College of William and Mary offers a campus safety app that allows students to quickly and easily report suspicious activity and request assistance from campus police. Both institutions also have dedicated offices and staff members available to assist students with any safety concerns or questions.

Student Diversity and Inclusivity Initiatives

Both institutions are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community. Harvard has significantly increased diversity in its student body and faculty with initiatives such as the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations.

College students walking together outdoors. Group of young people in college campus.

The College of William and Mary has taken similar measures, focusing on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion and initiatives such as the William and Mary Scholars Program.

Harvard’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity extends beyond its student body and faculty. The university has also implemented programs to support underrepresented groups in the broader community, such as the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, which provides free legal services to low-income individuals and families in Boston.

Additionally, Harvard has established partnerships with local organizations to promote diversity and inclusion, such as the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center.

The College of William and Mary has also ensured its campus is welcoming and inclusive for all students. The university has implemented a Bias Incident Reporting System, which allows students to report incidents of bias or discrimination they may experience or witness on campus.

The College of William and Mary also offers various resources and support services for students from diverse backgrounds, such as the Center for Student Diversity and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Class Sizes, Teacher-to-Student Ratio, and Teaching Styles at Harvard vs College of William and Mary

Class sizes and teaching styles differ somewhat between Harvard vs College of William and Mary. Harvard has smaller class sizes and a more lecture-based teaching style, while the College of William and Mary emphasizes smaller classes and a more interactive teaching style that encourages student participation and engagement. However, both institutions have exceptional faculty members who provide students with rigorous and challenging coursework.

Additionally, the teacher-to-student ratio at Harvard is lower than that of the College of William and Mary. This means that students at Harvard have more opportunities to interact with their professors and receive individualized attention.

On the other hand, the College of William and Mary emphasizes collaborative learning and group projects, which can help students develop important teamwork and communication skills.

Technology Infrastructure Comparison

Harvard and the College of William and Mary offer their students state-of-the-art technology infrastructure and resources. Harvard has numerous computer labs, technology centers, and high-tech classrooms equipped with the latest technology.

a computer scientist reporting in front of his colleagues

The College of William and Mary also boasts modern computer labs and a strong emphasis on educational technology, with resources such as the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning.

Additionally, both universities provide students with access to online learning platforms and digital resources. Harvard offers HarvardX, a platform that provides free online courses to anyone worldwide. At the same time, the College of William and Mary has a robust online library system that allows students to access a wide range of digital resources from anywhere.

Both universities also have dedicated I.T. support teams to assist students with any technology-related issues they may encounter.

Campus Resources for Students such as Libraries, Laboratories, etc.

Both institutions offer a range of resources and facilities to support students in their academic pursuits. Harvard has over 70 libraries and a vast collection of resources, including millions of books, journals, and digital archives.

The College of William and Mary has four libraries and several specialized labs and resources, such as the Applied Research Center and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

In addition to libraries and laboratories, both Harvard and the College of William and Mary offer a variety of other resources to support students. Harvard has a robust network of academic advisors, tutors, and writing centers to help students excel in their coursework.

The College of William and Mary offers career services, including resume building, job search assistance, and mental health resources, such as counseling services and support groups.

Graduate School Placement Statistics of Both Institutions

Harvard and the College of William and Mary have excellent graduate school placement statistics and high post-graduation employment rates. Graduates from both institutions have gone on to prestigious graduate programs and successful careers in various fields. However, Harvard has a slightly higher placement rate in top doctoral programs and business and law schools.

View of Harvard Business School

Additionally, the College of William and Mary has a strong reputation for placing graduates in government and public service positions, with many alumni holding positions in the federal government and non-profit organizations. The school’s location in Virginia, near Washington, D.C., provides students with unique opportunities for internships and networking in these fields.

On the other hand, Harvard has a strong presence in the tech industry, with many graduates going on to work for major companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.

International Student Support Services Comparison

Both institutions prioritize the needs and support of their international students. Harvard has an International Office that assists international students with immigration, visa processing, and other related matters.

The College of William and Mary has a Global Education Office and offers resources such as English language support, intercultural programming, and study abroad opportunities tailored to international students.

Additionally, Harvard offers a Global Support Services program that provides international students with academic and personal support, including counseling, tutoring, and career services. The program also offers cultural events and activities to help international students adjust to life in the United States.

The College of William and Mary also has a dedicated International Student Services team that assists international students with housing, healthcare, and employment opportunities.

Study Abroad Opportunities at Both Institutions

Both Harvard and the College of William and Mary offer their students a wide range of study-abroad opportunities. Harvard has over 170 study abroad programs across the world, with options ranging from semester-long programs to intensive language immersion programs.

The College of William and Mary also has a variety of study abroad options, with programs in over 50 countries and a focus on immersive experiences and global learning.

In conclusion, both are exceptional institutions with unique strengths and offerings. Choosing between Harvard vs College of William and Mary ultimately depends on the fit and preferences of the individual.

AdmissionSight is a valuable resource for students facing the decision between Harvard and the College of William and Mary. AdmissionSight provides personalized guidance that considers students’ academic aspirations and individual preferences.

Our team of experts assists students in evaluating the unique strengths of each university, whether it be Harvard’s esteemed reputation or William and Mary’s strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching and research opportunities.

Furthermore, AdmissionSight’s expertise in college admissions equips students with the strategies and support needed to navigate the competitive application processes for both universities, maximizing their chances of acceptance.

With AdmissionSight’s guidance, students can confidently make informed decisions and embark on a transformative educational journey at the university that best aligns with their goals.

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