Haverford vs Cornell Which University is Right for You?

November 3, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Haverford vs Cornell Which University is Right for You?

If you’re deciding between Haverford College and Cornell University, there are a lot of factors to consider. Each institution offers unique qualities that can influence your decision. In this article, we’ll dive into the similarities and differences between Haverford vs Cornell, two prestigious schools, and decide which one is the best fit for you.

Introduction to Haverford and Cornell

Before we start weighing the pros and cons of each school, let’s give a brief overview of Haverford and Cornell. Haverford is a small liberal arts college located just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that offers undergraduate degrees in a range of disciplines. Cornell, on the other hand, is a larger research university located in Ithaca, New York. It offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a plethora of fields.

Haverford College has a strong emphasis on community and collaboration. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1, students have the opportunity to work closely with professors and engage in meaningful discussions both inside and outside of the classroom. The college also has a unique honor code, which fosters a culture of trust and respect among students and faculty.

Cornell University, on the other hand, is known for its world-class research facilities and programs. The university has a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, with many successful startups and companies having been founded by Cornell alumni. Additionally, Cornell has a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 100 countries, making it a truly global institution.

Academic Programs Offered at Haverford vs Cornell

Both Haverford and Cornell offer diverse academic programs, but Cornell obviously offers more variety. Cornell has seven undergraduate colleges where students can take courses in a wide range of fields, from engineering to hospitality management. Haverford, on the other hand, is a liberal arts college and has fewer academic departments than Cornell. Nonetheless, Haverford still offers a strong liberal arts curriculum and provides a comprehensive education in subjects such as biology, English, sociology, and more.

The concept of education for students

It is worth noting that both Haverford and Cornell offer unique academic opportunities beyond their standard curriculum. Haverford has a renowned Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, which offers students the chance to engage in community service and social justice work both locally and globally. Cornell, on the other hand, has a highly regarded School of Hotel Administration, which provides students with hands-on experience in the hospitality industry and prepares them for careers in hotel management, food service, and tourism.

Admission Requirements and Process for Haverford vs Cornell

Both schools are highly selective, and admission to either one is a competitive process. Haverford is particularly known for its rigorous admission process, as its acceptance rate is very low. Cornell has a slightly higher acceptance rate, but it’s still competitive. Admissions officials at both schools will assess your academic record, extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendation letters to determine whether you’re a good fit for their programs. They are increasingly using holistic and diverse criteria to evaluate applicants based on prior accomplishments, potential, and fit with the school.

In addition to the standard admission requirements, Haverford and Cornell also consider demonstrated interest in the school. This can include attending information sessions, visiting campus, and reaching out to admissions representatives with questions. Demonstrating a genuine interest in the school can help set you apart from other applicants.

It’s also important to note that both schools offer need-blind admission, meaning that they do not consider an applicant’s ability to pay when making admission decisions. However, they do require financial aid applications to determine the amount of aid a student may receive if admitted.

Campus Culture and Student Life at Haverford vs Cornell

If you’re looking for a small and tight-knit community, Haverford could be the right fit for you. Haverford is known for its strong sense of community and its close relationship with Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College, which are all located in the same area and operate as a consortium. Cornell, on the other hand, is a much bigger school, and that leads to a more diverse population and more varied interests, but it makes it harder to get to know everyone. Cornell has over 1000 student organizations on campus which means there’s always something to do.

At Haverford, students are encouraged to take part in the Honor Code, which is a set of principles that governs academic and social life on campus. The Honor Code is taken very seriously at Haverford, and it fosters a sense of trust and respect among students and faculty. Additionally, Haverford has a strong tradition of student-led initiatives, and students are given a lot of autonomy to create and run their own clubs and organizations.

cheerful students seating together outside

Cornell, on the other hand, is known for its rigorous academic programs and research opportunities. The university has a number of world-renowned research centers and institutes, and students have the opportunity to work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects. Cornell also has a strong commitment to sustainability, and the campus is home to a number of environmentally friendly initiatives and programs.

Housing Options Available at Haverford vs Cornell

Both Haverford and Cornell provide comfortable and affordable on-campus housing options for their students. Haverford’s campus has multiple dormitory options and provides on-campus apartments, while Cornell offers traditional dorms, apartments, and even Greek houses for students who want to join a fraternity or sorority.

Additionally, Haverford offers a unique housing option called “HaverCo,” which is a student-run cooperative living community. Students who live in HaverCo work together to maintain the house and share responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning. This option provides a tight-knit community and a more independent living experience.

On the other hand, Cornell offers a program called “Program Houses,” which are themed living communities based on shared interests or identities. For example, there is a Program House for students interested in sustainability and another for students who identify as LGBTQ+. These communities provide a supportive and inclusive living environment for students who share similar passions and experiences.

Cost of Attendance: Tuition, Fees, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

As with any college or university, the cost of attending either Haverford or Cornell will vary depending on your financial situation. Haverford is a private liberal arts college and is more expensive than Cornell. Cornell is also more lenient with financial aid than Haverford and provides more options.

It is important to note that both Haverford and Cornell offer various scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of attendance. Haverford offers merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, and athletic scholarships. Cornell also offers a range of scholarships and grants, including those for academic achievement, diversity, and financial need.

Additionally, both schools have fees beyond tuition that should be considered when calculating the total cost of attendance. Haverford has a comprehensive fee that covers room and board, while Cornell has separate fees for housing and dining. It is important to factor in these additional costs when comparing the total cost of attendance between the two schools.

Alumni Network, Career Services, and Job Prospects After Graduating 

Both schools offer exceptional alumni networks, career services, and job prospects after graduation. Haverford has a strong network of alumni who are working or have worked in various fields, including law and academia. Cornell, being a larger institution, benefits from a more extensive alumni network and as a result, has better connections across the globe. Both schools offer career counseling, job fairs, and post-graduation job search help.

Career Fair for graduates

Additionally, Haverford has a unique program called the Center for Career and Professional Advising, which offers personalized career counseling and guidance to students. The center also provides opportunities for students to connect with alumni through networking events and mentorship programs.

Cornell, on the other hand, has a strong reputation for producing graduates who are highly sought after by employers. The university has partnerships with numerous companies and organizations, providing students with access to internships and job opportunities. Cornell also offers a variety of career-related resources, including workshops, resume reviews, and mock interviews.

Sports Programs Offered at Haverford vs Cornell

If you’re a sports enthusiast, either Haverford or Cornell can fulfill your interests. Haverford has a strong Division III athletics program, offering 23 varsity sports, and with strong success in running and Cross Country. Cornell, on the other hand, is a Division I school that competes in a range of sports, including hockey, football, and basketball. Both schools have fantastic athletic facilities and offer a wide range of opportunities for participation for sports enthusiasts.

In addition to varsity sports, both Haverford and Cornell offer a variety of intramural and club sports for students who want to stay active and involved in sports. Haverford has a popular Ultimate Frisbee club and a Quidditch team, while Cornell has a strong equestrian program and a competitive rowing team. These opportunities allow students to continue playing the sports they love or try something new in a fun and supportive environment.

Diversity on Campus: A Comparison between Haverford vs Cornell

Both schools are committed to a diverse campus environment, but Cornell is more diverse than Haverford and has a broader international student presence. Haverford, however, has a closer-knit community, and its students tend to collaborate and work together in a way that might produce a need for more open communication and understanding between students.

Another factor that contributes to the diversity on campus is the socioeconomic background of the students. Cornell has a larger population of students from low-income families, while Haverford has a higher percentage of students from affluent backgrounds. This difference in socioeconomic diversity can impact the campus culture and the experiences of students from different economic backgrounds.

Diversity on Campus

Furthermore, both schools have taken steps to promote diversity and inclusion on campus. Cornell has a Diversity and Inclusion website that provides resources and information on events and initiatives related to diversity. Haverford has a Bias Response Team that addresses incidents of bias and discrimination on campus. These efforts demonstrate the commitment of both schools to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students.

Location Comparison: Haverford vs Cornell

If you crave outdoor activities in your free time and want to be close to a lively city, then Cornell might be right for you. Its location provides easy access to nearby state parks, and New York City is just a few hours away. Haverford is located in a leafy Philadelphia suburb that offers a bit of both worlds. Its students can take advantage of everything Philadelphia has to offer while still enjoying a quiet, peaceful neighborhood on campus.

Additionally, Cornell’s location offers a unique opportunity for students interested in agriculture and farming. The university has its own agricultural research facility, which allows students to gain hands-on experience in the field. Haverford, on the other hand, is located near several prestigious research institutions, such as the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, providing students with access to cutting-edge research opportunities.

Furthermore, Haverford’s location also allows for easy access to other major cities on the East Coast, such as New York City and Washington D.C. Students can take advantage of organized trips or explore these cities on their own during breaks. Cornell, on the other hand, is located in a more rural area, which may be ideal for students who prefer a quieter, more secluded campus environment.

The Prospective Student Experience

Visiting campuses can be a critical factor in choosing a college, and both Haverford and Cornell offer on-campus tours and visits. Cornell offers more tours and has more options to personalize your visit, including meeting with admissions officials or specific academic departments. Haverford does not offer as many personalized tours, but prospective students can contact an admissions officer to discuss the programs and opportunities at the school if they are unable to take a physical tour of the campus.

Additionally, Haverford offers a unique opportunity for prospective students to stay overnight in a dorm with a current student. This allows for a more immersive experience and the chance to see what daily life is like on campus. Cornell does not offer this option for prospective students.

Faculty Comparison: Teaching Styles, Curriculum, Research Interests

Both schools attract and retain exceptional faculty members, but Cornell’s faculty is larger and more diverse across a wide range of fields. Haverford’s smaller faculty size allows more hands-on supervision from professors and a more personal education experience. Students at Haverford are expected to have strong relationships with their professors and be highly engaged in academic research activities. Cornell is a research-driven institution, so students looking to engage in research will find more opportunities with faculty members who have active research interests.

A teacher

Additionally, Haverford’s faculty members are known for their innovative teaching styles, often incorporating experiential learning and interdisciplinary approaches into their courses. This allows students to gain a more well-rounded education and develop critical thinking skills that can be applied to a variety of fields.

On the other hand, Cornell’s faculty members are often leaders in their respective fields and bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the classroom. This can be particularly beneficial for students who are interested in pursuing careers in highly specialized fields, as they will have access to some of the top experts in their chosen area of study.

Conclusion: Making the Right Choice between Haverford and Cornell

So which one is right for you? Both Haverford and Cornell provide excellent education, but choosing a school ultimately depends on your academic interests, personal preferences, and financial resources. If you’re looking for a small, tight-knit community with strong academics and personalized attention from faculty members, Haverford could be an excellent fit. If you’re looking for a larger institution that offers a diverse set of academic programs, is research-oriented, and has exceptional alumni networking opportunities, Cornell would fit right into your requirements. Whatever you choose, both Haverford and Cornell will leave a lasting impact on your life and provide you with a world-class education experience.

It’s important to note that both Haverford and Cornell have unique campus cultures and environments. Haverford is known for its Quaker values and emphasis on community service, while Cornell has a more competitive and fast-paced atmosphere. Additionally, location may also play a role in your decision-making process. Haverford is located in a suburban area outside of Philadelphia, while Cornell is situated in a small college town in upstate New York. Consider all of these factors when making your final decision.


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