Haverford vs Mt Holyoke: Which College is Right for You?

November 8, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Haverford vs Mt Holyoke: Which College is Right for You?

Are you trying to decide between Haverford and Mt Holyoke College? It can be a tough decision, as both schools offer excellent undergraduate programs and have unique features that might appeal to different students. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between Haverford vs Mt Holyoke in terms of location, academics, student life, housing, diversity, athletics, cost of attendance, job prospects, campus safety, student support services, study abroad opportunities, alumni network, and admission requirements to help you make an informed decision about which college is right for you.

Location: Differences in Campus Setting and Surrounding Area

The location of a college can play a big role in deciding which school is the best fit for you. Haverford is located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Mt Holyoke is located in South Hadley, Massachusetts, which is a small town in the Pioneer Valley. Haverford’s campus is 216 acres of beautiful greenery, located just 10 miles outside of Philadelphia. The campus has easy access to public transportation, making it easy to explore the city. Mt Holyoke’s campus is a bit smaller, at 800 acres, but it’s situated in a beautiful rural area. The campus is surrounded by picturesque New England towns and is only 10 miles away from the city of Northampton.

One of the advantages of Haverford’s location is its proximity to Philadelphia, a vibrant city with a rich history and culture. Students can easily access museums, theaters, and other cultural attractions, as well as internships and job opportunities. In addition, Haverford is located in a safe and affluent suburb, which provides a peaceful and secure environment for students.

On the other hand, Mt Holyoke’s location offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and tranquility of rural New England. The campus is surrounded by rolling hills, forests, and farms, which provide a perfect setting for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and horseback riding. Moreover, the Pioneer Valley is known for its vibrant arts and music scene, with numerous festivals and events throughout the year.

Academics: Curriculum and Programs Offered at Haverford and Mt Holyoke

Both schools offer strong undergraduate curriculums, but there are differences in the programs offered. Haverford College is a liberal arts college that prides itself on its interdisciplinary approach to education. Students can choose from over 30 different majors, including biology, economics, and English. Mt Holyoke College is also a liberal arts college, but they offer over 50 majors across a wide range of fields, including astronomy, environmental studies, and film studies. Mt Holyoke is also well known for its humanities program, which includes a focus on global perspectives.

Male Biology student looking through a microscope surrounded by plants.

Additionally, both Haverford and Mt Holyoke offer a variety of study abroad programs for students who want to gain international experience. Haverford has partnerships with universities in over 20 countries, including Spain, Japan, and South Africa. Mt Holyoke has its own study abroad program, called the Lynk, which offers students the opportunity to intern or conduct research abroad in countries such as France, China, and Ghana. These programs allow students to broaden their horizons and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures and perspectives.

Student Life: Clubs, Organizations, and Social Scene at Each College

The social scene and extracurricular activities at both Haverford and Mt Holyoke are very active. Haverford has over 145 student-run organizations, including clubs for debate, sports, theater, and more. Mt Holyoke has over 100 student-run organizations, ranging from the Musical Theater Society to the Investment Club. Both schools also have active Greek life, with a number of fraternities and sororities on campus.

In addition to the numerous student-run organizations and Greek life, both Haverford and Mt Holyoke offer a variety of events and activities throughout the year. Haverford hosts an annual Spring Fling, which includes a carnival, live music, and food trucks. Mt Holyoke has a tradition called Mountain Day, where classes are cancelled and students hike to the top of nearby Mount Holyoke to enjoy a picnic lunch and beautiful views. Both schools also have a strong commitment to community service, with opportunities for students to volunteer both on and off campus.

Housing: Dorms, Apartments, and Other Options Available to Students

Another important factor to consider when choosing a college is housing. Both Haverford and Mt Holyoke offer a range of options for students, including traditional dormitories, apartment-style housing, and on-campus apartments. Haverford guarantees housing for all four years, while Mt Holyoke guarantees housing for three. Both schools have restrictions on visitors to ensure a safe and secure living environment for all students.

two college students inside their dorm

Additionally, Haverford offers themed housing options, such as language immersion housing and substance-free housing. Mt Holyoke also has a variety of living-learning communities, where students with similar interests or majors can live together and participate in related activities and events. Both schools have resident assistants and other staff members who live in the dorms and apartments to provide support and guidance to students.

Diversity: Haverford vs. Mt Holyoke

Both schools have made strides in promoting diversity and inclusivity on their campuses. Haverford has a student body that is 44% students of color and has a number of initiatives to foster a more inclusive environment on campus. Mt Holyoke has a student body that is 34% students of color and has a number of diversity-focused programs, including a Multicultural Center and Community Outreach Office.

Additionally, both schools have taken steps to address issues of socioeconomic diversity. Haverford has implemented a need-blind admission policy, which means that a student’s ability to pay for tuition is not taken into consideration during the admissions process. Mt Holyoke has a similar policy and also offers a range of financial aid options to ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to a quality education.

Athletics: Haverford vs. Mt Holyoke

Haverford and Mt Holyoke both offer a variety of athletic programs and facilities for students. Haverford has a strong tradition of athletic excellence, with varsity teams for soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, among others. Mt Holyoke has varsity teams for field hockey, basketball, and volleyball, among others. Both schools also offer a range of fitness and recreational activities for students, including gyms, pools, and outdoor recreational equipment.

Fitness center

Additionally, Haverford and Mt Holyoke both have extensive intramural sports programs, allowing students to participate in sports and activities in a more casual setting. These programs offer a wide range of options, from traditional team sports like soccer and basketball to more unique activities like ultimate frisbee and quidditch.

Furthermore, both schools have dedicated athletic facilities that are available to students for use outside of organized practices and games. Haverford’s athletic center includes a weight room, indoor track, and multiple basketball courts, while Mt Holyoke’s Kendall Sports and Dance Complex features a pool, dance studios, and a rock climbing wall.

Cost of Attendance: Haverford vs. Mt Holyoke

The cost of college can be a significant factor in the decision-making process, and both Haverford and Mt Holyoke come with a hefty price tag. Haverford’s tuition and fees for the academic year will be $68,020, while Mt Holyoke’s will be $64,142. However, both schools offer generous financial aid packages to eligible students, with Haverford meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need and Mt Holyoke meeting 96%. It’s important to note that the cost of attendance includes not only tuition and fees, but also room and board, books, and other expenses.

Additionally, both Haverford and Mt Holyoke offer work-study programs to help students offset the cost of attendance. These programs provide students with part-time jobs on campus, allowing them to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. Haverford’s work-study program offers a variety of positions, including research assistants, library assistants, and campus event coordinators. Mt Holyoke’s program also offers a range of positions, such as lab assistants, administrative assistants, and tutors. Students can apply for work-study positions through their respective schools’ financial aid offices.

Job Prospects: Career Services and Opportunities for Graduates of Haverford and Mt Holyoke

Both Haverford and Mt Holyoke have strong career services departments that offer a range of resources for students and alumni, including job fairs, networking events, and resume workshops. Haverford has a strong alumni network that can be helpful for job searching, while Mt Holyoke has a robust internship program that can help students gain valuable work experience.

Additionally, Haverford offers a unique program called the Center for Career and Professional Advising, which provides personalized career counseling and guidance to students. The center also offers resources for students interested in pursuing graduate school or fellowships.

On the other hand, Mt Holyoke has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, with resources such as the Miller Worley Center for the Environment and the Entrepreneurship Initiative. These programs provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to start their own businesses or pursue careers in the growing field of sustainability.

Campus Safety: Security Measures in Place to Ensure Student Safety at Both Colleges

The safety and security of students is a top priority for both Haverford and Mt Holyoke. Both schools have campus security forces that patrol the campus 24/7 and have a number of systems in place to ensure the safety of their students. Haverford also has an emergency alert system that can quickly get important information out to students in the event of an emergency.

Campus Safety

In addition to campus security forces, both Haverford and Mt Holyoke have implemented safety measures such as security cameras and keycard access to dormitories and academic buildings. These measures help to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering campus buildings and provide an additional layer of security for students.

Both colleges also offer safety resources and training for students, including self-defense classes and safety workshops. These resources empower students to take an active role in their own safety and provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to potential threats.

Student Support Services: Haverford vs. Mt Holyoke

Both Haverford and Mt Holyoke offer a range of support services to help students succeed academically and personally. Haverford has a Center for Academic Resources and Support that provides tutoring and advising for students, while Mt Holyoke has a Learning Enrichment and Disability Services office that provides support to students with a range of needs.

In addition to these academic support services, both Haverford and Mt Holyoke also offer resources to assist students with personal challenges. Haverford has a Counseling and Psychological Services office that provides confidential counseling and therapy services to students, while Mt Holyoke has a Health and Counseling Center that offers a range of medical and mental health services.

Furthermore, both colleges have student-run organizations and clubs that provide additional support and resources to students. Haverford has a Peer Awareness Facilitators program that offers workshops and events on topics such as mental health and wellness, while Mt Holyoke has a Student Government Association that advocates for student needs and interests.

Study Abroad Opportunities: Haverford vs. Mt Holyoke

Studying abroad can be a valuable and enriching experience for college students, and both Haverford and Mt Holyoke offer a range of study abroad programs. Haverford has partnerships with over 40 different programs in over 20 different countries, while Mt Holyoke has programs in over 50 different countries.

One of the unique study abroad programs offered by Haverford is the Tri-College Consortium, which allows students to study at Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore College, both located nearby. This program provides students with the opportunity to take advantage of the resources and courses offered by all three colleges, while still receiving credit from their home institution.

study abroad for students

Mt Holyoke offers a variety of study abroad programs that cater to different interests and majors. For example, the college offers a program in Florence, Italy, which focuses on art history and the Italian language. Additionally, Mt Holyoke has a program in Beijing, China, which allows students to study Chinese language and culture, as well as take courses in other subjects such as economics and political science.

Alumni Network: Strength of the Alumni Community at Each College

The strength of the alumni network can be an important factor when choosing a college, as it can be helpful for job searching and networking. Haverford has a strong alumni community, with a number of events and initiatives designed to connect alumni with each other and with current students. Mt Holyoke also has a strong alumni network, with over 37,000 alumni living in over 100 countries.

Another college with a strong alumni network is Williams College. The Williams Alumni Network has over 30,000 members worldwide and offers a variety of resources and opportunities for alumni to stay connected with each other and with the college. The network also provides career services and mentorship programs for recent graduates.

On the other hand, some colleges may have a smaller alumni network but still offer valuable connections. For example, Swarthmore College has a tight-knit community of alumni who are highly engaged with the college and with each other. While the network may not be as large as some other colleges, Swarthmore alumni often have strong connections in their respective fields and are willing to help fellow alumni and current students.

Admission Requirements: Application Process, Deadlines, and Acceptance Rates for Haverford and Mt Holyoke

Finally, it’s important to consider the admission requirements when deciding which college to apply to. Haverford has a highly competitive admissions process, with an acceptance rate of 14%. Mt Holyoke is also a selective college, with an acceptance rate of 40%. Both schools have similar application requirements, including transcripts, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation.

In conclusion, both Haverford and Mt Holyoke are excellent colleges with a lot to offer. By considering factors such as location, academic programs, student life, housing, diversity, athletics, cost of attendance, job prospects, campus safety, student support services, study abroad opportunities, alumni network, and admission requirements, you should be able to decide which college is the best fit for you. Whichever college you choose, make the most of your experience and take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to you.

One important factor to consider when choosing between Haverford and Mt Holyoke is the availability of financial aid. Both colleges offer need-based financial aid to eligible students, but the amount and type of aid may vary. It’s important to research and compare the financial aid packages offered by each college to determine which one is more affordable for you.

Another factor to consider is the size and culture of the student body. Haverford is a smaller college with a tight-knit community, while Mt Holyoke is a larger college with a more diverse student body. Depending on your personality and preferences, you may feel more comfortable and thrive in one type of environment over the other.


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