Haverford vs Wesleyan: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a young high school woman on her laptop

Haverford vs Wesleyan: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing the right college can be a daunting decision for students, but one that ultimately shapes their future. Haverford and Wesleyan are both highly reputable liberal arts colleges that offer excellent academic programs, making it difficult for students to make a choice. This article will compare and contrast various aspects of Haverford vs Wesleyan to help students make an informed decision about which college is the best fit for them.

Location and Campus Comparison: Haverford vs. Wesleyan

Location is an important factor for college students, as it can influence the overall college experience. Haverford is located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, and its campus occupies 200 acres of green space, providing a serene and beautiful atmosphere for both academics and leisure. Wesleyan, on the other hand, is located in Middletown, Connecticut, and covers 316 acres of picturesque scenery, including wooded areas and lakes.

Both colleges offer an abundance of academic and recreational amenities. Haverford’s campus has a gymnasium, an athletic center, and a library, among others. Wesleyan’s campus offers everything from on-campus dining and coffee shops to a wide range of sports facilities, including an ice skating arena and an outdoor track.

Another important aspect to consider when comparing the two campuses is the surrounding community. Haverford is located in a suburban area, with easy access to Philadelphia, which offers a variety of cultural and entertainment options. Wesleyan, on the other hand, is located in a small town, with limited options for off-campus activities. However, Wesleyan does have a strong arts scene, with a number of galleries and theaters in the area.

When it comes to student life, both colleges have a strong sense of community and offer a variety of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in. Haverford has a strong focus on social justice and activism, with a number of student-led organizations dedicated to these causes. Wesleyan has a reputation for being politically active, with a number of student groups focused on issues such as environmentalism and LGBTQ+ rights.

Campus Life and Housing: A Comprehensive Comparison

Housing facilities at Haverford and Wesleyan tend to vary with students’ year of study. Most students at Wesleyan live in mixed-class dorms, however, students of all years can also opt for apartments or townhouses. Haverford, on the other hand, offers first-year students either singles or doubles while most upper-level students reside in different apartments within the dorms, such as multi-room suites with living rooms and kitchens.

two college students inside their dorm

Both colleges offer various extracurricular activities, including clubs, societies, and sports teams. These activities create different cultural identities, which help students to develop a sense of belonging. Haverford and Wesleyan also have student-run media organizations that include a newspaper, radio, and various magazines.

Additionally, both Haverford and Wesleyan have a strong commitment to community service and social justice. Haverford has a Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, which offers opportunities for students to engage in service projects both locally and globally. Wesleyan has a similar program called the Office of Community Service, which connects students with volunteer opportunities in the surrounding community. Both colleges also have active student groups focused on social justice issues, such as racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental sustainability.

Academics: Haverford vs. Wesleyan

Academically, both Haverford and Wesleyan offer an impressive array of programs, however, some majors are more popular than others. For instance, Haverford is well known for Economics, Political Science, Philosophy, and Computer Science, while Wesleyan offers highly rated programs in Theater, Film, and Art History, among others. Both colleges maintain low student-to-faculty ratios, meaning classes have a maximum of 20 students.

Both colleges offer students a chance to partake in one’s own research, while also conducting research with various faculty members. Haverford provides opportunities to conduct research in any department or field without constraints, while Wesleyan offers research opportunities through the McNair Scholars Program, which provides assistance for students who are underrepresented in academia.

Additionally, Haverford and Wesleyan both offer study abroad programs that allow students to gain a global perspective and expand their academic horizons. Haverford has partnerships with universities in over 50 countries, while Wesleyan offers programs in more than 50 countries as well. These programs provide students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in different cultures, learn new languages, and gain valuable life experiences that can enhance their academic and professional careers.

Admissions Process and Requirements at Haverford and Wesleyan

The admission processes at both colleges are highly selective, with both requiring students to submit their SAT/ACT scores as part of the admission process. Haverford College’s four-year undergraduate program enrolls about 350 students per year, while Wesleyan University prints admission letters to about 750 students. Both colleges require supplement essays which tend to vary, but students are encouraged to show their personality, interest in programs of study, and their engagement with extracurricular activities and community service. Financial aid is also available at both colleges, and students are urged to consult financial aid offices for detailed advice.

Admission process for students

In addition to the standard admission requirements, Haverford College and Wesleyan University also consider other factors when evaluating applicants. Both colleges take into account a student’s academic achievements, including their GPA and class rank, as well as their involvement in school and community activities. They also consider letters of recommendation from teachers and counselors, as well as any special talents or skills that a student may possess. It is important for prospective students to present a well-rounded application that showcases their strengths and achievements in all areas.

Affordability Factors: Comparing Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Haverford’s tuition for the academic year is $68,020, while Wesleyan’s tuition stands at $67,016 for the same period. However, both of these colleges work tirelessly to ensure that the cost of attendance doesn’t prevent any student from enrolling and completing their programs. Through their respective financial aid programs, both institutions offer scholarships, grants, and student loans, targeted to help low-income, middle-income, and high-income families.

Additionally, Haverford and Wesleyan have implemented work-study programs that allow students to earn money while gaining valuable work experience on campus. These programs provide students with the opportunity to offset the cost of attendance and reduce their reliance on loans. Furthermore, both colleges have dedicated financial aid offices that work with students and families to create personalized financial aid packages that meet their unique needs and circumstances. Overall, Haverford and Wesleyan are committed to making higher education accessible and affordable for all students, regardless of their financial background.

Student Body Diversity: Haverford vs. Wesleyan

Both Haverford and Wesleyan welcome a varied student body that represents different ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, sexual orientations, and other diverse areas. Wesleyan takes its diversity to the extreme with its “Expect the Unexpected” motto, a campus demographic that supports openness to new ideas, social justice, and inclusivity. Haverford, on the other hand, prioritizes individuality, free speech, and academic excellence to best prepare its diverse student body for post-undergraduate life.

Students sitting on the chairs while talking.

Despite their different approaches to diversity, both Haverford and Wesleyan have made significant strides in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students. Haverford has implemented a number of initiatives to support underrepresented groups on campus, including a multicultural center and a diversity and inclusion committee. Wesleyan, on the other hand, has a strong commitment to social justice and activism, with many student-led organizations dedicated to promoting equality and fighting discrimination.

Overall, both Haverford and Wesleyan recognize the importance of diversity in creating a vibrant and intellectually stimulating campus community. By embracing different perspectives and experiences, these institutions are able to provide their students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in an increasingly globalized world.

Sports Teams and Athletic Facilities: Haverford vs. Wesleyan

If you are looking for an opportunity to participate in sports, Haverford and Wesleyan offer extensive sports teams, recreational facilities, and different levels of athletic competition. Haverford’s teams compete in the Centennial Conference, while Wesleyan competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. At Wesleyan, you can choose from over 29 varsity teams in nine different sports categories.

Alumni Network and Career Opportunities: Which College Offers Better Prospects?

Both Haverford and Wesleyan have highly successful alumni. These colleges offer numerous career resources such as interview workshops, career fairs, and job search assistance to help their students succeed beyond graduation. With such impressive resources and networks, the sky’s the limit for any current student seeking career help or advice.

However, there are some differences between the two colleges when it comes to career opportunities. Haverford has a strong focus on business and entrepreneurship, with many of its alumni going on to start their own successful companies. On the other hand, Wesleyan has a reputation for producing successful artists and writers, with many of its graduates going on to win prestigious awards in their fields.

Additionally, Haverford has a larger alumni network, with more graduates working in high-level positions in industries such as finance and consulting. Wesleyan, on the other hand, has a smaller but more tightly-knit alumni community, with many graduates staying connected and supporting each other throughout their careers.

Social Life and Extracurricular Activities: What Makes Haverford or Wesleyan Stand Out?

The social scene at Haverford prioritizes intellectual curiosity, where study groups, libraries, and research opportunities thrive. As a result, the college provides a great learning environment that stimulates critical thinking while promoting healthy social interactions. Wesleyan, on the other hand, has a lively campus atmosphere, bursting with activities that reflect the school motto, “Think, Create, and Act.” With a plethora of events such as concerts, parties, and festivals, Wesleyan’s campus social scene is sure to keep things interesting for all students.

View of students sitting on the area of a theater.

Additionally, both Haverford and Wesleyan offer a wide range of extracurricular activities that cater to different interests and passions. Haverford has a strong emphasis on community service and social justice, with many student-led organizations dedicated to making a positive impact on the world. Wesleyan, on the other hand, has a thriving arts scene, with opportunities for students to participate in theater productions, music ensembles, and visual arts exhibitions. Both colleges provide ample opportunities for students to explore their interests outside of the classroom and develop new skills.

Faculty Strengths and Research Opportunities: Haverford vs. Wesleyan

Both Haverford and Wesleyan have an impressive faculty roster made up of experienced and distinguished scholars, researchers, and teachers. Haverford’s faculty is widely known for their commitment to the liberal arts and the whole-person approach to education. Wesleyan’s faculty, on the other hand, is renowned for its interdisciplinary programs that include multi-disciplinary research such as African American Studies, Environmental Studies, and Science in Society.

Another strength of Haverford’s faculty is their dedication to undergraduate research. The college offers numerous opportunities for students to engage in research projects with faculty members, which can lead to publications and presentations at national conferences. Additionally, Haverford’s faculty members are actively involved in community service and social justice initiatives, providing students with opportunities to engage in meaningful service projects and advocacy work.

Meanwhile, Wesleyan’s faculty is known for their innovative teaching methods and commitment to experiential learning. The university offers a variety of study abroad programs, internships, and research opportunities that allow students to apply their classroom knowledge in real-world settings. Wesleyan’s faculty members are also actively involved in cutting-edge research projects, collaborating with students to explore new ideas and push the boundaries of their respective fields.

Community Service and Volunteer Opportunities: A Comparative Look

At Haverford and Wesleyan, there are numerous opportunities for students to get involved in the community through different service projects, on and off campus. Both colleges have a strong commitment to civic engagement and provide plenty of opportunities to volunteer in community-based organizations either through student clubs or courses. Haverford’s Cadence Project, for example, provides students who are interested in Education and literacy programs opportunities to volunteer in schools and help train new teachers, while Wesleyan’s volunteer-dedicated program ‘Wesleyan Student Assembly of Community Service (WesAC) causes it to partner with different organizations in Connecticut to mentor children, serve seniors, and support animal shelters.

students arrang ing items inside the boxes for donation

Additionally, both colleges offer alternative break programs that allow students to engage in service projects during school breaks. Haverford’s program, called “Haverford House,” provides students with the opportunity to live in a house together and work with a community organization for a semester or summer. Wesleyan’s program, called “Wesleyan Engage,” offers students the chance to participate in service trips during winter and spring breaks to locations such as New Orleans, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

Furthermore, both colleges have partnerships with local organizations that allow students to engage in ongoing service projects throughout the academic year. Haverford partners with organizations such as the Philadelphia Education Fund and the Philadelphia Orchard Project, while Wesleyan partners with organizations such as the Middletown Public Schools and the Middlesex United Way. These partnerships provide students with the opportunity to make a long-term impact in their local communities.

Graduate Programs Offered: Haverford vs. Wesleyan

Both Haverford and Wesleyan offer graduate-level programs in different fields such as Mathematics, Philosophy, and the sciences. Haverford offers Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and provides the option to participate in dual-degree programs with other undergraduate institutions. Wesleyan, on the other hand, offers graduate-level programs in Music, Film Studies, and Master of Liberal Studies. Both colleges provide graduate students with a wider and more advanced level of analysis and research practice beyond undergraduate studies.

In addition to the graduate programs mentioned above, Haverford also offers a Master of Arts in Applied Ethics and a Master of Arts in History. The Master of Arts in Applied Ethics program is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of ethical issues in various fields such as business, healthcare, and law. The Master of Arts in History program, on the other hand, focuses on the study of historical events and their impact on society.

Wesleyan also offers a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Environmental Studies. The Master of Arts in Psychology program is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of human behavior and mental processes. The Master of Arts in Environmental Studies program, on the other hand, focuses on the study of environmental issues and their impact on society. Both programs provide students with the opportunity to conduct research and gain practical experience in their respective fields.

Study Abroad Programs Comparison: Haverford vs. Wesleyan

Both colleges offer fascinating study abroad programs that enable students to explore diverse cultures, practice foreign languages, and study new academic fields. Haverford’s study abroad programs cover over 50 countries and include locations such as Chile, France, Thailand, and Senegal, among others. Wesleyan’s study abroad programs include locations such as Paris, Florence, Madrid, and Buenos Aires. Both colleges encourage their students to study abroad, offering them resources that help to fund their study abroad programs.

However, there are some differences between the study abroad programs offered by Haverford and Wesleyan. Haverford has a strong focus on language immersion programs, offering students the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a foreign language and culture. On the other hand, Wesleyan offers a wider range of academic programs, including internships and research opportunities, in addition to language immersion programs. Both colleges have partnerships with universities and organizations around the world, providing students with unique and valuable experiences.

Campus Safety Measures Compared: Haverford vs. Wesleyan

Both Haverford and Wesleyan have instituted measures to ensure the safety of their students. Haverford has a student-run Campus Safety & Security that deals with campus emergencies, crime prevention, and security escort services at any time of the day. At Wesleyan, Campus Safety provides a 24-hour patrol of the campus to ensure that students and faculty get a safe learning atmosphere, while also maintaining a high level of transparency and open communication. Both colleges commit to maintaining a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol, ensuring that all students receive a safe and sound learning environment throughout their stay at the respective institutions.

Security guard patrolling the campus

In addition to these measures, Haverford has implemented a system of emergency blue light phones throughout the campus, which students can use to call for help in case of an emergency. These phones are strategically placed in areas with high foot traffic and are easily accessible to all students. Wesleyan, on the other hand, has a system of emergency notifications that are sent out to all students and faculty in case of an emergency. These notifications are sent via text message, email, and phone call, ensuring that everyone is aware of the situation and can take appropriate action.

Both colleges also have a strong focus on mental health and well-being. Haverford has a Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) center that provides free and confidential counseling services to all students. Wesleyan has a similar center called Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which provides individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, and psychiatric services. Both colleges also have peer counseling programs, where trained student volunteers provide support and guidance to their peers who may be struggling with mental health issues.


In conclusion, choosing between Haverford and Wesleyan is no easy task. Both colleges have a reputation for academic excellence and provide their students with ample opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. By weighing the similarities and differences in the various categories, students can make a more informed decision about which college best suits their goals, aspirations, and interests. Ultimately, the decision rests with the individual and what they are seeking in their own personal college experience.

It is important to note that while academics are a crucial aspect of college life, there are also many other factors to consider when choosing a college. For example, the location of the college, the campus culture, and the extracurricular activities offered can all greatly impact a student’s overall experience. Haverford and Wesleyan both have unique campus cultures and offer a variety of extracurricular activities, so it is important for students to consider these factors as well.

Furthermore, it is important for students to keep an open mind and be willing to step out of their comfort zone when choosing a college. College is a time for growth and exploration, and attending a college that may not have been your first choice could lead to unexpected opportunities and experiences. Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose a college where you feel comfortable, supported, and excited to learn and grow.


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