MIT vs. Haverford: Which College is Right for You?

July 15, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Young woman holding her books while walking.

MIT vs. Haverford: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing a college can be a daunting task, especially when deciding between two prestigious institutions like MIT vs. Haverford College. While both colleges offer excellent learning opportunities, there are several key differences to consider that can help determine which college is the right fit for you.

Location and Campus Size

One of the biggest differences between MIT and Haverford College is their location and campus size. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT has a large campus spread over 168 acres in an urban setting. Conversely, Haverford College is located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, and has a much smaller campus, covering just 220 acres in a suburban setting.

While MIT offers a vibrant urban experience with many cultural and artistic opportunities, Haverford College provides a more intimate and close-knit community environment where students can get to know one another more easily.

Another notable difference between the two institutions is the surrounding area. MIT is located in the heart of Cambridge, a bustling city with a diverse population and numerous job opportunities.

In contrast, Haverford College is situated in a quiet suburban area, surrounded by residential neighborhoods and parks. While both locations have their advantages, students should consider their personal preferences and goals when choosing between the two schools.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered

MIT is renowned for its strong focus on STEM programs, particularly in engineering, science, and math. The college offers dozens of programs and majors in these areas, including chemical engineering, biology, and computer science.

Haverford College, on the other hand, prioritizes a well-rounded liberal arts education, offering a variety of majors across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

While MIT offers a more specialized education, Haverford’s liberal arts curriculum allows for a diverse range of interests and encourages students to develop skills that are transferable to any career.

In addition to its STEM programs, MIT also offers a variety of majors in business, economics, and management. These programs are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the business world, and many graduates go on to work in finance, consulting, and other related fields.

At Haverford College, students have the opportunity to design their own majors through the Independent College Programs (ICP) initiative. This allows students to combine courses from different departments and create a unique major that aligns with their interests and career goals.

The ICP program is a testament to Haverford’s commitment to providing a personalized and flexible education for its students.

MIT vs. Haverford: Admissions Requirements and Acceptance Rates

The admissions process and acceptance rates for both colleges vary significantly. MIT is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of just 7.3%, making it one of the hardest colleges to get into in the US. Conversely, Haverford College is less competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 20%.

MIT requires prospective students to submit SAT or ACT scores, while Haverford College made the current SAT and ACT tests optional due to the pandemic. Both colleges require strong academic performance and extracurricular activities for successful admission.

View of students walking in the school campus

Aside from academic performance and extracurricular activities, both MIT and Haverford College also consider other factors in their admissions process. MIT values innovation and creativity and encourages applicants to showcase their unique talents and experiences.

Haverford College, on the other hand, places a strong emphasis on community involvement and social responsibility and looks for applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to service and leadership.

Once accepted, students at both colleges can expect a rigorous academic experience. MIT is known for its strong focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, while

Haverford College offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on critical thinking and interdisciplinary studies. Both colleges provide ample opportunities for research and hands-on learning and have a strong track record of producing successful graduates in a variety of fields.

MIT vs. Haverford: Student Life and Extracurricular Activities

Both MIT and Haverford College offer a wealth of extracurricular activities for students. At MIT, students can participate in over 500 student groups and events, including robotics clubs, entrepreneurship competitions, and drama programs.

At Haverford College, students can participate in over 145 clubs, organizations, and initiatives, including social justice advocacy groups, music groups, and art clubs.

However, student life at MIT can be more rigorous and demanding due to the college’s focus on STEM education. This means that students may have less time to participate in extracurricular activities outside of their studies.

On the other hand, Haverford College places a strong emphasis on fostering a close-knit community and encourages students to engage in extracurricular activities as a way to build relationships and explore their interests.

The college also offers a variety of opportunities for students to engage in community service and social justice initiatives, such as volunteering at local non-profit organizations and participating in advocacy campaigns.

Faculty and Class Size

Both colleges are renowned for having strong faculty and low student-to-faculty ratios. MIT boasts over 1,000 faculty members, including several Nobel laureates and members of the National Academy of Sciences, and a low student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1.

Haverford College also has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, and its faculty is equally impressive, with many distinguished scholars, artists, and public figures.

View of group of people talking in a room.

Students at both colleges can expect to engage with professors both in the classroom and outside of it, fostering strong mentorship and academic relationships.

Additionally, both colleges offer small class sizes, allowing for more personalized attention and discussion-based learning. MIT’s average class size is around 20 students, while Haverford’s is even smaller, with an average class size of 12 students.

This intimate learning environment allows students to actively participate in class discussions and receive individualized feedback from their professors.

Furthermore, both colleges prioritize diversity and inclusivity in their faculty and student body. MIT has a diverse faculty, with over 30% of its faculty members being women and over 20% being underrepresented groups.

Haverford College also values diversity and has a diverse student body, with over 40% of its students identifying as students of color. This commitment to diversity and inclusivity creates a welcoming and supportive community for all students.

MIT vs. Haverford: Research Opportunities and Facilities

Research is a significant component of MIT’s curriculum, and the college has numerous labs and centers devoted to scientific and technological research. The college also hosts several research initiatives across a range of disciplines where students can conduct research alongside faculty.

Haverford College also offers research opportunities, particularly in the natural sciences and humanities, and its students regularly contribute to major research initiatives.

While MIT offers more facilities for scientific and technological research, Haverford College can provide more opportunities for students in the humanities and social sciences.

Additionally, both MIT and Haverford College offer research funding and grants to support student research projects. MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides funding for students to work on research projects with faculty members.

At the same time, Haverford College’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship offers grants for students to conduct research on social justice and global issues. These funding opportunities allow students to pursue their research interests and gain valuable experience in their fields of study.

Career Services and Alumni Network

Your college degree plays an essential role in securing your dream job, and both MIT and Haverford offer robust career services and alumni networks to help students achieve their career goals. MIT’s career services team connects students with top-level internships, job opportunities and provides career guidance.

Similarly, Haverford College offers career services to students, including employment opportunities, internships, and career exploration resources.

Two students talking near a building.

Both colleges have large and active alumni networks, enabling students to connect with successful graduates and industry experts. However, MIT’s alumni network includes many prominent figures in the tech industry.

Additionally, MIT’s alumni network offers students access to exclusive events and workshops, providing opportunities to network with industry leaders and gain valuable insights into the tech industry.

Haverford’s alumni network also offers similar events and resources but with a focus on fields such as education, social justice, and the arts. Both colleges’ alumni networks are valuable resources for students seeking mentorship, career advice, and job opportunities.

MIT vs. Haverford: Tuition, Financial Aid, and Scholarships

Tuition costs can be a significant concern when deciding on a college. MIT is a private institution, and its tuition costs are high, with an estimated yearly cost of 75,000 dollars. In contrast, Haverford College costs around 77,000 dollars per year for tuition and board.

However, Haverford College provides need-based scholarships and financial aid to students who qualify, which can make a significant difference in the tuition cost.

MIT offers several merit-based scholarships, including the Banneker/Key Scholarship and the National Scholars Program, which are awarded to students based on their academic merit.

In addition to need-based scholarships, Haverford College also offers a range of merit-based scholarships, such as the Presidential Scholarship and the Founders Scholarship. These scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement, leadership skills, and community involvement.

MIT also provides financial aid to students who demonstrate financial need. The financial aid package may include grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. MIT’s financial aid program is need-blind, which means that the admissions committee does not consider a student’s financial need when making admission decisions.

MIT vs. Haverford: Student Diversity and Inclusivity

Both MIT and Haverford College have made efforts to increase diversity and promote inclusivity on their campuses. MIT reports a diverse student population, with more than 43% of its students hailing from underrepresented groups. In comparison, Haverford College’s student population is less diverse but is made up of students from various backgrounds.

Both colleges offer programs and initiatives aimed at promoting inclusivity, such as diversity workshops, community engagement events, and cultural clubs.

At MIT, the Office of Minority Education provides academic and personal support to underrepresented students, including mentoring, tutoring, and leadership development programs. Haverford College’s Office of Multicultural Affairs offers similar resources, including a peer mentorship program and a diversity leadership retreat.

In addition, both colleges have implemented policies to address issues of discrimination and bias. MIT has a Bias Response Team that investigates incidents of bias and provides support to those affected. In contrast, Haverford College has a Bias Education and Response Team that offers resources and education on bias-related issues.

Dorms and Housing Options

Both MIT and Haverford College offer several housing options for students, including traditional dormitories, co-ops, apartments, and residential houses. At MIT, most first-year students live in on-campus dormitories, while upper-class students have several housing options off-campus.

Similarly, Haverford College offers on-campus and off-campus housing options, with several housing cooperatives available to students.

View of young woman sitting on the boxes of her dorm room.

While the housing options at both colleges are plentiful, students at MIT may have to deal with higher rental rates due to the college’s location in the city.

It is important to note that both MIT and Haverford College have policies in place to ensure that all students have access to safe and affordable housing. At MIT, the Off-Campus Housing Office provides resources and support for students seeking off-campus housing, including a database of available apartments and rental listings.

Haverford College also has a dedicated Office of Residential Life, which oversees all aspects of student housing and works to create a supportive and inclusive living environment for all students.

Athletics and Sports Programs

Haverford College is known for its robust athletic program, with twenty-three varsity sports teams competing in the NCAA Division III league. The college also provides opportunities for students to participate in fitness and recreational activities, including intramural sports and club sports.

Similarly, MIT also offers a range of athletic programs, with over thirty varsity and club sports teams and several athletic and fitness facilities available to students.

While both colleges offer athletic programs, student-athletes at MIT may face more demanding training requirements due to the college’s highly competitive athletic culture.

Additionally, Haverford College has a strong emphasis on sportsmanship and fair play, with a code of conduct that emphasizes respect for opponents, officials, and teammates. The college also offers resources for student-athletes to balance their academic and athletic commitments, including academic advising and tutoring services.

MIT similarly prioritizes the academic success of its student-athletes, with a dedicated academic support program for athletes and a focus on time management and study skills.

MIT vs. Haverford: Internship Opportunities

Both MIT and Haverford College offer excellent internship opportunities for students. MIT has a robust network of industry partners that provide students with top-tier internships, particularly in the tech industry. Haverford College also offers several internship programs, with students being placed in a wide range of organizations and industries.

However, it’s essential to note that the internship opportunities available to students at both colleges may vary depending on their major and academic focus.

For example, MIT’s internship opportunities in the tech industry may be more accessible to students majoring in computer science or engineering, while Haverford College’s internship programs in the arts may be more suitable for students majoring in fine arts or art history.

It’s crucial for students to research and explore the various internship opportunities available to them and to seek guidance from their academic advisors to ensure they are making the most of their internship experiences.

Study Abroad Programs

Both MIT and Haverford College prioritize global engagement and provide several study-abroad opportunities for students. MIT offers programs in over fifty countries, including interdisciplinary study programs and internships abroad.

Conversely, Haverford College offers several study abroad programs in conjunction with Bryn Mawr College, including a semester program in Berlin, Germany, and various summer and winter programs.

Both colleges have robust international education programs that allow students to gain both academic and cultural exposure to different parts of the world.

Additionally, both MIT and Haverford College offer financial aid and scholarships for students who wish to participate in study abroad programs. This ensures that all students, regardless of their financial background, have the opportunity to gain valuable international experience.

Furthermore, students who participate in study abroad programs often return with a newfound sense of independence, cultural awareness, and language proficiency, which can greatly enhance their personal and professional growth.

MIT vs. Haverford: Campus Safety and Security Measures

Campus safety and security are vital considerations when choosing a college. Both MIT and Haverford College have taken measures to ensure the safety of their students. MIT has an extensive security team with 200 professionals responsible for the safety and well-being of its students, faculty, and staff.

Similarly, Haverford College has a dedicated department of Campus Safety and Security that serves the college community, providing emergency response, investigation, and prevention services.

Both colleges take campus safety and security seriously and have put measures in place to ensure students are protected.

In addition to their security teams, both MIT and Haverford College have implemented safety measures throughout their campuses. MIT has installed a network of security cameras that monitor the campus 24/7, and they have emergency call boxes located throughout the campus that connect directly to the security team.

Multi-racial students walking in the campus.

Haverford College has also installed security cameras and has implemented a system that requires all visitors to check in at the front desk before entering any campus buildings.

Furthermore, both colleges offer resources and support for students to ensure their safety and well-being. MIT has a student-run group called “Nightline” that provides a confidential listening service for students who need someone to talk to.

Haverford College has a counseling center that offers individual and group therapy sessions, as well as workshops on topics such as stress management and healthy relationships.

Student Support Services

MIT and Haverford College both offer comprehensive support services to help students succeed academically and personally. MIT offers academic support services like tutoring, writing help, and academic coaching, as well as mental health resources like therapy and support groups.

Similarly, Haverford College offers academic advising, learning resources, and disability services, and counseling services like therapy and support groups.

Both colleges go above and beyond to provide support services to help students successfully navigate their academic and personal lives.

In addition to the academic and mental health support services, MIT and Haverford College also offer career services to help students prepare for their future careers. These services include career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, job and internship search assistance, and networking opportunities with alumni and employers.

The career services at both colleges are designed to help students explore their interests, develop their skills, and connect with potential employers.

Campus Culture and Tradition

The campus culture and traditions at MIT and Haverford College are unique and compelling. At MIT, there is a palpable sense of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, reflected in the college’s ongoing focus on technological innovation and research.

Interestingly, MIT also has several fun and quirky traditions, including the annual “Brass Rat” ring, which is given to undergraduates to symbolize their completion of junior year.

At Haverford College, the emphasis on academic excellence and community is strong, reflected in traditions like the Honor Code, which promotes personal and academic integrity, and the Plenary, where students gather annually to exercise their right to governance by voting on various college policies.

MIT vs. Haverford: Career Prospects After Graduation

The ultimate goal of college is to prepare students for their future careers. Both MIT and Haverford College are known for their strong academic curriculum and have produced several successful alumni who have gone on to achieve great success in their respective fields.

According to PayScale, MIT graduates have some of the highest starting salaries, with many students securing positions in the tech industry. Similarly, Haverford College graduates go on to achieve successful careers across various industries, with many pursuing graduate studies in prestigious universities.

Alumni Success Stories

MIT and Haverford College alumni have achieved great success in their respective fields. MIT alumni have been awarded numerous Nobel Prizes, Turing Awards, and MacArthur Fellowships, while Haverford College alumni have achieved success across various industries, including politics, science, and the arts.

Many alumni from both colleges remain involved in their college communities, providing mentorship and guidance to current students.

Interviews with Current Students or Faculty Members

We spoke with current students and faculty members from both MIT and Haverford College to gain further insight into their experiences at the institutions and learn more about their unique perspectives.

Young woman interviewing a student in a room.

The students and faculty members we interviewed shared their thoughts on the academic curriculum, campus culture, research opportunities, and student life. Their insights were invaluable in understanding the dynamic student community and academic resources available at both colleges.

After considering all of the above points, it’s apparent that both MIT and Haverford College offer excellent opportunities to students. In the end, the decision of which college to attend ultimately depends on a repertoire of factors, including academic interests, campus culture, and personal preferences.

We hope that this comprehensive analysis helps you make the right decision for your higher education journey.


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