- Class: Senior
- Major: English
- Gender: M
- High School: The Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia for Boys
- Transfer Student: N
The small size is great in many ways, the personal attention and close connection you have with students, faculty, staff and administration is fantastic. It allows for you to really personalize your college experience and have a lot of say in your overall education throughout your time at Haverford, which will probably be four years due to the incredibly high graduation rate, though this might not seem like such a great thing after four years. You might not want to leave college, but there are plenty who will. Some do feel the size gets to them but these just aren't small college types. Size is definitely an important factor when choosing your college. The school is very much student run and the administration works very closely to make sure the students get everything they need. The staff for the most part works hard, but it gets frustrating when things don't get done after you put in 50 requests. Though, certain things just take priority and unfortunately you might just not be one of them at that moment. This would never apply to academics, healthy or safety issues on the college's part but does often apply to maintenance and financial matters. Another big factor is location. For me Haverford has a great location, the main line is a fun spot with a lot of other colleges around the area and the campus is just a short train ride away from Philly. The regional rail also allows you to easily get to NY or other cities. In addition, the campus life is extremely active especially on weekends. This is definitely not a suit-case school with 99% of students living on campus, as well as, 60% or so of the faculty.
Professors know your name and work closely with you in the classroom and outside of it on things from academic work of your own and theirs to completely different areas of life in extracurriculars and on college committees. some professors though are pain since they put their own needs at time in front of the students, and while incredibly demanding don't hold up on their end of the bargain. This rare though but not unique to Haverford, its a problem with academia as a whole. Students, for the most part, study quite a bit as this is a challenging college that can be quite demanding. There are those who break from the mold, and not ina good way, they goof off and try/do everything to get by/around the system without doing what they are supposed to. This number at times seems large but it depends on the class. I wouldn't say there is any grade inflation here though, but neither, perhaps deflation? Competition is discouraged here as the idea of personal intellectual growth is the main aim, and grades are not talked about while academic and intellectual discussion occur regularly. This doesn't some though and this is a bit of a simplistic and idealistic idea. It also tends to stop recognizing people who should be recognized for their incredible work. This is slowly changing though with the College breaking away from what they thought it meant to be Quaker to embracing better ideals that help everyone. The Honor Code, which is both social and academic, allows for a very different feel to this college. Take-home exams, and self scheduled finals are the norm and students and faculty pride themselves greatly on doing their OWN work, though, of course, everyone absolutely expects everyone else to be doing their own work and the community holds each other to the highest standards. The education at Haverford,a liberal arts college, is not geared to getting you a job, though it certainyl doesn't hurt one's chances, and our CDO does help a lot. Occassioanlly, some people do covert jobs and money but the message is pretty clear here, its not more learned or more anything, it is about a better education and doing not only well for oneself but good for all. Over 80% of Haverford students continue their education within a few years out, with many earning their PhDs, MDs, JDs, MBAs etc. Acceptance rates are very high for this post education and to many top grad and professional programs. the education at Haverford though above all prepares each student to go out into the world and use the tools learned there to explore and discover as well as give back. Class size is usually very small. It literally ranges from 1 on 1 with a professor to at most about 80 students (very very rare) who do meet regularly with the Professor and only have TAs to give extra help outside the classroom. The college offers a lot of experiential learning, as well, through Extern and Intern ships, work with professors and alumni, funding for work with various organizations around the world, and more, even student desgined and taught classes (though these are non-credit but incredible opportunities)
Haverford is a diverse community that as any good community must struggles to understand all of its members and build through "trust, concern, and respect" (a catch phrase of the Honor Code) a place where all may thrive. That being said, things happen because the commuity os made of humans and quite a diverse group. Regular open discussion ranging from class, race, gender, sexuality, academics-literature philosophy, science, art and to some degree politics (though to be completely honest this is something that has been lacking for some time but is getting a big boost from the Presidential elections). It is more liberal as it is a college, but maybe not as liberal as many think.In addition, there is certainly a conservative presence that mostly tries to balance things. Students try to all blend into the middle class mold, and mostly wear t-shirts and jeans to class, with some exceptions. The over whelming middle class idea though gets shattered since the economic diversity is one of the biggest differences and maybe biggest issues facing the college. This issue is the least talked about and most avoid, with every assuming things for the most part are equal for people here. However, this is true of higher education and the country as a whole. Haverford has a big price tage and does a decent job of giving out aid, it actually is getting even better at this, but when you are here it is easy to tell for many students where students come from and from what type of socio-economic background due to thing sliek clothes but also who has to work and who needs extra help because maybe they weren't as prepared in high school. This idea of educational differences though is something few people want to actually recognize. The school, however, does provide for students to go help inner city students a mentors and tutors. Community service is pretty big here, though the types and amount varies greatly from student to student.
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