Harvard, Columbia, or Yale





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Discus: College Search and Selection: April 2004 Archive: Harvard, Columbia, or Yale
By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 12:29 am: Edit

I was fortunate enough to be admitted to Harvard, Columbia (as a John Jay Scholar), and Yale. Right now I am leaning towards Yale, but Harvard is Harvard and the John Jay thing at Columbia sounds awesome (not to mention the chance to live in New York). What do you think I should do?

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 12:52 am: Edit

All three are great, but I think you should go to Yale if you like it the most. Everyone I know who went to Yale absolutely loved their experiences there, which I unfortunately can't say about my friends from Columbia or Harvard.

By Mzhang23 (Mzhang23) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 01:24 am: Edit

If you're interested in NYC, go Columbia.
Yale is great all-around. Harvard is great as well, but it has some notable flaws. However, if they mean nothing to you, go ahead and matriculate.

Remember that you should visit all three. Request financial assistance if you are unable to pay for your travel fares. Harvard, Yale, and Columbia would all be glad to have you.

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 01:29 am: Edit

The John Jay scholarship at Columbia is really an honor, and being in New York City is an education itself. However, for a more rounded collegiate experience, your choices are between Harvard and Yale, and I'd opt for Yale. Even with all of its current problems, there will always be a Yale -- which has a tendency to be less intense than Harvard. Having read your postings on CC for quite a while, Chasgoose, I see you at Yale. BTW, you did the almost impossible thing of getting accepted there.

As a bit of a non-sequitur, I'd be curious to know what your thoughts are on Princeton and Stanford?

By Pacificali04 (Pacificali04) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 02:01 pm: Edit

harvard or yale. acceptances to H or Y for undergrad dont come by often. ur lucky man

By Sac (Sac) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 02:45 pm: Edit

I'll offer the dissenting opinion of suggesting you really investigate the John Jay at Columbia. The difference between going into Harvard as just another freshman and going to Columbia as someone they already have their eye on for grooming to compete for such prizes as a Rhodes or a Marshall could be considerable.

As for Yale, yes it offers a more undergrad oriented experience. But I don't remember your interests. Yale is a wonderful place to study the humanities and has put much into the biological sciences in recent years -- but in physical sciences and math Columbia and Harvard could have more to offer.

Anybody have any information to offer on what impact the JJ has on the undergrad experience at Columbia?

By Iluvtoshop (Iluvtoshop) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 02:51 pm: Edit

Chasgoose I would recommend you to go to livejournal.com, and go to interests and type in columbia university, and make a post in the columbia university about the John Jay Scholar thing. They will be offer you great advice..Good luck on whatever school you choose!

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 03:32 pm: Edit

"Yale is a wonderful place to study the humanities and has put much into the biological sciences in recent years -- but in physical sciences and math Columbia and Harvard could have more to offer."

That's a pretty severe misconception, in my opinion. Yale is much stronger in the physical sciences and math than Columbia. And in biological sciences, Yale has always been one of the top two or three universities in the world.

By Sleepdeprived (Sleepdeprived) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 05:13 pm: Edit

flip a quarter :)

By Pacificali04 (Pacificali04) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 05:24 pm: Edit

brownalum is right. plus yale recently got more funding for science. yale undergrad is better. plus yale is more international as well as national prestige. jj scholar is good, but in the long run yale and harvard will offer u more. i also caution u asking columbia students for advice because it will be biased

By Sac (Sac) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 06:00 pm: Edit

Yale recently got more funding for science. But if you look at their website, you will see it is for biological sciences. They have been very forthright about their decision to beef up some departments and not others.

"i also caution u asking columbia students for advice because it will be biased" ?????

I don't know why you wouldn't want to ask current students at all of these schools about their experiences. (By the way, I'm a parent, not a student so my comment about Columbia and the John Jay has no bias beyond saying you should check it out). But really, this is more about who you are. You can't loose here. Go spend a night at each place if you can.

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 06:23 pm: Edit

"But if you look at their website, you will see it is for biological sciences. They have been very forthright about their decision to beef up some departments and not others."

This information is all incorrect. In addition to already having among the best research facilities in the world, Yale is currently constucting a very large new engineering building and a large new chemistry building. They should be finished within a few months, I've heard.

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 06:32 pm: Edit

I recently got accepted to Yale for Molecular Biology and Cell Development. I wonder how does it compare to the other programs I was accepted to, Cornell, JHU, Dartmouth, and Columbia?

By Jr86 (Jr86) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 06:34 pm: Edit

harvard's overated... columbia's cool if u like the city.. otherwise go with yale

By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 06:35 pm: Edit

Well I am definitely a humanities oriented student which was why I was interested in Yale (particularly their Humanities major) in the first place. I like math and physics as well, but my heart lies with English and history and from what I have seen, Yale's math and physics would satisfy my interests just fine. I think right now how I rank them is

1. Yale
2. Columbia
3. Harvard

I don't have time to visit all three schools, however, and since I wasn't interested in Harvard at the time I visited colleges way back in junior year I need to see that. I spent a lot more time at Columbia than the rest so I think that if one school loses out for visiting, it would be Columbia. I am definitely going to try to talk to current students at all 3.

Collegeparent, I didn't apply to Princeton or Stanford because I didn't really like them enough to apply (especially not enough for Princeton's application). I am from AZ and I wanted to get out of the West so Stanford was out (and I kinda miss snow). I didn't like the social scene at Princeton (the eating clubs seemed a little too much like forced fraternities), my counselor really didn't like Princeton, and as I said before their application was too difficult.

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 06:48 pm: Edit

Candi1657, out of the schools on your list, Yale has by far the best department in that area, particularly for undergraduate studies. I'd say Johns Hopkins is the runner-up.

I know several professors in medicine and biology at Harvard, Yale and other places, if you are wondering where I'm getting this knowledge from. I've also looked up the placement rates of undergraduates into NSF Fellowships, etc.

By Tsdad (Tsdad) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 10:28 pm: Edit

All things being equal: get a hat. Put the names of the three colleges on slips of paper. Draw out one. Go to that college. Issue resolved.

By Lilyofthevalley (Lilyofthevalley) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 12:59 am: Edit

first of all, what a happy dilemma! congratulations on being accepted! i would go yale but i'm severely under-informed (if that's even a word.) never really researched any deeply because it's like ivies? yeah i wish! applied cornell because my parents wanted ivy (surprise! they're asian) and it's supposedly the easiest ivy but was rejected, naturally. for sure visit the places though. good luck wherever you go.

By Lilyofthevalley (Lilyofthevalley) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 01:00 am: Edit

oops missed your post that you don't have time to visit all. the idea of talking to current students is good too though.

By Deferreddude (Deferreddude) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 03:48 am: Edit

Candi, didn't you get a likely from Dartmouth? I wonder.....are you getting enticed to choose Dartmouth over HYPS like I am? And did your interviewer call you up as well?

By Aly55a8 (Aly55a8) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 11:33 am: Edit

Chasgoose, I am in the EXACT same situation as you and I have no idea what to choose. I was a likely at Yale so I have been leaning towards that for a month or so but as you said, there is something about Harvard that sorta changes things. And with Columbia, I LOVE the city and really think I would be happy there but then I think I would be at H&Y too. So, I'm going up to all 3 (again) and paying the ungodly amount of airfare and I'm just hoping a decision will be clear.

What a wonderful problem to have though. =)

By Pacificali04 (Pacificali04) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 12:09 pm: Edit

NYC is cool, but once u start living there EVERY day...... uh.... the $, the noise, the pollution, everything just really gets on ur nerves. Yale and Harvard names have international prestige, much more than columbia. Harvard or Yale baby!

By Candi1657 (Candi1657) on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 08:49 pm: Edit

Deferreddude,

I know exactly what you mean! Dartmouth is just super cool around, though.


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