Why apply to Princetonwhen you can apply to Harvard?!?!





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Discus: What Are My Chances?: September 2003 Archive: Why apply to Princetonwhen you can apply to Harvard?!?!
By Ilovewanhong (Ilovewanhong) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 12:30 pm: Edit

Seriously, after all, they are both #1. Harvard has the name advantage, the endowment, the location, the prestigious graduate programs. Also, if one liked both schools equally well, Princeton is ED (binding), Harvard is not, therefore making Harvard more attractive. Discuss.

By Sooky6 (Sooky6) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 02:34 pm: Edit

Princeton, not having a law, medical or business school, focuses more resources proportionally on undergraduates than Harvard does. So using the endowment as a comparison bw these two is not very useful for an undergrad. I've also heard students say they prefer Princeton socially, particularly more laid back, athletic types. The eating clubs offer more of a social safety net than exists at Harvard, although the Houses are supportive of this (similar to res colleges at Yale). Princeton kids notoriously deride Harvard as more uptight and nerdy. (*insert generalization here*). These decisions are highly personal and can't be calculated objectively. If you're smart enough to get to choose between them, you're probably smart enough to realize that. Also depends entirely on your intersts...e.g. Princeton for lacrosse, Harvard for computer science, Princeton for performing arts. Princeton feels much more bucolic, and more like a LAC, which appeals more to some. Harvard has Cambridge/Boston and wider opportunities for cross-registration at affiliated schools (MIT, Tufts, Harvard professional/grad schools). My two cents.

By Andy7733 (Andy7733) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 05:09 pm: Edit

doesnt princeton have a larger endowment? i remember reading that it was in the 8 billion+ range

By Dadx (Dadx) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 05:32 pm: Edit

You can look it up!!

Harvard actually blows away all competitors in absolute size of endowment---something like $17B
Yale follows with around $11B, and there are a number of others including Princeton in the just under $10B. I dont think any of this means much by itself. Whatever meaning the endowment has is already embodied in the school's numbers, programs, etc.

By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 07:05 pm: Edit

I really think the name advantage between Harvard and Princeton is so slight that it is basically non-existent. Same with the endowment issue, because actually I would guess that the per student endowment is higher at Princeton because at Harvard it has to be stretched over the many graduate programs and the undergraduates whereas Princeton has a lot less undergrads and a much smaller graduate program. And I agree with Sooky that Princeton appeals to undergrads because its main focus are undergrads and because of this they do not have the graduate programs that Harvard does. I don't understand why people take the quality of the graduate programs into account when they are applying as UNDERGRADS, it makes absolutely no sense. In fact, schools with really prestigious graduate programs generally are worse for undergrads because the grad programs are receiving all the money and attention. I do agree that EA is the one thing Harvard has going for it, but overall I would say for an undergraduate experience, Princeton, Yale, and many small LACs --such as Amherst, Swarthmore, and Williams-- are all better than Harvard is.

By Anduin (Anduin) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 08:01 pm: Edit

The Princeton "eating" clubs provide a social safety net? Are these the same cliquish eating clubs that often cost thousands of dollars to join? I hardly think that's better than Harvard's Houses, which are supposed to be microcosms of the school as a whole.

By Sooky6 (Sooky6) on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 10:21 pm: Edit

Not really an issue of better or worse Anduin, besides the cost involved in eating clubs (which varies widely). Just different. Students are assigned to Houses, so they don't have the same character that eating clubs do (and are probably less cliquish, certainly less elitist on some level as a result). but by social safety net I mean the opportunity to join a group of your choosing...that reflects your personality, etc. The House system definitely has its advantages, but I think some people would rather choose a community rather than be assigned to one that is a "microcosm of the school". But when you do that, you get snobbishness to some degree. A matter of choice.


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