Haverford is a top liberal arts college that provides students with one of the best undergraduate educations in the country. Many students applying to colleges haven’t heard of this smaller institution. However, if you’re looking for a quality education that puts your needs as a student first, Haverford might be the right option for you.
This exclusive school is ranked #16 among national liberal colleges and #14 in terms of undergraduate teaching. We’ll be talking more about Haverford throughout the rest of this post, so you can understand why this school is a good option for students.
What Makes Haverford College Stand Out From Other College Campuses?
Founded in 1833, this private college was created by Quakers and still follows the traditions and ethics of its founders. While not overtly religious, Haverford believes that students should have an active role in campus life. Because of the Quaker tradition of community participation, students take an uncommonly large part in molding campus culture and policy, which helps make Haverford one of the country’s most unique campuses.
Students attending Haverford—which has a total enrollment population of 1,373 students and an acceptance rate of 18%—join a close-knit group of students and staff who care deeply about education and equity.. It specifically recruits students that are socially aware, brilliant, and full of passion.
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While you won’t have all the advantages of a larger public university, this campus offers a different type of college culture. Professors know the names of their students, and everyone is encouraged to challenge themselves and their peers to improve learning outcomes. In short, those who come to Haverford are expected to take an active part in their education.
How Does Haverford Provide a Quality Educational Experience?
Haverford offers a relatively small range of educational programs—about 30 majors and minors, as well as 10 concentrations in specialized disciplines—but those majors are often more distinctive than those found at larger institutions. Notable examples include scientific computing; Peace, Justice, and Human rights; and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies.
In addition, students get a hands-on educational experience that provides one-on-one attention from professors. Currently, there is a 9:1 student-faculty ratio at Haverford. Smaller class sizes allow students to have a more personal educational experience, and, with fewer requirements to publish than faculty at big research institutions, Haverford professors are fully invested in their students and those students’ careers fully.
Education at Haverford is based on integrity and honesty. Students are trusted by faculty to uphold the college’s Quaker values, as laid out in the school’s Honor Code. Because of Code, students don’t take proctored exams. Instead, students take assessments and assignments home and complete them without supervision, which can decrease test anxiety and promote mental health. It also promotes the school’s values, reinforcing Haverford’s contention that students should be independent, self-reliant, and honest.
Students can even schedule their finals whenever and wherever they want during the designated finals week, just like other exams.
Educational Freedom and Independent Learning at Haverford
At Haverford, grades are deemphasized. Because the community cares more about the learning process than about memorizing and regurgitating information, students don’t really talk about their letter grades. Instead, they focus on the concepts and ideas they learn during their courses.
Students may also exert their independence by designing coursework. With the approval of their professors, students can customize their curriculum to fit their specific career plans. Students may also choose to complete academic research or an independent capstone project to finish their degree—projects that are often paired with internships.
Best of all, those attending Haverford are not limited to campus learning. Haverford students can take classes at and access the libraries and cafeterias of the nearby Quaker Consortium schools, including Swarthmore, Byrn Mawr, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Campus Life At Haverford Is Enriching
Around 98% of students stay on campus throughout their four years at Haverford. Students are guaranteed housing, and a whopping 40% of faculty also live on campus. Life at Haverford is comfortable and accommodating. There is a thriving sports scene at Haverford, with nearly half of students playing a club or varsity sport. There are also over 145 extracurricular clubs and organizations.
Another unique aspect of campus life is student participation. Because of its founding by members of the Quaker faith, which emphasizes radical democracy and consensus decision-making origins, Haverford encourages students to influence campus life in significant ways. In fact, the school’s Honor Code, which governs most aspects of campus life, is written and enforced by students themselves. Students even sit on college committees, including those for housing, budgeting, and admissions.
Greek Life isn’t big at Haverford, but there are plenty of on-campus opportunities to socialize, including concerts, comedy shows, film showings, and dances. Plus, the campus is also only 10 miles from Philadelphia, so you can easily take a thirty-minute train ride into the city.
Students At Haverford Are Given Generous Financial Aid Packages and Have Minimal Student Loan Debt
Finally, Haverford has great financial aid packages that help students stay out of debt. 100% percent of students who need financial aid receive help. Haverford also caps student loans. If you have to borrow over $3,000 per year, the school will pay the difference.
And Haverford cares about its students’ financial situation once they leave school. Haverford students aren’t saddled with mountains of student loan debt after graduation, and the college has established an alumni fund to help graduates pay off loans.
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