Please enlighten me on all your knowledge that would be appropriate in aiding me on a decision between HYP. I have a full ride to all three so the financial basis is not a problem at all. Distance is also not an issue for me and they are relatively close to my home in NJ anyway. Now that those details are out of the way, my personal details on what I like/am interested in:
-Projected Econ Major with a focus on PreMed (Intended graduate path, obviously enough, being medicine. Also obvious enough, I want the school to be strong in both Econ and PreMed)
-If I am able to, be a possible double major in Econ and Chem
-Motivating and intriguing classes where I'll enjoy learning (I am pretty self-motivated but having a great instructor and class makes me enjoy learning even more)
-Ease of access with professors and resources
-Great assistance in ensuring the success of senior thesis and entry into medical school (I am aware the MCAT score is all on me but this point is in regards to providing me the proper prerequisites and ensuring the stability of my GPA)
-Great study abroad program (Definitely want to check out Costa Rica for a summer and possibly study a semester in either England, Australia or France)
-Friendly atmosphere with students whom will not be difficult to connect with
-School community where the students love their athletics and are high-spirited about all they have to offer (EC/activity wise)
-Pleasant social scene
-Running (Will walk-on for varsity cross country but will probably end up just focusing on running for myself. I am a distance addict and will become a road runner, focusing especially on the half-marathon)
-Hassle-free dorm life and great housing
I know this may be tough criteria to fit and somewhat subjective, but I would appreciate as much detail and information that can be given to me. Thank you for your time before you guys post btw!
I would narrow that list down to Harvard and Yale. Judging just on the campus alone, Harvard and Yale both have a lot more going on than Princeton, with Harvard having by far the best city where there is easy access to food and such. Princeton is just super isolated...it has an incredibly pretty campus in my opinion but it is like a ghost town population: Princeton. Now at all three schools the kids are super friendly. At all schools there is great access to the professors and at all schools there is an easy dorm system in place with Yale having the better system as it provides more family bonding time. Now just looking at this, everything is practically equal. Yet in terms of opportunities available later in life....Harvard is the best. If you plan to go to Harvard Med then it will give you a serious edge to attend Harvard undergrad.
Any choice you make will be good. There is no losing with a choice like that but as my sister told me when I talked to her...one certain choice allows you to win more than the others. *cough cough*
Thank you for the information, and as an update I'm a mixed race (subcontinent asian/white/black) male in the lower middle class status. I'm creating a slight interest in Harvard Med but my sights are set on possibly JHU, WUSL, Columbia, Duke or Pritzker at UChicago, maybe even Stanford or Yale.
It's all about the match of personality and the environment since the three schools are very similar in terms of academic. Judging from the way you itemized you list of considerations and assumed thought process, you will be a great match with Harvard. The post could have been written by my D who is driven, organized, and a planner who seeks out new experiences, resources and opportunities. She can't be happier at H. H is also extremely diverse. She is a mixed race as well and belongs to the H HAPA (half Asian people association).
While Harvard is great and fantastic and everything, three things on your list stand out to me as not being true here. (The rest, I think, are more or less true.)
-- I'm pretty sure you're unlikely to be able to do a joint concentration in economics and chem. We don't have double majors, we have "joint concentrations," where your thesis has to relate to both. I don't think economics allows those.
-- Economics is not very good, I think, at providing support for senior thesises. (Although maybe if you're one of the few students who wants to do one, they will fall all over themselves for you--I don't know.) ("In fact, there were only 34 applicants for 68 junior seminar spots this past shopping period." They have 250 concentrators/year.)
--Great study abroad program? Nope. Good, maybe. Costa Rica summer will be easy to arrange--tons of funding etc. etc. A semester abroad can be difficult socially/rooming-wise here, since it's not that common a choice. I am not myself premed and I am not myself interested in spending a semester abroad, so my knowledge of semesters abroad for Harvard premeds is pretty limited. You'll want to check that carefully with all the schools you're considering, not just Harvard, because it can sometimes be difficult to arrange a semester away from your home institution while filling all the premed requirements. Whether that's better or worse at Harvard than elsewhere, I can't say.
I am under the impression that current Harvard undergrads are not neglected. CC threads seem to put that worry to rest, and that was not the impression my DS got when he visited. I am intrigued by the claim that Harvard is a much harder working place than Yale. The students were indeed working very hard, which while not the widespread public opinion about Harvard, seems to be what people who have experience with Harvard are saying.