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^You do know that Haverford is allowed to be just as good of a school without threatening Swarthmore's status as another great school; maintaining this illusion that one is a dramatic improvement on the other would be rather silly when schools of this caliber have so much in common
Thus while interestdad's kind of analysis is useful, nothing matters more than finding a place that you can really envision as your home.
We will have additional updates on the budget situation later this year and early in the next.
Wrt to the new dorm, it seems more like HC is being "forced" to take out more debt for the new dorm in order not to lose the matching grant. That is, would HC have built a new dorm in this financial climate if not for the grant? It may benefit the current crop of students, but that new debt still has to be paid and may well impact the school's long-term financial standing. I speculate; ID, I'm sure, can provide more concrete data.