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Harvard vs. Amherst

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Replies to: Harvard vs. Amherst

  • lmpwlmpw 610 replies7 threads Member
    Obviously Harvard is stellar but it really depends on the undergraduate experience that you want.
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  • noojoonoojoo 47 replies27 threads Junior Member
    Obviously Harvard is stellar but it really depends on the undergraduate experience that you want.

    Definitely...
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  • kwukwu 4743 replies16 threads Senior Member
    IMO, the two are very different schools, and should not be compared.
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  • piccolojuniorpiccolojunior 2492 replies137 threads- Senior Member
    Don't have a hissy.

    Amherst is clearly superior.

    However, the vast majority of people will choose Harvard, if only for the name.

    lol @ sour grapes

    Everyone's different...I can't stand the idea of going to a LAC so I never even considered applying to amherst, swarthmore, etc. If you're obsessed with the "perfect undergraduate experience," guess what....it ain't happening no matter where you go.
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  • Counting12001Counting12001 182 replies8 threads Junior Member
    What's an Amherst - never heard of it. LOL!!!
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  • rhcp07rhcp07 34 replies2 threads Junior Member
    piccolojunior, I'm having the perfect undergraduate experience! Amherst is right for me, although it definitely isn't for everyone. I don't think anyone should give up on having a great experience before they even go to college. Going in with the right open, positive attitude can make all the difference.
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  • lmpwlmpw 610 replies7 threads Member
    piccolojunior, small LAC aren't for everyone. If you want huge classes, anonymity, big college sports, greek life, etc. then you don't want a LAC. I was a Visiting Professor some years ago at UCLA and the place is so enormous you have to take buses to get around campus. But, it's a wonderful university. Undergraduates simply have a different experience there. In big universities, students do have to find smaller communities via fraternities and sororities, or other organizations to find a sense of community and identity. On LAC, the entire campus is a community (or at least that's the philosophy, the campus is a family). Undergraduates on most large campuses are taught by graduate students. I know because I've taught undergraduates as a doctoral student. At UC-Berkeley, the classes are so big that you can simply watch them on podcast. If you want close relationships with faculty and an opportunity to know most of your fellow classmates, then going to the LAC is the best choice. Some people don't need or want this.
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  • kwukwu 4743 replies16 threads Senior Member
    lol @ sour grapes

    Everyone's different...I can't stand the idea of going to a LAC so I never even considered applying to amherst, swarthmore, etc. If you're obsessed with the "perfect undergraduate experience," guess what....it ain't happening no matter where you go.

    Are you stalking me?
    I didn't expect to get into Harvard, so I don't have sour grapes.
    I applied to Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia, and in my opinion Amherst beats both Harvard and Columbia hands down. Princeton, it's very arguable.

    Enjoy having most of your classes taught by TAs, by the way.
    Also, it's far worse to be a sore winner than a sore loser.
    I still don't understand why you IM'd me to tell me that Harvard's food is great, considering you knew I wasn't admitted.

    P.S. Harvard doesn't even rank on the Princeton Review's list of "Best Campus Food," whereas I get to choose between eating at one of three schools: Bryn Mawr, Notre Dame, or Middlebury :3
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  • unregisteredunregistered 1177 replies3 threads Senior Member
    I think you are both embarrassing yourselves.
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  • juliusthemonkeyjuliusthemonkey 18 replies4 threads New Member
    i also visited both amherst and harvard and found that the food was equally horrible at each.


    this thread has stopped being helpful.
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  • juliusthemonkeyjuliusthemonkey 18 replies4 threads New Member
    i also have made a decision.
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  • pmyenpmyen 484 replies55 threads Member
    Good luck Julius. I'm glad you visited both places. I'm sure you will have a terrific experience wherever you choose to go.

    On this general topic, I found this article from the Globe. It is a little old so things may have changed. Harvard is a great university and Harvard is Harvard, but.......

    Student life at Harvard lags peer schools, poll finds - The Boston Globe
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  • piccolojuniorpiccolojunior 2492 replies137 threads- Senior Member
    I think you are both embarrassing yourselves.

    Why me? I only posted once for the lulz.
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  • hpg90hpg90 368 replies6 threads Member
    What'd you decide?
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  • juliusthemonkeyjuliusthemonkey 18 replies4 threads New Member
    to never trust college confidential for advice again :-/
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  • pmyenpmyen 484 replies55 threads Member
    Julius,
    Like all sources, you should verify. I think most of the advice proffered was well-intentioned but not always well-informed. Definitely biased. And anonymous. You need to use some discernment and you also need to evaluate the information that is specific for you. I would NEVER depend upon this site as a sole source (or even a major source); however, I think there are valuable kernels, which only you, or other readers, can decide whether they are applicable to your/their particular situation.

    I think talking with current students, particularly those who know you personally as well as those interested in your areas of interest (I would include academics, sports, extracurriculars) is a good place to start. Teachers, alumni, even parents may be helpful in sorting out pros and cons. Visiting the college, staying overnight is important if economically feasible (which I am glad you did). In some cases, meeting with profs, if they are available can be helpful. I think you went about the whole process wisely and open-mindedly, and you should be commended for it. I think you were looking for the best possible educational experience for yourself while weighing multiple factors. In the end, you came to a decision. Now make the most of your opportunity (actually privilege) and enjoy it as well!

    I think it is fine to keep your final decision private. It really is not relevant except for those that may just be curious. I think your question, sparked some discussion which may have been somewhat useful for others even if it didn't help you all that much.
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  • juliusthemonkeyjuliusthemonkey 18 replies4 threads New Member
    haha thanks pymen--

    i guess by logging onto this site i wasnt expecting to find any new information i dont already know, or new information that i even particularly trust. i guess i was hoping someone had an answer to this question. in a way i almost wish most people had said "GO TO HARVARD ARE YOU CRAZY" or "AMHERST HAS FAR SUPERIOR EDUCATION, AT HARVARD ALL THE CLASSES HAVE 329879738434 PEOPLE ADN THE PROFESSORS HATE YOU". although clearly answers like that are no more subjective than the replies i got on this thread.

    i guess waht ive learned form all this is that no matter what i do, people will think i made the wrong choice. if i turn down harvard there will always be people wondering why i did it, but if i turn down amherst there will always be people who will judge me for sacrificing what is probably a higher quality of education for the label of all labels.

    id prefer to keep my decision private, but just as a note to future posters on college confidential: the answers aren't here. eventually, you will have to make a decision yourself.
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  • madvillemadville 1085 replies15 threads Senior Member
    i guess waht ive learned form all this is that no matter what i do, people will think i made the wrong choice. if i turn down harvard there will always be people wondering why i did it, but if i turn down amherst there will always be people who will judge me for sacrificing what is probably a higher quality of education for the label of all labels.

    FWIW, there is no bad choice. DS just made his decision between Amherst & Williams. I have to commend both admission offices for their personal attention and professionalism. It isn't important what others will think, it's important what you think and feel. The advice given to my S was pick one and move on. Don't look back or wonder what would have been. Focus on what you determine to be what appeals to you and don't magnify the negatives. Given the fact that you have been selected to 2 very well regarded and selective schools, you have what it takes to succeed in both environments, and both have the necessary resources to make your experiences memorable for a lifetime.

    Our Williams tour guide was rejected from her Ivy choices. I would have never known, had we not spent so much time with her (about 2 hrs). Her enthusiasm and love of Williams was infectious and she is studying abroad at Oxford next year. Needless to say the fact that she didn't go Ivy affected her attitude nor her tremendous opportunities.

    This is a tremendous forum, but as Pymen has noted you have to be savvy enough to "eat the meat and throw away the bones."
    Good luck with your decision, and do keep us posted.

    P.S.
    By the way DS chose AMHERST!!!!
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  • pmyenpmyen 484 replies55 threads Member
    Julius,
    Good for you. Time to move on. Don't second guess yourself anymore. I think going on CC, you will probably get strong opnions that tend to crytallize suggestions in terms of black and white. It is partlly due to the format of an internet thread. Difficult to give a balanced, detailed, and nuanced view by the very nature of the medium coupled with what I wrote earlier. Also, most people who choose to respond will almost invariably have a strong opinion (At least strong enough to spend a few moments to type out a reply).

    I also want to point out that Harvard may offer the superior education and social life for some students. It really depends upon what the student is looking for. Moreover, prestige is not the sole (or even primary) determinant for some students who decide to attend there, contrary to opinions on CC. Prestige is a reality but not necessarily a main factor.

    Harvard and Amherst are different in a number of signficant ways which generates substantive factors for the student to consider. The fact it took you took almost the whole month to decide reflects the distinctive strangths of each school.

    Whatever car you decided to drive out of the lot, I think you kicked the tires and looked under the hood, and maybe even took a short test drive. You should feel very positive about how you made an important life decision. This has been a valuable lesson, and how you arrived at it, will serve you well when you reach other forks in the road. You may want to reflect on the processs (not the choice) in the future, as how you handled it is something you also should be proud of, in addition to your h.s. accomplishments.
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  • MeasureYourselfMeasureYourself 99 replies18 threads Junior Member
    Both great schools. If you want to go to a phd program, Amherst will get you in anywhere becauseof hteprofessors and advisors, however, during your undergraduate years you will not have th research opportunities some Harvard students will get. For law and med school, you can't go wrong at either
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