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Should I apply ED to Haverford (or Pomona)?

student680student680 14 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
I'm an international student with good grades and all that stuff and I am a huge fan of Haverford. I am still a little unsure about applying ED.

Until I discovered Haverford, my first choice was Pomona. I feel like Pomona is a school where everyone can enjoy as long as you like the idea of going to a liberal arts college, in fact with the consortium you can enjoy it even if you don't. Haverford feels more risky to me...I suspect it might be a hit or miss situation.

Trust is an important value to me especially when it comes to education. I really want to feel trusted by the institution. In fact, that's why I have always been drawn to the idea of an open curriculum. I already have interests in many fields so an easy to fulfil distribution requirement wouldn't make much of a difference to me but the philosophy behind an open curriculum is based on trusting the student. Both of these schools have easy to fill distribution requirements, my point was that I really care about the philosophies and the values of a school. So it makes sense that I was drawn to Haverford.

I am also interested in the Criminology department of UPenn so being able to take classes there without attending there will be great for me.

Is there anywhere I can find data on where Haverford graduates go for graduate school? I really don't want to be a prestige whore, it's just that I love Pomona so much too so if I have a valid reason to go back to Pomona I might.

I want to be a neuroscientist. Haverford only has a Neuroscience minor. Is it that important for me to be a Neuroscience major?

And the thing that everyone who wants Haverford is drawn to, the honor code, is it really that unique? Don't other schools have it? I feel like it is less about the code and more about the general atmosphere of the school. Is the code more like a statement of values? As someone who spent a great deal talking about building a community at one of her clubs, I really feel like it's extremely valuable that the institution is built on a shared idea. I believe that's the only way communities can survive. If there is a common thing they stand for. As long as it's not blind fate of course. I want to be somewhere where everything is questioned.

I also think it's valuable that such an old institution is not governed by tradition but by the current students.

I hate grades, I hate being tested, I hate competition. I love learning and collaboration and everyone being focused on their own improvement with a concern and respect for others.

So overall, I love Haveford...I'm just scared that everything said about the school might be exaggerated. This was the only school where I truly felt a community but I'm scared of actually going there and not feeling what I want to feel. I wish I could visit and see for myself.

I don't even know what my question is exactly, any comment would be appreciated.

Even if I don't apply ED1, if I don't get in Pomona, I will apply ED2. As an international student the higher probability of acceptance is important to me no matter how small of a difference it makes so I do need to have an Early Decision choice.
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Replies to: Should I apply ED to Haverford (or Pomona)?

  • damon30damon30 1147 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Apply ED to your actual, true first choice. Apply ED2 to your actual, true second choice. Apply RD everywhere else, including affordable match and safety schools that you would be happy to attend.
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  • merc81merc81 10254 replies155 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 22
    And the thing that everyone who wants Haverford is drawn to, the honor code . . . Don't other schools have it?

    Haverford seems to receive more recognition for its honor code than other schools, but other colleges certainly maintain them, though with varying effects across campus cultures.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/education/edlife/the-fading-honor-code.html

    Btw, if your philosophy leads you to the concept of a flexible curriculum, also consider schools such as Amherst, Hamilton, Smith and Grinnell among LACs.
    edited May 22
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  • student680student680 14 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks!

    Amherst was my first love, but other factors at Pomona made me put Pomona first even with Amherst's open curriculum. If Amherst had ED2 I would have serious trouble deciding. With the others, having a flexible curriculum in itself says something but I really want to feel the presence of a common understanding of that something in the community. I didn't feel something like that at Hamilton or Grinnel...(I don't really want a women's college even if it's part of a consortium). They are in my list of colleges to apply but I didn't feel anything that could make me ED.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29591 replies172 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The way the honor code functions at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and some of the other places with strong Quaker roots, really is different than at most other institutions. Living with those standards of civility and academic behavior does give students a particular college experience, and can inform the way they continue to lead their lives after graduation.

    ED is for your absolute, definite first choice. The place that you would be happy to attend, provided the financial aid package works, and that you would never look back from. If you aren't certain, then don't apply ED. Leave more options open. And, please remember that it is May. Those ED applications aren't due for months. You can change your mind about which place is your definite first choice multiple times between now and when a possible ED application needs to be submitted.
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  • bopperbopper 13998 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    Can you afford these schools?
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6573 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 22
    If you are interested in a neuroscience PhD, you do not have to have a "major" in neuroscience: bio, pysch, math, and physics can all get you there. What will matter more is your research experience- a PhD is a research degree, and you need to show that you are ready both for the field and for the research process. Normally I am a supporter of the LAC -> grad school route, but the best places to get research internships are through your own college/university and through REUs. Most REUs do not accept international students, which leaves you with your home college/university. So, if your plan is to go for a PhD in Neuroscience, I think that your odds are better if you go to a university with a strong neuroscience program. If you want to stay with Pomona or Haverford this tips the scale heavily towards Pomona. At Haverford you can take neuro classes at UPenn, but you will be at a disadvantage compared to enrolled UPenn students for research opportunities

    If you are looking to go into neuroscience MD, the major doesn't really matter, as the first objective is to get into med school (and pay for it).
    where Haverford graduates go for graduate school

    Either way, there is no meaningful difference between Haverford and Pomona when it comes to grad school admissions in general.
    I hate grades, I hate being tested, I hate competition
    a prestige whore
    I really want to feel trusted by the institution

    All of these are problematic, the first because both the PhD & MD tracks involve a lot of testing and access to them is fundamentally competitive, the second is inappropriate, and the third is effectively looking for external validation from an entity (which is a proxy for people).




    edited May 22
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  • student680student680 14 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    thanks for that information on universities vs LAC for international students
    lol of course, I am aware I won't be able to avoid tests and competition, I simply wanted to be at a laid-back place
    I really don't want prestige to be a factor in my decision so I'm glad you say there isn't a meaningful difference in grad school admissions
    It's not that I need the school's validation, I can be happy wherever I go if I want to. It just affects the experience.
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  • student680student680 14 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited May 22
    I can't afford these schools. I was hoping to get financial aid but worst comes to worst I do have a backup financial resource so I'm just trying my chances. How impossible is it for me to get financial aid?
    edited May 22
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6573 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Very very few schools are 'need-blind' for international applicants, so they consider how much financial aid you will need into the decision of whether to offer you a place.

    If a college or university says that it will "meet full need" (and be sure that they include international students in that- many of the ones who meet need for domestic students do not for international students), they will take all your family financial information and calculate how much they think that you can afford. The "need" part will be met by varying combinations of grants and loans; the balance is what they calculate you can afford. Be aware that many many families find that the calculations do not match what they feel they can afford.

    If the college or university does not say that it will "meet full need" they will give you however much financial aid suits them, and then you have to find the rest.

    Start with the Financial aid section of the college website for info on their financial aid practices. For more detail you can search 'common data set' + the name of the college you can get a lot of info on how much financial aid that college gives out.

    Fwiw, I don't see either Pomona or Haverford as especially laid back places, though it may matter what you mean by 'laid back'.
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  • CardinalBobcatCardinalBobcat 157 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Since you have explained that you cannot afford these schools, you would be putting yourself in peril if you apply early decision. As I understand ED, if accepted, you would be prohibited from attending any other schools if your financial aid package was not large enough. Early action would be a fine way to apply, but not early decision. Anyone please correct me if I am mistaken about this.
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 760 replies14 threadsRegistered User Member
    @CardinalBobcat you are incorrect. If the financial aid doesn’t come back as feasible for the student they are free to apply anywhere else and attend.
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  • International DadInternational Dad 299 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited May 22
    ED rules College Board:

    “Reduced financial aid opportunities: Students who apply under ED plans receive offers of admission and financial aid simultaneously and so will not be able to compare financial aid offers from other colleges. For students who absolutely need financial aid, applying early may be a risky option.”
    edited May 22
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 760 replies14 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited May 22
    Yes, they can’t compare aid offers most of the time, but they absolutely can be released from their early decision school due to finances and apply elsewhere- just not ED. My daughter was actually able to compare some financial aid offers, even, because she applied rolling/EA to some state schools and schools with scholarship deadlines, and she’d gotten her decisions and aid packages before the ED decision came out.

    Pomona and Haverford both meet full need for all accepted students, but are need-aware for all international students, making acceptance even harder.
    edited May 22
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  • merc81merc81 10254 replies155 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Irrespective of specific wording, colleges of this type seem to offer sufficient financial aid for their applicants to honor their stated commitment to attend. Hamilton, for example, last year enrolled 100% (166/166) of its accepted ED1 applicants.

    https://www.hamilton.edu/admission/apply/class-profile
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  • International DadInternational Dad 299 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    @milgymfam you are right 👍

    College Board:

    “The only acceptable circumstance under which to break the contract, according to NACAC, is the following: "Should a student who applies for financial aid not be offered an award that makes attendance possible, the student may decline the offer of admission and be released from the Early Decision commitment" (from NACAC's Statement of Principles).
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  • CardinalBobcatCardinalBobcat 157 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited May 22
    I appreciate the clarification. So, if I’m understanding the current rules, ED is risky for an applicant whose finances are uncertain — not because s/he cannot decline admission and apply to other schools if the aid is *clearly insufficient*, but because s/he will never be able to know if less debt was possible elsewhere, and must quickly make a decision anyway. Also, because the ED admission must be declined in order to avoid withdrawing applications elsewhere, the student will lose out on any additional time to find additional financing for the ED school, including private scholarship information which typically comes in in the spring. S/he will have already had to turn down the ED admission. In other words, if it’s a clear no-go financially, fine, but, otherwise, there are definite risks involved. Is this accurate?
    edited May 22
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 22
    It is super hard to make much of a dent in the costs of the schools being discussed here with outside scholarships, and even harder at the late date when decisions are being received. @CardinalBobcat If you have more questions on ED, you might want to start a separate thread.

    OP, have you visited any of these schools? ED is risky if not.
    edited May 22
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  • merc81merc81 10254 replies155 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 22
    Is this accurate?

    I'm going to say no, largely because the interpretation misses the underlying philosophy of ED. The college will promise to consider your finances thoroughly, then provide you, to its best estimate, with sufficient financial assistance to enable you to attend. You, for your part, will be expected to fund the balance of the costs for your education -- of which you, after all, will be the recipient. If you would like to compare offers, then you would be moving away from this philosophy, and possibly away from the top colleges that generally adhere to it.
    edited May 22
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  • merc81merc81 10254 replies155 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    As a preliminary resource, this site may help you estimate your college costs: https://myintuition.org/.
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  • CardinalBobcatCardinalBobcat 157 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @intparent, I don’t have any questions about ED. I realize that people who post online often think they know everything, even when they’re mistaken, and that it is truly odd to see someone modestly welcome others to correct them, but, thankfully, it does happen :-) That’s what you’re seeing me do. Meanwhile, while it is indeed difficult to earn big private scholarships, it does happen and ED applicants would be wise to consider the ramifications of needing to decide before spring scholarship notification dates. Also agree with your point about visiting the schools.
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