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Northwestern vs. Penn vs. Stanford vs. Duke vs. Harvard

HogwartsHopefulHogwartsHopeful User Awaiting Email Confirmation 53 replies34 threads Junior Member
edited January 2011 in Northwestern University
Hi, I'm a Junior, and I am trying to make a list of colleges that I plan on applying to. Out of these (Northwester, Penn, Stanford, Duke, Harvard), which best fits me? I realize that I should visit these schools to really get the feel for which is better, but I am just looking for some help nonetheless. Anyways, here is what I'm looking for:

-great pre-medical program (I want good advising to help me find research opportunities and internships, etc. I want a place that has great overall academics too with friendly and accessible teachers.)

-location in/next to a big city (I want to experience a cultural city that offers things from great restaurants to popular sports teams to fantastic shows. I know that I probably won't be able to see everything and will probably only go out to the city once or twice a week, but I want to have the option at least.)

-great school spirit (I want to be around a tight-knit environment with people of the sort. Also, I really enjoy watching sports (especially football and basketball) and want to go somewhere that has lots of school spirit and fans for their sports teams, which are at least pretty successful. I don't need the top ranked school in each sport, but entertaining, competitive sports would be super fun to watch.)

-competitive atmosphere, but not cutthroat (I like competition. I feed off competition in a way. And I want to be around competitive people, but not SUPER competitive people. I don't want to be around people who won't work with me on homework, help me out, etc.)
edited January 2011
1 replies
Post edited by HogwartsHopeful on
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Replies to: Northwestern vs. Penn vs. Stanford vs. Duke vs. Harvard

  • arbiter213arbiter213 3501 replies71 threads Senior Member
    Northwestern vs. Penn vs. Stanford vs. Duke vs. Harvard

    All three meet your first criteria.

    All of them but Duke meet your second, but NU>Penn>Harvard>>Stanford >>>>>>Duke for the city aspect. Boston is great and all but it's small. Chicago is the only alpha class global city on the list. Philly is great, and Palo Alto is sort of kind of near San Francisco maybe. If you bring a car, anyway...

    Sports: Stanford>Duke>=NU>>>>>>>>>>>Penn>Harvard. Stanford has the best overall sports and both revenues. Duke has legendary basketball and lacrosse is a big deal (their football SUCKS though). NU has an up and coming football program in the Big Ten, and uh, well, the basketball games are fun. Campus has a lot of spirit, especially during football season.

    Can't speak to other schools on the last point, but: People who come to NU work. Hard. The quarter system is brutal but rewarding. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere and then some- I find most people who I meet who go to ANY other school, including HYPS, don't/can't work nearly as hard. NU students collaborate all the time, we're very friendly. The competition is against the school, the system, and the classes, not against one another, even in classes graded on a curve.

    Hope this helps.

    I'm also gonna say: Go where you get in ;) I'd be SHOCKED if you get in to all of them. If you're considering Early Decision, make sure to visit all of them. And don't visit NU in the winter- it's not a fair comparison. Wait at least till May.
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