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Swat vs. Haverford


Replies to: Swat vs. Haverford

  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    I think pass/fail first semester is probably the single best policy in higher education. IMO, this is the sort of policy that could be/should be an important consideration is selecting a college.

    I think my daughter took three first year seminars, counting Boccio's 6H Relativity Physics seminar (which was not technically an FYS). She really liked two of them and thought the third one was "just OK".

    She loved Boccio's seminar, even though it convinced her that she didn't want to be a Physics major. Presenting problem sets to the class. Office hours with Boccio in preparation for presenting to the class. The weekly Sunday night problem set groups. And, then meeting in seminar once a week for three hours. Chuckling at "those Physics boys" (as she called them) trying to win arguments on relativity with Boccio. It was like its own complete collaborative educational experience and was certainly a uniquely new experience to transition from a public high school to Swarthmore.
  • dramaticadramatica Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member

    You posted that you were an instigator. So you pricked my curiosity.

    Last year about this time you were choosing were to go. A year earlier in 2008 when you began your college search you were wondering if it was unethical to be a recruited athlete because you were being recruited but did not want to continue running in college.

    Your final choices apparently were Swarthmore, Chicago, Vassar and Wesleyan. You seemed to have a preference for Wesleyan but did not get enought FA. So in the end it seems that you "settled" for Swarthmore.

    About a month ago you posted on the Wesleyan thread that you had left Swarthmore and would be reapplying to Swarthmore, and applying to Haverford, but you were thinking of transferring, from either Haverford or Swarthmore, to Wesleyan after a year.

    If your posts are for real, you are not ready to be in school. You need to mature and you would be making a major mistake in returning to Swarthmore. Haverford is not going to cut it either. Take some time off and when you are ready, if you still have the same feelings for Wesleyan, go ahead and apply there. Do not waste your time or Swarthmore's resources because you obviously will not be happy there. The school has not changed since you were there, and you probably have not changed either.

    Could you please answer a question? Did you apply as a recruited athlete and leave because in the end you did not want to run?
  • kramerica91kramerica91 Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member

    no, no, not at all! gosh, i am kind of a jerk, and immature, and unprepared for college in some ways but i am not that dishonest. i did indeed express a desire to run at swarthmore, but i also spoke with the coach over the phone and, as well, expressed my unsureness over whether or not i wanted to run. i was accepted early write, and perhaps i'm flattering myself, but i don't think i would have gotten in early write just because they needed a runner.

    i was not a recruited athlete at swarthmore to my understanding. the coach called me because i had expressed an interest in running, but that was the extent of my involvement with xc. my application was "supported" by the vassar coach, but i did not end up going there. there was never any expectation of me running at swarthmore, and i made this clear to the coach over the phone and at Ride the Tide. if my memory serves me correctly, that is. at very least i can say with certainty that i was not recruited, and i did not leave for any reasons related to running whatsoever.

    in terms of my wesleyan thread: ya, i wanted to go to wesleyan. but i had to deal with reality, which was that my family could nowhere NEAR afford it. so regardless of my feelings, or my wesleyan thread (which wasn't posted with full intentions of transferring to wes...it was really a more general question about transferring which I wanted answered largely for curiosity's sake), i'm going to have to settle down at either swat or haverford.

    in the end, i think interesteddad is basically right. this is not the place for me to seek advice. i need to speak with my family, friends, and the swarthmore/haverford deans. still, this is a fascinating thread. so write what you will, and i'll ready my grains of salt.
  • dramaticadramatica Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member

    Am I missing something or are you getting caught up in a fabricated story you cannot keep straight?

    Last year's posts show you stating that you were having to make a decision by May 1st and make a choice. So how on earth could you be an early write at Swarthmore?
  • dramaticadramatica Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    OOPS my mistake! Was thinking early decision, you said early write. Sorry.
  • kramerica91kramerica91 Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    hey, not a problem dramatica. i don't take anything said on here too personally, and it was an honest mistake.

    plus, i feel rather silly for starting this thread, and a fair amount of the criticism pointed at me has been accurate. again, thanks to all who are honestly trying to help.
  • CollegeDadX3CollegeDadX3 Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    I think I can add some to this discussion regarding first semester pass/fail, course load, and settling into Swarthmore. My son is a freshman and recruited athlete who struggled with his courses and the work load first semester. He thought he was in over his head academically. Jump ahead to the second semester and he has learned how to "study" and all that that implies at Swarthmore. I talked to him recently and he told me he thought his lowest grade was either a B or B+. I could tell by the pride in his voice that he was really happy. He also told me he studies several hours a day, sometimes spending up to ten hours on his school work. I truly believe the pass/fail first semester was especially good for a kid who had not learned how to really study. Swarthmore is not right for everyone. It is harder than anyone understands. But, if you make it, you will have maybe the best education in America.
  • murmillomurmillo Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Yeah, I'm really glad that first semester is pass/fail. Swarthmore is a difficult school, but I think there's kind of a misconception. I mean, the classes at Swarthmore are probably more demanding than at most other places, but there are people here who say that high school was easier than it is here. It depends a lot on your schedule, how hard your professors are, etc. Students definitely can gauge how much work they're going to get, and then plan their semester so that they have a good amount of work but not too much. But yeah, a lot of ppl here work all the time, in addition to doing extracurricular activities and all that.
  • eyeballeyeball Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    My daughter applied to both Haverford and Swarthmore. She had 2380 SATs, National Merit finalist Maryland, 5's on AP Calc B/C, US History, Comp, Lit, Spanish, high 700's on all SAT2 tests, and a 4.8 weighted GPA taking all of the most challenging classes. She has a very quick wit, is lively as all get-out,and has fallen in love with Physics and Math. She got waitlisted at Swarthmore and was admitted to Haverford. She is going to Haverford. Interesting to glean from several posts here that Swarthmore students are intellectually superior to Haverford students. Please don't tell me that every one who was admitted to Swarthmore 3 weeks ago is a) my daughter's intellectual superior and b) has credentials that exceeded hers in any appreciable way.
  • mrscollegemrscollege Registered User Posts: 659 Member
    Wow, your D's stats are impressive! Where else did she apply?
  • eyeballeyeball Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    She applied to a small list of schools: Swarthmore, Haverford, Oberlin because these were three schools that she found to be interesting to her that had a lot of the qualities she was looking for. She also applied to University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins because they both waived the application fee. She was a Maryland distinguished scholar and it was free for her to apply to any school in Maryland so she figured she might as well.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member

    I don't think there are any parents here, or many Swarthmore students and alumni, who believe that there is any meaningful difference in the capabiliities of students who get accepted to Swarthmore and students who get accepted to Haverford (or any other top liberal arts college). Certainly, the parents who have ushered kids through the process in recent years understand the daunting numbers, especially for girls from the mid-Atlantic and northeast.
  • dramaticadramatica Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member

    You titled your post "This thread makes me sad." It is inexplicable to me why parents and student place so much weight on scores, grades and admission decisions.

    Why should you feel sad as a result of postings in a public forum by people that you have never met? Instead you should be feeling joy that your daughter is attending a wonderful school.

    And as far as "credentials" go, all that the test scores mean is that a student knows how to take a test on a given day. High grades and high scores often go hand in hand with intellectual ability, but not always. There are many intellectually curious students who do not well on tests, while there are many students who do extremely well on tests who do not have an ounce of intellectual curiosity. And of course, there are those who do well and who are intellectually curious. There are also many students who are incredibly intelligent who have not been afforded the same opportunities as high scoring test takers, and they are no less deserving of being given opportunities.

    What is truly sad is the level of "competitiveness" among parents and students for the sake of showing admission to a trophy school without regard as to whether the school is a good fit or not.

    What makes me really sad is the manner in which college applications have been turned on their heads as a result of college rankings by money making publications and the unwarranted importance that SAT/ACT/AP scores have garnered. - - There are many pieces of low scoring coal out there who with a little bit of help will turn into shiny diamonds and there many pieces of high scoring shiny cubic zirconium being trumped up as diamonds....

    I hope you are not passing on your sadness to your daughter who should be jubilant to have been given the opportunity to attend Haverford.

    I apologize for the rant, but I get crazy this time of year at seeing so many people comparing and despairing over the whole admission process....
  • eyeballeyeball Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    What a very thoughtful and truthful response! I was thrilled when my daughter was accepted to Haverford and remain thrilled because it seems like such a good fit for her. Truthfully, it was her first choice. She really responded to the friendly/low key vibe and is a natural for going to a school that takes its honor code so seriously. I think my sadness derives from reading the snooty "Swarthmore is just so clearly superior and Haverford is comparatively second rate" comments. It makes me wonder if she's going to be encountering it at Haverford since the two schools are so close to each other.
    You know what though, your message is right-on and I thank you. There's wisdom to your words and it will help me put this whole matter into perspective.
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
    Truthfully, it was her first choice.

    There ya go! It usually works out the way it is supposed to.
    makes me wonder if she's going to be encountering it at Haverford since the two schools are so close to each other.

    Only in the spirit of a Georgia/Georgia Tech, Florida/Florida State, Michigan/Michigan State football rivalry. I mean, seriously, what are Haverford and Swarthmore going to needle each other about? Football? Or academics?

    To be honest, I don't see much evidence of a whole lot of Haverford/Swarthmore interaction outside of sporting events.
This discussion has been closed.