Harvard or Princeton?

<p>Can't decide. I like Harvard's setting much better than Princeton's, but in terms of acadmeics and having fun, what's better? I THINK I'm doing economics, but could just as easily switch to pre-med, law, linguistics, etc. Basically, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Harvard has a fabulous graduate school, but do the undergraduates benefit from that?</p>

<p>I think when it comes to academics, unless you're looking at one of the few programs offered only at one campus, it's a wash. As for fun, it depends what's fun for you. Harvard has plenty of parties, but Princeton has a bigger/wilder party scene IMHO. If it's fun for you to be in the city with lots of activities to explore close at hand, then Harvard might be more fun.</p>

<p>The main way that the Harvard graduate schools benefit undergrads is that students at all of them live in the undergrad houses whose job it is to help you figure out what you want to do and how to make it happen. Starting sophomore year, you will have Harvard medical, law, business, and PhD students living and eating with you. This is a huge help in the decision process and later in the application process.</p>

<p>You can take courses or do research at most of the Harvard grad schools; the Kennedy School in particular attracts a lot of undergrads.</p>

<p>As do the Med School + affiliated hospitals (Dana Farber, BWH, MGH, etc).</p>

<p>ok. so far harvard seems like the way to go. I much prefer the urban setting and parties, if you're looking, you'll be able to find them right? And hey if not (which I doubt), I can always bring the party!</p>

the Kennedy School in particular attracts a lot of undergrads.


<p>Do you mind perhaps expanding on that?</p>

<p>I'm quite drawn to the presence of the HKS. I'm aware of course, that the grad schools are independent of the College, however I would appreciate some further details on the opportunities that Harvard undergraduates have with respect to the grad schools, and the HKS in particular. :)</p>

<p>Sure. Each grad school has its own rules, but undergrads can quite freely enroll in courses at the K school. I took a fantastic seminar there as a senior, and there were freshmen in the class as well. You can pretty much just look at the course listing and sign up for what you want. Courses can fill up, but that can happen in the college, too, and you can always go to the professor and ask him/her to make room. Harvard</a> Kennedy School - 2009-2010 Course Listing</p>

<p>The K school also has amazing speakers come to campus virtually every day, and undergrads are typically welcome to attend those events. The Institute of Politics is a big part of undergrad life for interested students: Harvard</a> University Institute of Politics</p>

<p>It's not possible to go wrong with either of them. Both of these schools are the absolute best.</p>

<p>In my opinion, Princeton is better for undergraduates. Higher endowment per capita + more undergraduate focus. It's also located between New York City and Philadelphia.</p>

<p>ok just got harvards acceptance package. much better. fa info was clearer, other info was clearer and very thorough as well. point for harvard.</p>

<p>Not only are undergraduates welcome to attend the (incredible) speeches at the Institute of Politics, they help run it!</p>

<p>(+ @Saugus - No one is saying Princeton is in the middle of nowhere - just that its campus is very suburban, not urban.)</p>

<p>I hate this predicament. If it were only based on undergraduate experience and education, I would definitely choose Princeton without even thinking. I would, however, prefer being in Boston to being in Jersey.</p>

<p>which do you think provides its undergrads with more opportunities?</p>

<p>Location has everything to do with "undergraduate experience" IMHO. Talk to grads of Columbia, or Dartmouth, and chances are they think that the location of their school played a huge role in their experience.</p>

<p>I'm sure there are tons of opportunities at Princeton that you can read about on the Princeton board. I will go on record, though, that I don't believe that there's another college in the world that provides more opportunities -- of every kind -- than Harvard. Some of them can't be found anywhere else: Let's</a> Go Travel Guides - The Leader in Budget Travel</p>

<p>^ I really love that. I've actually read some of the Let's Go guides and they're fantastic. :D</p>

<p>Is it easy to get a summer job researching/writing for Let's Go? Or (once again the competition factor rears it's head) is it something done by a lucky few only?</p>

<p>Hanna may know more about the Let's Go application process than me, but my understanding (from having a few friends who had applied and failed, and a few friends who did spend summers as researcher/writers) is that it's not an easy thing to get -- so don't expect to waltz in your freshman year and spend the summer in Tahiti. But if you're flexible about where you go, and you're persistent (and you maybe do some term-time or summer work editing pieces in Cambridge), you'll end up getting a chance to be a researcher-writer. (Now, whether you actually want to be a researcher/writer is another question... it's not as glamorous as it may seem).</p>

<p><a href="Now,%20whether%20you%20actually%20want%20to%20be%20a%20researcher/writer%20is%20another%20question...%20it's%20not%20as%20glamorous%20as%20it%20may%20seem">quote</a>.


<p>Oh absolutely. I completely understand that. I was reading this earlier:</p>

<p><a href="http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/revista/articles/view/62%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/revista/articles/view/62&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Very informative, warts-and-all article.</p>

<p>for the let's go, do they pay for the trip?</p>

<p>@natim1 - Yes, but you're living/working on a very tight budget (since the guides are written for backpacker types).</p>

<p>I've known people with a wide range of experiences on Let's Go trips, but none of them regretted going. Some (like a fellow transfer who worked on an Australia edition) had the time of their lives. Others (especially in developing-nation assignments) had experiences more like the RW in the article.</p>

<p>The editor jobs are also very desirable. The people I knew who did that totally loved it.</p>