Philly Metro U's: Haverford or Penn?

<p>I'm a rising senior interested in attending college in Philadelphia. Although I think it will be tough to get in to either of these two schools, I would like any input on which pros and cons between these two acclaimed schools. Also, do I have the potential to be successful at either of these schools? 30 Composite ACT (hoping to improve by one or two points), 5 AP classes, Boys State, Four years marching band, National Honors Society, Top 5% of my class. Thanks in advance!</p>

<p>Haverford and Penn are vastly different. One is an urban campus, the other is a small liberal arts college in the suburbs. What are you interested in studying? You could certainly be successful at either school, but admission is very competitive. Why the interest in Philadelphia?</p>

<p>Well I have visited there twice, once with my dad on business and once when my band marched in the Thanksgiving Day Parade there. I want to be a history major, and the history of the place just enthralls me. I also have family friends who live in the city and who are willing to help me get acquainted with the area. In short, I am a small town kid who wants a metropolitan undergraduate experience and Philadelphia seems like a nice fit.</p>

<p>Philadelphia can be quite a change for southern kids. I'm not saying you wouldn't adjust, but there IS an adjustment. After freshman year at Penn, my kid was seriously considering transferring to Vanderbilt! (he didn't) It would be good if you could go visit both schools. What about Swarthmore? That's another good option in the Phila area.</p>

<p>Yeah I have definitely considered the move being a small town southerner and all. That's true about Swarthmore, it doesn't have an Italian language program, though, which is something I am interested in. However, it isn't a necessity. Any idea which would be better for a major in history out of the two liberal arts schools?</p>

<p>I don't think you need to choose at this point between the two. Apply and perhaps the choice will be made for you; these are both highly, highly selective schools.</p>

<p>You probably really need to raise your ACT score to have any chance at either. Try taking the SAT as well. Its best to deal with the merits between the two after you get in. (if you are lucky enough)</p>

<p>Picking a city to study in based on two visits and because there are family friends nearby seems like a criteria that might not stand the test of time. In fact, I doubt you'll be seeing much of those family friends once school starts and you are immersed in your friends and studies.</p>

<p>You should probably focus more on what kind of educational experience you are hoping to have: Haverford (LAC) and Penn are entirely different and most people wouldn't be applying to both if they understood what the differences were. Once you have the figured out, we can suggest more LACs in/near cities or more schools like Penn, in or near cities.</p>

<p>Agree with M's Mom</p>

<p>There are so many schools in the Philly region that I'm sure we can give you a great list, but please give us more info.</p>

<p>What do you want out of the Philly experience? Do you want to eat lunch from a street vendor everyday? Or do you want to go to the museums, see live music groups, etc once a month? </p>

<p>Do you want to continue with band?</p>

<p>You named 2 prestigous, expensive schools -- are you willing to look at those lower on the ranking chain? </p>

<p>Do you have a career in mind? History major can go anywhere from law to teaching to PhD.</p>

<p>They are very different, but it's not all that uncommon to see studets applying to both.</p>

<p>The reality is that some students don't decide exactly what they want in a college/university until later in he process. So, having some choices in different categories isn't necessarily bad. </p>

<p>That said, a visit might help you decide which is the better fit: Feel of campus, level of intimacy, intensity, pre-prof. vs. liberal arts, urban vs. suburban. Years ago, I went to Philly for a college visit, and going in UPENN was one of my top 3 choices (and Haverford was on the long list), but I left Philly with Haverford as my choice (early decision).</p>

<p>If you haven't done so, read the Fiske Guide and other sources.</p>

<p>My personal preference was Penn. Loved it. Alumni network a big boon here in India too :)</p>