too small?

<p>I love Haverford, but I worry that it's almost too small. A grade of 300 seems tiny! I know there are a lot of relations with Bryn Mawr, but as I am a girl, I'm not that excited that there are a bunch of girls near by. Could someone talk a little bit about Haverford's size, maybe how it differs - if at all - from the colleges with about 1600 students, and how that size affects day-to-day life? Thanks.</p>

<p>Great question. Here's my perspective on the size issue: Yes, HC is about 1200 students which makes it smaller than many of its peers. But in talking to friends at other LACs, I found that, generally speaking, they often concentrated friendships with people in the same year (really only using 1/4 of the student body). At Haverford because it's smaller, there's a lot (even more than our peer schools) of cross-class friendships between the class years (above you and below you). </p>

<p>It doesn't feel uncomfortably small because people really get to know others from the two or three classes ahead of you and then the the two or three classes below you. So, with one quarter of the student body changing every year there are plenty of people to meet and interact with if you have a culture where class year distinctions doesn't serve as a significant bar to genuine social interactions/friendships. </p>

<p>Also, relative to most of our peer schools, Haverford is in, what I consider to be, a better location: easy access to Philadelphia. I mention this because it has the effect of not making the small campus feel so isolated.</p>

<p>Here's what CP (another college website, which CC doesn't allow you to type the name of) says about Haverford: "Most seniors look back on their Haverford education with a distinctive appreciation. It is a fondness that comes from understanding how profoundly the College has changed them. Haverford teaches its students more than just school subjects: it teaches them to lead honorable lives.... Many alumni do not realize the scope of their education until years later, but the impact is almost always felt. In this way, Haverford is unique." </p>

<p>If you want a school of 30,000, HC will be too small. But if your seeking a LAC experience, I think HC is great. And, I do not think HC students feel that a slightly larger LAC (1600 or 1800 or 2100) would be better. In fact, quite the opposite. FWIW, when the issue was raised for discussion about 5-10 years ago, students were the most adamant against expansion.</p>

<p>great question,
honestly there are days when it gets quite small (you cant avoid people if you plan on leaving your dorm), but aside from that i have found haverford's 'sense of community' awesome and something i really enjoy being a part of. I can probably say 90% of the students are nice and people that I get along with... though yes, there are some strange ones, some not so friendly ones, but in general everyone has concern for one another when it comes down to it. I made the bulk of my friends freshman year, through customs and classes, but i could sit down with anyone at the dc or strike up a conversation in the comp lab with anyone and we would at least have a common acquaintance, prof, or experience to talk about. I have done research at larger universities, and being in such a big environment i think makes you feel kind of anonymous. At least at haverford you feel like you matter and that people care about you. like the last poster said, it's true Haverford is unique and its impact is remarkable. I mean the friends you make here, become like family because its such a small environment and they are probably friends you will maintain for life. I think at a larger school it can be just as 'small' because even though there are alot of people, branching out can be difficult and many people feel stuck with the people they know or are already friends with. And if worst comes to worst,and Haverford starts becoming suffocating, you get out into philly and explore penn or swat...its really easy to do.</p>

<p>some of the HC sites have complained about the high female:male ratio and the impact on the social scene. That said, the size of the community does help foster intellectual interactions and respect for a diversity of viewpoints.</p>

<p>"Most seniors look back on their Haverford education with a distinctive appreciation. It is a fondness that comes from understanding how profoundly the College has changed them. Haverford teaches its students more than just school subjects: it teaches them to lead honorable lives.... Many alumni do not realize the scope of their education until years later, but the impact is almost always felt. In this way, Haverford is unique." </p>

<p>I have to say, as a recent alumni that I completely agree with this statement. Going to Haverford is joining a life-long ideology and family. There are really few other places like it, and it's something that you will carry with you all of your life rather than just for 4 years. </p>

<p>As for the size. Yes, Haverford is small. This is both good and bad. As a gay male, I think my experience would have been expected to be much more isolating than being "female" at a co-ed institution. It really wasn't though. I had gay friends, straight friends who accepted me. I had two long term relationships with fellow students at Haverford. Both of whom were more than 2 years in age difference at the time we were together. At any college you will find a click of close friends. But, the nice thing about Haverford is that the school is so small that you get to know even your extended friends very well. Your main group of buddies out of town for the evening? Just go to a party. You'll know a good chunk of people there even if you don't have a friend date to go with you. It's just a really comfortable place. And, at times, being away from it on breaks will be tough.</p>

<p>That being said, the environment can also be stifling at times (any college environment will be after a few years). I studied in London at a very large university for a semester as a result of "junior year cabin fever", which was a rewarding, amazing, life-changing experience. It was only after being in a much different environment that I was reminded of the advantages of a small school- everyone knows your name, no administrative red tape, a closer connection to your larger institution. I will go on a limb here and say....you will have a more diverse group of friends at a small school than you will at a large school. It's easier to meet people, and it's harder to stay restricted to one small group.</p>

<p>I'm not gonna say that Haverford is for everyone or that you won't get bored of the size after a while. But, believe me, it will all work out in the end. Philly is close if you need an escape. Or just hop on the Amtrak or Chinatown bus and in one or two hours you're smack in the middle of Manhattan for a getaway. When comparing it to school of 1600 students though, I wouldn't think the environment is drastically different because of size alone. Haverford benefits from having both Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore (and the other 100,000 students in the Philadelphia region) closeby. You're also 20 minutes on the train to the 5th largest city in the United States...which is actually pretty friendly to young people. And, a fun, fun place to hang out in. Most comparable institutions don't have these sort of escapes or connections. They're located in more isolated locales, such that even though Haverford is technically smaller...your opportunities to do things and meet people a larger group of people become much easier at school near an urban center with close connections to nearby institutions. </p>

<p>You'll also be successful AFTER going to Haverford. All of your peers will end up doing interesting things, going to amazing graduate schools, and just being awesome. Here's (a rather long) list of what my friends....now 2-3 years out of school are doing with their lives and/or studies. I start 4-5 years of medical school at Stanford University in just a short 6 weeks. And I'm excited about it!</p>

<p>PhD in Philosophy at Yale
Phd in Oceanography at UC-San Diego
Medical Degrees at Harvard University, UPenn, Mount Sinai, Weill-Cornell, Columbia, UC-San Francisco, Jefferson, Temple
Fulbright Grant Recipient living in Uruguay
Gates Cambridge Scholar- Chinese History MPhil at Cambridge
PhD in Physics
Phd in Chemistry, UC-Berkeley, Stanford University and Boston College
Law School at UC-Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Temple, WashU-St Louis and UPenn
Off-Broadway Playwright
New York Post Reporter
Investment Banker at Goldman Sachs
Personal Trainer/PT School in Los Angeles
Watson Fellowship in Thailand, South Africa, Ghana, Japan, and Cambodia</p>

<p>You will meet amazing people, have fun in the process, sometimes get bored of Haverford. But believe me, you will love it.</p>

<p>Wow, these were incredibly helpful. I'm pretty sure I'm going to apply! Thanks so much.</p>