Yale vs Harvard vs Brown vs......

Hi everyone!

After this year’s Ivy day, I am very lucky to have gotten into Brown, Yale, and Harvard. I also got into Northwestern, which is among my top choices. The downside is, I’m going to have to turn down three schools that I really like by May 1st–the best hardest decision a high schooler must make. Based on personal experience, or what you’ve heard, what do you think is a good choice for me? **sidenote: I have not visited any of the four schools yet, but I am visiting all of them next week.

Brown–the thing I like about Brown is its open curriculum (of course). I’m planning on concentrating in some STEM area, but I still want to study government, business, mandarin and other foreign languages, and literature–non STEM subjects. I know Brown’s freedom would let me explore all of my passions, and that’s what drew me to the school.

Yale–what drew me to Yale is its social environment. I really really like the residential college system and the whole community aspect of Yale. Also, they reached out and sent me a LL, and I’ve been getting to know future Yalies for about a month now, which really made me feel welcome. The downside is that as a STEM (maybe CS) major, I’ve heard that Yale CS is not top-notch. The upside is that Yale humanities are probably among the highest of notches. But, college is what you make it after all.

Harvard–I kind of applied to Harvard on a whim; I knew it was a great school, and I knew they were stronger in STEM (than maybe yale or brown). Also, I have some friends who attend and they seem to really enjoy Harvard. Another thing I really liked was the i-lab (but I know many other schools have similar facilities, like Yale’s CEID). Also, Harvard kids can take classes at MIT, which is really cool. Although I haven’t visited boston yet, it seems like a really lively city.

Northwestern–my brother goes to UChicago, and I’ve never really liked Chicago or UChicago for that matter. So, I kind of wrote the entire state of Illinois off. However, I really liked northwestern after doing some research. But, two things that I dislike about northwestern: school by school admissions and the quarter system (which is pretty important I realize). I feel like most universities admit by school, but I don’t really like academic separation like that. For getting the most out of an academic year, I think the quarter system is great. But, from a mental health standpoint, I think it’s pretty stressful. My brother, who is on the quarter system at UChicago, probably has a midterm every other week it seems like, and last semester he pulled thirteen all-nighters. I’m sure college isn’t like this for most students, but that is just scary to me. Also, his breaks never align properly with anything. Northwestern isn’t UChicago, though, and I’m trying to be objective about every school
**My con list for Northwestern is pretty extensive, so maybe it isn’t a good fit for me, lol.

Sorry for the length of this post, I’m just trying to make the best, most informed decision. Please let me know if any of my assumptions are misled or false! I don’t want to form any false impressions of any of these four schools. Also, I have gotten good financial aid from all schools, so that will have less influence on my decision.

And, again, I am so grateful to have gotten into four schools that I would be happy to attend!

I’d go with Brown because of the open curriculum. You can really take classes you love, and Brown undergrad CS is top notch. After visiting, I felt that the students are really collaborative, and there’s an especially tight-knit community within the CS department.

Where did you end up?