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Haverford vs. Smith??

balletkatballetkat 36 replies4 threads Junior Member
edited June 24 in Transfer Students
Hi, all!! So I am looking to transfer from GWU to a smaller liberal arts college for primarily academic reasons. I much prefer the liberal arts college experience with small classes, where critical thinking and discussion are encouraged and promoted.

On May 1, I was accepted to Haverford, which was a wonderful surprise. I love the Honor Code system and how much I've heard about students being engaged on campus -- like there is truly a sense of community. I know several people who go/have gone there who loved there time there and who I know I could connect with. My largest hesitations with Haverford come with the size (with only 1,300 kids, I've heard a lot of "everyone knows everything about you, whether you want them to or not"), and also the geographic location. After the way COVID has played out, I think I would like to stay closer to home (I am from Massachusetts). Initially, Haverford asked me to make my decision by May 15, but I was able to get an extension until June 1 -- which is the day I hear back from Smith, so I need to have made up my mind about were I will be attending by then.

I do think I stand a good shot at being accepted to Smith, but because I have never been on the campus when other students were there, I've had a hard time imagining myself as a student there, especially since I don't know anyone who currently attends. The things that could draw me to Smith are the location (only an hour and a half from home) and the all-women's environment. I attended all-girls schools for 4 years and my time at those schools were tremendously empowering. There is also a change for merit aid at Smith.

I suppose overall I would just like some context or words from people familiar with these schools as to the student experience and which school people thing I would do better at. Any advice at all would be immensely helpful, as I'm pretty stuck right now.
edited June 24
9 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: Haverford vs. Smith??

  • PublisherPublisher 11376 replies152 threads Senior Member
    The easy answer is that you need to committ to Haverford College as that is your only option at this time.

    On a campus of just under 1,300 students, any degree of anonymity is unlikely--so your concern in this area is reasonable. But, since you are entering as a sophomore, most classmates will have multiple areas of focus other than on getting to know the other freshmen in their class. Additionally, you can enroll in classes at nearby Bryn Mawr--which is somewhat similiar to Smith College.

    Bluntly speaking, the fact that you are coming from co-ed GWU combined with the fact that you have not been on Smith's campus when other students were present raises some concern. Smith College has a very strong campus culture despite its fairly large size for an LAC.

    While small classes, critical thinking, & discussion will be available on both campuses, it may not be what you think that it will be, but--to a large extent--that depends upon your desire to hear all sides of an issue.

    Your interest in Smith is that it is close to your home in Massachusetts, may include a merit scholarship award, and is all female. If you are LGBTQ, then Smith College is likely to be a good fit. But then why did you apply to Haverford College instead of Bryn Mawr ?

    Truthfully, I have more questions than answers for you.
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  • balletkatballetkat 36 replies4 threads Junior Member
    Publisher wrote: »
    The easy answer is that you need to committ to Haverford College as that is your only option at this time.

    On a campus of just under 1,300 students, any degree of anonymity is unlikely--so your concern in this area is reasonable. But, since you are entering as a sophomore, most classmates will have multiple areas of focus other than on getting to know the other freshmen in their class. Additionally, you can enroll in classes at nearby Bryn Mawr--which is somewhat similiar to Smith College.

    Bluntly speaking, the fact that you are coming from co-ed GWU combined with the fact that you have not been on Smith's campus when other students were present raises some concern. Smith College has a very strong campus culture despite its fairly large size for an LAC.

    While small classes, critical thinking, & discussion will be available on both campuses, it may not be what you think that it will be, but--to a large extent--that depends upon your desire to hear all sides of an issue.

    Your interest in Smith is that it is close to your home in Massachusetts, may include a merit scholarship award, and is all female. If you are LGBTQ, then Smith College is likely to be a good fit. But then why did you apply to Haverford College instead of Bryn Mawr ?

    Truthfully, I have more questions than answers for you.

    Feel free to give more feedback on the liberal arts, small class experience... Always open to hearing more.

    In terms of why I didn't apply to Bryn Mawr, it wasn't even on my list to apply to senior year of high school. It sounds stupid, I guess, but when I stepped onto the campus, I didn't feel at home. Weird, because 10 minutes away I did... I can't explain that to you, but that was why I made the choice I did. I also applied to Mount Holyoke this year, but am not considering it much anymore.

    I guess I'm mostly trying to convince myself that being closer to home is reason enough to go to Smith (as in, if I get in, then I would tell Haverford June 1 I wouldn't be going), when I am not sure that it is.
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  • milgymfammilgymfam 1556 replies28 threads Senior Member
    If you didn’t want to be so close to home pre-covid, I wouldn’t base them decision purely on that now. The distance to haverford wouldn’t be so onerous that imo, but we are used to super long car rides in our family. Btw, my D also didn’t feel at home on Bryn Mawr’s campus but felt Haverford was perfect for her- which is why she’s about to be a sophomore at Haverford. Best of luck in your decision- I couldn’t imagine choosing a school not visited- it’s so close, but you never felt compelled to visit before. You’re gonna have hours to decide on June 1st- that’s a heck of a rushed decision imo.
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  • balletkatballetkat 36 replies4 threads Junior Member
    It definitely is starting to feel rushed! I actually visited and toured all of the schools in high school, but I happened to tour Smith while they were on fall break, which meant I didn't get to see how to student body moved and interacted, not did I really get to sit in on classes or anything like that. I think that's what makes it so uncertain for me.
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  • balletkatballetkat 36 replies4 threads Junior Member
    bump
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  • lemon droplemon drop 71 replies2 threads Junior Member
    My daughter, who is also a rising sophomore at Haverford, had the exact same feeling and reaction to BMC. She knew after visiting that it wasn't the right fit for her. She is too, very happy with her choice of Haverford.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6665 replies10 threads Senior Member
    It's not a perfect way to do this, but I wonder if you would like Smith given your reaction to BMC. Those two have a relatively similar culture. Without having been on Smith's campus, that seems pretty high risk.

    You are transferring now - you want to get it as right as possible.
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  • balletkatballetkat 36 replies4 threads Junior Member
    lemon drop wrote: »
    My daughter, who is also a rising sophomore at Haverford, had the exact same feeling and reaction to BMC. She knew after visiting that it wasn't the right fit for her. She is too, very happy with her choice of Haverford.

    Could you perhaps speak to the size of Haverford, especially with the large proportion of student athletes? My parents are concerned about me feeling isolated. How has your daughter felt about the size of school and making friends?
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  • PublisherPublisher 11376 replies152 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2
    In response #1 in this thread, I made a point about Smith College. If you are in that group, then you really need to give Smith a serious look as it will alleviate your other concerns.

    If not, then why did you apply to a school of just 1,300 students if privacy/anonymity & campus culture are issues ?

    Do you feel as though you are trying to force yourself into liking Haverford College ?
    edited June 2
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