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Avalon Insights: Harvard College


Harvard Campus

To say that the Harvard campus is iconic is a dramatic understatement. Even the Harvard name conjures up familiar images of traditional brick buildings, and stressed-out students walking through Harvard Yard and touching the bronze toe of John Harvard for good luck. It also brings up images of world-class professors conducting world-class research. Most Harvard freshman live in suites that are quite ordinary but sufficient for comfortable living. Most dorms at Harvard have a common room and their own bathroom. Suites are shared with between four and six students. Walking around the Harvard campus certainly gives you a feeling of inspiration, especially knowing how many famous people have preceded you walking through these spaces. Harvard College is located in Harvard Square which is a bustling city, and is just across the Charles River from Boston. Clearly, there is certainly no shortage of restaurants and nighttime activities. Both Boston and Cambridge are world class cities that offer a tremendous number of cultural and social events. Even the most iconic baseball park in America, Fenway Park, is a stone’s throw away. MIT is a $7.00 Uber ride or a gorgeous 10-minute bicycle ride along the Charles River away.  

Harvard Culture

Harvard has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. Now, the Harvard community is incredibly diverse. In fact, more than 50 countries and all 50 states are represented at any one time, as are students of all cultures and ethnicities. Every single interaction you are likely to have on and around campus will be with students from all around the world, and you never know who you will end up talking to next. Harvard is ultra-competitive, but it is also highly collaborative. Students do not have the cutthroat attitude that you find at some other top schools. That may be because Harvard students are very ambitious. Almost to a person, they have big plans for themselves and how they will fit into the future of our world. Harvard has an incredibly generous financial aid policy and thus is able to attract not just students from wealthy families but gifted and talented students who exhibit the greatest potential regardless of their financial means. Harvard students tend to be interesting, outgoing, and intellectually connected to issues and concerns locally and around the world. 

Harvard Reputation 

Harvard is, by orders of magnitude, the most iconic college in the world. However, its reputation as an elitist institution could not be any more incorrect. Perhaps no school works harder than Harvard to broaden its student base to include all races, religions, origins, communities, and beliefs. Its reputation as one of the most prestigious institutions of learning in the world is 100% accurate. No institution in the world is as influential as Harvard. In fact, Harvard boasts more than 125 Nobel laureates in areas as diverse as medicine, physics, and literature. Furthermore, no college in the world can equal Harvard’s influence in research across a wide spectrum of areas including finance and economics, business, world politics, medicine, sociology, psychology, law, and literature. When you graduate from Harvard, you have an extraordinary advantage in the workplace simply because of the reputation Harvard has earned over nearly 400 years. Yes, Harvard is more than 100 years older than America itself! 

Harvard Stats

College Type: University

Undergrad Size: 6000 

Location: Cambridge, MA

Setting: City

Undergrad Tuition and Fees: $56,000

Financial Aid: Generous need-based only

Best Programs: Science, Social Science, PreLaw, PreMed, Poly Sci (many more)