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Harvard vs Stanford University: An Insider View
Harvard is located in Cambridge, just a few miles from Boston.
Students have access to all of the city’s famous attractions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Faneuil Hall, and numerous restaurants. They can also enjoy top Cambridge attractions, such as Harvard Square and the nearby MIT.
If you are looking to have a tour around the city, it is easier to get around using the metro usually known as T by the locals.
Cambridge is in the heart of New England, where winters are cold and snowy, although summers can be quite warm. Since Harvard is right on the Charles River and not far from the Atlantic Ocean, you can expect quite a bit of windy weather too.
Meanwhile, Stanford University is located in Stanford, just off Palo Alto. It is surrounded by tech giants, like Google and Facebook.
Stanford has a cosy atmosphere where you can have fun; great places to have coffee and relax. You can also find many hikers and mountain bikers.
Although both Stanford and Harvard have undergraduate student bodies of under 7,000, Harvard has far more graduate students, with a total enrollment of 20,700 to Stanford’s 16,384 students.
About 69% of Stanford classes have fewer than 20 students, while 72% of Harvard’s do. The student to faculty ratio is 5:1 at Stanford and 6:1 at Harvard.
Stanford University Scholarships Opportunities for International Students, 2023 (SHARE)
Stanford is best known for its specializations in technology, including engineering and computer science. In addition to this, the university also offers specializations in a wide variety of other disciplines like aeronautics and astronautics, art practice, Native American studies, and theater studies.
Accommodation is guaranteed for all Stanford full-time students. Some of the options to them include flats, apartments, and dormitories.
At Stanford, graduates and newly relocated students must reside on campus and be assigned to residences based on the preference forms they fill out, while upper classes apply through a lottery system.
Students who live in Stanford’s campus residential life, students can and do participate in activities such as college dinner parties, lectures, film auditions, excursions to nearby attractions, festive celebrations, community events, and more. Basically, about 97% of the students live on campus.
Meanwhile, Harvard students live in one of 12 hostels after their first year. Harvard provides homes and community that promotes friendship and relationships with classmates and instructors.
More than 97% of college students live on campus and housing is guaranteed for all four years.
Undergraduate students at Stanford have a choice of three meal plans per week. Certain dorm residents enjoy meals cooked in their halls. There are also several dining halls offering a range of cuisines where you can choose what you want to eat.
At Harvard, freshmen eat at Annenberg Hall while upperclassmen eat in their respective Houses. There are plenty of feeding options you can choose from here.
Scholarships and Financial aid
While the least cost to attend Stanford or Harvard is above $70,000 many students receive financial aid to support them through their studies. About 70% of Stanford students receive some aid from the government to attend, while 58% receive aid directly from the university.
In the same vein, fifty percent of Harvard students receive financial aid.
Neither Stanford nor Harvard offers merit-based aid. However, both institutions are committed to meeting 100% of students’ financial needs.
Graduates of both Harvard and Stanford can expect to have thriving careers, with an average starting salary of about $70,000.
The salaries are expected to further increase from $70, 000 to $136,700 for Harvard alumni and $122,900 for Stanford alumni. This is according to Collegesimply
Graduates from both schools end up in very executive positions in a wide variety of industries.
Given Stanford’s proximity to Silicon Valley and strength in relevant disciplines, many alumni from Stanford work in the tech sector, although you’ll also find them in plenty of other fields.
Harvard alumni, meanwhile thrive in areas like finance, medicine, engineering, and consulting.
Tips to Help you Decide Between Stanford and Harvard
The choice of where exactly to study could be somewhat a difficult task for most students.
One thing is that both institutions excellent education and career path. For many students, the choice comes down to location: Would you rather attend school in an area where it’s perpetually warm on the West Coast, or do you prefer seasons and an East Coast, New England atmosphere?
Another thing you need to pay attention to is the school’s particular strength. For example, if you’re an aspiring computer scientist or software developer, Stanford may be the place for you, given its renowned technology-related programs.
Meanwhile, Harvard produces some of the very top aspiring physicians and businesspeople. Those who are pre-med may also appreciate Harvard’s proximity to the many top-notch hospitals in Boston.
It’s worth remembering that both Stanford and Harvard are extremely selective. If you want to increase your chances of admission to these colleges and others, check out CollegeVine’s Admissions Calculator where you’ll receive insights into your real chances of acceptance, as well as advice on how to improve your chances.