About Haverford College
Haverford College is a private liberal arts college located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, just 8 miles from downtown Philadelphia. The campus, over 200 acres of architecture and landscaping, includes more than 50 academic, athletic and residential buildings, and a nationally recognized arboretum. Although founded by Quakers as a men’s college in 1833, it became co-ed in 1980 and no longer has a formal religious affiliation. All 1,353 students are undergraduates, and nearly all students (98%) and the majority of faculty (61%) live on campus to foster a close-knit community. Likewise, with a student-faculty ratio of 9:1 and the absence of teaching assistants and graduate students, the focus of the education is solely on the undergraduate experience.
Haverford is ranked #11 on the U.S. News and World Report ranking for National Liberal Arts Colleges, #22 for Best Undergraduate Teaching, and #15 for Best Value Schools. Haverford does not have any fraternities or sororities, but it has more than 145 student organizations on campus. It is also expected that students will be involved in research in some capacity, often through one of Haverford’s three academic centers, which provide funding and support for those who want to design their own high-level scholarship. These Centers, the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities, and the Koshland Integrated Natural Sciences Center, offer robust academic programs and funding resources.
Applying to Haverford
Haverford strongly encourages applicants to schedule an on-campus interview before January 15, especially if you live within 150 miles of the Haverford campus. Interviews are generally available beginning in the spring of your junior year through early January of your senior year. While it is possible to request an interview with an Alumni Volunteer near your home, on-campus interviews are preferred. While on campus for your interview, you can also schedule a student-guided campus tour and info session (no appointment necessary) and a class visit (from late September through April when the college is in session). The class visits are a great way to get a feel for Haverford’s small class size and discussion-oriented teaching. Overnight visits are also available during the fall semester and are open to any current high school senior.
If you are interested in Haverford, there are three application options: Early Decision (11/15), Early Decision II (1/1), and Regular Decision (1/15). If you choose to apply under either Early Decision plan, you cannot submit an application to another institution ED. If you are admitted under Haverford’s Early Decision option, you are also required to withdraw all pending applications, including those you may have already submitted to Regular, Rolling, or Early Action programs.
In addition to the Common Application and Personal Statement, Haverford requires an Honor Code essay: “Tell us about a topic or issue that sparks your curiosity and gets you intellectually excited. How do you think the environment at Haverford, including the framework of the Honor Code, would foster your continued intellectual growth?” Standardized Test Results are also required, though either the SAT or ACT is accepted.
Since Haverford is a member of the Tri-College Consortium, Haverford students are free to take classes at Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore College. It is also a member of the Quaker Consortium, which allows students to cross-register at the University of Pennsylvania. The University of Pennsylvania offers a 4 + 1 engineering program that grants a B.S. from Haverford and a masters from Penn in just 5 years. Similarly, students can apply for the 2/3 program with CalTech for engineering students. This allows students to transfer to an engineering program at CalTech in the second semester of their junior year. At the end of five years (three at Haverford, two at CalTech) the student will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree by Haverford and a Bachelor of Engineering Degree by CalTech.
In terms of financial aid, Haverford meets the full demonstrated need of all admitted students and maintains a no-loans policy for students with family income below $60,000/year. 50 percent receive some form of financial aid and more than 47 percent of students receive a college grant, the average of which is $50,101.
Haverford College Admissions Wrap Up
During the 2018-2019 application season, Haverford College received a record-breaking 4,968 applications and offered 801 students a place in the Class of 2023. Of the admitted students, 363 enrolled for a total yield of 44.7 percent. This 16.1 percent admit rate shows Haverford’s increasing selectivity. Last year, the admit rate was 18.7 percent and the year before, in 2017, the admit rate was 19.4 percent. The acceptance rate for the Class of 2019 (current seniors) was 24.6 percent. Students who applied through the binding early decision program, however, had an acceptance rate closer to 44 percent.
Haverford has emphasized the diversity of its accepted students, of which 49.2 percent identify as students of color and 21.1 percent note that they come from a family where one or both parents did not attend college. This year also marked the largest ever cohort of QuestBridge students. The admitted students represent over 600 high schools where 94 percent are in the top 10 percent of their class and 98 percent are in the top 20 percent of their high school class. The median SAT is 740 for critical reading, 770 for math. The median ACT score (34) was equally impressive.
The admitted class hails from 40 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 32 different countries. In fact, international students make up 14 percent of those admitted with the most represented foreign countries being China, India, South Korea, Canada, Japan, and United Kingdom. The most represented states were predominantly in the North East but include New York, California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Illinois, Virginia, and Washington.
Jess Lord, Vice President & Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Haverford College, has commented on the increasing number of applicants to Haverford, as well as the reality of the more selective admissions rate: “I think that just the obvious math of it has a lot to do with how many people are applying [to college] and how many applications people are submitting and some combination thereof. Obviously, we’re not expanding our enrollments—and I’m using the broader ‘we’ here—to keep pace with the expansion of the applicant pools and that obviously drives acceptance rates down. It is also the case, though, that students are applying to more schools. I think that there’s a snowball effect. [As college] becomes harder to get into, students apply to more places, [and] that makes it even harder to get in. And then schools are to varying degrees really falling in love with having really low admit rates and using that as a marker of prestige. I mean, it’s hard not to see that as a marker of prestige, but it’s a little bit of a trap for institutions if you’re going to put a lot of effort into generating applicant pools just to deny more people. You could question the integrity of that. And I’m not pointing fingers at any particular institutions—I think that it’s a real challenge for people on my side of this process and institutions to really navigate the right balance.”