Haverford College

Haverford College appears in these rankings:

Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges with the Best Return on Investment

15 Best Value Small Colleges for a Physics Degree

Founded in 1833, Haverford College is a small, private liberal arts school near Philadelphia. Nearly 1,200 students attend the college, studying everything from political science and English to biology and chemistry. Despite its comparable size to other liberal arts schools, Haverford ranks as one of the top institutions in the country. The school ties for 12th place on U.S. News and World Report's list of the best liberal arts schools in the nation. The fall 2014 acceptance rate was just under 25 percent, making Haverford a very selective institution.

At Haverford, 98 percent of students and 61 percent of faculty members live on campus, making the campus an ideal place to study and socialize among peers. Nearly half of the student population studies abroad at some point, and 34 percent of those who come to school here participate in intercollegiate sports. The campus also boasts two distinct collections, one in the sport of cricket and the other in Quaker religious artifacts.

Haverford also claims one of the oldest honor codes in the country, an element of the school's persona that remains in effect today. As part of its honor code and trust in students, the university does not put RAs in dorm halls, does not proctor exams and does not require an enrollment deposit for admissions. The school also offers 24-hour lab access to students.

Those who attend Haverford benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1, a diverse student body and the fact that 98 percent of faculty members hold terminal degrees in their fields. In addition, the school's proximity to Philadelphia enables students to explore a variety of extracurricular activities as well as post-college job opportunities. According to the school website, Haverford graduates go on to attain admission into medical, law and other professional schools at a higher rate than the national average.

Haverford College Accreditation Details

Haverford College maintains institutional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a non-governmental body that accredits schools independently.

Haverford College Application Requirements

There are no graduate programs available at Haverford College because the school caters to undergraduates. Students who want to apply at Haverford will need to use the Common Application system, which is available online only. The school does not offer any other means of applying, including paper applications. In addition to the Common Application, students will need to fill out the supplemental form for Haverford specifically, which includes an essay related to the school's honor code. First-time students also need to submit:

  • Official scores from the SAT or ACT
  • Official school transcripts
  • A school profile and counselor's report
  • Two evaluations from teachers
  • A $65 application fee or waiver, if applicable

First-time students are encouraged to schedule in-person interviews as well, but these are not required. Haverford has three admission deadlines: Nov. 15 for early decision, Jan. 15 for regular decision and March 31 for transfer admission. Specific programs at Haverford may require additional documentation, so students should consult with the school's admissions department for more detailed guidance.

Tuition and Financial Aid

As a private school, Haverford College charges one set rate for tuition for all admitted students. The 2016-2017 tuition rate is $50,564. Students are also charged an activity fee of $460, and first-year students will have to pay a one-time fee of $235. Room and board cost $15,466. In addition to the standard tuition and fees, all students at Haverford must have personal medical insurance. Applicants to Haverford should consider this added cost when factoring in college expenses.

Haverford takes a "need-blind" approach to admissions, which means that students who apply for financial aid are not at a disadvantage compared with students who have the means to pay full price for their education. According to the financial aid webpage, 56 percent of students at Haverford College receive some form of financial assistance. More than half of students who need assistance get a grant, and the average value of a college grant at the school is around $40,000.

Students whose parents earn less than $60,000 per year will not have to worry about loans at Haverford. Those with incomes above this threshold will have loans added to their aid packages, but the amounts are low, typically no greater than $3,000 per year. In addition, students who graduate from the university with debt can find assistance through the Haverford Student Loan Debt Relief Fund.

Programs in Focus: Biology and Engineering

Despite the fact that Haverford College's emphasis is on liberal arts, the school continues to invest time, money and research into science programs. The school is well-known for its biology program, particularly its focus on molecular biology. More recent is the advent of an engineering partnership program with the University of Pennsylvania. Regardless of the program that students pursue at Haverford, all seniors must complete a thesis project to graduate, a rarity among undergraduate institutions.

Biology majors at Haverford benefit from a diverse approach to the field of science. Students will take traditional courses that relate to the field, but they also can draw from a wide range of minors and concentrations in varying fields of interest. Minors include neuroscience, health studies and environmental studies. Concentrations include Africana studies, scientific computing and other specific niche areas. During their senior year, biology majors will complete a year-long research project that covers oral and written presentations. Every major-specific course in the biology program centers around and builds on the senior capstone project.

In 2012, Haverford partnered with the University of Pennsylvania to offer a 4+1 program in engineering. Students will spend four years earning a bachelor's degree in engineering at Haverford and one year at the University of Pennsylvania to earn a master's degree. As stated on the school website, Haverford is the first school of its kind in the world to offer this kind of joint engineering degree program with an Ivy League college. Several concentrations are available at the graduate level at the University of Pennsylvania, including computer graphics and game technology, bioengineering and robotics. Each graduate program requires the completion of specific undergraduate programs as described on the school's program information website. Students will need to consult with the Haverford College engineering department to learn more about which majors feed into the 4+1 program.