Top schools in America – pros and cons

University-search Deciding between the top schools can be a source of frustration for many (lucky) students, come April. It can be one of the most important decisions in your life as well as one of the toughest. In this article we will break down the pros and cons of the top colleges in America. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Harvard

Pro – For many students, the prestige of Harvard is enough to convince them to attend. The residential colleges system, world class professors, and brilliant peers are all factors that contribute to Harvard’s appeal. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, few places have more colleges in such a small amount of space. Con – Weather aside, many students complain of the gloomy climate and general lack of energy at Harvard. Students have previously complained of a lack of mental health counseling resources and the need to compete at all times against their peers. Many students struggle with carving a niche for themselves.

Princeton

Pro – Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is known to be one of the premier public policy schools in the country. The stunning gothic architecture adds appeal to the campus itself and the school itself is known for its solid foundation in the natural sciences. Con – Grade deflation is almost reason enough for many students who choose not to apply. Princeton’s rigorous academic curriculum that places less focus on grades and emphasizes that students should do their best and not focus on grades. In addition, the presence of eating clubs at Princeton gives it an air of elitism that many students find off-putting.

Yale

Pro – The residential college system has attracted many students to Yale due to their promotion of tight-knit communities. The more laid-back atmosphere allow many students to explore their artistic side the large number of performance groups. The Yale Whiffepoofs, established in 1909, is the classic example of Yale’s dedication to the arts Con – New Haven is not the best college town, known for its lack of cultural centers and its high rates of crime. Community relations between Yale and New Haven are often tense, even with the recent attempts to strengthen community bonds.

Stanford

Pro – Sunny California weather makes the place appear like a resort, 365 days of the year. Stanford students appear to be well-rounded, happy, and driven to excel on their own terms. The abundance of resources fund the numerous research projects that can be found at this campus at any time. Con – Students at Stanford are known to suffer from duck syndrome, the appearance that all is well when they’re furiously paddling below the surface. On that note, many have complained about Stanford’s focus on engineering and entrepreneurship and not enough on the arts and humanities.

MIT

Pro – Known for its success in engineering, MIT has managed to stay at the forefront of the technological revolution. It’s cutting-edge research frequently engages student researchers and focus on tech has built a community of like-minded individuals. Con – On a similar note, many students dislike the focus on the sciences and think that MIT has too much of a one-track mind in terms of a well-rounded education. Students also complain of the lack of a social scene outside of school life. Today’s guest post was provided by Evelyn Xue from the Lift Education blogging team. Evelyn is an avid writer and is currently attending Stanford University.