Harvard University Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Hunter

Most kids are from Massachusetts, New York, or California. The Midwest is underrepresented. There aren't that many people on full financial aid and it seems like most are well off.

Katelynn

My classmates are driven, diverse, and friendly, always looking to be supportive and lend a helping hand.

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Michael

Having just finished my first semester at Harvard, I can say with great certainty that the highlight of my undergraduate career so far has been the people I have had to opportunity to meet; starting from meeting my roommates on the first day to debating classmates over the rights of the First Amendment, I have enjoyed every moment of my time with them and can say that I have found friends that will last a lifetime.

Prabhat

Great

Daniel

The students are all very friendly, and everyone can find one or multiple groups to fit into. All of the student organizations also do a great job of making people feel like they belong.

Alyssa

There are so many types that it is difficult to characterize. You will find every type of person here.

Christopher

My classmates are driven and intelligent, although sometimes a little too caught up in their ambitions for personal success.

Akshay

Interesting, smart, and talented in exceptional ways.

Alexandra

They are smart, diverse, ambitious, driven, caring, and capable.

Cindy

Harvard students are generally intellectual, diligent, goal-driven individuals who are not afraid to go up to professors to ask questions or to just chat.

Marguerite

My classmates tend to be extremely bright, engaged, analytical, and hard-working, and they have an incredibly wide variety of experiences and interests.

Susan

They are a group of diverse, driven, talented (some boast about it, others you'd never know it), and overall wonderful people.

Tracy

Harvard students are very motivated, but also kind. The cattiness and meanness of some schools does not really apply to Harvard. Harvard students will work hard to succeed, but they will not do it by tearing others down.

Jennifer

My classmates are competitive but at the same time great friends who like to have fun and are willing to work together and help each other out

Joshua

Everyone is brillaint, successful, amazing, and special in some way. Whether it's the opera-singing varsity football player, or the concert-level pianist who also does advanced nano-scale physics, everyone is talented and gifted in many different ways.

Katherine

While my classmates represent some of the most brilliant and driven seniors in the entire world, many people are also unhappy and stressed out becaue of the amount of pressure they place on themselves.

Alyssa

My classmates are often self-centered, egotistical genuises who talk rather than listen and expect others to take the high road even though they do not.

Alice

Interesting, self-motivated and socially aware.

Victoria

Very focused and driven, strong minded individuals.

jieliang

smart. driven. inspiring.

John

Every one of my classmates excels at something, be it athletics, academics, or any other activity. No one is just average.

Christine

Super, unique, surprising people with a sprinkling of jerks just to make things interesting.

Lester

Many of the students are very intelligent and have wide varieties of interests.

Victoria

The students at this college are incredibly driven and ambitious, as well as highly talented. It is also incredible however, how they are, for the most part, humble about their extraordinary achievements.

Francis

Harvard students talk about some of their favorite things.

Ryan

When I came I was struck by how extraordinarily "put together" everyone seemed, in every sense. Aesthetically, academically, extracurricularly--people seemed to have a place and a direction and a sense of how to present themselves to themselves and to their peers and professors. Many people seem to be experts and spokespeople for particular causes, everyone impressive in some regard. Expert-amateur sculptors, linguists, scholars in any mainstream or obscure field, not to mention politically savvy socialists, feminists, Democrats, Republicans, and anything else. The great thing about Harvard is that there really are fantastic people there, and down-toe-earth people, would-be-Swarthmore students, people with eclectic and fascinating interests, people whose intelligence comes through in all sorts of ways, and people who are truly good and kind. It's just a matter of finding them, and thanks to what feels like hundreds of student clubs, you really can find them.

Valerie

Pretty diverse group. Not yet too socio-economically diverse, but that will prob change with new financial aid initiatives. Most students wear casual clothes - jeans - to class. Different types of students DO interact. The house system is conducive to that I think. Most people are left of center politically.

Tate

Overall Harvard has a diverse student body but there are definitely silos that students continue to operate within upon coming here.

Dave

Ugh.

Katie

-people here are really openminded -there is literally every type of person at this school--you can find someone like you no matter how cool/weird you think you are haha... -i'm not sure if certain financial backgrounds are more prevalent than others--i know a ton of people that are on financial aid and a ton that aren't... -i'd say students from different "groups" still interact with one another

Tate

I feel that there is a fair amount of self-segregation, racially, at Harvard. It would be interesting to do a survey on Harvard students asking them the race of the majority of their friends. I think there'll be a pretty high correlation between one's own race and the race(s) of friends that one mixes with.

Torry

The student interaction isn't very good. Each entering class is about 1600, and students typically know only about 200-300 people in their class.

Wally

The student body is very diverse; a lot more so both racially and experience-wise compared to my high-school, which in itself was pretty diverse already. There is also a lot of interaction between groups, although outlines of cliques still tend to form. As far as financial background goes, although there are those from families that are less well off, there tend to be a lot more students from wealthier backgrounds too compared to my high school.

Charlie

The student body at Harvard is amazing. It feels like an honor to be among such motivated, smart people, who really strive to accomplish great things. At the same time, though, people are extremely nice...and therefore are very approachable. The student body is extremely active with their studies, but also with extra-curriculars, which contribute to a vibrant campus and community.

Paige

Harvard has been one of the most diverse places I've ever been at. However, there are some minorities that are not as well represented as others. I feel like asians are the most represented and for good reason, a lot of them are smart! I guess it's reflective of social norms that I would expect. You can always find your place at Harvard no matter what. Sometimes you have to try but it's easy to make friends. Only if you isolate yourself will you be isolated. No, students don't wear suits to class, we're normal people who wear jeans and etc. The dinning hall is quite an active site of interactions, a central hub of each house for meals, studying, and get togethers. I tend to think that most harvard students come from families who are well off but not substantially. I think middle to low middle class students are a minority but it doesn't matter, when you're here, you're equals and nothing more.

Vick

Students tend to cluster together with others of the same background/ethnicity. It's also hard to keep in touch with friends who don't live in your house and don't take classes/extracurriculars with you.

Chris

Diverse, but not even close to being the most diverse student body out there by far. This student body is no where near to some schools I've seen, including my high school. Basically this school is still all white, with some asian kids, and very few black kids, and almost no Hispanic kids.

Torry

Harvard's campus is getting more and more diverse, although there is definitely a bit of choice segregation. But racial groups (BSA, SAMA, etc) are very visible on campus, and they don't seem to face any discrimination. The final clubs (Harvard's version of frats) are definitely a diverse crowd racially, if not necessarily socio-economically. Students tend to look fairly put together for class, unlike my high school where everyone wore sweats and pjs. On weekends people tend to dress up, girls wear heels and such. The east coast mentality definitely dominates at Harvard, although there are people from ALL over. Depending on your crowd, it can sometimes seems like everyone is really wealthy, but that is just because the rich kids can flaunt it sometimes. There are certainly politically active segments, but it's definitely not a campus of radical liberals or anything like that. The average student is probably center-left and supports Obama.

TJ

There is a clear socio-economic divide for the elite students, as I mentioned in my earlier entry. For the rest, its fairly ambiguous.

Kelati

Harvard is a really tolerant and diverse campus. The students are normally a bit on the dressier side, minus the athletes who are normally seen in their DHAS sweats. I believe most Harvard students are from out of state. I have run into many students from Texas, California, and New Jersey. I believe about 20% of the students are international students, not of American citizenship.

Alex

Some groups I feel are cliquish and there is some sense I feel of posing within the International Community between 1st and 2nd generation (that is, (insert country)-Americans try to be more (insert country) than those actually from it) and while I feel that the socio-economic profile of Harvard is diversifying, those from less than stellar families are still in the vast minority here.

Shelby

Given the diversity of backgrounds among Harvard's student population, I firmly believe that anyone will be able to find his or her niche at Harvard. In general, students tend to become friends with housemates and with those holding similar academic or extracurricular interests. Although it is true that many Harvard students have had privileged upbringings, students with limited financial means can also have vibrant, satisfactory social lives (through the house, etc). The majority of the student population is politically left-leaning; though Harvard is not a bastion of conservatism, there is certainly a vocal and active coalition of right-leaning students on campus.

James

Harvard's student body comes from all over the world, and that's a wonderful thing. Politically, students are largely liberal, though not necessarily as "godless" as you may have heard. The best thing about people here is that, whatever their persuasion, they're usually prepared to explain it to you and then listen to your own point of view with an open mind. Even conservatives can find a place at Harvard, though it may be hard to believe! You'll find that students here are very academic and well-informed on infinite topics of conversation, sometimes have trouble thinking beyond the wealthy/Harvard bubble, want to get to know you -or- want to move their sleeping bag into the library, and have probably traveled someplace that you've never been. Students do talk about job prospects, but rarely about grades (that is, more than generally) or family income.

Bobby

Harvard students care too much about topics. They often stage protests are not helpful and I think they are pointless.

Bevan

we have too few asians

Alan

For my club, I have to fill up the condom boxes at my house, Dunster. Sounds funny, but we do a lot of other cool stuff like hosting the health event for Harvard students. It taught them about skincare, good eating habits, etc. Badminton club is also really fun; there are a lot of cool clubs here.

Alex

There's a place for everyone. If you don't belong to anything, you probably don't go to this school.

Blake

Talented, diverse, and brilliant.

Aaron

Diversity is big on campus; however diversity also, at least here, means that everyone is included in everything. For example, a Black Student Association event often has many asian, white, hispanic, and other ethnic groups present. There is a big emphasis on things being chill, and not too "into themselves," when it comes to the student body. Finals clubs are the only exception.

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