Haverford is a wealthy school. There are many students who are extremely wealthy with the upper middle class students taking up the middle. I think this makes middle class students feel much poorer than they actually are. I imagine that the campus can be very isolating to a lower income student, but really it is who you put around yourself and how sensitive you are to those kind of things. Haverford has a lot of white, Asian, and Jewish people and I think that people outside these groups often feel ignored. But really, Haverford does have a lot of minority representation as compared to other small liberal arts schools. I do not think that students are as cognoscente about this though and would rather just complain. I think the number one Haverford problem is that, across the board, Haverford students complain too much about everything. I am not sure if we are a jaded student body or if people feel slighted, but Haverford students are constantly complaining about something. A vast majority of Haverford students are liberal. The conservatives on campus are a small minority and I can imagine it is a frustrating environment for them since Haverford liberals tend to be close minded to their views. Haverford students are mostly modest and do not like to show off or make themselves looks good. You will typically see students wearing sweatpants to class and pajamas to breakfast. It is a laid back, open-minded campus
I wish before I had come to Haverford someone would have told me about how much Bryn Mawr is a part of the school. Mawrters, as they are called, are in all our classes and are constantly hanging around on the weekends. For a woman on campus, it can be a little frustrating because the Mawrters make it so there are two women to every guy on campus. Mostly though I just find it annoying and I was really surprised by it when I came here. Beware: Almost every singe Haverford guy-Bryn Mawr girl relationship/hook up I have witnessed has ended with massive amounts of regret on the Haverford end!
Overall Haverford students are really smart, interesting, and involved in activities and community service. But what most surprises me about Haverford is how everyone is so different at the same time. Haverford is really diverse in that people come from all types of places and experiences. It is not surprising to see a group of students really into alternative music, a group of jocks and some more typical nerds all sitting at the same table at lunch. Every single one of them is a closet nerd, so it works!
I've had some really amazing professors at Haverford with a couple duds mixed in. Overall Haverford profs are really interested in their students and go out of their way to get to know you. When a prof has office hours they are serious about having students come to them, and do go! They can be very helpful. Students at Haverford are constantly studying. There is an infamous term on campus the "Phantom 500" which refers to the half of campus that you never see because they are always in the library. It is much more rare though to find a student who is never bogged down with work than one who has to spend a lot of time studying. But it isn't out of control amounts of work, you have hard and easy semesters and you get used to grind after a while. As much as students study there is a fair amount of down time, meaning parties and student led events. I've only had one class at Haverford that didn't require some amount of student participation. This is definitely the school for people who like to have discussions in class. Some times profs take it too far and try to trick you or single you out with questions, but mostly it is interesting and enhances the learning experience. Haverford students are intellectual so it is not unusual to find yourself discussion modern day religion or politics in the middle of a party. It is a great place to be if you are really into discussing important, and difficult topics on a regular basis. But at the same time we don't take ourselves too seriously so it is not overwhelming. Haverford students are not competitive at all (except on the sports field). Grades are never discussed and you will be friends someone for four years and have no clue what their GPA is or how good at taking tests they really are. Discussing grades is very taboo. I am a math major, and I can tell you that the Math Department is really challenging but very supportive. The good professors spend more time out of class than in it helping with problem sets. The people you take classes with become like a strange extended family because you have to spend so much time with them on homework. It is mostly a rewarding experience though. I think the most negative thing about academics at Haverford is Bryn Mawr students. In any Haverford class there is probably going to be anywhere from a couple Bryn Mawr students to around 10. These students can sometimes be intelligent and interesting, but mostly this is much outweighed by the "crazies." They are the students in my classes that I feel are denigrating my education, their comments are often superficial, ditzy, or silly and are consistently not as thoughtful as Haverford students. I can honestly say that maybe a fifth to a quarter of my classes at Haverford would have been drastically better if there were no Bryn Mawr students in the class. The only plus side is that we get to take classes at Bryn Mawr so there are more options in what you can take.
Half of the campus's social life revolves around their sports team. Whether you play soccer, lacrosse, or ultimate frisbee; most of your close friends are probably on the team with you. Those people without a sports team still manage. The customs/freshman orientation program is very helpful in finding your group of friends. Haverford does not have a dating scene. I was told this by a tour guide two years before I came here and it is still true. Students are either just hooking up randomly with people or they are in a serious relationship. Sometimes Haverford can be boring on the weekends, especially when it is cold out. Students will usually party on Thursday, with Friday off, then on Saturday. There is a small segment on the campus who will party all the time though -also known as the baseball and lacrosse teams. Some students are not into partying, but usually they break down by the end of freshman year and join in the fun.
Haverford students are stereotypically very intelligent, mostly socially awkward, and not the most attractive bunch, but interesting! The ultimate stereotypical Haverford student is a short, hairy guy named Dan; which we actually have a number of.