What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Harvard vs Northeastern: Which One's a Better Fit?

Hey everyone! So I'm getting ready to apply to colleges, and I can't decide between Harvard and Northeastern. Obviously, they're both great schools, but could you give me a breakdown of the differences between them and what kind of student would thrive at each one? Thanks!

6 months ago

Hi there! Congrats on taking the next step in your college application journey. Harvard and Northeastern are indeed both fantastic schools, but they have some notable distinctions that might help you determine which is a better fit for you.

Location: Both are located in the Boston area, but Harvard is in the quieter neighborhood of Cambridge, which offers a more classic college town feel, while Northeastern is right in the heart of downtown Boston.

Academics: Harvard is known for its renowned academics and Ivy League prestige. Students who excel in research, writing, and critical thinking would fit in well at Harvard. On the other hand, Northeastern is popular for its unique cooperative education program (co-op), which allows students to alternate semesters of academic study with full-time employment in their field of interest. This gives students hands-on, real-world experience and a more applied approach to learning.

Class size: Northeastern has a larger undergraduate student population (around 18,000) compared to Harvard (around 6,700). Smaller class sizes at Harvard could lead to a more intimate learning environment, while the larger population at Northeastern might offer a more diverse array of viewpoints and experiences.

Campus culture: Harvard has a strong emphasis on tradition and is known for its competitive atmosphere among students. Northeastern, with its co-op program, fosters a more collaborative and practical approach to learning. Students at Northeastern often develop strong professional networks while still in college due to their work experiences.

Extracurriculars: Harvard has a wide variety of clubs, organizations, and activities, as does Northeastern. Harvard's athletics programs and social life often revolve around its residential houses, which undergraduates are assigned to after their first year. In contrast, the co-op program at Northeastern means that extracurricular involvement can vary significantly depending on whether students are on or off-campus.

In conclusion, students who prefer a traditional, research-based academic experience with a strong emphasis on prestige and tradition might be a better fit for Harvard. Those who are looking for a more experiential education with opportunities to develop real-world skills and professional networks during college might find that Northeastern aligns better with their goals.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preferences and priorities. It's essential to visit both campuses (if possible) and get a feel for the environment, speak with current students, and learn more about the programs offered. Good luck with your applications!

6 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.