The joke goes...
Yale's motto is "lux et veritas" (light and truth).
Harvard's motto is "veritas" (truth). Because they're not too bright.
It depends on your personality, and what you want.
I went to Yale for college, and I loved it.
Now, I go to Harvard for law school, and I think it's okay.
These are the pros and cons I see:
Pros: strong academics; strong community on campus; many extracurricular activities to choose from; good balance of work and play; beautiful gothic architecture
Cons: New Haven can be boring if you want to go to a mall, or to a theater that shows the latest Harry Potter movie, you have to drive, or take a cab! Also, while Harvard and Yale both have high prestige in the U.S., Harvard is more famous internationally. And Harvard is 1 spot higher in the US News rankings (if that makes a difference).
Pros: strong academics; highest worldwide prestige of any American university; 1 spot higher than Yale in US News ranking; many extracurriculars also; Cambridge/Boston is also a more exciting city than New Haven is.
Cons: less of a "fun" atmosphere on campus; there is more of a feeling of academic pressure; even when people are doing extracurricular activities there seems to be a feeling of pressure in the air ("I should be studying"); also, the dorms are kind of crappy compared to Yale's.
Oh, and BTW, I am controlling for the difference between college and law school. Although I am in Harvard Law School, I spend a lot of time on the Harvard College campus with my friends. Several of my high school friends either went to or currently go to Harvard College. So I am comparing apples and apples. :)
Between the two, I come out favoring Yale. But it is a personal preference. Also, remember that which of these 2 schools you end up going to might come down to which you get into, and not which school you can persuade your best friend to go to or vice versa. You should apply to both schools, if you apply to either, because they are both hard to get into.
Source(s): I went to both schools.
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