Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Harvard and Yale undergrad utility functions

[Stephanie Kan (Yale '14)] added that when she later visited Harvard during its admitted students days this year, she found that many students spent their free time studying and some had taken time off to get away from the academic stress. The source of pressure on students at Harvard, Kan reasoned, could not be simply academic. ...

Likewise, Christopher Logan [Yale] ’14, of San Bernardino, Calif., said his decision came down to a question of opportunity and college environment. While he said Harvard and Yale were comparable in the opportunities each offered, their environments could not be more different. At Harvard, he said, students seemed more concerned with potential future rewards of the Harvard name rather than their immediate happiness. Yale, on the other hand, seemed to Logan as a place where “everyone was happy to be.” Yale, he reasoned, offered a similar reputation to Harvard without the tension and constant status anxiety. ....

Dany Jradi, who was also admitted to Yale this year, said he also chose Harvard based on its international reputation and the future opportunities and connections the Harvard name would bring. Originally from Lebanon, Jradi said that most people in his home country have only heard of either Harvard or Oxford.

“Considering the fact that I would like to go back to the Middle East for work in the future, what the community’s opinion of where I graduated was important for me,” Jradi said.

The question of future opportunities was also a top priority for Irene Chen [(Harvard '14)], who said she did not develop a “gut feeling” for either Harvard or Yale after visiting both colleges from Atlanta and ultimately resorted to pinning down the pros and cons of each college on an extensive spreadsheet. ...

Chen said she decided not to place as much emphasis on quality of life at college simply because it seemed too difficult to make predictions about how things would turn out over four years after having spent barely three days on campus. ...

Even today, when family friends at her local church ask where Kan is headed to college, her mother will mention that she was accepted to Harvard but chose to attend Yale instead to which there would be gasps of “why Yale and not Harvard?” Kan said.
--Carmen Lu, Yale Daily News, on differences in intertemporal discount rates and brand name valuation between Harvard and Yale undergrads



Well, I say let Harvard have its football and academics. Yale will always be first in gentlemanly club life. Why, every friend I have, I made right here.
--Yale alum Montgomery Burns, as written by Harvard alums

No comments: