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Posted at 12:08 AM ET, 04/21/2010

College Tour '10: Haverford College #2

By Valerie Strauss

Haverford, Penn.
Haverford College
From a parent

The college is in a spectacular country club setting. There’s a pond and rock walls and houses lined up at the entrance where the faculty live. It has beautiful architecture and buildings and open spaces.

We didn’t want to take a formal tour so we walked around by ourselves. I privately went off with someone from financial aid and I said, ‘I’m doing okay but I’m not rich and I wonder how much is financial aid. I don’t know the first thing about it.’ She said, ‘Let’s start at the building. Tuition, room and board, the whole package, is $55,000.’ And I didn’t get the message that there would be a lot of financial aid if my daughter got in.

My daughter had a different kind of reaction. She had been interested in small schools, and that’s what we had visited, but Haverford, which has about 1,100 or 1,200 students, seemed really small to her.

While we were walking around, she suddenly remembered that some people at Princeton had mentioned [Virginia’s College of ] William & Mary and suddenly she wants to see it, even though it has a lot more students. Princeton has about 5,000 undergrads, and William and Mary has a little more than that [about 5,700 undergrads], and before that, she was interested in schools with about 2,000.

This selection process is happening just the way I dreamed. She’s getting the gestalt, and rather than going on what kids are saying in the hallway at school, or what all those college books say, she is starting to see the reality of the schools and seeing where she fits in.

This is one in a series of reports that parents and students are contributing about their campus tours this spring. If you have visited a school and would like to participate, email me a brief report at You can find out more about College Tour ’10 and how to write about your college visit here.

Go to to see more college posts in the series and a map displaying them all.

By Valerie Strauss  | April 21, 2010; 12:08 AM ET
Categories:  College Tour '10  | Tags:  College Tour '10, College of William & Mary, Haverford College, Princeton University and visiting, college visits, visiting Haverford College, visiting campuses  
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Next: College Tour '10: Vassar College #2

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