Harvard vs Yale Review 15 Things to Consider Before You Choose

Ivy league schools are good schools to earn a degree, but settling on which one to attend could be difficult. Hence, this article on Harvard vs Yale Review 2023 gives you 15 Things to consider before you choose.

There is absolutely nothing as complex as choosing between two good options. Regarding the best University experience, Harvard and Yale are great choices. They both award excellent degrees and are both reputable colleges for an awesome academic experience.

However, one is best for you based on several factors. Apparently, when you read this article’s end, you will be able to make the challenging but honest decision on which is excellent for you between Harvard and Yale universities.

You can glance through our table of content below to get an overview of 15 things you must consider before deciding.

Why Harvard and Yale Universities?

Harvard and Yale are both universities in the United States of America. Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,800 undergraduate students and about 14,000 postgraduate students. It is 383 years old and the oldest university in America.

On the Other hand, Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. It was founded in 1701 and is the third-oldest university in the US.

Harvard and Yale are both good universities for both academic and extracurricular development. There seem to be a lot of similarities between these colleges. This makes it a pretty hard choice for high school graduates to make a choice.

How did the Harvard-Yale Rivalry Start?

One of the famous rivalries between Harvard and Yale is the football competition. According to Wikipedia, The Harvard–Yale football rivalry is renewed annually with The Game, an American college football contest between the Harvard Crimson football team of Harvard University and the Yale Bulldogs football team of Yale University.

The universities use this football contest to conclude every academic season. The football game is the most prominent contest regarding athletics between the two schools. This accounts for other rival publicized athletic feats.

The first rivalry between the two universities occurred on November 13, 1975. Currently, the Yale Football team has won more matches than Harvard. With a total number of 50 wins against 43 wins from Harvard University, the Yale football team seems to be a better team than Harvard.

Yale vs Harvard, which is easier to get into for Pre-Med

Generally, getting into any of these colleges is a hard nut to crack. While Yale is regarded to be Better than Harvard in the sciences. Getting admitted is still a herculean task.

However, student reviews suggest that it is easier to get admission into Harvard than Yale. This does not suggest that gaining admission into Harvard is a piece of cake. You will have to be an A student to stand a chance at Harvard Premed schools.

Yale vs. Harvard: Which is a better College?

Generally, both universities are great institutions, but which is better will depend on several factors. The primary factor of which school is better lies with the students’ course and preferences.

However, Yale is said to have a better undergraduate program than Harvard. This is because it offers undergraduate students a better academic and campus life experience.

On the other hand, Harvard has a better graduate program than Yale. Hence, it is best you put several factors together to decide which university is best for you.

To ascertain which is better between Harvard and Yale, consider these 15 things and compare their similarities and differences alongside their strength and weaknesses.

  • Location and Weather
  • Size
  • Academics
  • Housing
  • Food
  • Admission Requirements
  • Tuition fees 
  • Financial aid
  • Sports and Extracurriculars
  • Culture and Diversity
  • Student community
  • World University Rankings
  • Subject strengths 
  • Student Outcomes

1. Location and Weather

Harvard is located in Cambridge, which is situated a few kilometers outside of Boston. It is home to quite several museums and restaurants and has a bustling nightlife.

On the other hand, New Haven, home to Yale University, is a small city. Unlike Cambridge, the city has a notably high crime rate and appears dangerous.

However, students can enjoy many activities ranging from eating incredible Pizzas, which include the famous Pepe’s. New Haven is home to cultural institutions like museums and other beautiful views.

Weather condition is almost the same as both institutions are in New England. So, whichever you choose, you will likely experience all four seasons especially cold, snowy winters.

Cambridge is closer to an ocean and right along the Charles River. Hence, Harvard may be colder than Yale.

2. Size

If you love a large campus, consider the size of the two universities before choosing. Harvard has a landmass of 26.4 sq mi (68.3 km2). It is slightly bigger than Yale, with about 1,110 acres of land.

Harvard has an undergraduate population of 6,788 and a total student body of 20, 700 as against Yale’s total student population of 13433.

Both universities, however, have 70% of their classes with fewer than 20 students with a faculty-to-student ratio of 6:1.

In summary, it is safe to say Harvard is better than Yale in Size, which considers the total student population and landmass.

3. Academics

Yale and Harvard University are both known for their excellent academic debut. At Harvard, students must take a general education course in four areas: Aesthetics and Culture, ethics and Civics, Histories, Societies, Individuals, and Science and Technology in society.

Harvard offers a unique concentration path across its 50 fields of study. Also, students at Harvard decide on majors in the fall semester even though quite a number of them end up switching majors.

On the other hand, Yale University offers 80 majors aside from special programs offered for first-year students and a residential college seminar program.

At Yale University, the distribution requirement is very lenient and includes two-course credits in Humanities and arts, sciences, social sciences, quantitative reasoning, writing, and foreign languages.

Unlike Harvard University, Yale students declare a major at the end of their sophomore year or the beginning of their junior year for other majors outside STEM.

Yale is best for sciences, while popular majors at Harvard include economics, Political science, English, and History.

4. Housing

More than 97% of Harvard University undergraduate students live on campus. In fact, a more significant number stay on campus for all four years.

Harvard yard is home to first-year students who share a suite. However, in their second year, students move into Harvard 12 houses.

Similarly, Yale houses its first-year students at one of 14 residential colleges. These students usually complete their time at Yale affiliated with these residential colleges.

Generally, both universities have great gender-inclusive housing options that allow students to live in suites with their suitemates, irrespective of their gender.

5. Admission Requirements

It is important to note that getting admitted to these colleges is no piece of the cake. They both have rigorous selection criteria.

At Harvard University, students must submit the following to be considered:

  • Common Application, Coalition Application, or Universal College Application
  • Harvard College Questions for the Common Application, Coalition Application, or the Universal College Application Harvard supplement
  • $75 fee (or request a fee waiver)
  • ACT or SAT (with or without writing)
  • 2 SAT Subject Tests (recommended, except in the case of financial hardship)
  • Optional: AP or other examination results
  • School Report and high school transcript
  • Teacher Report (2)
  • Midyear School Report (after your first semester grades)

On the Other hand, Yale University will only screen applications if students tick the list below:

  • The Coalition Application with Yale-Specific Questions
  • The Common Application with Yale-Specific Questions
  • The QuestBridge National College Match Application
  • $80 application fee or a fee waiver
  • Recommendations from two teachers and one counselor
  • School Report with transcript
  • Standardized test results (ACT or SAT)
  • English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo English Test, InitialView)
  • Mid-Year Report & Final Report

In summary, the admission requirement for both universities is almost the same. However, the Yale application fee is $5 more than Harvard’s.

6. Tuition fees 

Another factor that should influence your choice is the tuition fees. Well, tuition in both institutions is very expensive. Though one or two could influence your choice.

At Harvard, the undergraduate tuition fee is about $47730. This excludes additional fees like accommodation, travel, travel, and personal expenses.

Harvard aspirants should prepare their minds to pay an estimated $73,800-$78,200 for all expenses.

On the other hand, undergraduate fees at Yale are about $55,000, while accommodation and other expenses skyrocket to about $75,925. This excludes the total cost of securing health insurance.

For both universities, graduate-level tuition fees depend on graduate school and course. The graduate school of Arts and Science of Harvard requires a full tuition fee of about $48,008, and an additional expense fee of $40,208 per month is encouraged.

Similarly, $43,300 is the basic tuition fee at tale Graduate school of Arts and Science while living expense is estimated at $24015

In addition, a total annual budget of $110,740 is estimated for both Harvard business school and Medical school graduate level, which is almost the same at Yale.

7. Financial aid

Both Ivy League schools have amazing, generous financial policies for students. At Harvard, 50 % of students are on financial aid, while sixty-four percent of students at Yale University are on Financial aid.

The financial aid policies for both schools are void of loans,need-blind, and meet full demonstrated financial need.

By implication, the financial aid policy does not consider your ability to pay even though it covers 100% of the difference between your expected family contribution and the cost of attendance.

A student’s financial aid at Yale and Harvard is based on need, not merit. However, students can receive scholarships or aid from outside organizations.

8. Sports and Extracurricular

Another factor in aiding you in choosing between these two is the sport and extracurricular activities available at each school.

The famous Harvard and Yale rivalry is traced to the annual football competition used to conclude each season. Interestingly, both Ivy schools participate in the NCAA Division and Ivy League.

Both schools offer clubs and sports; while Harvard has 43 teams, Yale has 35.

Unlike at Yale, where 10 percent of undergraduates actively participate and enjoy the Greek life, Harvard does not recognize Greek life. In fact, fraternities and sororities are usually run off-campus at Harvard.

Both schools offer extracurricular opportunities like acapella, theater, political groups, and so much more. Both schools also allow students to participate in study abroad programs.

And financial aid students are allowed to bring their aid with them to their study abroad program.

9. Culture and Diversity

Both Ivy League schools accommodate students from across the globe. They have a significant number of students from all races and continents.

Being the only student from your area at both Ivy League schools is almost impossible. For a closer view and analysis, Harvard’s diversity make is shown in the table below:

EthnicityPercentage of Study Body
African American14.3%
Asian American25.3%
Hispanic or Latino12.2%
Native American1.8%
Native Hawaiian.6%

Yale university’s student diversity body is also all-encompassing. For domestic students, below are proven statistics:

EthnicityPercentage of Study Body
American Indian or Alaska Native0.3%
Black or African-American5.8%
Hispanic of any race9.8%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander0.1%
Race/ethnicity unknown1.0%

Yale, currently, is LGBT-friendly, while Harvard is making strides to be as inclusive as possible. In summary, both Ivy League schools have no preference for culture or ethnicity during selection. In fact, they accommodate students without reference to their sexual preferences.

10. Student Community

If the student community means a lot to you, you should opt for Harvard. While Yale has about 13,433 student bodies, Harvard has twice it.

Its student body is about 22,000. Also, 70 percent of the graduate and professional students comprise the Harvard student community, while 55 percent at Yale make up its student body.

Yale vs Harvard remains a hard decision as both schools have a strong research focus, and above 20 percent of students are from the international community.

11. World University Rankings

You should also consider world University rankings if you must judge between Yale vs Harvard. Both institutions are undoubtedly elite and world-class.

When it comes to rankings, you will better give them to Harvard. Basically, Harvard beat all indicators used to create rankings by top professional bodies and websites.

It is obviously top-rated in both global surveys, especially for academics and graduate employers.

On the contrary, Yale ranks 9th in academics and 7th by employers. On research citations per faculty member, Harvard ranks eighth in the world against Yale, which ranks 190th.

Regarding research citations, it is safe to say that Yale is not as influential as Harvard.

However, for the faculty-to-student ratio, Yale ranks fifth in the world, while Harvard ranks 40th. QS world university rankings also show that Harvard has a better international student diversity community than Yale. While it ranks 151, Yale ranks 186 for international faculty members.

12. Subject strengths 

Another yardstick for Yale vs Harvard is subject strength. Considering how good universities are for your subject area would be best.

According to QS World University Rankings by Subject, both universities are doing well and have good reputations across a broad range of subjects.

However, out of 48 subjects covered by QS in 2019, Harvard ranked first in 12, while Yale took no first position for any subject.

For a closer view and better understanding, look at the table below:

Harvard and Yale in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019

 Harvard UniversityYale University
Accounting & Finance1st13th
Agriculture & Forestry51-100
Art & design29th
Biological sciences1st8th
Business & management1st24th
Classics & ancient history5th  9th  
Communication & media studies=32nd
Computer science & information systems7th=46th
Development studies2nd
Earth & marine sciences3rd=12th
Education & training2nd
Engineering (chemical)20th
Engineering (electrical)=7th51-100
Engineering (mechanical)5th101-150
English language & literature3rd5th
Environmental Sciences5th=16th
Materials science=7th51-100
Modern languages1st6th
Performing arts8th=17th
Physics & astronomy2nd18th
Social policy & administration2nd
Theology, divinity & religious studies1st=6th

13. Food

Well, if where you have your meal is so important to you, you should consider it suitable for Harvard vs Yale review.

At Harvard, Annenberg hall is reserved for freshmen, while other students eat in their house dining hall and are on an unlimited meal plan. Each dining hall offers a variety of cuisines accommodating many dietary restrictions.

In fact, there is a Hillel dining that is accessible to all students though they serve Kosher. Generally, Harvard students have access to countless restaurants of all types of cuisines in Cambridge and Boston.

On the contrary, all students at Yale eat in the dining halls of their colleges, although it is not mandatory. However, freshers partake in the Full meal Plan while others may purchase alternative meal plans.

Students on any meal plan can use their meal transfer for Kosher meals at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life. Both schools provide vegan and vegetarian options at every meal.

14. On Campus Students Services

Yale vs Harvard review also considered available campus student service at each Ivy League school.

Harvard university offers all students remedial Services, Academic/career counseling services, Employment Services, and Placement services.

While Yale University offers academic/career counseling services, employment services, placement services, and on-campus daycare for lactating mothers.

Generally, school administration does its best to relieve students of other activities that may construe stress.

15. Student Outcomes

This should be the most crucial factor regarding Yale vs Harvard. Students from both institutions proceed to excel in life.

However, statistics show that students from Harvard earn around $136 700 after ten years of graduation, while students from Yale earn about $118 400.

Career paths for students from both schools are well-defined, and most of the land is in a variety of industries immediately after graduation, with a starting salary of $60,000 and above.

Harvard’s top sectors include finance, engineering, and consulting, while Finance, education, and consulting top the list at Yale University.

Yale vs Harvard FAQs

Is Yale a good choice for pre-med?

Yes, Yale is suited for pre-med. 90% of Yale undergrads do excellently well in getting into medical schools. In fact, most of them get into Us Medical schools.

How many times has Harvard played against Yale?

Harvard has played Yale 125 times. They have won 50 times, while Yale won only 43 times.

Is Harvard among the best Ivy League Schools?

Following most Ivy League rankings, Harvard is among the best Ivy League Schools. Mostly, Princeton, Harvard, and Yale always top the chart.

What are the acceptance rates for Harvard and Yale?

Harvard has an acceptance rate of 4% for undergraduate programs, while Yale’s hovers around 6%. So, it might be easier to get into Yale than Harvard.


Yale vs Harvard is a hard choice to make. Outrightly, both are Ivy League schools, making it a more complicated decision to take.

Well, both schools are doing excellently well when it comes to academics and student services. However, if you must choose, pay attention to details, even the slightest things.

In this article, you will find similarities and differences between these two institutions. While they may not be so much to fuss about, they will undoubtedly help you make a choice.

In fact, which college is better for you depends on your list of priorities. To aid you in ticking the boxes right, the Harvard Vs Yale review provides a list of 15 things you must consider before making a choice.

Please read this article and let me know which is a better college for you in the comment section.



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