What Does it Take to Get Into Haverford College?

Strategies by School
August 13, 2020
Haverford College Is Known For Its Majestic Scenery And Unique Approach To Education And Student Responsibility…

Built on a foundation of strong values and academic excellence, this small liberal arts college delivers an education that is nothing but expansive and student-guided. In this article, we’ll cover more about what makes Haverford so unique and what you can do to help increase your student’s chances of being admitted.

What You’ll Find In This Article

Haverford College's Ideal Student

Haverford is known for its dedicated and active student body that drives the entire school toward bigger and greater goals every school year. Students are encouraged to live and experience as much as learn at Haverford, and because of this unique approach, there are more applicants each year than the school can place. While grades and test scores aren’t everything, the ideal Haverford student has academic scores that fall within these ranges:

  • GPA: 3.9
  • ACT: 32-34
  • SAT: 1370-1530

How a student approaches life and academics is just as important as their test scores. While there is no one type of ideal student for Haverford, there are values and virtues that are held almost universally across campus and placed in the student defined Honor Code. If your student regularly displays the following values, make sure to help them showcase this in their Haverford application.


Due to its history as a Quaker institution, Haverford has a strong foundation of respect for all people within their community. Students who respect themselves, their peers, the hard work of their professors, and the community around them will find themselves right at home on this serene campus. Those who can be attentive and gracious even to those they disagree with strengthen this community of students.

  • Does your student have a track record of respectful debate or reaching out to make everyone feel included?
  • Can your student point to an extracurricular activity or project that expanded their view of what “respect” means?


Students at Haverford are encouraged to think beyond the typical way of getting things done and learn beyond the classroom. Students are encouraged on all corners of campus to follow their creative passions, share with one another, and come up with innovative solutions to the challenges we all face. Creative-thinkers and risk-takers will do well surrounded by this supportive and engaging community.

  • How has your student displayed a track record of being creative?
  • Does your student have a portfolio of creative work they can reference in their application?
  • How does your student solve problems creatively? How can they translate this experience to their college application?


Students at Haverford go beyond just attending classes and doing the minimum homework. Across all majors and programs, students are active and engaged in learning opportunities, community activities, and student organizations. For a student who wants to feel as if their voice makes a difference on campus, Haverford makes an excellent option.

  • How has your student engaged with their classes during high school?
  • What is it about Haverford that draws your student to the school? How do they plan on being engaged while studying there?


Students at Haverford are given the unique opportunity to blaze their own trails. As such, the school has become known for the quality of its education and the popularity of its major programs. There are popular majors in both the arts and STEM fields, including the following:

  • Philosophy (Ranked 14th)
  • English (Ranked 16th)
  • Chemistry (Ranked 22nd)
  • Political Science (Ranked 21st)


Overall, a diverse student body comes together to share in the Haverford spirit to create and live the school’s Honor Code. The ideal student for this unique and selective liberal arts college is the kind that is engaged with their own education, the world around them, and their future. These shared ideas give each class, student organization, and residence hall at Haverford a unique vibrancy, while still allowing each student to feel as if they belong.

What You Need To Get Accepted Into Haverford


In order to apply to Haverford College, your student will need to use the Common Application. This online app allows students to create one cohesive college application that they can send out to multiple schools, while still tailoring each application to the school. Students who want to increase their chances of having success with the Common App should look into the basics of how it works and how it’s used.

Specifically, there are two important deadlines for Haverford applicants: November 15th is the deadline for early decision, while January 1st is the deadline for regular decision applicants.


Students are required to submit an official transcript to Haverford through their school. ACT and SAT scores are optional and students can choose whether or not to send them, but enrolled students must submit official scores. Students should make sure to do what they can to raise their GPA so that it reflects their hard work and effort.


Applicants to Haverford College are asked to submit a supplemental essay through the Common Application and an Honor Code essay. Make sure your student fully reads through and understands each prompt. The best essay responses are clear and use strong language, are tailored to the unique opportunities offered at Haverford, and remain true to who the student is as a person.


Students are asked to obtain two teacher letters of recommendation for their Haverford application. These teachers must have taught the student in a core subject such as math or English. Your student should ask their teachers for these letters well before the deadline to ensure the teacher has enough time to write a thoughtful recommendation.


Applicants are required to pay a nonrefundable $65 application fee or obtain a fee waiver.

Haverford College's Campus Life


Located just northwest of Philadelphia, Haverford’s arboretum covers the entire campus. This means students learn surrounded by the beauty of nature, open spaces, and the ability to observe the world around them.

Across campus, there are over fifty buildings designated for academics, housing, and athletics; with the expansive Magill Library and the Visual Culture, Arts, and Media building serving as two highlights where students will spend plenty of time.


98% of students choose to live on campus among the beauty of the Haverford arboretum. There are a variety of residence halls to choose from; from the traditional dorm-style halls to themed houses. With no residential advisors, students are trusted to study and live amongst their peers in ways that promote growth, diversity, and community.

The Dining Center serves a wide variety of dietary needs and tastes as well, with a focus on fresh and sustainable foods. The school’s campus itself is walkable and parking is available, and there is a commuter rail line that connects the school to Philadelphia.


Over 50% of students play in varsity sports representing the Fords. From baseball, to basketball, to tennis, there are plenty of ways for students to become involved in varsity athletics.

Students also have a chance to be involved in intramural sports as well in many different teams. There are organizations for all types of students, whether they are looking to bond with others over shared passions or hobbies or become an activist, support their peers, or perform for their school.

From Application To Career: What You'll Experience At Haverford


Because your student will be allowed to use the Common App to apply, they can start and stop working on their application at any point. This means they can start early and come back to their application as needed to provide more context, better references, and updates to their test scores until it’s time to send the application. In order to have the best chances of admission, your student’s application should be a showcase of their entire personality, not just their academic scores.


Your student’s essay should be short and to the point, focusing on a  central theme and the personal story their application is trying to tell. If the essay could be sent to any other small liberal arts college, it needs to be made more specific to Haverford and the unique responsibility they place on their students.


Haverford allows students to explore their independence and carve their own path for the future. For over fifty years, students have even been allowed to choose the timing of their final exams! This is just one example of the type of responsibility that is entrusted to the students of Haverford, and this responsibility will help your student blossom during their years studying in the arboretum.


Studying at Haverford College will put your student on a list of alumni including Chevy Chase, George Segal, and Judd Nelson. The strong educational foundation and sense of personal responsibility they build at Haverford will certainly help prepare them for the workforce. As a result, over 64% of graduates find employment soon after graduation.

Your Future At Haverford College

For students interested in a college experience where they’re in the driver’s seat, Haverford offers a mix of personal responsibility, community engagement, and strong academic principles to provide a one-of-a-kind experience. Of course, such an experience is highly sought after, and with the rising number of applicants every year the school’s admission rate grows even more competitive.

If your child has their heart set on attending Haverford, please reach out to our WeAdmit counselors. We’re here to guide you through the complex college application process, helping your child work through their school options and put their best foot forward in every application. We use our expertise to help your child tailor their approach to each university, even Haverford!



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