Harvard or UC Berkeley

Have you ever watched A Barraca do Beijo 2 on Netflix? If not, watch out for spoilers ! The feature ends with the main character, Elle Evans (Joey King) having to choose whether to go to Harvard or UC Berkeley (University of California) with Noah (Jacob Elordi) or Lee (Joel Courtney), respectively, after being accepted into both. institutions. As we still don’t have the answer, we can try to guess the character’s decision by comparing the two universities! Come on?

Should Elle Evans choose Harvard or UC Berkeley?


Choosing Harvard or UC Berkeley goes far beyond deciding between two universities (and between Noah and Lee). Elle Evans will have to decide which “side” of the country to live in, since Harvard is in Cambridge, in the metropolitan area of ​​Boston; and UC Berkeley is headquartered in Berkeley, close to San Francisco and about 600 km from Los Angeles. That is, one university is on the East Coast and the other on the West Coast of the United States.

Cambridge, home to Harvard, is also home to MIT. With strong institutions like these two, it is clear that the city has developed a great tradition in the field of Education. In addition, the city is known for its squares, abundant nature (with rivers and many trees), historic architecture, and for being a stronghold of arts and culture. Nearby, Boston stands out for being one of the main urban centers in the USA.

Berkeley is part of the San Francisco Bay Area, close enough to see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. It is a relatively small city, but it is famous in the region for having a population with very healthy habits (especially walking and hiking) and a long history of liberal policies.


If Elle Evans is going to choose Harvard or UC Berkeley from university rankings , she may have a little trouble. Both institutions are very prestigious, both in the USA and the rest of the planet. For example, the two universities are in the overall top 30 of QS World University Rankings 2020!

In the indicators of this ranking , Harvard stands out in the opinions of academics and employers around the world, ranking first in both cases. Berkeley, in turn, ranks third among academics and ninth in the opinion of employers.

In addition to having one of the strongest international reputations in the world, Harvard also scores very well in the indicator of research citations by professor, being ranked eighth in the world in this regard. UC Berkeley is 13th in this regard, just behind the East Coast “rival”.

Finally, when we talk about international diversity of students and staff, UC Berkeley leads the way. It is within the world TOP 100 in terms of the percentage of international teachers. Harvard, in turn, is ranked 151st in this indicator.

Harvard Widener Library

Student community

UC Berkeley is by far the largest of the two universities: while it has more than 42,000 students, Harvard is home to about 22,000 students. However, when we take into account graduate students, the University of Massachusetts stands out: they represent 70% of the student body there. In Berkeley, the percentage of graduate students in the student community is only 27%.


Elle’s financial situation is a major concern for the character during the film. Unfortunately, regardless of whether she chooses Harvard or UC Berkeley, she will need to disburse a certain amount (if she doesn’t get a scholarship, of course). Both institutions have high fees, with the Californian university having different fees for students from the state and from outside it (whether from the USA or another country).

At UC Berkeley, tuition for undergraduate students is about US $ 16,486.50 (~ R $ 87,800) per year for students in California and US $ 43,168.50 (~ R $ 229,800) for students from outside the state. At Harvard, fees for 2019/20 are, on average, $ 47,730 per year (about $ 250,000).

South Hall, UC Berkeley

Financial assistance

Luckily, Elle Evans can count on the financial aid offered by the two universities – and they are not few! At Harvard, for example, 55% of undergraduate students receive help based on financial needs. At UC Berkeley, this proportion is even higher, since ⅔ of students receive some type of support. In addition, at both universities, a large number of graduate students receive loans, scholarships and also gainful employment.