© 2019 Solomon Admissions Consulting LLC. All Rights Reserved.

NACAC MEMBER
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Wix Facebook page
  • Wix Twitter page

Dartmouth College Admissions Consulting Services

Dartmouth College Admissions Guidance

 

What is Dartmouth Looking For?

If you are looking for a medium-sized liberal arts college

focusing on undergraduate education that also happens

to be an Ivy League school, then Dartmouth is the place

for you. Dartmouth’s famous D-Plan, which is a flexible

academic calendar system, allows students to intern or

study abroad with ease. Consequently, Dartmouth values

qualities in students such as risk taking, curiosity and

adventurousness.

 

Dartmouth rates every applicant in two separate areas on a 1 to 9 scale (9 being the highest and 1 being the lowest): (1) Academic Rating and (2) Personal Rating.

 

Dartmouth, like all Ivy League schools, looks for students who love learning for the sake of learning. An applicant with the highest Academic Rating of 9 out of 9 at Dartmouth would have these credentials:

 

  • Top 1-2% of high school class

  • Most challenging courseload of AP courses

  • SAT/ACT and SAT II scores in the 99th percentile

  • Glowing letters of recommendation indicating that student is best out of applicants from past several years from his/her high school

  • Intense love of learning, as evidenced by academic research outside the classroom with a college professor leading to publication in a journal

  • Potential to be leader in academic field in future

 

An applicant with an Academic Rating of 7 out of 9 at Dartmouth would have these credentials:

 

  • Top 5% of high school class

  • Most challenging courseload of AP courses

  • SAT/ACT and SAT II scores above the 95th percentile

  • Strong but unexceptional letters of recommendation

  • Lacking the intense love of learning of other students, with some independent reading outside the classroom but no published research with a college professor

  • Driven to achieve by competition more so than by a true love of learning

 

Dartmouth, like all Ivy League schools, looks for students who are specialists and not for students who are well-rounded. Examples of applicants with the highest Personal Rating of 9 out of 9 at Dartmouth would be:

 

  • Published author

  • Intel STS Finalist (top 40 in country)

  • Olympic medalist

  • Soloist at Carnegie Hall

  • US Math Olympiad Qualifier (USAMO)

  • Awards at the national level

  • Patent pending (without parental involvement)

 

Examples of applicants with a Personal Rating of 7 out of 9 at Dartmouth would be:

 

  • Awards at regional level

  • Significant commitment at a high level to a few activities

  • Student Body President

  • All-State Orchestra

  • Captain of varsity sports team

  • Nationally ranked debater

  • Well-rounded and involved but not the most passionate about anything

 

At Dartmouth, peer recommendations are highly encouraged to shed more light on a candidate’s personality and possible contribution to campus. Peer recommendations can confirm interests that the candidate has stated in other parts of the application and give the admissions committee insights into their personality.

 

At Dartmouth, only candidates in the middle of the pile go to the admissions committee for a vote. Dartmouth also seeks out greater diversity in its incoming class, and tends not to favor legacies as much as the other Ivies.

 

During the past decade, Dartmouth has made a push to improve its engineering program. Since Dartmouth’s engineering program has historically lagged behind those at other Ivy League institutions such as Cornell and Princeton, Dartmouth is very receptive to strong engineering applicants.

 

 

Approaching the Dartmouth Supplemental Essays

 

Solomon Admissions provides extensive guidance on Dartmouth supplemental essays to its clients, and here is an example of how our former admissions officers would recommend approaching the Dartmouth supplementals:

 

We’d like to know a little more about you. To that end, please choose one of the following questions and write a short response in the space below.

Every name tells a story: Tell us about your name--any name: first, middle, last, nickname--and its origin.

Tell us about an intellectual experience, either directly related to your schoolwork or not, that you found particularly meaningful.

When you meet someone for the first time, what do you want them to know about you, but generally don’t tell them?

Describe the influence your hero has had on your life.

We believe it is critical that your candidacy reflect the interests, experiences and pursuits that are most important to you. To this end, is there anything else you would like us to know?

A paragraph to a page in length is ideal. Thank you!

 

We recommend that students select the “is there anything else you would like us to know” prompt. Dartmouth really seeks students who are risk-takers who will contribute to campus life, as evidenced by the fact that many Dartmouth freshmen start clubs and organizations on campus related to their interests and passions. At Solomon Admissions, we recommend that students outline how they plan to contribute to the Dartmouth community, both academically through undergraduate research and extra-curricularly.

 

In the Dartmouth supplemental essay, make sure to research specific professors you want to conduct undergraduate research with, as well as specific classes you want to take and clubs you would like to participate in. What's that famous JFK quote?  “Ask not what your college can do for you, ask what you can do for your college.” :-).  Dartmouth wants to know what you have to offer them (they know what they can offer you and don't need 30,000 applicants repeating what Dartmouth already knows).

 

Questions to keep in mind when writing the Dartmouth supplemental essay:

 

  • How will you take risks using the D-Plan which allows for academic flexibility in scheduling internships and other opportunities?

  • How will you contribute to campus academically? By conducting undergraduate research? By contributing to intellectual discourse on campus?

  • How will you contribute to the social life on campus? By founding a club? By becoming active in a student group?

 

"Act as if."  Act as if you go there and show them that you fit in perfectly and would contribute to academic life (undergraduate research and intellectual discourse), social life (starting an organization on campus that relates to your high school passions), and most importantly, show them that you have personality and are an interesting person with esoteric hobbies.

 

For more information about the college application process,

contact us at 1.646.598.8174 or info@solomonadmissions.com