How To Get Into Dartmouth: Admission Requirements + Tips

Two young men sitting on grass using a laptop to research Dartmouth college
March 19, 2024
12 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 2/5/24


Are you ready to apply to one of the country’s top colleges? Read on to discover Dartmouth College’s requirements, tips to get in, and much more. 

Getting into a top college is challenging but doable with the right know-how and dedication. But what does it take to get into Dartmouth?

There are many excellent colleges to choose from, and Dartmouth College is among the top-ranked schools in the U.S. Here is how the U.S. News & World Report ranks Dartmouth:

  • #18 in National Universities
  • #5 in Best Colleges for Veterans
  • #5 in Best Undergraduate Teaching
  • #8 in Best Value Schools
  • #13 in Study Abroad

So, is it hard to get into Dartmouth? And what does Dartmouth look for in applicants? Read on to learn more about Dartmouth's admission requirements, acceptance rate, supplemental essays, interview process, and more!

Dartmouth Acceptance Rate

Dartmouth’s acceptance rate is low, at 6%. Its Ivy League school status makes it an attractive addition to any college list, attracting thousands of applications annually. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Applications received: 28,841
  • Entering class size: 1,150
  • Acceptance rate: 6%
Dartmouth acceptance rate compared to how many students Quad get's into the same school!

Dartmouth Yield Rate

According to 2026 class profile data, the yield rate at Dartmouth College is 62%. However, this statistic can vary across application cycles.

How Hard Is It to Get Into Dartmouth?

It is difficult to get into Dartmouth. It's a prestigious college that strongly values academic excellence. As a result, Dartmouth has a limited acceptance rate. It relies on a highly competitive admission process, and only a small percentage of applicants are offered a spot at the college.

Take our interactive quiz below to find out how likely you are to get into Dartmouth.

Dartmouth Requirements

To position yourself as a top applicant and get into Dartmouth College, strive for an SAT score of 1560 or above or an ACT score of 35. You should also maintain a GPA of or higher than 4.11 to maximize your chances of admission. 

Dartmouth's admission requirements are holistic, meaning the admissions committee reviews candidates using multiple selection factors alongside GPA, test scores, and other metrics. 

Dartmouth SAT Requirements 

Dartmouth states that there’s no minimum required SAT score in accordance with accepting students holistically; it also has a test-optional policy in place until at least 2024. 

If you're planning to submit scores, you should still look at the academic profile and aim to meet or exceed these averages for your best chance of getting into Dartmouth. These are the average SAT scores of Dartmouth’s class of 2026 incoming students:

Test/Test Section Mean Score Median Score Middle 50% Range
SAT EBRW 733 750 710-770
SAT Math 750 770 730-790

Dartmouth ACT Requirements 

Like the SAT, you don’t need to submit your ACT score to Dartmouth. The middle 50% range of ACT scores submitted by admitted students ranges from 32 to 35, and the average ACT score is 33.

Dartmouth GPA Requirements

There is no minimum required GPA, but enrolled students are at the top of their high school class, averaging a 4.11 GPA or above. Regarding class rank, 95% of the incoming class was in the top decile of their high school graduating class.

Dartmouth Supplemental Essays 

The Dartmouth supplemental essays are crucial to the success of your application. The admissions committee uses the Dartmouth essays to determine whether you would be a good fit for the school. It's vital to write robust, compelling supplemental essays that leave a lasting impression. 

Your goal should be to stand apart from the crowd: that's how to get into Dartmouth. 

Dartmouth Supplemental Essay Prompts

Below, you will find Dartmouth's current supplemental essay prompts.

1. Required of all applicants. Please respond in 100 words or fewer:

Dartmouth celebrates the ways in which its profound sense of place informs its profound sense of purpose. As you seek admission to Dartmouth's Class of 2027, what aspects of the College's academic program, community, or campus environment attract your interest? In short, Why Dartmouth? Please respond in 100 words or fewer.

2. Required of all applicants, please respond to one of the following prompts in 250 words or fewer:

A. There is a Quaker saying: Let your life speak. Describe the environment in which you were raised and the impact it has had on the person you are today.
B. "Be yourself," Oscar Wilde advised. "Everyone else is taken." Introduce yourself.

3. Required of all applicants. Please choose one of the following prompts and respond in 200-250 words:

A. What excites you?
B. Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta recommended a life of purpose. "We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things," she said. "That is what we are put on the earth for." In what ways do you hope to make—or are you already making—an impact? Why? How?
C. Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel of Dartmouth's Class of 1925, wrote, "Think and wonder. Wonder and think." As you wonder and think, what's on your mind?
D. Celebrate your nerdy side.
E. "It's not easy being green…" was the frequent refrain of Kermit the Frog. How has difference been a part of your life, and how have you embraced it as part of your identity and outlook?
F. As noted in the College's mission statement, "Dartmouth educates the most promising students and prepares them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership…" Promise and potential are important aspects of the assessment of any college application, but they can be elusive qualities to capture. Highlight your potential and promise for us; what would you like us to know about you?

Supplemental Essays Examples

Having examples of supplemental essays to refer to is a valuable resource for applicants. These examples provide practical guidance on how to address specific prompts and showcase your personality. 

Essay Example #1

Dartmouth's mix of academics, community, and campus beauty intrigues me. The connection between learning and nature's charm is captivating. 
Being part of a community that values both education and the outdoors is why Dartmouth stands out to me. This balance promises a unique and enriching experience that I'm excited to be a part of.
Oscar Wilde's advice, "Be yourself; everyone else is taken," really speaks to me. As I step into the world, I'm a mix of experiences that have shaped who I am. One thing that's a big part of me is my love for the arts. I enjoy using both words and visuals to tell stories that mean something to people.
But there's more to me than just art. Volunteering has shown me how powerful it can be when people work together. I've spent time helping at local shelters and it's taught me about the strength of empathy and teamwork to create positive change.
Nature is another big part of who I am. I find peace and inspiration in the outdoors, whether I'm walking through a forest or sitting by a river. This has also made me interested in learning about ways to take care of the environment.
Thinking about all of this, Dartmouth College feels like a great place for me. They have a lot of different classes, a friendly atmosphere, and a beautiful campus. I'm excited to be myself at Dartmouth and be part of their community that values different perspectives.
Just like William Kamkwamba's inspiring journey, I am motivated by the idea that determination and effort can lead to impactful change.
Throughout my life, I have been drawn to the act of creation as a means of both personal expression and meaningful contribution. Whether it's designing digital artwork that communicates emotions beyond words or crafting lines of code that bring functional solutions to life, I find solace in the act of building something from scratch. 
One project that resonates deeply with me is the mobile application I developed to address local environmental concerns. Witnessing the escalating pollution levels in my community, I was determined to find a way to raise awareness and encourage positive action. 
The app provides users with real-time data on air quality and suggests eco-friendly habits, inspiring a more conscious approach to daily life. Looking forward, I hope to create a positive impact on a larger scale by merging technology, art, and social responsibility. 
Whether it's developing interactive educational platforms that engage learners globally or collaborating with artists to create immersive installations that provoke thought and inspire change, I am committed to utilizing my skills to foster meaningful connections and ignite conversations.
In the spirit of Kamkwamba's belief that trying is the first step toward success, I embrace challenges with enthusiasm, knowing that each endeavor contributes to personal growth and the betterment of the world around me. 
The drive to create is my compass, guiding me toward a future where innovation and compassion coexist and where my creations serve as catalysts for positive change.

Why This Works

This essay does a good job of combining personal experiences and clearly aligning with Dartmouth's values to create a compelling narrative. 

The writer's enthusiasm for Dartmouth's academic, community, and environmental aspects is evident as they discuss the captivating connection between learning and nature.

The writer's reflection on their personal journey, including their love for the arts, volunteering experiences, and passion for nature, showcases a well-rounded personality and a commitment to making a positive impact. Their desire to contribute to the environment and their community aligns well with Dartmouth's values.

The inclusion of a specific example of developing a mobile application to address environmental concerns adds depth to their commitment to positive change. This example highlights their proactive approach to using technology for social responsibility.

Furthermore, the writer's aspiration to create interactive educational platforms and collaborate with artists demonstrates their innovative thinking and their drive to foster meaningful connections. This aligns with Dartmouth's emphasis on creativity and collaboration.

Incorporating William Kamkwamba's inspiring journey into their narrative adds an additional layer of motivation and determination. By relating their personal drive to Kamkwamba's belief in trying as a stepping stone to success, the writer effectively reinforces their dedication to embracing challenges and contributing to positive change.

Overall, this essay effectively combines personal experiences, specific examples, and alignment with Dartmouth's values to present a strong case for the writer's fit within the Dartmouth community. The writer's enthusiasm, commitment, and well-structured narrative make their essay compelling and impactful.

Essay Example #2

Dartmouth's connection of purpose and diversity draws me in. The mix of challenging academics, close community, and captivating campus intrigues me. The idea of growing intellectually in such a diverse environment, where differences are celebrated and ideas are exchanged, excites me. 
Dartmouth's holistic approach, driven by strong connections and a commitment to a varied community, feels like a perfect fit. I see myself thriving, learning, and contributing in a community that matches my values — where diverse cultures come together as a unified community to share, learn, and grow.
Oscar Wilde's counsel, "Be yourself; everyone else is taken," has guided my path. Amid challenges, I've built resilience. Living with a disability, I've faced obstacles that strengthened my determination. These struggles ignited my passion for inclusivity, leading me to establish a safe space on campus for open conversations.
As an advocate for inclusivity, I co-founded a student initiative where stories are shared, promoting empathy and understanding. Beyond campus, I've volunteered with organizations supporting marginalized communities, actively participating in workshops and events that raise awareness about diversity.
Dartmouth's values align with my passion. Its commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community resonates deeply. 
I remember organizing a panel discussion that explored the experiences of differently-abled individuals in collaboration with local organizations. This endeavor showcased my commitment to inclusivity and community collaboration, a value I know Dartmouth values.
I envision myself adding to Dartmouth's tapestry, drawing from my experiences to contribute positively. Guided by Wilde's words, I'm ready to embrace my journey, sharing my story of resilience and advocacy authentically. I look forward to joining Dartmouth's community, where my dedication to inclusivity can make a lasting impact.
What really excites me is the journey of exploring the unknown. I love diving into different subjects like astrophysics or anthropology to uncover the mysteries of our world. 
But it's not just about studying alone – the idea of working together with fellow students from different backgrounds, bringing our unique perspectives to solve complex problems, is what thrills me the most.
I'm also passionate about using technology to make a positive impact. Whether it's creating better healthcare solutions or finding ways to help the environment using data and innovation, I'm all in. Dartmouth's approach to hands-on learning aligns perfectly with my goals to put these ideas into action.
And let's not forget the beauty of nature. Dartmouth's amazing surroundings offer a perfect balance between learning and enjoying the outdoors. As someone who loves nature, I can't wait to explore the campus and find inspiration in its natural wonders.
To sum it up, the excitement I feel comes from the journey of learning, working with others to make a difference, and connecting with nature. Dartmouth's community, academic opportunities, and the environment make it the perfect place for me to channel this excitement and contribute to shaping our future.

Why This Works

The writer's excitement for diversity and the academic environment at Dartmouth shines through as they discuss their enthusiasm for the campus's commitment to an inclusive community. Their example of organizing a panel discussion adds depth to their advocacy.

Their passion for learning and collaborating with diverse peers also resonates with Dartmouth's community focus. Their interest in using technology for positive change showcases a practical application of their education. Their appreciation for nature aligns with Dartmouth's setting.

Overall, the essay effectively combines personal experiences, passions, and alignment with Dartmouth's values. The writer's enthusiasm and well-supported examples make their fit for Dartmouth clear.

Interview Process and Format At Dartmouth

Dartmouth offers optional alumni interviews; unfortunately, not every applicant will be offered one. After you've submitted your application, you may be offered to interview with a Dartmouth graduate. Here is what you need to know about the process, format, and how to prepare for the Dartmouth interview.

How to Apply to Dartmouth

All candidates applying for first-year admission must use the Common Application (except for QuestBridge applicants). This applies to international students as well as candidates applying from within the US. 

Carefully review the eligibility guidelines for Early Decision, Regular Decision, transfer, and QuestBridge applicants to determine which process is right for you.

Then, when you’re ready to apply in the correct category, follow Dartmouth's application instructions. Here are the required application components:

  • Application fee or a fee waiver
  • Common Application
  • Dartmouth supplemental essays
  • Secondary school report, transcripts, and school profile
  • Counselor evaluation
  • Two teacher evaluations
  • SAT or ACT
  • Peer recommendation (strongly recommended by the admissions board, so treat this as a requirement to boost your application)

Dartmouth Application Deadlines

You will find the application process and deadlines laid out below.

Early Decision

These are the important Dartmouth Early Decision dates you should know:

Date Description
Early August Dartmouth applications go live via the Common Application.
Early November The Early Decision application is due, including the application fee or fee waiver. Financial aid applications are due. This is the last date for testing.
Mid-November Respond to the alumni interview invitation if you receive one.
Late November Quarter grades/progress reports that include grades from your senior year are due.
Late December Intent to enroll deadline.
January/February Mid-year reports are due. Deferred applicants should submit a brief update on academics, extracurriculars, and personal accomplishments; additional letters of recommendation and new exam scores are also accepted.
April Financial aid packages are sent to applicants for review.
Early May Intent to enroll deadline for recently admitted Early Decision applicants.
Late May Admission notification for Early Decision deferred applicants.
June Final secondary school reports and transcripts are due. Deadline to request a gap year.

Regular Decision

These are the Dartmouth Regular Decision dates you should know to keep on top of your application deadlines:

Date Description
Early August Dartmouth applications go live via the Common Application.
December Last date for testing if you're submitting SAT or ACT scores.
Early January Regular Decision application is due, including the application fee or fee waiver.
January/February Mid-year reports are due. Respond to the alumni interview invitation if you receive one.
Early February Financial aid applications and materials are due.
Late March to Early April Admission notifications are sent, including any financial aid packages for admitted students.
April Admitted applicants review financial aid packages.
Early May Intent to enroll deadline.
June Final secondary school reports and transcripts are due. Deadline to request a gap year.

Dartmouth Tuition and Scholarships

It's important to have a good understanding of Dartmouth's tuition and scholarship information. This knowledge helps you make informed decisions, plan effectively, and access available financial support. Let’s get into it. 

Dartmouth Tuition

The tuition at Dartmouth is $63,684, along with associated fees of $2,055.

Dartmouth Scholarships

Scholarships at Dartmouth are based on financial need and don't need to be paid back. The amount you get, ranging from $1,000 to over $70,000, depends on how eligible you are.

If you're a Dartmouth student, you might be matched with one of 950+ Dartmouth Endowed Scholarships. These don't add extra money but make sure your aid comes from a specific fund. You don't need a separate application, and you can choose not to participate.

Some students with these scholarships answer questions about their Dartmouth experience and thank their donors each year. Many even meet their donors, which can lead to great networking opportunities. This helps donors see how their generosity impacts financial aid and students.

If you've gotten scholarships from outside Dartmouth (for things like good grades or sports), that money can lower your costs. It can replace work-study and loans in your award. It can also replace some of what you're expected to earn during breaks. If you get federal aid, outside scholarships can even lower Dartmouth's expected cost for you. 

Sometimes, if you get a lot of outside money, Dartmouth might need to lower their scholarship a bit to follow the rules.

Tips for Getting Into Dartmouth

Here are some tips to strengthen your application to Dartmouth, so you have a better chance of getting accepted.

Strive for a High GPA 

On an unweighted scale, many admitted students report GPAs over 4.0. Additionally, 95% of the class of 2026 ranked in the top 10% of their high school’s graduating class. Although Dartmouth takes a holistic approach to application review, performing at the top of your class can help you get accepted. 

Take Challenging Courses 

Although Dartmouth is partial to students with higher GPAs, that doesn’t mean achieving a 4.0 GPA in standard courses will guarantee your acceptance. In fact, the admissions committee may wonder why you didn’t challenge yourself and take the most advanced classes available to you. 

If your high school offers honors, AP, or IB classes, consider enrolling in some of the courses you’re interested in and think you’d perform well in. If your school doesn’t offer such courses, it’s worth looking at outside academic enrichment opportunities or signing up for dual enrollment classes at your local community college. 

Don’t Neglect the Supplemental Essays 

While your personal statement is important, it’s your introduction to every college. The Dartmouth admissions essays allow you to get more specific while showing your fit and differentiating your profile. 

We recommend spending adequate time outlining and drafting your supplemental essays. Don’t forget to proofread and follow word limits! 

Choose Your Third Supplemental Essay Prompt Wisely 

While all applicants must answer the first two essay prompts, you can choose from five prompts to write your final supplemental essay. Sometimes choice presents its own issue – which prompt do you pick? 

Our best advice is to list potential topics and main ideas you could discuss for each prompt. You may have way more content for one prompt or can’t think of anything to share for another. Organizing your thoughts and brainstorming is the best way to choose your prompt. 

Additionally, ensure the prompt you choose adds something new to your application. For example, if you’ve already written about your life’s passion in your personal statement, you may want to choose another prompt other than B. 

Consider Whether or Not to Share SAT/ACT Scores 

Dartmouth College is test-optional, meaning you don’t need to share your SAT/ACT scores to apply. However, we recommend sharing your test scores if they fall within the upper-middle 50% range or higher of past admitted students. If your GPA was lower than you hoped for, high test scores can also help bolster your application. 

Applying with your test scores may not be best if your scores are lower than you hoped for or fall below the middle 50% of past admitted students. Use your best judgment to determine whether your SAT/ACT scores would help or hinder your application! 

Take the Optional Interview 

Although interviews for Dartmouth are optional, we highly recommend taking the opportunity to speak with alumni. It’s one more chance for you to shine, and it’s a great opportunity for you to ask questions about the school as well. 

Think of the interview as a professional conversation where you are learning whether you’d be a good fit for each other.

Apply Early

Dartmouth states that applicants who apply within the early admission intake get accepted at a higher rate than those who apply within the regular decision intake. 

As such, it's a great idea to apply for early admission to increase your chances of getting in. Keep in mind that applying within early intake will require you to apply in November, so make sure to get your materials ready to submit ahead of time. 

We also recommend applying early only if Dartmouth is your first-choice school! 

Show Your Commitment to Community Service 

Ivy League schools appreciate candidates who show community spirit and make lasting impacts on the people and world around them. Dartmouth aims to instill in “students a sense of responsibility for one another and for the broader world, and give them ample opportunities to share their expertise and passions.” 

Along with Dartmouth’s numerous service opportunities, involved students with personal/social missions can make an impact on the admissions committee by sharing their values through their activities lists, essays, and optional interviews. 

Should I Apply to Dartmouth?

Choosing the right school is challenging because you have so many different options. Take a look at what a Dartmouth student has to say about her experience on campus.

Here are the key takeaways.

  • The class sizes are small, which creates a tight-knit atmosphere. “Everyone from your closest friends and acquaintances to your professors and TAs genuinely wants to see you succeed and will do everything within their power to help you,” she said. 
  • Dartmouth is a community of learners – the students are eager to learn, the professors are passionate about what they teach, and there are many supports available to students when classes get stressful. 
  • The location is gorgeous. Dartmouth is located between the Connecticut River and the White Mountains, so the views are beautiful, and there are many outdoor activities available on and off campus. 

If you’re looking for an affordable, quality education among the nation's experts at a campus surrounded by natural beauty, then Dartmouth College is a great choice.

Getting Into Dartmouth: FAQs

If you still have questions about getting into Dartmouth, check out these FAQs!

1. What Does Dartmouth Look for In Applicants?

Dartmouth looks at every student holistically and gauges what unique qualities, experiences, and viewpoints they will bring to the community. The school seeks future leaders of the world, no matter what subject or field they pursue. So, your application materials must represent your best self throughout your high school career. 

2. Does Dartmouth Accept Transfer Credits?

For first-year students, you may transfer up to four credits from another four-year school. Credits from online and community college courses are not transferable. Dartmouth has a strict policy on accepting transfer credits from another institution, and circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

3. Is Dartmouth an Ivy League School?

Yes, Dartmouth is an Ivy League school.

4. Can I Get Into Dartmouth With a 3.5 GPA?

There is no minimum GPA requirement at Dartmouth. Each application is reviewed holistically, and a 3.5 GPA is only one factor. The admissions committee considers the rigor of your academics with your grades to determine how well you may perform at Dartmouth. 

That said, Dartmouth is still an Ivy League school, so the academic competition is fierce. The entering class comprises many students who ranked among the top 10% of their high school class.

5. How Do I Stand Out In the Dartmouth Application Process?

According to Dartmouth, “it's all about who you are.” To stand out in the application process, discuss your accomplishments, interests, and motivations to tell your personal and unique story.

6. When Should I Prepare for Dartmouth?

The Common App opens in early August every year, so you should give yourself plenty of time to fulfill all application requirements.

You should begin preparing for Dartmouth throughout all four years of high school. Dartmouth is a highly competitive school, so you should focus on participating in meaningful extracurricular activities, giving back to your community, acing your tests, and consistently getting high grades. 

7. Does Dartmouth Offer Financial Aid?

Yes, Dartmouth offers generous financial aid packages. You can find more information in the Dartmouth financial aid portal

8. Does Dartmouth Interview Everyone? 

No, Dartmouth only interviews some. The school aims to send as many interview invites as possible, but you won’t be disadvantaged if you're not selected.

9. What Is Dartmouth Known for Academically?

Dartmouth College is where the BASIC programming language originated. The college has undergraduate arts and sciences, engineering departments, and four graduate programs. These programs include the well-regarded Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, and Geisel School of Medicine.

10. How to Get Into Dartmouth Early Decision?

Complete both the Common Application and the financial aid applications. Be sure to send them in before the deadline corresponding to your chosen process. Pay the application fee or inquire about a fee waiver. If you're applying through early decision, request your school to send Dartmouth your fall quarter grades.

11. Is Dartmouth Test Optional?

Dartmouth College isn’t test-optional but was from 2020 to 2023. The school's President, Sian Beilock, made this decision, stating its necessity and importance in assessing qualified applicants. 

Getting Into Dartmouth: Do You Have What It Takes?

Dartmouth is one of the top institutions in the U.S. and an excellent school to attend. If you're wondering, “Can I get into Dartmouth?” know that the answer is yes. To maximize your chances of acceptance, follow the tips in this guide. 

Pay special attention to Dartmouth's admission requirements and start preparing for higher education early in high school. Remember, Dartmouth reviews applicants holistically, so in addition to competitive grades and test scores, you should participate in meaningful activities that help you stand out. 

Now that you know what it takes to get into Dartmouth, we wish you luck! If you need some support, our Dartmouth admissions consultants are here to help.

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