How To Get Into Dartmouth: The Definitive Guide

Two young men sitting on grass using a laptop to research Dartmouth college
July 11, 2022
Dartmouth RequirementsDartmouth Acceptance RateDartmouth Supplemental Essays (Writing Tips & Prompts) How to Prepare for the Dartmouth Interview (7 Tips)How to Apply to DartmouthDartmouth Application Process and DeadlinesDartmouth Class ProfileAbout DartmouthGetting Into Dartmouth: FAQs

”Rohan

Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 7/11/22

 

Getting into a top college is tough but doable with the right know-how and dedication. But what does it take to get into Dartmouth? If you're wondering how to get into Dartmouth, read on to learn more! 

 

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:

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!

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Dartmouth Requirements

Dartmouth's admission requirements are holistic, meaning the admissions team reviews candidates using multiple selection factors alongside grades and GPA. Dartmouth is a competitive school, so you must be among the top of your high school class for a chance at acceptance.

Test Scores

Dartmouth states that there is no minimum required SAT or ACT scores in accordance with accepting students holistically; it also has a test-optional policy in place until at least 2023. 

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.

Table showing Dartmouth colleges' test scores requirements

GPA

There is no minimum required GPA but enrolled students are at the top of their high school class, averaging a 4.0 GPA or above. Regarding class rank, 95% of the incoming class was in the top decile of their high school graduating class.

Dartmouth Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at Dartmouth is highly competitive. Dartmouth's Ivy League school status makes it an attractive addition to any college list. Therefore, the Dartmouth acceptance rate is quite low:

Dartmouth Yield Rate

According to the US News & World Report, the yield rate at Dartmouth College is 64%. However, this statistic can vary across application cycles.

Dartmouth Supplemental Essays (Writing Tips & Prompts) 

The Dartmouth supplemental essays are crucial to the success of your application. The admissions committee uses these 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. Let's get right into the supplemental essay prompts and how to write excellent answers.

Dartmouth Supplemental Essay Prompts

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

1. Please respond in 100 words or fewer:

"While arguing a Dartmouth-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818, Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, delivered this memorable line: “It is, sir,…a small college, and yet there are those who love it!” As you seek admission to the Class of 2026, what aspects of the College's program, community, or campus environment attract your interest?"

2. Please choose one of the following prompts and respond in 250-300 words:

A. "The Hawaiian word mo'olelo is often translated as “story,” but it can also refer to history, legend, genealogy, and tradition. Use one of these translations to introduce yourself."
B. "What excites you?"
C. "In The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba, Class of 2014, reflects on constructing a windmill from recycled materials to power the electrical appliances in his family's Malawian house: 'If you want to make it, all you have to do is try.' What drives you to create and what do you hope to make or have you already made?"
D. "Curiosity is a guiding element of Toni Morrison's talent as a writer. 'I feel totally curious and alive and in control. And almost...magnificent, when I write,' she says. Celebrate your curiosity." 
E. "'Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away,' observed Frida Kahlo. Apply Kahlo's perspective to your own life."
F. "In the aftermath of World War II, Dartmouth President John Sloane Dickey, Class of 1929, proclaimed, 'The world's troubles are your troubles…and there is nothing wrong with the world that better human beings cannot fix.' Which of the world's 'troubles' inspires you to act? How might your course of study at Dartmouth prepare you to address it?"

How to Write the Dartmouth Supplemental Essays

The purpose of the Dartmouth supplemental essays is to get to know you better as a person. High marks and test scores are essential for admission, but they don't reflect the most interesting parts about you. 

Think of these essays as a way to tell your story. Here are some helpful tips on how to write compelling supplemental essays.

Show, Don't Tell

This is common advice given to writers, and with good reason. It means to be creative and imagistic with your language to weave a memorable narrative rather than making non-specific or bland statements. Focus on evocative imagery and specific details that grab the reader's attention.

Follow Instructions

Follow the word count and character limit instructions outlined in the application and essay prompts. Keep your writing concise!

Keep Your Writing Organized

Your answers should have a clear, organized structure: an introduction, body, and conclusion. While you shouldn't explicitly point these parts out, your writing needs to have a logical flow. 

Mind Your Tone

Have a positive attitude and show a growth mindset. If you write about a challenging topic, discuss what you learned from the experience and try not to linger too much on describing the event.

Brainstorming Is Key

Brainstorm before you begin to write. This will help you get down all your ideas and narrow down the ones you'd like to discuss. Brainstorming provides your narrative with more direction.

Edit Your Work

Write multiple drafts and edit your work. Have someone else look at your essays objectively and ask them for objective feedback. What worked for them? What didn't work? Evaluate their comments and incorporate their feedback where appropriate.

Additionally, you can set up a consultation with an expert admissions consultant to help you with the college application process, including supplemental essay editing. Getting into Dartmouth requires perfected supplemental essays. 

How to Prepare for the Dartmouth Interview (7 Tips) 

Dartmouth is different from other schools when it comes to interviews. There are no on-campus interviews. Alumni conduct all Dartmouth College interviews; not every applicant will be asked to interview. Furthermore, interviews are optional.

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 alumni interview.

7 Tips for a Successful Interview

Dartmouth has conveniently outlined its tips for a successful interview. Here they are, with some further elaboration and insights.

Check Your Email Frequently 

Interviewers use the email address you provided in your application to contact you. Check your email often to ensure you don't miss an invite.

Don't Decline Interview Invitations

Remember, don't decline an interview invitation except for emergencies. Feeling nervous or doubtful is not a good reason to decline Dartmouth College's interview. We recommend taking advantage of this opportunity to gain more insight into the school. This is your chance to supplement your application materials with your own voice.

Respond Quickly

If you are invited to interview, respond promptly if you will or will not be able to attend. It's the courteous thing to do! 

Make a Great First Impression

Be on time. Formal attire is not required but dress appropriately. It is highly recommended to dress formally, even though it is not required. Business formal attire is professional and makes an exceptional first impression. It shows that you are serious about the process and committed to excellence. This detail shows the admissions committee that you care.

Plan Ahead

A brief resume or activity sheet can be helpful to your interviewer but is not required. Providing the interviewer with a brief informational sheet shows preparation, attention to detail, diligence, and professionalism.

Have Questions Ready 

What are your questions about Dartmouth? Your questions will give your interviewer insight into what you value and your thought process. Ensure you prepare questions for your interviewer. The admissions ambassador interview is a great source of information about life at Dartmouth and the alumni network. 

You can brainstorm questions about Dartmouth by researching the school. Target your questions to address your specific interests and goals. For example, if you want to major in English, you can inquire about the school's literary magazine, networking opportunities with publishers, and more. Asking thoughtful questions like these will demonstrate your passion.

Be Prepared For Tough Questions

If you’re asked difficult questions such as, “What is your worst subject?” remember to frame your answer in a positive light that shows a growth mindset.

For example, if your worst subject was math, don't spend time complaining about it. Instead, focus on what you did to overcome adversity. Did you take on a leadership role and organize a study group for your class? Did you seek extra help from your teacher and build a strong academic relationship? 

Once you overcame your struggles and pulled up your math grades, did you pay it forward by tutoring other students? These are just some ways to address difficult topics—always turn a negative into a positive! 

Following these Dartmouth interview tips can help you feel more prepared and less nervous. 

Dartmouth Interview Questions

Your Dartmouth College interviewer will likely ask you questions similar to the ones below.

You should prepare for these questions before your interview. You can do this by participating in mock interviews. They are a great way to get comfortable saying your answers out loud in someone else’s company. Mock interviews are also statistically proven to ease your nerves. Your answers will feel more natural with practice, putting you at ease on the day of your actual interview.

It's also important to remember that the purpose of Dartmouth's alumni interview is to find out if you'd be a mutually good fit for each other. To that end, cater your answers to present your best self and demonstrate why you need Dartmouth to succeed in your education and career goals.

How to Apply to Dartmouth

All candidates applying for first-year admission must use the Common Application (except for QuestBridge applicants).

Be sure to 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 are ready to apply in the correct category, follow Dartmouth's specific application instructions.

Here are the required application components:

Dartmouth Application Process and 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: 

Table showing the Dartmouth Early Decision Application Deadlines

Regular Decision

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

Table showing the Dartmouth Regular Decision Application Deadlines


How to Prepare for the Dartmouth Interview

Dartmouth is different from other schools when it comes to interviews. There are no on-campus interviews. The only interviews are alumni interviews, and not every applicant will be asked to interview. Furthermore, interviews are optional.

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 alumni interview.

Tips for a Successful Interview

Dartmouth has conveniently outlined their tips for a successful interview. Here they are, with some further elaboration and insights provided by Quad Education.

Dartmouth Interview Questions

Your interviewer will likely ask you questions similar to the ones below.

You should prepare for these questions before your interview. You can do this by giving this list of questions to a trusted peer, mentor, instructor, or supervisor and conducting mock interviews. 

Mock interviews are a great way to get comfortable saying your answers out loud in the company of someone else. Mock interviews are also statistically proven to ease your nerves. The more you practice your answers, the more natural they will feel, putting you at ease on the day of your actual interview.

It’s also important to remember that the purpose of Dartmouth’s alumni interview is to find out if you’d be a mutually good fit for each other. To that end, cater your answers to present your best self and demonstrate why you need Dartmouth to succeed in your education and career goals.

In the event that you may be asked difficult questions such as, “What is your worst subject?” remember to frame your answer in a positive light that shows a growth mindset. For example, if your worst subject was math, don’t spend time complaining about it. Instead, focus on what you did to overcome adversity. Did you take on a leadership role and organize a study group for your class? Did you seek extra help from your teacher and build a strong academic relationship? Once you overcame your struggles and pulled up your math grades, did you pay it forward by tutoring other students? These are just some ways to address difficult topics—always turn a negative into a positive! 

Finally, to get into the right mindset for the day of the interview, practice self-care and be gentle with yourself. Feeling anxious is common—even history’s best orators have said they were not immune to being nervous. 

Former President Barack Obama used to practice his speeches in front of a mirror for hours and days at a time. So, what does this mean for you? Practice, practice, practice until your confidence soars. And don’t forget to focus on deep breathing techniques to relax your mind. You will do great!

Dartmouth Class Profile

The following statistics represent Dartmouth's class profile, including demographics, geographic location, and student-to-faculty ratio:

Enrolled Class Profile

The following is a snapshot of the Dartmouth class profile based on gender: 

Dartmouth Demographics

Dartmouth's commitment to a diverse class profile is evidenced by the reported student demographics: 

Table showing the reported student demographics of Dartmouth's class profile

Note: The figures do not add up to 100% due to some students' declarations of more than one category.

Geographic Representation

The following data represents the geographic regions Dartmouth students are from: 

Dartmouth Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The student-to-faculty ratio is 7:1. Most Dartmouth classes have 20 or fewer students. This provides students with quality one-on-one learning with professors who are experts in their field. With small classrooms and focused education, you won't feel like just another number at Dartmouth.

About Dartmouth

Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League institution founded in 1769 and located in beautiful Hanover, New Hampshire. Its 269-acre main campus is nestled in the Upper Valley, surrounded by the Green Mountains to the west and the White Mountains to the east, just steps away from the Connecticut River. 

The Appalachian Trail also runs through campus grounds. Tucked within so much natural beauty, Dartmouth is every outdoor enthusiast's dream school. Not only will you receive an Ivy League education, but you will have plenty of things to do and sights to see in the Upper Valley.

On campus, student life is vibrant. There are roughly 160 organizations and clubs managed by students and a close-knit community that fosters personal and professional growth.

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: Why Dartmouth? Why I Applied and Why You Should Too

Here are the key takeaways.

If you are 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 how to get into Dartmouth, check out these FAQs!

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. 

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. 

Is Dartmouth an Ivy League School?

Yes, Dartmouth is an Ivy League school.

Can I Get Into Dartmouth With a 3.5 GPA?

There is no minimum GPA required for admission to Dartmouth. Each application is reviewed holistically, and GPA is only one selection 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.

The admissions committee also wants you to explain any dips in grades in the “Additional Information” section of the Common Application. Just be sure to demonstrate a growth mindset by focusing on how you overcame adversity, what you learned from the experience, and the steps you took to improve your grades. 

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.

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. 

What Should I Do If I Get Rejected From Dartmouth?

Getting rejected is never easy. A rejection from Dartmouth is the admission committee's final decision. It's important to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. You should focus on your other schools and consider which is the best fit. 

Does Dartmouth Offer Financial Aid?

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

Does Dartmouth Interview Everyone? 

No, Dartmouth doesn't interview everyone. The school aims to send as many interview invites as possible, but you will not be at a disadvantage if you're not selected.

Getting Into Dartmouth: Do You Have What It Takes?

Dartmouth is one of the top institutions in the U.S., and it's 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. 

Be sure to adhere to the application process and deadlines. 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!

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