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Dartmouth College Admissions Guidance

What makes Dartmouth College so special?

Located in tiny Hanover, N.H., Dartmouth is a stark contrast to the Ivies residing in more urban areas.


Of all the Ivies Dartmouth might be the most unlike its peers. To emphasize its focus on undergraduate education it insists on being called Dartmouth College (instead of university), despite being composed of multiple schools and fitting the traditional definition of a university. It is the smallest Ivy League school next to Princeton.

They also have the most unique unofficial mascot, Keggy the Keg.

Dartmouth Quick Facts

Location: Hanover, New Hampshire

Year Founded: 1769

US News Ranking: 11

Application Deadline: January 1st

Must receive SAT/ACT scores by: January 1st

2017 regular decision acceptance rate: 8.6%

Total applications received (2017): 2,252

Dartmouth College Admission Guidance

The majority of each incoming class take part in “trips”, a pre-orientation, student-run five-day outdoor program, designed to welcome them to Dartmouth and bond with other freshmen.

Tea and cookies are served at 4pm each weekday at Sanborn Library, home of the English Department. It is estimated that around 1000 cups of teas are served every year!

In another well-known tradition, hundreds of students plunge into the icy water of Occom Pond for the annual Polar Bear Swim that takes place during Winter Carnival.

Prompts for Dartmouth's 2017-18 Undergrad Supplemental Essays

Dartmouth’s writing supplement requires that applicants write brief responses to two supplemental essay prompts as follows:

1. Please respond in 100 words or less:
While arguing a Dartmouth-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818, Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, uttered 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 2022, 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:


  • In Love Medicine, author Louise Erdrich ’76 writes, “Society is like this card game here, cousin. We got dealt our hand before we were even born, and as we grow we have to play as best as we can.” Describe your “hand” and reflect on how you have played it.

  • From songs and film to formulae and computer code, human expression and discovery take many forms. How do you express your creativity? What ideas or values do you explore and celebrate when your imagination wanders?

  • During the 2016 Olympic Games, American runner Abbey D’Agostino ’14 collided with another athlete in the first round of the 5,000-meter event. Both fell to the track. Although injured, Abbey’s first instinct was to help the other fallen athlete so they could continue the race together. Their selflessness was widely praised as the embodiment of the Olympic ideal of sportsmanship. Share a moment when kindness guided your actions.

  • Twenty years ago, the world met Harry Potter and his companions. One of the more memorable lines from the J.K. Rowling series was spoken by Albus Dumbledore: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” What ideas or experiences bring you joy?

  • “I have no special talent,” Albert Einstein once observed. “I am only passionately curious.” Celebrate your intellectual curiosity.

  • “Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams,” television producer Shonda Rhimes ’91 told graduating seniors during her 2014 Commencement address. “It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.” What inspires your hard work? What matters to you and how do you “make things happen” to create change?

Dartmouth's Programs Ranked

Grad Business School: #8 (USNews)

Graduate Engineering School: #52 (USNews)

Medical School: #27 (USNews)

Graduate Computer Science: #40 (USNews)

Dartmouth College Admission Consultants
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