Accepted to Dartmouth: Now What?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Dartmouth University building surrounded by trees.

Accepted to Dartmouth: Now What?

For students who want to gain the advantages of an Ivy League education while also learning in a more liberal arts college environment, the obvious choice for many is Dartmouth College. Dartmouth – much like the seven other schools in the Ivy League – is one of the most prestigious and competitive schools in the United States.

But there is also a lot about Dartmouth that sets it apart from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and more.

One major similarity, however, is that if you have been accepted to Dartmouth, Harvard or any of the other Ivy League schools, a major celebration is in order. Getting into any of these highly elite schools is a very impressive thing to do, and the vast majority of students who apply to Dartmouth or any of the Ivy League schools do not end up getting in.

With that being said, it is important for students who do get accepted to Dartmouth to know that getting an acceptance letter in the mail is – truly – just the beginning. There are a lot of steps that students need to take and important deadlines that students should be aware of when it comes to getting into any school, whether it’s an Ivy League school, a top 10 school that is not in the Ivies, a public school, a small private school and anything in between.

When it comes to getting into the schools on your list, we know that having the knowledge and tools necessary to succeed are crucial.

Dartmouth campus view during day time with no students in sight.

At AdmissionSight, we work with intelligent and highly driven high school students every application cycle. Though we do offer counseling and tutoring to students for their high school curriculum, ACT or SAT prep and much more, the most common jobs that we are called on to help students revolve around the application process itself. That means identifying schools that are the best fits, filling out the application itself, gathering letters of recommendation, writing personal statements and school-specific essays and more.

Thanks to our years of experience within this highly competitive environment, AdmissionSight has developed unique strategies and tools that can help students accentuate their strengths, overcome their weaknesses and get into some of the most selective schools in the United States.

The methods that our admissions consultants employ have led to some pretty phenomenal results. In fact, 75.0 percent of the students that we have worked with have ended up getting into either an Ivy League program like Dartmouth, or a top 10 school that is not inside the Ivy League such as MIT, UChicago or Stanford. Considering the fact that many of the schools just mentioned have boasted acceptance rates around 5.0 percent in recent years, it’s pretty evident how effective our methods can be!

So, if you are interested in learning how Dartmouth admissions work and what to do after getting accepted to Dartmouth, then you have come to the right place. Let’s start breaking all of that important information down together.

How do Dartmouth admissions work?

Before we break down what students should do after they get accepted to Dartmouth, we thought it would be wise to go over some of the basic information regarding the admissions process at Dartmouth.

While every school has its own particular approach to the admissions process, the truth is that the vast majority of schools in the United States that are considered to be at the top of the list of elite schools approach the process in a fairly similar way.

Students sitting on the bench while doing school work.

The term “holistic” admissions are thrown around quite a lot, and it basically means that everything a student sends in as part of their application will be considered by admissions officers to determine whether they are a good fit at the school, but that does not mean that all components are considered equally.

As you likely already know quite well, the most important aspect of any student’s application to Dartmouth – or really any school for that matter – is going to be your academic record. This refers to the grade point average that you achieved throughout your high school years (average is 4.11), your SAT or ACT scores (averages are 1500 and 34, respectively), as well as the overall difficulty of your high school curriculum, which is generally determined by how many AP, IB or honors courses you took in high school.

After academics are considered, other components, such as your personal essays, your letters of recommendation, your extracurricular activities, and achievements and more are considered by a committee made up of Dartmouth admissions officers. There is no doubt that all of these components play a very important role in determining which students do get in, but the first thing that officers have to determine is whether or not a student would be a good academic fit before they determine whether or not a student would be a good cultural fit.

When it comes to the way in which Dartmouth analyzes each application is received, a 2012 article from Business Insider spoke with an unnamed insider from the school who received some very specific facts about how the school carries out its admissions process.

While it is possible that some aspects of the school’s approach have changed in recent years, it is rather likely that the application analysis process still remains the same. Here is what the insider had to say:

“Each application receives an academic index score, which is based on GPA and standardized tests. A low score is usually a dealbreaker, but still all applications are considered.

“Each application will be read by 2-3 readers, who recommend either ‘admit,’ ‘deny,’ or ‘possible,’ sometimes qualified with ‘strong’ or ‘leaning.’ Readers also rate each candidate out of 10 for academic and personal qualities, which take into account things like socio-economic background.

“’You expect it to be more numbers driven than it is, but the message we always got was to make sure we consider everything else in the application.’

“Reading an application takes 10 to 15 minutes.

“’You’re supposed to read 25 to 30 in a day, but that’s tough when starting out, and they encourage you to do quality reads. There’s a high degree of subjectivity, at least in the first read, but that’s what the second and third read are for. The probability that you get 2 people in a bad mood is … lower than the probability that you get one person in a bad mood.’”

The insider also indicated that – even though schools insist that students who apply via Early Decision do not get an upper hand – students do actually gain benefit from applying in this way.

“It’s much easier to be admitted during Early even though most schools tell you it’s just as competitive, it’s simply not true. That’s standard administrative rhetoric, but it is much more difficult to be admitted regularly. We’ve already admitted 30 to 35 percent of the class Early. When you first start reading apps you might think one is great, but reading the same app later after 600 others then that kid no longer seems as stellar.”

“There’s a big push to admit or deny.”

This is very important to keep in mind, especially if Dartmouth is your No. 1 choice. If Dartmouth is the school you would choose to attend above all other schools, no matter where you end up getting offered a spot to, then you should absolutely consider applying via Early Decision.

Now that you have a better idea of what the admissions process actually looks like at Dartmouth, you may be curious to learn about the specific rate as it currently stands at the school.

For the incoming class (which will graduate in 2026) and applied to Dartmouth during the 2021-22 application cycle, the school matched its historically lowest acceptance rate of all time, which was originally set during the 2020-21 application cycle at just 6.2 percent. With that in mind, and to certainly back up what the insider said in the interview, the acceptance rate for students that applied via Early Decision came out to approximately 21.0 percent.

That means that students who applied to Dartmouth via Early Decision had more than three times better a shot at getting into the school. Beyond that, here are some basic bits of information regarding the incoming class of 2026 at Dartmouth:

  • Every state in the United States is represented in the class as well as 73 other countries
  • 53.0 percent of the students that are United States citizens are students of color
  • 17.0 percent of students are first-generation college students
  • 60.0 percent of students attended public high schools
  • 63.0 percent of students accepted applied for need-based financial aid, with accepted students receiving more than $50 million in Dartmouth scholarships, a record high for the school

So, there you have it! This breakdown should give you a fairly solid understanding of the basics of the admissions at Dartmouth.  Without a doubt, if you are sure that Dartmouth is going to be on your list of schools that you want to apply to, you should do a fair amount of work researching the school to make sure that it would be a great fit for you.

Things to do after getting into Dartmouth

Before you make your final decision about what school to attend, there are some things that you will want to do. Here is a quick breakdown of those important steps.

Female student typing in a table for early application.

Wait to hear back from all the schools you applied to

You are going to make the best decision for you after you have the full scope of what schools are available to you. If you applied to Dartmouth via Regular Decision, you’d be wise to wait until you hear back from all the other schools you applied to. With that in mind, if you applied to Dartmouth via its binding Early Decision and got in, your decision will be made for you!

Visit Campus

Another great thing to do is visit the campus after you get admitted. Being on campus after you have been accepted can be a very different experience compared to going before you even apply. Pay attention to how comfortable you feel and whether or not you can really see yourself living and flourishing there.

Talk it out

Finally, make sure to discuss your options with your parents, peers, high school counselor, and – if you have one – your admissions consultant to come to the final decision that is the best decision for you! This doesn’t have to be a hard process, and you may be sure that Dartmouth is your top choice from start to finish, but you owe it to yourself to really consider all the options that are available to you.

Group of University students lounging on the grass.

If you are curious about what to do after getting accepted to Dartmouth, then you have absolutely come to the right place! The truth is that there are many steps that students will want to take after they get their official offer of admission at the school. Here is a breakdown of many of the most important things included on that checklist, with an entire list available to students here.

  • Upload photo for DartCard (student ID) – Beings May 18, deadline Aug. 5
  • Personal data form – Begins May 18
  • Address/contact information – Begins May 18
  • Email address verification – Begins May 18
  • Being housing application – Begins May 19, deadline June 8
  • Submit your Health Services Requirement – Begins May 25, deadline June 30
  • Academic Interest form – Begins May 18, deadline June 15
  • D- Pay (billing and payment system) – Begins May 18, deadline Aug. 3
  • First-year writing choices – Begins June 1, deadline June 22
  • Humanities 1 and 2 application – Begins June 1, deadline June 29
  • SAT or ACT scores (Dartmouth is test-optional) – Begins June 15, deadline Sept. 6
  • Core Values (Standards of Conduct, Academic Honor, and Sources and Citations at Dartmouth) – Begins July 1, deadline Sept. 6
  • Culture, Behavior & Experience Survey – Begins July 12, deadline Aug. 1
  • Sexual Violence / Alcohol Education. – Begins Aug. 17, deadline Sept. 6

There are other dates that admitted students are going to want to keep in mind, but we believe this list covers the most important dates to have on your calendar once you have accepted your spot at Dartmouth and are preparing for your first day of class at Dartmouth.

While this checklist is a good place to start, we also want to help some students who have some more basic questions regarding getting accepted to Dartmouth, reserving your spot at the school and more.

For that reason, we have broken down some of the basic frequently asked questions that students have asked the school after being notified that they have indeed been accepted. Here are some FAQs to be aware of as it pertains to your next steps at Dartmouth.

Do students need to send a deposit to reserve their spot once offered admission?

At a lot of schools, students have to send in some kind of deposit to reserve their spot in the incoming graduating class. That is not the case at Dartmouth. All students have to do to let the school know that they have accepted the spot is log in to the Application Portal on the school’s site and complete and submit the Enrollment Form. That’s all the school requires to add a student to the entering class.

How can I connect with other students who will be in my class at Dartmouth?

This is a great question to ask and is important if you are curious about getting started on finding friends and building your community at Dartmouth early. According to the school, the best way to introduce yourself to your future classmates before you get on campus is to join your graduating class. The link to this page will be posted on the school’s “Admitted Students page” on its official website once the Facebook group is created.

Young man looking away while in front of her laptop.

When can I expect to receive details about when to arrive on campus, where I’ll be living, and what academic decisions I’ll have to make before arriving on campus?

These are really important things to keep in mind and the school makes sure that admitted students stay on top of the schedule ahead of them. In the late spring, students will begin to receive additional details when it comes to their New Student Orientation, information about housing on campus, and information regarding their academic choices.

It’s important to keep an eye on both your student portal and your email inbox to make sure that you do not miss any key information or invitations from the school.

Congrats on your Brown admission!

Getting into Dartmouth is one of the hardest things a student applying to colleges and universities can do! For that reason, it is absolutely a time to celebrate and look forward to your future education. However, the work is far from over! If you are interested in learning more about what to do once you get in, or simply want to figure out how to best improve your chances of getting accepted at Dartmouth, contact AdmissionSight today to schedule a free consultation.


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