Dartmouth and Colby: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of a student using her laptop while writing.

Dartmouth and Colby: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing the right college is a big decision. That’s why we’re here to help you compare two top institutions: Dartmouth and Colby. Whether you’re trying to decide which one to attend or simply want to learn more about each school, this comprehensive guide has got you covered.

Location Differences: Hanover vs Waterville

One of the most obvious differences between Dartmouth and Colby is their location. Dartmouth is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, while Colby is situated in Waterville, Maine. Hanover is a small town with a population of about 11,000 people.

The campus is located near the Connecticut River, providing students with a beautiful natural setting. Waterville is also a small town, with a population of around 16,000 people. It’s situated in central Maine, surrounded by lakes and forests.

Both towns offer a rural atmosphere, which can be a good fit for students who enjoy being surrounded by nature. However, Hanover has a slight edge when it comes to accessibility. It’s located close to several major cities, such as Boston and New York, making it easier for students who want to explore different areas on weekends or during breaks. On the other hand, Colby’s location provides an excellent setting for outdoor enthusiasts, especially those who enjoy hiking, skiing, or water sports.

Another difference between Hanover and Waterville is the climate. Hanover experiences cold winters with heavy snowfall, while Waterville has a milder winter climate. This can be a factor for students who prefer a certain type of weather.

Campus Culture at Dartmouth and Colby

Another important factor to consider when choosing a college is campus culture. Dartmouth is known for its friendly and supportive community, where students are encouraged to collaborate and participate in a variety of activities. The fraternity culture is also prevalent, with over 60 percent of male students involved in Greek life.

College students walking in the campus.

Colby also has a strong sense of community, with a close-knit student body that is passionate about sustainability and social justice issues. The college has made efforts to become more diverse and inclusive, with initiatives such as the Pugh Community Board and the Center for Small Towns.

One unique aspect of Dartmouth’s campus culture is its emphasis on outdoor activities. The college is located in a picturesque setting, surrounded by mountains and forests, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the natural beauty by participating in activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking. The Outing Club, one of the oldest and largest student organizations on campus, organizes trips and events throughout the year.

At Colby, there is a strong focus on interdisciplinary learning. The college offers a variety of majors and minors that encourage students to explore different fields of study and make connections between them. The Colby Writing Program, for example, integrates writing into all aspects of the curriculum, helping students develop critical thinking and communication skills that are valuable in any career.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered at Both Colleges

Both Dartmouth and Colby offer rigorous academic programs across a wide variety of disciplines. Dartmouth is known for its strong programs in the sciences, engineering, and business. The college also offers unique programs, such as its theater major and the Native American Studies Program.

Colby offers over 50 majors, with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies. Some of its most popular programs include environmental studies, biology, and economics. The college also has a strong tradition of study abroad, with over 70 percent of students participating in international programs.

In addition to their undergraduate programs, both Dartmouth and Colby offer graduate programs in various fields. Dartmouth’s graduate programs include the Tuck School of Business, the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Geisel School of Medicine. Colby offers graduate programs in fields such as education, environmental policy, and global studies.

Both colleges also have strong research programs, with faculty and students engaged in cutting-edge research in various fields. Dartmouth is home to several research centers, including the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Institute for Security, Technology, and Society. Colby’s research centers include the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and the Colby College Museum of Art, which houses over 10,000 works of art.

Extracurricular Activities and Student Life at Dartmouth and Colby

Both schools offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, from athletics to the arts. Dartmouth boasts a number of highly successful Division I sports teams, including football, hockey, and basketball.

Male student holding a ball.

The college also has over 350 student organizations, including groups for community service, political activism, and religious life. Colby has a strong athletics program as well, with 31 varsity sports teams. The college also has a variety of student clubs, including a Quidditch team and a salsa dancing club.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Colby offer a vibrant student life outside of extracurricular activities. Dartmouth has a unique residential system, where students live in one of six residential communities that provide a sense of community and support.

The college also hosts a number of events throughout the year, such as the Winter Carnival and Green Key Weekend. Colby has a similar residential system, with students living in one of five residential colleges. The college also has a strong focus on sustainability, with initiatives such as a student-run organic garden and a LEED-certified student center.

Admission Requirements and Selectivity Rates for Both Colleges

Both Dartmouth and Colby are highly selective schools, with low acceptance rates. Dartmouth’s current acceptance rate is around 8.8%, while Colby’s is around 10%. Both schools require strong academic records, standardized test scores, and extracurricular involvement for admission. However, they also take a holistic approach to admissions, considering factors such as character, leadership potential, and fit with the school’s values.

In addition to academic and extracurricular achievements, both Dartmouth and Colby also value community service and volunteer work. Applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to serving others and making a positive impact in their communities are highly regarded in the admissions process.

Furthermore, both schools offer need-blind admissions, meaning that an applicant’s financial need is not taken into consideration during the admissions process. This ensures that all qualified applicants, regardless of their financial situation, have an equal opportunity to attend these prestigious institutions.

Cost of Attendance: Financial Aid and Scholarships Available

Another important factor to consider when comparing Dartmouth and Colby is the cost of attendance. Both schools are private institutions, with tuition and fees that exceed $65,000 per year. However, both schools offer need-based and merit-based financial aid, as well as scholarships and grants.

four students lounging on the steps outside

Dartmouth meets 100% of demonstrated need for all students, while Colby offers a “no loan” policy, meaning that students who qualify for financial aid do not need to borrow money to pay for college.

In addition to need-based and merit-based financial aid, both Dartmouth and Colby offer work-study programs to help students cover the cost of attendance. These programs provide students with part-time jobs on campus, allowing them to earn money while gaining valuable work experience.

It’s also worth noting that both schools have resources available to help students navigate the financial aid process. Dartmouth’s Office of Financial Aid provides personalized assistance to students and families, while Colby’s Financial Aid Office offers workshops and information sessions to help students understand their options and make informed decisions about paying for college.

Career Opportunities for Graduates of Dartmouth and Colby

Both Dartmouth and Colby have strong records when it comes to preparing students for successful careers. Dartmouth has a well-established career services office, which provides students with resources such as career counseling, job fairs, and alumni networking opportunities. Graduates of Dartmouth often go on to careers in finance, consulting, and technology, as well as a variety of other fields.

Colby also has a strong career services office, which offers similar resources to students. Graduates of Colby often pursue careers in fields such as environmental advocacy, journalism, and public policy.

However, it is important to note that career opportunities for graduates of Dartmouth and Colby extend beyond the fields traditionally associated with these institutions. Many graduates of both schools have found success in creative industries such as art, music, and film. Additionally, both schools have strong entrepreneurship programs, which have helped graduates launch successful startups in a variety of industries.

Furthermore, both Dartmouth and Colby have extensive alumni networks, which can be a valuable resource for graduates seeking career opportunities. Alumni from both schools are often willing to provide mentorship, job leads, and other forms of support to recent graduates. This network can be particularly helpful for graduates who are interested in pursuing careers in fields that are not traditionally associated with their alma mater.

Student Diversity: How Do Dartmouth and Colby Compare?

Diversity is an important issue for many students, and both Dartmouth and Colby have made efforts to attract a more diverse student body. Dartmouth has a diverse student body, with around 49% of students identifying as minority students. The college also has a variety of diversity organizations and initiatives, such as the Latinx Greek Council and the Office of Pluralism and Leadership.

Colby has also made strides in increasing diversity on campus, with a current student body of around 23% who identify as students of color. The college also has a variety of diversity organizations and initiatives, such as the Colby Muslim Society and the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.

two beautiful sorority members laughing and joking while embracing with hands on shoulders with copyspace

Despite their efforts, both Dartmouth and Colby still face challenges in achieving true diversity on their campuses. One issue is the lack of socioeconomic diversity, with many students coming from privileged backgrounds.

Both colleges have implemented programs to address this, such as Dartmouth’s First-Year Student Enrichment Program and Colby’s DavisConnects initiative, which provides funding for students to pursue internships and other experiential learning opportunities.

Campus Facilities: Dorms, Dining Halls, Libraries, and More

Both schools have modern and well-maintained facilities, including dormitories, dining halls, libraries, and athletic facilities. Dartmouth has a variety of dining options, including vegetarian and vegan options, as well as a variety of dining halls and cafes.

The college also has a state-of-the-art athletic center and a recently renovated library. Colby also has a variety of dining options, including an organic farm and gardens that provide produce for the dining halls. The college also has a new athletic center and an award-winning library.

In addition to the facilities mentioned above, both schools also have extensive resources for student support and wellness. Dartmouth has a health center that provides medical and mental health services, as well as a center for student accessibility and a center for professional development.

Colby has a comprehensive wellness program that includes counseling services, health education, and a center for career development. Both schools also have a variety of clubs and organizations that cater to different interests and hobbies, providing students with opportunities to explore their passions and connect with like-minded individuals.

Study Abroad Opportunities at Dartmouth and Colby

Both schools offer a variety of opportunities for studying abroad, allowing students to experience different cultures and perspectives. Dartmouth has study abroad programs in over 20 countries, including programs in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

2019 High school students pose with their academic advisor at Harvard

The college also has a Language Study Abroad Program, which allows students to improve their language skills while immersing themselves in a new culture. Colby also has a variety of study abroad programs, with programs in over 70 countries. The college also has a unique program called Colby-in, which allows students to take courses abroad taught by Colby faculty.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Colby offer financial aid and scholarships for students who wish to study abroad. This makes it possible for students from all backgrounds to take advantage of these opportunities and gain valuable international experience.

Studying abroad can also enhance a student’s resume and provide them with a competitive edge in the job market, as employers often value candidates with international experience and cultural competency.

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates at Both Colleges

Both Dartmouth and Colby offer research opportunities for undergraduates, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in their fields of study. Dartmouth has a variety of research initiatives, including the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the Dartmouth Interactive Media Laboratory. Colby also has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with opportunities to work with faculty on research projects and present findings at academic conferences.

Conclusion: Choosing the Best College for Your Needs

Choosing the right college can be a challenging process, but with the right information, you can make an informed decision. Dartmouth and Colby are both excellent institutions, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

By considering factors such as location, campus culture, academic programs, extracurricular activities, admission requirements, cost, career opportunities, notable alumni, student diversity, athletics programs, campus facilities, and study-abroad opportunities, you can determine which college is the best fit for your needs.

Segue to AdmissionSight

At AdmissionSight, we firmly uphold the conviction that every student is entitled to the chance to pursue their dreams at their preferred college. Our mission is to equip you with the expert advice and unwavering support you need to secure a place at the schools you aspire to attend.

Don’t let your future hinge on uncertainty. Reach out to AdmissionSight today to arrange a complimentary consultation and embark on the journey toward realizing your dreams. With our expert mentorship and steadfast support, the sky’s the limit.

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