Dartmouth and Colgate: Which School is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Male student using a laptop while sitting on a table.

Dartmouth and Colgate: Which School is Right for You?

Are you considering Dartmouth or Colgate for your college education? Both schools are prestigious, but each offers a unique experience. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of which school is right for you.

Introduction: Why Choose Between Dartmouth and Colgate

Choosing between Dartmouth and Colgate can be a tough decision for students. Both schools are highly regarded in the academic community, but they offer different experiences. Dartmouth is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, and it is known for its undergraduate liberal arts programs.

Colgate is located in Hamilton, New York, and it offers undergraduate liberal arts and graduate business programs. In the following sections, we will explore the specific differences between these two schools and help you make an informed choice.

One of the main differences between Dartmouth and Colgate is their campus size. Dartmouth has a larger campus with more than 200 buildings spread across 269 acres, while Colgate has a smaller campus with around 100 buildings on 575 acres.

This means that Dartmouth has a more bustling campus life, with more opportunities for socializing and extracurricular activities, while Colgate offers a more peaceful and secluded environment for studying and reflection.


Dartmouth and Colgate both offer rigorous academic programs, but their approaches differ. Dartmouth has a strong focus on undergraduate liberal arts education, with an emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Colgate also emphasizes undergraduate liberal arts education, but it also has graduate programs in business, with a focus on leadership development and entrepreneurship. When it comes to rankings, Dartmouth is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the United States, while Colgate is consistently ranked among the top 30 liberal arts colleges in the country.

Additionally, Dartmouth has a unique academic calendar known as the D-Plan, which allows students to customize their academic schedules by taking off-campus terms, internships, and research opportunities throughout the year.

Colgate, on the other hand, offers a Core Curriculum that requires students to take courses in various disciplines, including natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and fine arts, to ensure a well-rounded education. Both institutions have a strong commitment to undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work closely with faculty members on research projects in various fields.

Campus Life: What’s It Like to Live and Learn at Dartmouth and Colgate?

The campus life at Dartmouth and Colgate also differ. Dartmouth has a strong Greek life culture, with over 60% of students belonging to a fraternity or sorority. Colgate has a more traditional campus life, with a focus on community engagement and cultural diversity.

Both schools offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports, clubs, and organizations. However, the rugged beauty of Dartmouth‘s Upper Valley and the vibrant cultural scene of Hamilton, NY makes for an exciting campus life experience.

One of the unique aspects of campus life at Dartmouth is the D-Plan, which allows students to take off-campus terms at any point during their four years. This flexibility allows students to pursue internships, study abroad programs, or simply take a break from the academic rigors of campus life.

Colgate, on the other hand, offers a strong emphasis on community service and engagement. The university has a number of community service programs that allow students to give back to the local community and make a positive impact.

Location: Pros and Cons of Hanover, NH, and Hamilton, NY

The location of Dartmouth and Colgate also differ. Hanover, NH, is a small town in rural New Hampshire, while Hamilton, NY, is a small town in central New York. Hanover offers a picturesque natural setting with many opportunities for outdoor activities, while Hamilton is closer to major cities such as Syracuse and Rochester. It is important to consider your preferences when it comes to location when choosing between these two schools.

Group of students smiling and talking to each other.

One advantage of Hanover’s rural location is the abundance of natural resources available for research and study. Dartmouth’s Environmental Studies program, for example, takes full advantage of the surrounding forests, rivers, and mountains.

On the other hand, Hamilton’s location in central New York provides students with access to a wider range of cultural events and activities. The town is home to the renowned Hamilton College Performing Arts Center, which hosts a variety of concerts, plays, and dance performances throughout the year.

Another factor to consider when comparing the locations of these two schools is the climate. Hanover experiences cold winters and mild summers, while Hamilton has a more temperate climate with warm summers and cold winters.

Students who enjoy winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding may prefer Hanover’s location, while those who prefer warmer weather may be more drawn to Hamilton. Ultimately, the location of a college can have a significant impact on your overall college experience, so it is important to carefully consider all factors before making a decision.

Athletics: Which College Has the Stronger Sports Programs?

Dartmouth and Colgate both have strong athletic programs, but their emphasis is different. Dartmouth has a strong tradition in winter sports, such as skiing and ice hockey. Colgate is known for its success in lacrosse and ice hockey. Both schools offer a wide range of athletic opportunities, and you can find a sport that fits your interests and skills.

Aside from their respective strengths, both Dartmouth and Colgate have made significant investments in their athletic facilities in recent years. Dartmouth has renovated its football stadium and built a new indoor practice facility for its football and track teams.

Colgate has also renovated its football stadium and added a new field house for its indoor sports teams. These investments have not only improved the quality of the athletic programs but also enhanced the overall student experience.

In addition to varsity sports, both schools also offer a variety of intramural and club sports. Dartmouth has a strong intramural program, with over 80% of students participating in at least one intramural sport.

Colgate has a thriving club sports program, with over 30 different clubs ranging from ultimate frisbee to equestrian. These programs provide opportunities for students to stay active and engaged in sports, even if they are not competing at the varsity level.

Cost of Attendance: How Do Dartmouth and Colgate Compare?

The cost of attendance is an important factor to consider when choosing between Dartmouth and Colgate. Both schools are private institutions, and the cost of attendance is high. Dartmouth’s tuition and fees for 2021-2022 are $60,117, while Colgate’s tuition and fees for the same year are $58,045. However, both schools offer generous financial aid packages, and many students receive scholarships and grants to make college more affordable.

Group of students walking in the campus.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance goes beyond just tuition and fees. Students also need to consider the cost of room and board, textbooks, and other expenses. At Dartmouth, the estimated cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year is $78,214, while at Colgate, it’s $76,045. These costs can be daunting, but both schools have resources available to help students manage their finances.

Additionally, it’s worth considering the return on investment of attending either Dartmouth or Colgate. Both schools have strong reputations and alumni networks, which can lead to valuable career opportunities after graduation. It’s important to weigh the cost of attendance against the potential benefits of attending each school, and to make an informed decision based on your individual goals and circumstances.

Scholarships and Financial Aid: What Options Are Available?

Dartmouth and Colgate offer a wide range of scholarships and financial aid options to their students. Both schools use a need-blind admissions process, meaning they do not consider a student’s ability to pay when deciding whether to admit them.

After admission, the schools evaluate a student’s financial need and offer a financial aid package to meet their needs. The schools also offer work-study programs and student loans to help students pay for their education.

In addition to scholarships and financial aid, both Dartmouth and Colgate offer resources to help students manage their finances. Dartmouth’s Office of Financial Aid provides financial literacy workshops and one-on-one counseling to help students understand their financial aid package and make informed decisions about their finances. Colgate’s Office of Financial Aid also offers financial literacy resources, including online tools and workshops, to help students manage their money and plan for their future.

Furthermore, both schools have partnerships with outside organizations to provide additional financial support to their students. Dartmouth partners with QuestBridge, a national nonprofit organization that connects high-achieving, low-income students with top colleges and universities. Colgate partners with the Posse Foundation, a nonprofit organization that identifies and recruits talented students from diverse backgrounds and provides them with full-tuition scholarships.

Career Opportunities: How Each School Prepares Students for the Working World

Dartmouth and Colgate both have strong career centers that support students in their career pursuits. Dartmouth has the Center for Professional Development, which offers career counseling, job search assistance, and networking opportunities.

Business people discussing documents and ideas at meeting

Colgate has the Professional Networks program, which connects students with alumni in their desired industry. Both programs help students prepare for the working world and provide them with opportunities to advance their careers.

In addition to career centers, many schools also offer internships and co-op programs to help students gain real-world experience in their desired fields. For example, at Dartmouth, students can participate in the Dartmouth Partners in Community Service program, which connects them with local organizations for internships and service projects.

Colgate offers a variety of co-op programs, including opportunities in finance, marketing, and technology. These programs not only provide valuable experience but also help students build their professional networks and make connections that can lead to future job opportunities.

Research Opportunities: Get Involved in Cutting-Edge Research at Dartmouth and Colgate

Dartmouth and Colgate both offer research opportunities for students. Dartmouth has a strong emphasis on research, with opportunities in areas such as biomedical engineering, neuroscience, and sustainability. Colgate also has research opportunities in the liberal arts, with a focus on interdisciplinary research. Both schools encourage students to get involved in research and provide resources to support their projects.

At Dartmouth, students have the opportunity to work with world-renowned faculty members who are leaders in their respective fields. The school also offers funding for research projects, allowing students to pursue their interests without financial barriers. Additionally, Dartmouth has partnerships with various research institutions, providing students with access to cutting-edge technology and facilities.

Colgate’s research opportunities extend beyond the campus, with programs that allow students to conduct research in other countries. The school also has a strong commitment to sustainability, with research opportunities in areas such as environmental studies and renewable energy. Colgate’s interdisciplinary approach to research allows students to explore topics from multiple perspectives, fostering creativity and innovation.

Student Reviews and Testimonials: Hear From those Who Attend or Have Attended Both Schools

To get a better sense of the student experience at Dartmouth and Colgate, it is helpful to read student reviews and testimonials. Both schools have many online resources where students share their experiences, including blogs, forums, and social media. Reading about the experiences of current and former students can give you a better idea of what to expect at each school.

Group of students working together and talking.

One common theme among student reviews of both Dartmouth and Colgate is the strong sense of community on campus. Many students describe feeling a strong connection to their peers and faculty members and appreciate the close-knit environment that both schools offer. Additionally, both schools offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to get involved on campus, from sports teams to student clubs and organizations.

Another important factor to consider when reading student reviews is the academic rigor of each school. While both Dartmouth and Colgate are highly respected institutions, they have different academic strengths and areas of focus.

For example, Dartmouth is known for its strong programs in engineering and the sciences, while Colgate is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum. Reading reviews from students in your intended major or field of study can give you a better idea of what to expect academically at each school.

Conclusion: Making Your Final Decision Between Dartmouth vs Colgate

In conclusion, choosing between Dartmouth and Colgate requires careful consideration of your goals, preferences, and resources. Both schools offer unique experiences and opportunities, and it is up to you to decide which one is the best fit for you. By weighing the options and using the information in this article, you can make an informed choice and embark on an exciting educational journey.

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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