Dartmouth and Davidson: A Comprehensive Analysis

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of a female student typing in her laptop.

Dartmouth and Davidson: A Comprehensive Analysis

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at two institutions, Dartmouth and Davidson, to help you make informed decisions. When it comes to choosing the right college, there are endless factors to consider, from academics to campus culture to location.

Introduction to Dartmouth and Davidson

Dartmouth College and Davidson College are both elite private institutions that are known for their rigorous academics, stunning campuses, and commitment to student success. Located in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth is a member of the prestigious Ivy League and boasts a student body of just over 6,500. Davidson, in Davidson, North Carolina, is a liberal arts college that enrolls around 1,800 students.

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Dartmouth College was founded in 1769 and is one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges in the United States. It is known for its strong undergraduate program, as well as its graduate programs in business, engineering, and medicine. The college has a strong commitment to research and innovation, and its faculty includes numerous Nobel laureates and MacArthur fellows.

Davidson College, on the other hand, was founded in 1837 and has a strong tradition of liberal arts education. The college offers majors in over 20 fields, including anthropology, economics, and psychology. Davidson is also known for its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship and has been recognized as one of the greenest colleges in the country.

Location and Campus Size

While both schools are considered to be some of the best in the country, they have vastly different locations and campus sizes. Dartmouth covers over 250 acres in the heart of New England, with four separate campuses spread throughout the Hanover area. Davidson, on the other hand, is 665 acres and has a more suburban feel.

Despite their differences in location and campus size, both schools offer unique opportunities for students. Dartmouth’s location in New England provides easy access to outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking.

The college also has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with many students conducting research alongside faculty members. Davidson, on the other hand, is located just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, providing students with access to internships and job opportunities in a major city. The college also has a strong commitment to community service, with over 80% of students participating in service projects during their time at Davidson.

Student Population and Diversity

The student bodies at both Dartmouth and Davidson are relatively small, but they differ in terms of diversity. Dartmouth is known for its strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and boasts a student body that is 45% students of color. Davidson has a slightly smaller population of students of color, with around 30% of the student body identifying as non-white.

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Despite the difference in percentages, both Dartmouth and Davidson have made efforts to increase diversity on their campuses. Dartmouth has implemented various programs and initiatives to recruit and support underrepresented students, including a partnership with the Posse Foundation to bring in cohorts of diverse students from urban areas.

Davidson has also taken steps to increase diversity, such as offering need-blind admissions and partnering with organizations like QuestBridge to identify and support high-achieving, low-income students.

Additionally, both schools have active multicultural centers and student organizations that provide support and resources for students of color. These centers and organizations offer a variety of programming, including cultural celebrations, workshops, and discussions on issues related to diversity and inclusion.

Overall, while there may be differences in the percentages of students of color at Dartmouth and Davidson, both schools are committed to creating welcoming and inclusive environments for all students.

Academic Programs Offered

Both schools offer a wide range of rigorous academic programs, but they differ in terms of their approach to learning. Dartmouth is primarily known for its Ivy League-level research opportunities and a core curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and a well-rounded education.

Davidson, meanwhile, focuses on the liberal arts tradition, with a core curriculum that emphasizes breadth and depth in a number of different areas including the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Additionally, Dartmouth offers a number of unique academic programs, such as its engineering sciences major and its dual-degree program with the Thayer School of Engineering. Davidson, on the other hand, is known for its strong programs in the arts, including music, theater, and studio art.

Both schools also offer a variety of study-abroad opportunities, allowing students to gain international experience and broaden their perspectives. Dartmouth has its own study abroad program, offering opportunities in over 20 countries, while Davidson has partnerships with several international universities and programs.

Faculty and Class Size Comparison

When it comes to faculty and class size, there is a marked difference between Dartmouth and Davidson. Dartmouth has a student-to-faculty ratio of just over 7:1, with an average class size of 20. Davidson has an even lower student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, and an average class size of 15. Both schools boast highly qualified and dedicated faculty members who are committed to student success.

Female teacher talking to her students.

However, it is important to note that while smaller class sizes can provide more individualized attention and opportunities for discussion, larger classes can offer a wider range of perspectives and experiences.

Additionally, the size of the faculty does not necessarily indicate the quality of education. Both Dartmouth and Davidson have rigorous academic programs and offer a variety of resources to support student learning and growth.

Admission Criteria and Selectivity

Both Dartmouth and Davidson are highly selective institutions, with acceptance rates of 8.7% and 18.2% respectively. The admissions criteria for both schools are rigorous and include a strong academic record, extracurricular involvement, and other factors such as test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation.

However, there are some differences in the admission criteria between the two schools. While both schools value a well-rounded student, Dartmouth places a greater emphasis on standardized test scores, while Davidson places more weight on a student’s personal qualities and character.

Additionally, Dartmouth has a higher percentage of legacy students, while Davidson has a higher percentage of first-generation college students. Despite these differences, both schools strive to admit a diverse and talented student body.

Tuition Cost and Financial Aid Options

As with many private colleges, both Dartmouth and Davidson come with a high tuition price tag. Dartmouth’s annual tuition and fees amount to $57,204, while Davidson’s is $52,789. However, both schools offer generous financial aid packages to help ease this burden for families who qualify. In fact, both schools are committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of all students who are accepted.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Davidson offer various merit-based scholarships to students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, leadership skills, and community involvement.

These scholarships can range from a few thousand dollars to full tuition coverage and are awarded on a competitive basis. Students are encouraged to research and apply for these scholarships early in their college application process.

Campus Life and Extracurricular Activities Comparison

Campus life and extracurricular activities are an important part of the college experience, and both Dartmouth and Davidson offer a wide range of opportunities for students to get involved. At Dartmouth, students can participate in over 300 different clubs and organizations, including Greek life, sports teams, and social justice groups. Davidson has a slightly smaller selection of extracurricular activities but still offers plenty of opportunities for students to get involved in clubs, sports, and community service.

a group of students running at the open field

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Davidson have a strong emphasis on community service and civic engagement. Dartmouth’s Tucker Foundation offers numerous service opportunities for students, including alternative break trips and local volunteer projects. Davidson’s Center for Civic Engagement also provides students with opportunities to engage in service projects and community-based research. Both schools prioritize giving back to their communities and encourage students to make a positive impact beyond campus.

Athletic Programs: Comparing Dartmouth vs Davidson

Athletic programs are an important factor for many students when choosing a college, and both Dartmouth and Davidson have a strong athletic presence. Dartmouth is known for its Division I sports teams, particularly in skiing, ice hockey, and cross country. Davidson, meanwhile, competes in Division III athletics and has a strong basketball program, among others.

Despite the difference in divisions, both Dartmouth and Davidson prioritize the well-being of their student-athletes. Dartmouth has a comprehensive sports medicine program that includes injury prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. Davidson also has a dedicated sports medicine staff that provides medical care and support to its athletes.

Additionally, both schools offer a variety of intramural and club sports for students who want to stay active but may not want to compete at the varsity level. Dartmouth has over 35 club sports teams, including ultimate frisbee, rugby, and equestrian. Davidson offers intramural sports such as flag football, volleyball, and dodgeball, as well as club sports like cycling and dance.

Career Services and Alumni Network

Both Dartmouth and Davidson have well-established career services offices and strong alumni networks to help their graduates succeed after graduation. Dartmouth’s career services office provides individual counseling, workshops, and career fairs to help students find internships and jobs after graduation. Davidson has a similarly robust career office, as well as a strong alumni network that can provide mentorship and networking opportunities.

Additionally, both schools offer various resources to help students explore potential career paths and gain relevant experience. Dartmouth’s Center for Professional Development offers job shadowing programs, externships, and funding for unpaid internships.

Davidson’s Center for Career Development provides career exploration workshops, career treks to major cities, and funding for summer internships. These resources allow students to gain valuable experience and make informed decisions about their future careers.

Research Opportunities Available

Dartmouth is known for its commitment to research, and its faculty members are heavily involved in a number of different research projects and programs. The school offers a wide range of opportunities for students to get involved in research, either through coursework or through independent projects. Davidson also encourages students to get involved in research, particularly through its funded summer research program.

Close-up of serious student holding ampoule in front of eyes and examines contents.

Students who participate in research at Dartmouth have the opportunity to work alongside faculty members who are leaders in their respective fields. This provides students with valuable hands-on experience and the chance to contribute to cutting-edge research.

Additionally, the school has state-of-the-art research facilities and resources, including laboratories, libraries, and computing centers, that are available to students. These resources allow students to conduct research at the highest level and explore their interests in depth.

Study Abroad Programs Offered

Both Dartmouth and Davidson offer a wide range of study abroad programs to help students gain a global perspective and develop cross-cultural competence. Dartmouth operates its own study abroad programs in a number of different countries, while Davidson has partnerships with a variety of different programs and institutions around the world.

At Dartmouth, students can choose from programs that focus on language immersion, environmental studies, and cultural exploration. For example, the Language Study Abroad (LSA) program offers intensive language instruction in countries such as Spain, France, and China.

The Foreign Study Program (FSP) allows students to study at universities in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Japan. Additionally, the Sustainability Program offers students the opportunity to study environmental issues in countries such as Costa Rica and Iceland.

Davidson’s study abroad programs include partnerships with institutions in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Students can choose from programs that focus on language immersion, community service, and research.

For example, the Davidson in Ghana program allows students to study African history, culture, and politics while also participating in community service projects. The Davidson in China program offers students the opportunity to study Chinese language and culture at a top-ranked university in Beijing.

Conclusion: Which College is Right for You?

So, which college is right for you? Ultimately, that decision will depend on your individual needs, goals, and priorities. Both Dartmouth and Davidson are highly respected institutions that offer top-notch academics and a wide range of opportunities to their students. By carefully considering the factors outlined in this article, you can make an informed decision that will set you on the path to success.

It’s important to note that while both colleges have a lot to offer, they also have their own unique cultures and communities. Dartmouth is known for its strong sense of community and emphasis on outdoor activities, while Davidson is known for its close-knit community and focus on service and leadership. Consider which type of environment you would thrive in.

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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