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Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke: A Comprehensive Analysis

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a girl smiling at the front of the camera.

Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke: A Comprehensive Analysis

Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke are two prestigious academic institutions that are highly respected for their quality of education and graduate outcomes. While many students aspire to attend these colleges, it can be difficult to determine which one is the better fit. In this analysis, we’ll take a closer look at the details between Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke to help you decide which one is the best for you.

Holyoke: A Brief Overview

Mt. Holyoke College is a women’s liberal arts college located in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Founded in 1837, it is the first of the Seven Sisters – a group of seven prestigious liberal arts colleges for women. Mt. Holyoke is known for its strong academics, diverse student body, and commitment to social justice and global awareness.

Additionally, Mt. Holyoke College has a long history of promoting women’s leadership and empowerment. Many notable alumnae have gone on to become leaders in their fields, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author and poet Sylvia Plath, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. The college also offers a variety of leadership programs and opportunities for students to develop their skills and make a positive impact on their communities.

Location and Campus Size: How They Compare

While Dartmouth College and Mt. Holyoke College are both located in the Northeastern United States, they are situated in different regions. Dartmouth is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, and is part of the beautiful Upper Valley region that borders Vermont. Mt. Holyoke is located in South Hadley, Massachusetts, which is part of the Pioneer Valley region.

Dartmouth has a larger campus and student body than Mt. Holyoke. The campus covers over 265 acres of land, while Mt. Holyoke spans over 800 acres. However, Dartmouth has a larger student body, with around 6,500 students compared to Mt. Holyoke’s 2,200.

College students walking in the campus.

Despite the difference in campus size, both colleges offer a variety of academic programs and extracurricular activities. Dartmouth is known for its strong programs in engineering, business, and the sciences, while Mt. Holyoke is renowned for its liberal arts curriculum and its commitment to women’s education. Both colleges offer a range of clubs and organizations, including sports teams, cultural groups, and community service organizations.

Another notable difference between the two colleges is their respective histories. Dartmouth was founded in 1769, making it one of the oldest colleges in the United States. Mt. Holyoke, on the other hand, was founded in 1837 and was the first women’s college in the country to grant degrees. Both colleges have rich traditions and a strong sense of community, making them excellent choices for students seeking a challenging and rewarding college experience.

Admissions Requirements: Which is More Competitive?

Both Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke are competitive schools that require a strong academic background and a well-rounded application. Dartmouth has a slightly lower acceptance rate of around 7.7%, while Mt. Holyoke’s acceptance rate is around 45%. However, admission to either college is based on a holistic evaluation of the applicant’s academics, extracurricular activities, essays, and other factors.

In addition to the standard admissions requirements, both Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke offer optional interviews for prospective students. These interviews can provide an opportunity for applicants to showcase their personality and demonstrate their interest in the school. However, it is important to note that interviews are not required and do not necessarily impact the admissions decision.

Another factor to consider is the availability of financial aid and scholarships. Both Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke offer need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships, but the specific requirements and availability may vary. It is important for prospective students to research and understand the financial aid options at each school before applying.

Student Body Diversity: Analyzing the Demographics

Both colleges have a diverse student body in terms of race, ethnicity, and national origin. Dartmouth has a slightly more diverse student body, with around 50% of students of color compared to Mt. Holyoke’s 40%. Both institutions have a strong commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

However, when it comes to gender diversity, Mt. Holyoke has a higher percentage of female students, with around 95% of the student body identifying as female. In contrast, Dartmouth has a more balanced gender ratio, with around 50% male and 50% female students.

Additionally, both colleges have made efforts to increase socioeconomic diversity on campus. Mt. Holyoke has implemented a need-blind admission policy, which means that a student’s ability to pay for tuition is not a factor in the admission decision.

Dartmouth has also taken steps to increase socioeconomic diversity, including offering need-based financial aid and partnering with organizations that support low-income and first-generation college students.

Academic Programs Offered at Both Institutions

Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke offer a wide range of academic programs spanning the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. However, there are some differences in the areas of focus and strength.

Dartmouth is known for its strong undergraduate programs in economics, engineering, and computer science. Mt. Holyoke is strong in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, with particular strengths in fields such as gender and women’s studies, anthropology, and environmental studies.

Both institutions also offer a variety of interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple fields of study. Dartmouth offers a program in Quantitative Social Science, which combines social science research with statistical analysis. Mt. Holyoke offers a Nexus program, which allows students to create their own interdisciplinary majors by combining courses from different departments.

Faculty and Staff: Comparing the Quality of Education

Both institutions have highly qualified faculty members who are committed to teaching and research excellence. Dartmouth has an impressive faculty-to-student ratio of 1:7, with over 700 faculty members. Mt. Holyoke has a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:10, with over 200 faculty members.

Female teacher talking to her students.

Despite the difference in faculty-to-student ratio, both institutions have a strong commitment to providing personalized attention to their students. Dartmouth’s faculty members are known for their accessibility and willingness to work closely with students, while Mt. Holyoke’s faculty members are praised for their dedication to mentoring and advising students.

In addition to their faculty, both institutions have highly skilled and dedicated staff that supports the academic and personal growth of their students. Dartmouth’s staff includes academic advisors, career counselors, and health professionals, while Mt. Holyoke’s staff includes librarians, technology specialists, and diversity and inclusion officers.

Campus Life and Student Activities: What Sets Them Apart?

Dartmouth has a vibrant campus life with a wide range of student clubs and organizations, including Greek life, athletics, and performing arts groups. Mt. Holyoke offers a rich campus life with many cultural and social activities and clubs, as well as outdoor recreational opportunities. Both colleges have strong traditions and active student communities.

One unique aspect of campus life at Dartmouth is the school’s emphasis on outdoor activities. The college is located in a beautiful natural setting, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the surrounding wilderness through programs like the Dartmouth Outing Club.

Mt. Holyoke, on the other hand, is known for its commitment to social justice and activism. The college has a long history of promoting women’s rights and is home to many student-led organizations focused on issues like environmental sustainability and diversity and inclusion.

Career Opportunities and Post-Graduation Success Rates

Both Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke have strong career centers and support services for students looking for internships, jobs, or graduate school. Dartmouth has an excellent reputation for preparing students for careers in finance, consulting, and technology. Mt. Holyoke is known for preparing students for careers in the non-profit, government, and social justice sectors.

a business woman looking at the camera while her colleagues are at her back

Post-graduation, both institutions have high rates of success in terms of job placement and graduate school acceptances. Dartmouth has an average starting salary of around $70,000, while Mt. Holyoke’s average starting salary is around $55,000.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke offer extensive networking opportunities for their students. Dartmouth has a large alumni network, with many successful graduates in various industries who are willing to mentor and connect with current students. Mt. Holyoke has a strong alumnae network, with many graduates who are leaders in their fields and actively involved in supporting current students.

Furthermore, both institutions offer unique programs and resources to help students explore and prepare for their desired career paths. Dartmouth has a program called the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences, which provides students with opportunities to engage in public policy research and internships. Mt. Holyoke has a program called Lynk, which offers funding and support for students to pursue internships, research, and other career-related experiences.

Tuition and Financial Aid Packages: Which is More Affordable?

Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke are both expensive, private institutions, with tuition and fees for 2021-2022 at $60,117 and $57,928 respectively. However, both institutions offer robust financial aid packages in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and loans to help students afford a college education.

It is important to note that the affordability of attending either institution will depend on individual circumstances and financial need. While the sticker price of tuition may seem daunting, it is important to research and compare the financial aid packages offered by each school to determine which may be more affordable for you. Additionally, both Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke have resources available to help students navigate the financial aid process and make informed decisions about paying for college.

Facilities and Resources Available to Students: A Comparative Study

Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke offer state-of-the-art facilities and resources to their students to support their academic and personal growth. Dartmouth has extensive research facilities and centers, including its renowned libraries. Mt. Holyoke’s resources include its top-ranked art museum and botanical gardens.

Group of students walking in the campus.

In addition to these resources, Dartmouth also provides its students with access to cutting-edge technology and equipment, such as its advanced computer labs and multimedia studios. These facilities allow students to explore and experiment with various forms of digital media, enhancing their creativity and technical skills.

Meanwhile, Mt. Holyoke offers a wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs, catering to diverse interests and passions. From sports teams to cultural organizations, students have ample opportunities to engage with their peers and pursue their hobbies outside of the classroom. Additionally, the college’s Career Development Center provides students with valuable resources and guidance to help them navigate their career paths and achieve their professional goals.

Alumni Networks and Philanthropic Support to Each Institution

Both Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke have active alumni networks and strong philanthropic support from their graduates. Dartmouth has a large and active alumni network with a long history of supporting undergraduates and other alumni, with notable alumni including Shonda Rhimes, Robert Frost, and Dr. Seuss. Mt. Holyoke also has a supportive alumni network, with notable alumni including Emily Dickinson, Carol Burnett, and Wendy Wasserstein.

Furthermore, Dartmouth’s alumni network is known for its strong connections in the business world, with many graduates holding high-level positions in various industries. This network provides valuable resources for current students and recent graduates seeking career opportunities and mentorship.

On the other hand, Mt. Holyoke’s alumni network is known for its commitment to social justice and activism. Many graduates have gone on to become leaders in their respective fields, advocating for marginalized communities and promoting social change. This network provides a valuable platform for current students and recent graduates to engage in meaningful social justice work.

Sports Programs Offered at Both Colleges: Which is More Competitive?

Both institutions have competitive NCAA Division III sports programs and a strong focus on physical fitness and athletic excellence. Dartmouth has a larger sports program with more varsity teams and a strong rivalry with its Ivy League peers. Mt. Holyoke also has a strong sports program with a focus on women’s athletic opportunities and physical wellness.

However, the level of competitiveness between the two colleges varies depending on the sport. For example, Dartmouth’s football team has a long-standing tradition of success and is highly competitive, while Mt. Holyoke’s soccer team has consistently ranked among the top teams in the conference.

In addition to varsity sports, both colleges offer a variety of intramural and club sports for students to participate in. These programs provide opportunities for students to stay active and engaged in sports they enjoy, regardless of their skill level or previous experience.

Conclusion: Which College is Better for You?

Choosing between Dartmouth and Mt. Holyoke can be difficult, as both institutions are excellent and have their unique strengths and advantages. Ultimately, the choice of which institution to attend depends on your personal preferences, academic interests, and career goals. Consider visiting both campuses, speaking to current students and alumni, and making an informed decision based on your needs and priorities.

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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