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Dartmouth vs Boston College: Which College Is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of Dartmouth campus at day time.

Dartmouth vs Boston College: Which College Is Right for You?

Choosing the right college is crucial to your overall success and happiness, which is why it is important to explore your options before making a decision. Two prestigious institutions often compared with each other are Dartmouth vs Boston College. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast these two colleges on various factors to help you make an informed decision and determine which college is right for you.

Location and Campus Environment

Dartmouth College and Boston College are both located in the Northeastern United States, but they differ in their campus environment and location. Dartmouth is located in a rural area of Hanover, New Hampshire, which affords a tranquil and serene environment with a close-knit community. Boston College, on the other hand, is situated in the Boston metropolitan area, which provides access to a bustling city and all its amenities. At Boston College, you’ll be immersed in an urban environment, while at Dartmouth, you’ll have access to outdoor activities in the surrounding natural environment.

Additionally, Dartmouth College’s location in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont offers students unique opportunities to engage with the local community and participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking. The college also has its own skiway and golf course, providing students with easy access to these recreational activities. Boston College, on the other hand, is located just a few miles from downtown Boston, giving students access to world-class museums, restaurants, and cultural events. The city also offers numerous internship and job opportunities for students interested in fields such as finance, technology, and healthcare.

Boston College signage hanging off a pole

Admissions Requirements and Acceptance Rates

Dartmouth and Boston College both have highly selective admissions processes and look for well-rounded students. Dartmouth has an acceptance rate of 8.7%, while Boston College has an acceptance rate of 27%. It is important to note that admission rates vary by program and field of study.

Additionally, both schools require applicants to submit standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT, as well as transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation. Dartmouth also offers an early decision option for students who are certain that they want to attend the school, while Boston College does not have an early decision program. It is important for prospective students to thoroughly research the admissions requirements for their desired program and to start the application process early.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered

Both Dartmouth and Boston College offer a range of academic programs and majors to choose from. Dartmouth has an undergraduate liberal arts program, with 38 majors and minors, as well as various graduate programs. Boston College also offers undergraduate liberal arts programs, with over 60 majors and minors, as well as a range of graduate programs. The programs and majors offered by both colleges are rigorous and demanding, with the aim of providing a well-rounded education and preparing students for success in their chosen fields.

In addition to the traditional academic programs and majors, both Dartmouth and Boston College also offer unique interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple fields of study. For example, Dartmouth offers a program in Engineering Sciences, which combines engineering with other disciplines such as physics, mathematics, and computer science. Boston College offers a program in Environmental Studies, which combines science, policy, and ethics to address environmental challenges. These interdisciplinary programs provide students with a broader perspective and the skills to tackle complex problems in their future careers.

Faculty and Student Body Diversity

Dartmouth and Boston College both have esteemed faculties, with academics who are leaders in their respective fields. Both colleges have a diverse student body, with students coming from different cultural, socioeconomic, and geographical backgrounds. However, Boston College has a slightly higher diversity ranking than Dartmouth, with a student body that is roughly 48% white, 12% Asian, 7% Hispanic/Latino, and 3% Black or African American. Dartmouth’s student body is roughly 50% white, 16% Asian, 11% Hispanic/Latino, and 6% Black or African American.

In addition to cultural and ethnic diversity, both colleges also prioritize diversity in terms of gender and sexual orientation. Dartmouth has a strong LGBTQ+ community, with various student organizations and resources available to support and empower LGBTQ+ students. Boston College also has a LGBTQ+ resource center, which provides a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ students to connect and access support services.

Furthermore, both colleges have made efforts to increase diversity among their faculty members. Dartmouth has implemented a faculty diversity initiative, which aims to recruit and retain faculty members from underrepresented groups. Boston College has also taken steps to increase faculty diversity, with a focus on hiring more women and people of color in leadership positions.

Cost of Attendance, Financial Aid, and Scholarships

Dartmouth and Boston College are both private universities and have a high cost of attendance. However, both colleges provide various forms of financial aid and scholarships to students. According to College Board, the average cost of attendance for the academic year 2021-2022 at Dartmouth is $81,123, while at Boston College, it is $77,195. Both colleges offer need-based financial aid, and Boston College provides merit-based scholarships as well.

It is important to note that the financial aid packages offered by Dartmouth and Boston College can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances. Students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile to determine their eligibility for financial aid. Additionally, both colleges have dedicated financial aid offices that can assist students in navigating the financial aid process and finding additional sources of funding.

Portrait of a cheerful young couple of students wearing backpacks, carrying textbooks standing isolated over blue background

Extracurricular Activities and Campus Life

Both Dartmouth and Boston College provide their students with a range of extracurricular activities and opportunities to get involved on campus. At Dartmouth, options include outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing, as well as various clubs and organizations. Boston College offers various sports teams, student organizations, and cultural events to participate in. It is important to note that campus life and extracurricular opportunities may differ based on the location and environment of each college.

Additionally, both colleges have a strong emphasis on community service and offer opportunities for students to get involved in volunteer work. Dartmouth has a center for service that connects students with local organizations and Boston College has a service-learning program that integrates community service into academic coursework.

Furthermore, both colleges have a vibrant arts scene with opportunities for students to participate in theater productions, music ensembles, and visual arts exhibitions. Dartmouth has a student-run theater group and an arts center that hosts exhibitions and performances. Boston College has a fine arts department and a music program that offers lessons and ensembles for students of all levels.

Athletics Programs and Facilities

Both Dartmouth and Boston College have successful athletics programs and state-of-the-art facilities. Dartmouth competes in the Ivy League and offers a range of sports teams such as football, basketball, and skiing. Boston College is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference and offers various sports teams such as football, basketball, and hockey. Both colleges take pride in their athletics programs and offer opportunities for students to participate and support their teams.

In addition to the traditional sports teams, both Dartmouth and Boston College also offer a variety of club and intramural sports for students to participate in. These include ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and soccer, among others. These programs provide a great way for students to stay active and involved in sports, even if they are not on a varsity team.

Furthermore, both colleges have recently invested in upgrading their athletics facilities. Dartmouth has renovated its football stadium and built a new indoor practice facility for its sports teams. Boston College has also renovated its football stadium and added a new recreation center for students to use. These improvements not only benefit the athletics programs but also enhance the overall student experience on campus.

Career Services and Job Opportunities

Dartmouth and Boston College both have career services centers to support their students and provide them with job opportunities. Both colleges have a strong alumni network and connections in various industries. Dartmouth’s career services center offers various resources such as career counseling and job fairs, while Boston College’s center offers similar resources and hosts networking events with alumni. Both colleges aim to provide their graduates with the skills and connections necessary for successful careers.

In addition to the career services centers, both Dartmouth and Boston College have partnerships with companies and organizations that offer internships and job opportunities to their students. These partnerships provide students with hands-on experience in their field of study and often lead to full-time job offers after graduation. Both colleges also have robust online job boards where students can search for job and internship opportunities, as well as connect with alumni who are working in their desired industries.

Laughing indian female student with group of multi ethnic young adults outdoor

Alumni Networks and Connections after Graduation

Dartmouth and Boston College both have strong alumni networks and connections that provide graduates with mentorship opportunities and career connections. Dartmouth boasts alumni such as Robert Frost and Shonda Rhimes, while Boston College has produced influential graduates such as John F. Kennedy and Amy Poehler. Both colleges have active alumni networks and opportunities for graduates to stay connected and support their alma mater.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Boston College offer various resources and events for alumni to continue their education and personal growth. Dartmouth’s Alumni Continuing Education program provides online courses and lectures on a variety of topics, while Boston College’s Alumni Association hosts events such as career workshops and networking receptions. These resources allow alumni to stay connected with their alma mater and continue to learn and grow even after graduation.

Student Reviews and Experiences at Dartmouth vs Boston College

Student reviews and experiences of Dartmouth and Boston College vary based on individual preferences and experiences. However, overall, both colleges are highly regarded for their academic rigor, campus culture, and extracurricular opportunities. Dartmouth is known for its close-knit community and outdoor activities, while Boston College is known for its urban environment and access to the city’s amenities.

One aspect that sets Dartmouth apart from Boston College is its unique academic calendar. Dartmouth operates on a quarter system, which allows students to take a wider variety of courses throughout the year and potentially graduate earlier than on a traditional semester system. On the other hand, Boston College follows a traditional semester system, which may provide students with a more structured and predictable academic schedule.

Another factor that may influence a student’s decision between Dartmouth and Boston College is the availability of research opportunities. Dartmouth is a research-focused institution with numerous opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research projects alongside faculty members. Boston College also offers research opportunities, but may not have as many resources available for undergraduate students to get involved in research projects.

Dartmouth vs Boston College: Campus Safety Measures and Security

Dartmouth and Boston College prioritize campus safety and have various measures in place to ensure the security of their students. Both colleges have campus police departments and emergency hotlines, as well as safety resources such as self-defense classes. It is important to note that campus safety measures may vary based on location and environment.

In addition to the aforementioned safety measures, both Dartmouth and Boston College have implemented security cameras throughout their campuses to monitor activity and deter potential criminal behavior. These cameras are strategically placed in high-traffic areas and are monitored by campus police 24/7.

Furthermore, both colleges have established partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to enhance campus safety. This collaboration allows for a quicker response time in emergency situations and provides additional resources for investigations and crime prevention.

Dartmouth vs Boston College: Accessibility to Public Transportation and Local Attractions

Boston College’s location in the Boston metropolitan area provides students with access to public transportation and various local attractions, such as museums, theaters, and sports arenas. Dartmouth’s location in a rural area provides students with access to outdoor activities and natural attractions. Both colleges have transportation options available for their students, but it is important to note that accessibility to public transportation and local attractions may differ based on location and environment.

For students attending Boston College, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) offers a variety of transportation options, including buses, trains, and subways. This makes it easy for students to explore the city and take advantage of all that Boston has to offer. In addition, Boston College is located just a few miles from downtown Boston, which is home to many popular tourist attractions, such as the Freedom Trail, the Boston Common, and the New England Aquarium.

On the other hand, students at Dartmouth College have access to a different kind of attraction – the great outdoors. The college is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, which is surrounded by beautiful forests, mountains, and rivers. Students can go hiking, skiing, kayaking, and more, all within a short distance from campus. In addition, the college offers a variety of outdoor programs and clubs, such as the Dartmouth Outing Club, which organizes trips and activities for students throughout the year.

Four students walking next to a building.

Social Life on Campus: Greek Life, Parties, Events, etc.

Both Dartmouth and Boston College have a range of social opportunities and events on campus, including Greek life, parties, and cultural events. Dartmouth has a prominent Greek life culture, with 62% of students in fraternities or sororities. Boston College, on the other hand, does not officially recognize Greek life but offers other opportunities for students, such as cultural clubs and events.

Aside from Greek life and cultural events, both Dartmouth and Boston College also offer a variety of parties and social gatherings for students. These events range from small get-togethers in dorm rooms to large-scale parties hosted by student organizations. Students can also attend concerts, comedy shows, and other performances on campus.

It’s important to note that while social life is an important aspect of college, it’s not the only one. Both Dartmouth and Boston College offer a wide range of academic and extracurricular activities for students to get involved in. From research opportunities to community service projects, students can find ways to pursue their interests and make a difference on campus and beyond.

Dartmouth vs Boston College: Student Housing Options

Dartmouth and Boston College both offer on-campus housing options, including dorms and apartments, as well as off-campus housing options for upperclassmen. The housing options may vary based on individual preferences and availability. However, both colleges prioritize the safety and well-being of their students in their housing options.

It is important to note that living on-campus can provide students with a sense of community and easy access to campus resources, such as dining halls and academic buildings. On the other hand, off-campus housing can offer more independence and flexibility in terms of living arrangements and location. It is recommended that students thoroughly research and consider all housing options before making a decision.

Dartmouth vs Boston College: Internship Opportunities for Students

Both Dartmouth and Boston College offer various internship opportunities for their students, in various fields and industries. Students can work with their respective career services centers to find opportunities that align with their academic and career goals.

Additionally, many companies and organizations specifically target students from these prestigious institutions for internships, providing them with valuable hands-on experience and networking opportunities. Some of the popular industries for internships include finance, technology, healthcare, and non-profit organizations. Students can also participate in internship fairs and networking events hosted by their colleges to connect with potential employers and learn about available opportunities.

Dartmouth vs Boston College: Graduate School Acceptance Rates

Dartmouth and Boston College both prepare their undergraduate students for successful graduate school applications and have high acceptance rates. According to College Board, the graduate school acceptance rate for Dartmouth is 90%, while for Boston College, it is 87%. Both colleges support their students in continuing their education and pursuing graduate studies.

Furthermore, Dartmouth offers a wide range of graduate programs, including business, engineering, and medicine. The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth is consistently ranked among the top business schools in the country, and the Thayer School of Engineering is known for its innovative research and hands-on learning opportunities. Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine is also highly regarded, with a focus on primary care and research.

Similarly, Boston College offers a variety of graduate programs, such as law, social work, and education. The Boston College Law School is known for its strong emphasis on ethics and public service, while the School of Social Work has a commitment to social justice and community engagement. The Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College is also highly respected, with a focus on preparing educators and leaders who can make a positive impact in their communities.

Comparison of Faculty-to-Student Ratio in Both Colleges

Both Dartmouth and Boston College have low faculty-to-student ratios, which means that students have more opportunities to interact with their professors and receive individualized attention. Dartmouth has a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:7, while Boston College has a ratio of 1:12. Both colleges prioritize academic excellence and providing their students with a personalized education.

However, the difference in faculty-to-student ratio between the two colleges can have an impact on the level of attention and support that students receive. With a lower ratio, Dartmouth students may have more access to their professors and receive more personalized guidance throughout their academic journey. On the other hand, Boston College students may have to work harder to establish relationships with their professors and seek out additional support.

It’s important to note that faculty-to-student ratio is just one factor to consider when choosing a college. Other factors such as location, campus culture, and available resources should also be taken into account. Ultimately, the best college for a student is one that aligns with their individual needs and goals.

Dartmouth vs Boston College: Comparison of Research Opportunities

Dartmouth and Boston College both have active research programs and provide opportunities for students to participate in research projects. Dartmouth has various research centers and institutes, such as the Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business. Boston College also has research centers, such as the Center for Retirement Research and the Center for Human Rights and International Justice. Both colleges provide their students with opportunities for hands-on research experience.

graduates wearing their graduation gown and Cambridge University as their background

How to Make the Best Choice between Dartmouth vs Boston College?

Ultimately, the choice between Dartmouth College and Boston College depends on individual preferences and priorities. Consider factors such as location and campus environment, academic programs and majors offered, student diversity, cost of attendance, extracurricular activities and campus life, alumni networks and connections, and research opportunities. It is also important to visit each college and get a sense of the campus culture and community. No matter which college you choose, both Dartmouth and Boston College offer exceptional educational opportunities and experiences.

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