Dartmouth vs Princeton: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

smiling woman inside university

Dartmouth vs Princeton: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions you will make. With so many options available, deciding which one is right for you can be overwhelming. Two top universities that often come up in discussions are Dartmouth and Princeton. This article is a comprehensive analysis of Dartmouth vs Princeton to help you make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and compare the two colleges.

Location and Climate: How Do Dartmouth and Princeton Compare?

Both Dartmouth and Princeton are located in the northeastern part of the United States but differ in their surroundings. Dartmouth College is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, a quaint college town surrounded by the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Dartmouth campus

On the other hand, Princeton University is located in Princeton, New Jersey, a small, charming town about an hour away from Philadelphia and New York City.

When it comes to climate, Dartmouth experiences much colder winters with plenty of snow, while Princeton has milder winters and a more temperate climate. Ultimately, both locations offer unique and beautiful surroundings, so it comes down to personal preference.

Aside from location and climate, Dartmouth and Princeton differ in their academic programs and campus culture. Dartmouth is known for its strong undergraduate liberal arts program, while Princeton is renowned for its research-focused graduate programs.

Additionally, Dartmouth strongly emphasizes outdoor activities and a close-knit community, while Princeton has a more traditional campus culture focusing on academic excellence.

Campus Life: The Social Scene at Dartmouth vs Princeton

Both colleges offer a vibrant campus life with plenty of student activities to participate in. At Dartmouth, there is a strong emphasis on outdoor activities due to its location in the mountains. There are many opportunities to ski, hike, and explore the wilderness. At Princeton, there is a focus on the arts, with many theater performances, music concerts, and art exhibits on campus.

Regarding social life, both colleges have a welcoming community and active Greek life. Dartmouth is known for its intense fraternity scene, while Princeton has a more diverse mix of social organizations.

However, it’s important to note that the social scene at both colleges is not limited to just Greek life or organized activities. Both campuses have a strong sense of community, and students often form close bonds through shared interests and hobbies.

Whether joining a club or attending a sporting event, there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people and make lasting connections at Dartmouth and Princeton.

Academics: A Comprehensive Review of Dartmouth vs Princeton’s Programs

Both Dartmouth and Princeton are Ivy League schools, and they both have exceptional academics. Dartmouth is a liberal arts college that offers a wide range of majors, while Princeton is more focused on research-based programs and offers fewer majors. However, both schools have rigorous academic programs with renowned professors and opportunities for research and internships.

Dartmouth emphasizes experiential learning, with opportunities for students to participate in research, fieldwork, and off-campus programs. Princeton offers independent research opportunities for undergraduate students and a strong graduate program.

One of the unique aspects of Dartmouth’s academic program is its emphasis on the liberal arts. Students are encouraged to explore a variety of subjects and develop critical thinking skills that can be applied to any field.

Additionally, Dartmouth is strongly committed to undergraduate teaching, with small class sizes and opportunities for one-on-one mentorship with professors.

On the other hand, Princeton is known for its research-based programs and cutting-edge facilities. The university has several research centers and institutes, including the Princeton Neuroscience Institute and the Princeton Environmental Institute, that provide students with opportunities to work on groundbreaking research projects alongside faculty members.

Admissions: How to Get into Dartmouth or Princeton

Admission to both Dartmouth and Princeton is highly competitive. Both schools require a strong academic background, high grades and test scores, extracurricular activities, and impressive essays.

Dartmouth also values demonstrated interest in their school through visits and interviews. Princeton offers an optional alumni interview as part of the admissions process.

two females sit across a table; the one in facing the camera is conducting a college interview with the other female

Additionally, both schools have a need-blind admissions policy, meaning they do not consider an applicant’s ability to pay when making admissions decisions. However, both schools have high tuition costs and offer financial aid packages to help students afford their education.

It is also important to note that Dartmouth and Princeton have a holistic admissions process, considering the whole applicant and not just their academic achievements. This includes leadership experience, community involvement, and personal qualities. Therefore, applicants must showcase their unique strengths and experiences in their application materials.

Cost of Attendance: Comparing the Price Tags of Dartmouth and Princeton

Both Dartmouth and Princeton are expensive schools with high tuition and fees. However, both schools offer generous financial aid, claiming to meet 100% of demonstrated need.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at Dartmouth and Princeton goes beyond just tuition and fees. Other factors, such as room and board, textbooks, and personal expenses, can also add up.

According to the College Board, the average cost of room and board at a private four-year institution in the United States is over $12,000 annually. Students and families need to consider all of these expenses when comparing the total cost of attendance at Dartmouth and Princeton.

Campus Safety: Which College is Safer, Dartmouth or Princeton?

Regarding campus safety, both Dartmouth and Princeton have low crime rates and safe campuses. Dartmouth has an active Safety and Security department, with regular safety training for students and staff. Princeton also has a strong Department of Public Safety, with a 24/7 patrol presence on campus.

Both schools have emergency notification systems to alert the community of potential threats. It’s worth noting that Hanover, NH, is considered one of the safest cities in the United States.

However, it’s essential to consider that campus safety goes beyond crime rates and security measures. Both Dartmouth and Princeton have taken steps to address issues of assault and harassment on their campuses. When evaluating campus safety, prospective students must research and consider a school’s approach to these issues.

Athletics: Comparing Athletic Programs at Dartmouth and Princeton

Both Dartmouth and Princeton offer top-level Division 1 athletic programs. Dartmouth is a member of the Ivy League and is known for its strong skiing, soccer, and hockey programs.

Princeton is also a member of the Ivy League and is known for its successful basketball, football, and lacrosse programs. Both schools offer intramural and club sports for students who want to get involved in athletics.

Despite their similarities, there are some differences between the athletic programs at Dartmouth vs Princeton. Dartmouth strongly focuses on outdoor sports, such as skiing and hiking, due to its location in the mountains of New Hampshire. However, Princeton has a greater emphasis on indoor sports, such as basketball and volleyball, due to its state-of-the-art indoor facilities.

Group of four hikers with backpacks walks in mountains at sunset

Both schools also have a strong tradition of athletic excellence. Dartmouth has won numerous national skiing championships and produced several Olympic athletes. Princeton has a long history of success in football, with multiple Ivy League championships and a national championship in 1950. Overall, both schools offer a wide range of athletic opportunities for students to get involved in and excel at.

Student Body Diversity: Examining the Diversity of Students at Dartmouth vs Princeton

Both Dartmouth and Princeton have made efforts to increase diversity among their student population. Dartmouth has a larger percentage of international students and a significant Native American and Alaska Native student population. Princeton has a diverse student body, with a significant percentage of students identifying as Asian or multiracial.

In addition to their efforts to increase diversity, both Dartmouth and Princeton have implemented programs to support underrepresented students.

Dartmouth has a Native American Program that provides academic and cultural support to Native American students and a First-Year Student Enrichment Program for first-generation and low-income students. Meanwhile, Princeton has a Scholars Institute Fellows Program that supports underrepresented students in STEM fields and a First-Generation Low-Income Center that provides resources and support for first-generation and low-income students.

Alumni Networks: Which College Offers Better Networking Opportunities?

Both Dartmouth and Princeton have strong alumni networks with successful graduates in various industries. Dartmouth emphasizes its close-knit alumni community, with many events and opportunities for networking.

Princeton offers a robust Career Services department that provides mentorship and job opportunities for students. Ultimately, both schools offer excellent networking opportunities for their graduates.

However, it is important to note that the strength of an alumni network also depends on the specific industry or field a graduate is interested in. For example, a graduate interested in finance may find that Dartmouth’s alumni network has more connections and opportunities in that industry.

On the other hand, if a graduate is interested in politics, they may find that Princeton’s alumni network has more influential connections in that field. Therefore, students need to research and consider their career goals when evaluating the strength of a college’s alumni network.

Career Prospects: Which College Offers Better Career Prospects?

Both Dartmouth and Princeton have exceptional career prospects for their graduates. Dartmouth strongly focuses on entrepreneurship, with many successful startups created by alumni.

Princeton has a strong reputation for producing successful alumni in finance and government. Both schools have excellent career services resources, with connections to top employers in various industries.

However, it is essential to note that career prospects depend on the individual student’s interests, skills, and experiences. For example, if a student is interested in pursuing a career in technology, Dartmouth’s focus on entrepreneurship may be more beneficial.

On the other hand, if a student is interested in politics or law, Princeton’s reputation for producing successful alumni in government may be more advantageous. Ultimately, it is up to the student to research and evaluate which college aligns best with their career goals.

Comparing the Availability and Quality of Extracurricular Activities at Dartmouth and Princeton

Both Dartmouth and Princeton offer a wide range of extracurricular activities for students to get involved in. Dartmouth strongly emphasizes outdoor activities, with a wide range of clubs and organizations dedicated to skiing, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. Princeton has a strong arts scene, with many clubs and organizations dedicated to music, theater, and visual arts.

However, while both schools offer a diverse range of extracurricular activities, there are some differences in the availability and quality of these activities. Dartmouth’s outdoor clubs often have access to the nearby mountains and wilderness areas, providing students with unique and exciting opportunities.

On the other hand, Princeton’s arts organizations often have access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, allowing students to hone their skills and produce high-quality performances and artwork.

Faculty and Research Opportunities Available at Dartmouth vs Princeton

Both Dartmouth and Princeton have exceptional faculty and research opportunities. Dartmouth has a student-to-faculty ratio 7:1, allowing for close relationships with professors and mentorship opportunities.

Princeton is known for its exceptional research opportunities, focusing on interdisciplinary research. Both schools have strong funding for research and have produced many groundbreaking discoveries.

However, there are some differences in the types of research opportunities available at each institution. Dartmouth strongly focuses on undergraduate research, with many opportunities for students to conduct their own research projects and present their findings at conferences.

On the other hand, Princeton has a greater emphasis on graduate-level research, with many opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects. Princeton has a larger research budget and more research resources, allowing for more extensive and in-depth projects to be undertaken.

A Comparison of Support Services Available to Students at Dartmouth and Princeton

Both Dartmouth and Princeton offer their students a wide range of support services. Dartmouth strongly emphasizes mental health support, with many programs and services dedicated to promoting mental health and wellness. Princeton offers a wide range of academic support services, with tutoring and writing services available to all students.

Unidentified person talking to someone.

In addition to mental health and academic support, Dartmouth and Princeton offer career services to their students. Dartmouth’s career services include career counseling, job and internship search assistance, and networking events with alumni.

On the other hand, Princeton’s career services offer similar resources and opportunities for students to connect with employers through on-campus recruiting events and job fairs.

Graduate Programs: A Look at Graduate Programs Offered by Dartmouth vs Princeton

Both Dartmouth and Princeton offer top-ranked graduate programs in various fields. Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business is highly regarded for its MBA program, and its medical school is known for its innovative research.

Princeton’s engineering, economics, and public policy graduate programs are all highly ranked. Ultimately, both schools offer excellent graduate programs for students who want to continue their education.

It’s worth noting that both Dartmouth and Princeton have strong alumni networks who are actively involved in their respective graduate programs. These alumni can provide current students with valuable mentorship, networking opportunities, and job leads.  Additionally, both schools offer robust career services to help students navigate the job market after graduation.

So, if you’re looking for a graduate program that will provide you with a top-notch education and connect you with a supportive community of professionals, Dartmouth and Princeton are both excellent choices.

As you can see, both Dartmouth and Princeton are exceptional universities that offer their students a wide range of opportunities. Ultimately, the choice between Dartmouth vs Princeton comes down to personal preferences and the factors most important to you.

AdmissionSight offers invaluable assistance to students deciding between Dartmouth vs Princeton. Evaluating aspects like academic offerings, campus environment, and prospects helps students make an informed choice that aligns with their goals.

Furthermore, AdmissionSight provides personalized strategies, essay feedback, and interview preparation to maximize students’ chances of gaining admission to these prestigious universities, ensuring a strong application that stands out to admissions committees.



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