Dartmouth vs Williams: Which College Is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Dartmouth College building

Dartmouth vs Williams: Which College Is Right for You?

Choosing the right college can be an overwhelming decision. With so many options available, it can be challenging to decide which school is the best fit for your academic and personal goals. Dartmouth and Williams Colleges are both selective liberal arts schools located in New England, but they have unique offerings and campus cultures that set them apart. In this article, we’ll explore the important factors to consider when choosing between Dartmouth vs Williams colleges.

Location: Where Are Dartmouth and Williams Colleges Located?

One of the first things to consider is location. Dartmouth College is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, while Williams College is located in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Both schools are situated in rural areas and offer a picturesque campus setting. Dartmouth is known for its location in the Upper Valley, providing easy access to outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking. Williams College is located in the Berkshires and offers outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, and skiing.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Williams Colleges are located in close proximity to other prestigious colleges and universities. Dartmouth is part of the Ivy League and is located near other Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Yale. Williams College is part of the Little Three, along with Amherst and Wesleyan, and is also located near other highly regarded institutions such as Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. This provides students with opportunities for cross-registration, joint programs, and access to a wider network of resources and academic opportunities.

Williams College front building

Admission Process: How to Apply to Dartmouth and Williams Colleges

Applying to Dartmouth and Williams Colleges requires submitting a Common Application, including academic transcripts, test scores (SAT or ACT with Writing), recommendation letters, an essay, and an interview. Both schools have highly selective admissions processes, with acceptance rates around 7-9%. Dartmouth requires applicants to submit two teacher recommendations, one peer recommendation, and an additional essay. Williams requires three teacher recommendations and a supplemental essay. It’s essential to understand the admission requirements and deadlines for each school and to apply early to increase your chances of acceptance.

Aside from the standard application requirements, Dartmouth and Williams Colleges also consider extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and community service when evaluating applicants. They want to see well-rounded individuals who have made a positive impact in their communities. Therefore, it’s crucial to highlight your achievements and experiences outside of the classroom in your application.

Furthermore, both colleges offer need-blind admissions, meaning that they do not consider an applicant’s financial situation when making admission decisions. However, they do provide generous financial aid packages to admitted students who demonstrate financial need. It’s important to research and understand the financial aid options available at each school and to submit the necessary forms and documents to be considered for aid.

Academic Programs: What Majors and Minors Are Offered at Dartmouth and Williams?

Dartmouth and Williams are known for their rigorous academic programs and faculty members who are experts in their fields. Dartmouth has a broad range of majors and minors in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Williams also offers a wide range of majors and minors in humanities, arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and interdisciplinary studies. The curriculum at both schools emphasizes critical thinking, writing, and research skills and encourages students to explore their interests across disciplines.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Williams offer unique opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning. Dartmouth’s D-Plan allows students to customize their academic schedule and take advantage of off-campus programs, internships, and research opportunities. Williams’ Winter Study program offers students the chance to explore a topic in-depth for a month during the month of January. These programs provide students with hands-on experience and the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge in real-world settings.

Four cheerful students sitting together at the desk and studying while one man looking over shoulder and smiling

Campus Life: What Is the Student Culture Like at Dartmouth and Williams?

Student life at Dartmouth and Williams is enriched by the engaged and diverse student body. Dartmouth has a close-knit residential college system that fosters community and collaboration among students. Williams has an active and vibrant campus life, and the school offers over 200 student organizations, clubs, and athletic teams. Both schools have a student-run newspaper, theater groups, and a music scene that showcases student talent.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Williams prioritize student wellness and mental health. They offer a range of resources such as counseling services, wellness centers, and support groups to ensure that students have access to the help they need. The schools also have a strong commitment to community service and encourage students to get involved in volunteer work both on and off campus. Overall, the student culture at Dartmouth and Williams is one that values academic excellence, personal growth, and social responsibility.

Dartmouth vs Williams: Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities play an essential role in college life and provide opportunities for students to develop leadership skills, make friends, and pursue their passions. Dartmouth offers over 250 student organizations, including clubs for community service, athletics, visual and performing arts, and political activism. Williams has over 150 student organizations, including athletic teams, music groups, service organizations, and academic clubs. The schools also have fraternities and sororities that offer social and networking opportunities.

Aside from the traditional clubs and organizations, both Dartmouth and Williams offer unique extracurricular activities. Dartmouth has an Outing Club that organizes outdoor trips and activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking. Williams has a popular student-run coffeehouse called “The Log,” which hosts live music performances and open mic nights.

Furthermore, both schools encourage students to start their own clubs and organizations. Dartmouth has a student-run organization called “The Collis Center for Student Involvement,” which provides resources and support for students who want to create new clubs. Williams has a similar program called “The Office of Student Life,” which helps students develop and implement their ideas for new organizations.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Dartmouth vs Williams: Athletics

Dartmouth and Williams have a rich tradition of athletic excellence and are members of the NCAA Division I and Division III, respectively. Dartmouth competes in the Ivy League and offers 34 varsity sports, while Williams competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference and offers 32 varsity sports. Both schools have a robust intramural sports program that allows students to participate in a variety of recreational activities.

Despite the difference in the number of varsity sports offered, both Dartmouth and Williams have a strong commitment to athletic success. Dartmouth has won 19 Ivy League championships in the past decade, while Williams has won 22 NESCAC championships in the same time period. Additionally, both schools have produced numerous Olympic athletes, including several medalists.

While varsity sports receive a lot of attention, both schools also prioritize physical fitness and wellness for all students. Dartmouth has a state-of-the-art fitness center and offers a variety of fitness classes, while Williams has a comprehensive wellness program that includes mental health resources and stress-reduction initiatives. Both schools also have beautiful outdoor spaces that encourage students to stay active and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Faculty: Who Are the Professors at Dartmouth and Williams?

The faculty at Dartmouth and Williams are renowned scholars, researchers, and practitioners in their fields. Dartmouth has over 600 faculty members, 90% of whom hold terminal degrees in their fields. Williams has over 300 faculty members, 98% of whom hold Ph.D. degrees. The schools offer small class sizes and encourage students to engage in research and independent study projects under the guidance of faculty members.

Many of the faculty members at Dartmouth and Williams are also actively involved in their respective industries, bringing real-world experience and expertise to the classroom. For example, the economics department at Williams includes professors who have worked for the Federal Reserve and the World Bank, while the engineering department at Dartmouth includes professors who have worked for NASA and major tech companies.

In addition to their academic and professional accomplishments, the faculty at Dartmouth and Williams are also dedicated to their students’ success. They are known for their accessibility and willingness to work with students outside of class, whether it be through office hours, research opportunities, or mentorship programs. Many students form close relationships with their professors and continue to seek their guidance long after graduation.

Dartmouth vs Williams: Alumni Network

The alumni network of Dartmouth and Williams is extensive and well-connected, providing opportunities for mentorship, career development, and networking. Dartmouth has a global alumni network of over 70,000 members with a strong presence in finance, politics, and technology. Williams has a network of over 28,000 alumni, with notable alumni in the fields of law, business, and education.

However, when it comes to alumni giving, Williams has a higher percentage of alumni who donate to the college. In fact, Williams has one of the highest alumni giving rates in the country, with over 60% of alumni making a gift each year. This high level of giving has allowed Williams to maintain its position as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

On the other hand, Dartmouth has a strong tradition of alumni involvement in the college’s governance. Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees includes alumni-elected members who represent the interests of the alumni community. This unique governance structure ensures that the alumni voice is heard in important decisions that affect the college’s future.

Dartmouth vs Williams: Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance at Dartmouth and Williams is a significant factor to consider when making a college decision. The 2021-2022 tuition at Dartmouth is $60,843, and the total cost of attendance (including room and board, books, and fees) is $80,196. Williams’ tuition is $58,640, and the total cost of attendance is $78,280. Both schools offer need-based financial aid and scholarships to eligible students.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance can vary depending on individual circumstances. For example, students who live off-campus or have additional expenses such as transportation or medical costs may have a different total cost of attendance. Additionally, students who receive merit-based scholarships or other forms of financial aid may end up paying significantly less than the listed cost of attendance. It’s important to research and compare the financial aid packages offered by each school to determine which one is more affordable for your specific situation.

four students lounging on the steps outside

Financial Aid Options: What Kind of Financial Assistance Can You Get at Dartmouth and Williams?

Dartmouth and Williams are committed to making a college education accessible and affordable for all students. Both schools offer need-based financial aid and scholarships to eligible students to cover the full cost of attendance. Dartmouth is need-blind and meets 100% of demonstrated need for admitted students. Williams is also need-blind and meets 100% of demonstrated need for all students. Students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile to be considered for financial aid.

In addition to need-based financial aid and scholarships, both Dartmouth and Williams offer merit-based scholarships to exceptional students. These scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, leadership potential, and other criteria. Students can apply for these scholarships through the admissions process or through the financial aid office.

Furthermore, both schools have work-study programs that allow students to earn money to help pay for their education. These programs provide part-time jobs on campus or in the local community, and the earnings can be used to cover tuition, fees, and other expenses. Students can apply for work-study positions through the financial aid office.

Career Opportunities: Which College Offers Better Job Prospects?

Dartmouth and Williams have a strong reputation for producing successful graduates who go on to excel in their careers. According to a 2020 survey, 95% of Dartmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduating. Williams also has a strong post-graduate success rate, with 94% of students employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduating. The schools offer career services and resources to help students prepare for job interviews, find internships, and connect with alumni in their fields.

However, there are some differences in the types of career opportunities that each college offers. Dartmouth has a strong focus on business and finance, with many graduates going on to work in consulting, investment banking, and other related fields. On the other hand, Williams has a strong liberal arts program, with many graduates pursuing careers in education, non-profit organizations, and the arts. Both colleges have strong alumni networks that can help students find job opportunities in their desired fields, but it’s important for students to consider their career goals when choosing which college to attend.

Dartmouth vs Williams: Campus Tours

Visiting campuses is an essential part of the college search process and provides an opportunity to experience the campus culture, meet with students and faculty members, and ask questions about the admissions process. Dartmouth and Williams offer campus tours and information sessions to prospective students. To schedule a visit to Dartmouth, students can visit the school’s website and choose a tour date and time. To schedule a visit to Williams, students can request a tour on the school’s website.

During the campus tour, students will have the opportunity to explore the campus facilities, including the libraries, dormitories, dining halls, and athletic facilities. They will also have the chance to attend a class or meet with a professor in their intended major. Additionally, students can speak with current students to gain insight into their experiences and ask questions about campus life. It is recommended that students schedule their campus visit during the academic year to get a better sense of the campus atmosphere and student life.

Dartmouth vs Williams: Student Testimonials

Here are some student testimonials about their experiences at Dartmouth and Williams:

Testimonial 1:

“I chose Dartmouth because of the strong academic community and the supportive atmosphere. The small class sizes and close relationships with faculty members have allowed me to pursue research that interests me and has helped me prepare for graduate school. I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in several extracurricular activities, including theater and community service projects. The residential college system has allowed me to make close friends and feel a part of a vibrant community.”

Testimonial 2:

“I love Williams because of the tight-knit and supportive community. The rigorous academic program has challenged me to think critically and develop my writing skills. I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in several extracurricular activities, including varsity athletics and the student-run newspaper. The campus is beautiful, and the surrounding community offers a range of opportunities for outdoor recreational activities.”

Testimonial 3:

“As an international student, I was looking for a college that would provide me with a welcoming and inclusive environment. Williams College has exceeded my expectations in this regard. The faculty and staff have been incredibly supportive, and I’ve had the opportunity to connect with other international students through various clubs and organizations. The campus is also very diverse, and I’ve learned so much from my peers from different backgrounds.”

Testimonial 4:

“One of the things I love about Dartmouth is the emphasis on experiential learning. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several off-campus programs, including a language study abroad program in Spain and an internship in Washington D.C. These experiences have allowed me to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations and have helped me develop valuable skills that will be useful in my future career.”

four students at the hallway smiling for the camera

Conclusion: Making Your Decision between Dartmouth vs Williams Colleges

Choosing between Dartmouth and Williams colleges depends on your individual interests, goals, and priorities. Both institutions offer a strong academic program, engaged student body, and excellent alumni network. The location, campus culture, and extracurricular offerings are important factors to consider. We encourage students to research both schools carefully, visit the campuses, and consult with admissions counselors to make an informed decision about which school is the best fit.

It is also important to consider the financial aspect of attending either Dartmouth or Williams. While both schools offer generous financial aid packages, the cost of attendance can still be a significant factor in the decision-making process. Students should research and compare the financial aid options available at both schools, as well as any potential scholarships or grants they may be eligible for.

How AdmissionSight Can Help You With College Admissions

AdmissionSight is a college consulting firm that provides personalized assistance to students throughout the college admissions process. Here are some ways that AdmissionSight can help you:

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Extracurricular planning: AdmissionSight can help you plan and develop your extracurricular activities to make them more impactful and meaningful. We can suggest activities that align with your interests and goals and provide guidance on demonstrating your leadership and initiative.

Overall, AdmissionSight can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the college admissions process to help you maximize your chances of getting accepted into the college of your choice.

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