6 Tips to Get Into Dartmouth

April 3, 2021
By AdmissionSight

6 Tips to Get Into Dartmouth

Despite being one of the lesser-known Ivy League schools, Dartmouth College still earns a spot as one of the best institutes of higher learning in the entire United States. Founded in 1769, Dartmouth has educated some incredibly successful individuals including Robert Frost, Dr. Suess, Daniel Webster, and Mindy Kaling, among others. Distinguished by its rich academic opportunities, rigorous curriculum, and top-tier faculty, Dartmouth attracts some of the most talented students from around the globe. Understandably, these impressive attributes make many applicants wonder how to get into Dartmouth.

Similar to any of the Ivies, Dartmouth is an excellent place for students to explore their academic interests, hone their skills, build extensive networks, and pursue a rich and rewarding future. You’ll get access to impressive academic resources, learn from some of the most intelligent professors, interact with like-minded students, and become part of a tight-knit community. Although getting into Dartmouth is certainly more challenging than many other schools, the rewards offered from this ideal school are more than worth the effort it requires to get accepted.

Aerial view of Dartmouth campus.

At AdmissionSight, we specialize in helping students nail the college admissions process to greatly increase their chances of getting admitted to the university of their choice. Whether Dartmouth has been your dream school for years or you just recently discovered the wonderful opportunities this college has to offer, we can support you in your application process. Here, we’ll take a look at how difficult it is to get into Dartmouth, what admissions staff are looking for, and key strategies you can use to improve your chances of getting accepted.

FAQs on Dartmouth

In order to develop a deeper understanding of Dartmouth’s demanding admissions process, we’ll answer some common questions we’ve heard from past applicants. The more familiar you are with Dartmouth and what they expect from students, the better off you are when starting your application process. As they say, knowledge is power!

How difficult is it to get into Dartmouth?

As you might have guessed from its impressive reputation and prestigious position as one of the eight highly esteemed Ivy League universities, it’s not easy to get into Dartmouth. It’s significantly more selective than other universities. However, Dartmouth is actually much easier to get into when compared to other Ivies. It’s by no means the easiest, but it’s certainly less of a challenge than Harvard, Yale, and some other notoriously challenging universities. Although it is admittedly difficult to get into Dartmouth, applicants shouldn’t forget that it is possible!

University main building surrounded by trees.

What is the Dartmouth acceptance rate?

In total, 21,395 individuals applied to be admitted into the Dartmouth class of 2024. Out of these tens of thousands of students, only 1,881 received that highly coveted acceptance letter. This means the Dartmouth acceptance rate is 8.79%. This is up nearly 1% from the previous year – although it’s important to note that admission rates tend to fluctuate both up and down each year. To provide some comparison, Harvard University’s acceptance rate – the toughest of all Ivy League schools – was 3.21% for the same year. This means Dartmouth is nearly three-times easier to get into despite still holding the prestigious title of an Ivy League university.

What are the admitted students like?

While admission rate is the most immediate metric for determining how difficult it is to get into a university, there are other helpful admission data you can use to figure out what you’re up against. After all, depending on how impressive your application, your chances of getting into Dartmouth might be significantly higher than the official admission rate.

Three students sitting on the university grounds.

Although admissions officers take many different factors into account when determining who gets accepted and who doesn’t, objective criteria such as test scores are the easiest to measure. The average score of admitted Dartmouth students on the SAT Reading exam is 733. On the math portion, the average is 750. For the ACT, accepted students average a 33.

6 Tips to Get Into Dartmouth

Since we’ve pulled back the curtains on the Dartmouth admissions process, you should feel more knowledgeable about what you’re up against. Now, we can focus on some ways to improve your chances of getting accepted. As we mentioned before, the Dartmouth acceptance rate doesn’t necessarily reflect your chances of getting admitted. You might have much better odds depending on the nature of your application. And that’s exactly what we’ll help you improve. After all, your application is all admissions officers have to go on when making their decision. Here are some of our top tips.

1. Earn excellent grades and test scores.

We’ll kick things off with one of the more obvious strategies you can use to boost your chances of getting into Dartmouth: fantastic academic performance. You’ve probably heard it a million times before, but it’s important to drive the point home. Your academic performance in high school plays a major role in deciding whether or not you get into the college of your choice. As a general rule of thumb, the more selective the school, the more impressive your grades and test scores need to be.

Two students reading in the library.

An effective way to determine what kind of grades you should have when applying to Dartmouth is to look at the average academic performance of admitted students. As we mentioned before the average SAT scores for successful Dartmouth applicants is 733 on the reading portion and 750 on the math portion. The average ACT score is 33. In terms of course performance, the average GPA for admitted students is 3.9 on a standard 4.0 scale. While you should always strive to surpass these averages, they provide a good metric to measure yourself against.

2. Take part in academic competitions.

Something many students shy away from that could greatly improve their odds of getting into Dartmouth is academic competitions. It’s perfectly natural for students to feel nervous and anxious about putting their skills to the test against other students, especially when performing in front of people. However, this is an excellent way to make your application stand out. Competing in these activities shows Dartmouth’s admissions staff that you’re willing to push yourself academically and that you’re always trying to improve your abilities.

Make sure to participate in an event that coincides with your academic interest. For example, if you’re pursuing a degree in science or math, you’ll want to participate in something like the Science Olympiad or the USA Math Olympiad, respectively. However, if you’re interested in the humanities, you’ll want to join a national debate or speech competition, mock trial, or the DECA. Of course, you should aim to get the number spot but even placing in these competitions is a great achievement.

3. Participate in extracurricular activities.

When parents and students consider what admissions staff look for, their minds often first go to academic factors such as standardized test scores, GPAs, and the level of high school courses. While these are no doubt critical factors, they’re by no means the only factors taken into consideration. Dartmouth, as with most colleges, takes a comprehensive approach to its admission process. This simply means that admissions officers consider a wide range of factors to determine whether or not a student gets accepted. They also care about what students do outside of school. In other words, extracurricular activities.

While it might seem shrewd to go sign up for as many clubs and teams as you can, it’s not the smartest choice and could end up backfiring. You see, Dartmouth admissions staff cares more about what you do in these extracurricular activities more so than the number in which you’re participating. In this situation, quality is much more important than quantity. As a result, we advise students to stick with one or two extracurricular activities they thoroughly enjoy for many years. This gives you time to develop skills and valuable experiences in these areas. When done correctly, the right extracurricular activities can greatly increase your odds of acceptance.

4. Join a reputable summer program.

While you might have the entire summer booked out for nothing but lazy days around the pool, short trips with friends, and other relaxing activities, you might want to leave at least a few weeks open for a great summer program. These academic-focused activities take place during the summer months and are designed to help students further their skills in a particular area even when school isn’t in session.

Students studying

A reputable summer program can look great on an application as it shows Dartmouth admissions officers that you’re willing to spend extra time outside of school pursuing your academic goals. We advise students to stick with one that’s in line with their area of study in order to make the overall application more cohesive. Attending your sophomore or junior year ensures you can include this participation in your application.

5. Get fantastic letters of recommendation.

Admissions officers want to get to know more about you on a personal level. While they don’t have time to meet every applicant in person, one of the best ways to gain this insight is to reach out to people who know you personally. That’s why Dartmouth requires all applicants to get letters of recommendation from teachers and a school counselor. While many universities have this same requirement, Dartmouth sets itself apart by also requesting students to get a letter of recommendation from a peer.

While it’s easy to shrug off this portion of the application process as simple and not too time-consuming, you don’t want to put it off for too long. Not only do you want to give people enough time to write an effective letter of recommendation, but you should also be diligent about who you choose. Since you only have one academic counselor, that choice is easy. When it comes to selecting teachers and peers, make sure you choose people who know you well and with whom you have a good relationship. These letters should be as meaningful as possible.

6. Write amazing essays.

All Dartmouth applicants have to respond to a series of essay prompts. While the rest of the application covers topics that are rather dry and one-dimensional, these essays are designed to give admissions staff a more complete picture of who they are. From your perspective, these prompts give you an opportunity to demonstrate why you’re a perfect candidate to attend Dartmouth. As a result, your responses to these essays need to be personal and unique while still addressing the main topics of the prompts. In addition, you’ll want to tie in Dartmouth and its offerings into your answers to show why you want to attend.

Whether you’ve always been confident about your writing in high school or you’ve consistently struggled to get your thoughts down effectively, the Dartmouth essay prompts are challenging. Although the prompts might appear simple at first, there’s a lot that goes into answering these essays effectively. To make sure these responses increase your chances of getting into Dartmouth, it’s advisable to work with an admissions consultant who can provide professional essay editing services. This way, you can feel more confident that your essays will capture the attention of admissions officers and help you stand out from the crowd.

How I got into Dartmouth

“Like all top schools, Dartmouth’s acceptance rate is shrinking year by year. For a college like Dartmouth, you’ll need to have it all. A top-notch academic track record, impressive resume, compelling personal statement, and strong Dartmouth essays are all necessary to show that they want you. While you need to be the total package, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you hope to get into Dartmouth:

  1. Be “well-rounded”

Most schools seek angular candidates in particular. Rather than be involved in a variety of extracurriculars, admissions officers often look for students that have gone after one passion and made it really impressive. While Dartmouth appreciates these dilettantes, they are known to go after more “well-rounded” applicants. They welcome applicants with commonplace interests, like sports and outdoor activities. When applying to Dartmouth, don’t be afraid to show all sides of you.

  1. Be cool

A Former Admissions Reader from Dartmouth relayed to me that Dartmouth is a sucker for the “cool factor.” Think about everyone around you. If you’ve achieved something or pursued an interest that the average high schooler has not, then a Dartmouth Admissions Officer is likely to stop and say “wow—that’s pretty cool.” Whether it’s starting a non-profit or being a champion unicycler, think about ways you can differentiate yourself.

  1. An interest in the humanities

Dartmouth has historically been a humanities-centric school. Because it’s a college, it lacks the large, scientific facilities that many universities possess. Therefore, the humanities have been where Dartmouth tends to thrive. From an Admissions Officer’s perspective, if you list that you’re interested in science, they’ll be a bit worried that you’ll ultimately decide to attend another university with stronger programs in these fields. Because of this reality, Dartmouth has been and will most likely continue to prefer students who indicate that they’re interested in the humanities.”

We can help you figure out how to get into Dartmouth

If you’ve set your sights on Dartmouth College, congratulations! As one of the best universities in the country, some of the richest academic and professional opportunities await you. If you’re feeling anxious about the application process, you don’t have to do it alone. At AdmissionSight, we’ve spent over a decade working one-on-one with students to help them master the admissions process. With 75% of our students getting admitted to an Ivy League school or Top 10 university, it’s clear we know what we’re doing. All of our services are custom-tailored to help you overcome the challenges of tough universities, including Dartmouth.

Need a hand perfecting your college essays? We’ve got you covered! What about choosing a summer program that’s both interesting to you and impressive to admissions staff? Yes, we can help with that too. Parents who want to get a head start preparing their kids for the Ivy League can even benefit from our pre-high school consultation. Each of our services is personalized to meet your specific needs. If you’re interested in learning more about what AdmissionSight offers and how you can benefit, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll set up a free consultation where you can ask any questions you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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