How to Transfer to Dartmouth?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Darthmouth building

How to Transfer to Dartmouth

For some students, the pathway to their dream undergraduate education is as simple as applying as a high school student and getting in. However, some students have to take a more complex path. Learn “how to transfer to Dartmouth?” now.

That is, of course, the one of a transfer student. And while transferring may be a little less traditional than the typical college or university application process, it is no less rewarding!

So, if Dartmouth College is your dream school, you may very well be interested in learning about how to transfer to Dartmouth. Dartmouth is one of the eight schools that make up the incredibly competitive and prestigious group of colleges that is known as the ivy League. And just like the other seven schools in the Ivy League, Dartmouth has to reject the vast majority of students that apply each and every application cycle.

With that being said, even the students that are rejected from all eight Ivy League schools (if they so choose to apply to all eight of them) will likely end up getting into other fantastic schools elsewhere in the United States.

That is the simple reality for students who apply to these heavily competitive schools. In fact, schools like Harvard University have readily admitted that every year, its admissions committee could make up several deserving graduating classes out of the students that it ultimately has to reject. So, for those students, who end up getting rejected from Dartmouth but are still interested in attending, transferring is often a great option.

Dartmouth College building

So, if you are asking yourself, “Can you transfer to Dartmouth from a different four-year program?” or “Can you transfer from community college to Dartmouth?” then you have absolutely come to the right place! At AdmissionSight, we work with students each and every year and work tirelessly to help them achieve their undergraduate admissions goals. That also includes students who are already studying at a college or university but want to transfer to a different school.

Still, just as the road to applying to Dartmouth as a high school is an incredibly challenging and competitive one, so is the road to applying to Dartmouth as a transfer student. That is where AdmissionSight can come in and offer expertise and experience to students that are looking to apply as transfer students.

So with that out of the way, let’s start getting into how to get into Dartmouth as a transfer student, what kinds of acceptance rates transfer students at Dartmouth have enjoyed and how students can improve their chances of getting into these kinds of schools! While all of this information may not apply specifically to you, there is absolutely no question that you will learn a lot in this breakdown and improve your own chances of getting into Dartmouth as a transfer student.

Dartmouth transfer requirements

Just like every college or university has a list of requirements that it expects out of its high school applicants, schools also hold a list of requirements for students who want to transfer. That, of course, applies to Dartmouth.

Two students talking on a table.

So, if you are looking to apply to Dartmouth, you must make sure that you fulfill these requirements!

  • Students who have matriculated at a college and who have completed two years or less of college coursework at the date of application are eligible for transfer admission.
  • Students who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent are not eligible for admission to Dartmouth.
  • Students who have taken college coursework that is counting towards their high school graduation must apply for first-year admission. This includes students pursuing an associate’s degree while finishing high school.
  • Students who are not currently enrolled in school, or whose education has been interrupted, may apply for admission and often use the “Additional Information” portion of the application to provide background on their experiences and their educational path.

Beyond that, there are four very important factors that every transfer applicant at Dartmouth will be judged on. Those include:

  • The student’s college transcript (curriculum and grades)
  • The student’s letters of recommendation from their college professors
  • The student’s standardized test scores (the SAT or ACT)
  • The student’s high school transcript

On top of that, because Dartmouth remains to be one of the most competitive schools in the world, it is always looking for students who will be able to contribute to its legacy and culture in different and important ways.

For that reason, Dartmouth’s admissions committee is always looking for students that have managed to show long-term commitment to specific extracurricular activities. Of course, the assumption is that students will continue to pursue these passions once they enroll in an undergraduate program.

Students who choose to pursue their passions and interests, both inside and outside of the classroom, will indeed have the best chance at getting into Dartmouth College or similarly competitive schools.

Dartmouth application components:

On top of the requirements that a student who wants to transfer to Dartmouth must fulfill, they must also fill out an application and send it in on time (we’ll get to that a little later). This is true even for students who applied to Dartmouth as high school students, and students need to know that a transfer application is a completely different and independent process from applying as a first-year student.

View of a woman smiling while her classmates are talking at the back.

So, whether you already applied to Dartmouth when you were in high school or not, here is the checklist of applicant components that you will have to send into Dartmouth to be considered for a spot of admission:

  • Application Fee or Fee Waiver
  • Dartmouth Application with essays
  • Final Secondary School Report with Transcript
  • College Official’s Report with College Transcript, updated in May/June with final Transcript and end-of-year grades
  • Dartmouth requires two evaluations from college instructors.
  • SAT or ACT or Testing Waiver
  • If admitted, year-end college transcript and course syllabi for all college courses will be needed for review by Dartmouth Registrar and academic departments to determine credits
  • Note: Interviews are not available for Transfer applicants.

Dartmouth transfer application timeline

One thing that is important for all college or university applicants – no matter if they are first-year applicants or transfer applicants – is timing. Without a doubt, making sure that you know when certain deadlines fall depending on how you plan on applying to a given school is crucial to making sure that you are giving yourself the best chance of possible success.

a female student studying with her laptop and looking at the camera

So, if you are interested in applying to Dartmouth specifically, here are the important dates and deadlines to be aware of.

  • January – All candidates applying for transfer admission to Dartmouth must use our Transfer Application.
  • February – Last date for testing
  • March 1 – Transfer Application due
  • March 1 – Application Fee of Fee Waiver due
  • March 1 – Financial Aid application materials due
  • Mid-May – Transfer admission notification. Financial aid award notification for admitted financial aid applicants
  • May – Admitted financial aid applicants review and appeal (if necessary) financial aid packages.
  • Late May – Intent to enroll deadline
  • May and June – Final spring term college transcript, including end-of-year grades, due (required for all admitted students and applicants on the Waitlist)

Of course, these are important dates to know! With that in mind, it is also important to keep in mind that specifical dates can sometimes change from year to year, so it is wise to make sure about dates attached to the specific year in which you plan to apply!

Dartmouth’s transfer acceptance rates

One really important thing to know about applying to elite schools as a transfer student is that your probability of success is incredibly hard to predict. Unlike acceptance rates for first-year students, which tend to be quite consistent from one year to the next, acceptance rates for transfer students vary much more greatly.

Dartmouth’s recent history is one of the best reflections of this fact. In the 2019-20 application cycle, the acceptance rate for transfer students at Dartmouth was a mere 4 percent. In the very next application cycle, the 2020-21 cycle, the acceptance rate amongst transfer students was a far more agreeable one at 29 percent!

Truthfully, the acceptance rate does tend to reflect more the number of students that apply in a given year rather than the number of students that are accepted. Typically, Dartmouth accepts approximately 75 transfer students into its undergraduate program each year. Right now, about 1.5 percent of students at Dartmouth entered the school as transfers.

two college students inside a library and smiling while looking at the camera

With that in mind, it is a widely known fact that, typically, transfer students do face lower acceptance rates than first-year applicants do. This is not told to you to diminish your commitment to applying as a transfer. Rather, it is simply because AdmissionSight believes that students should have all the facts that are available to them and that having those facts only improves their chances of getting into the schools that they apply to.

With that being said, it is important to be realistic. That is why make sure your transfer application profile is as impressive as possible if you plan on applying to Dartmouth College as a transfer.

How to transfer to Dartmouth from a community college

If you are currently studying at a community college or have enrolled at a community college for the upcoming school year, you may be wondering if you have any shot at all to transfer to a school as prestigious as Dartmouth College. After all, it makes sense why transferring from a community college to an Ivy League school would be tough. They are essentially on the opposite spectrum when it comes to the prestige of undergraduate programs in the United States.

However, the truth here might surprise you! The truth is that community college applicants are sometimes seen as having an upper hand in the transfer market compared to students that are applying from other four-year programs.

In fact, several hundred students have successfully applied to and enrolled at Ivy League schools from community colleges in just the last few years alone. The three Ivy League schools that have had the most community college transfers in recent years have been Cornell, Brown and Penn, but Dartmouth certainly has opened its doors to community college transfers as well.

But what is the reason for this, and is there anything that we can take from what community college transfers might offer Ivy League schools compared to transfer applicants from prestigious private schools or impressive public schools? There are some simple, yet important considerations to keep in mind. If you are wondering if can you transfer from community college to Dartmouth, take a look at these considerations below:

  • Community transfers offer a new perspective at the Ivies: One of the most important factors that Ivy League admissions committees have begun to consider a lot more in the last five to 10 years has been adding diversity within their graduating classes. This does not only refer to diversity in terms of race, ethnicity and religion (though it does indeed include that), but also diversity in terms of life experiences, family history, socioeconomic background and more. One simple truth about community college transfer applicants is that they do typically come from backgrounds that are unique compared to many students who apply to schools like Dartmouth. For that reason, the admissions committee at Dartmouth may absolutely look seriously at transfer applicants from community colleges.
  • Success at community colleges help predict success at Ivy League schools: it is understandable why a student who is applying to a school like Dartmouth from a community college may worry about how their credentials stack up compared to transfer applicants that apply from other four-year programs. However, it just so happens that students that come from community colleges and go onto transfer to Ivy League schools have a proven track record of success. In fact, a study from 2019 found that students who transferred from community college to schools like Ivy League graduated at higher rates than those transferring from other four-year institutions.
  • Community college transfer applicants have a clear need to transfer: One of the harder things to transfer applicants to prove if they are coming from four-year programs is why they feel a need to transfer in the first place. This is an important factor for some admissions officers, and attending a more prestigious school is not, on its own , a need that is going to convince a lot of admissions officers. A key factor that students do look at when students are applying as transfer is to present what admissions officers call a “defined academic need” to actually transfer. Basically, this means that a student would benefit in a measurable way were they able to transfer from a community college to a four-year program. No matter what that student’s preferred area of study is, there is little doubt that they would gain access to more resources, better faculty and better connections if they go from a community college to an Ivy League school. That argument becomes much harder to make when a student is trying to apply from one four-year program to another.
  • A transfer application is compared to a smaller pool of applicants: One final reason why community college transfer applicants – or all transfer applicants for that matter – may have a better chance at getting into an incredibly prestigious school such as Dartmouth is because they are applying to a much smaller pool of students compared to first-year applicants. Transferring may be a bit easier for some students because the transfer application deadline for Dartmouth falls later in the calendar than the typical application for first-year students. This later deadline essentially means that a student’s application is only going to be compared to other transfer applicants as opposed to the entire applicant pool. Because the transfer applicant pool is smaller, you may get a better chance to stand out and impress the admissions officers at Dartmouth.

Get more help in coordinating your Dartmouth College transfer

Dartmouth College is one of the most prestigious schools in the United States. For that reason, it is no great surprise why so many students dream of attending this school.

Whether you are planning on applying to Dartmouth as a transfer student because you were rejected from the school when you applied as a first-year applicant, or if you plan on applying as a transfer because you have found something that the school offers that your current school does not, then you are going to have to work hard to make sure your application jumps off the page.

AdmissionSight can help you achieve just that. If you are interested in learning about how we can help you gain success as a transfer student at a school like Dartmouth, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.



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