What Does it Take to Get Into Dartmouth?

Strategies by School
December 5, 2019
Set Against The Peaceful Backdrop Of Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth’s Ideal Student Dives Headfirst Into Their Academic Passions...

Located on a picturesque campus in New Hampshire, Dartmouth is known for its commitment to higher education. Supported by renowned professors and facilities, students are encouraged to grow academically and beyond. As an Ivy League, this prestigious school uses a holistic approach to its selective admissions process.


Dartmouth's Ideal Student

Dartmouth is an Ivy League college that focuses on fostering excellence in its student body and staff. The ideal Dartmouth student is driven by an intellectual and social curiosity that inspires all their actions. Ambitious students from a variety of backgrounds come to Dartmouth and find a community steeped in traditions of academic excellence and community involvement.

To find these high-achieving students, Dartmouth employs a holistic application process like many other prestigious colleges. This process takes the entirety of a student’s background into account rather than just their academic record and college application.

However, academics are still considered during the application process, and the average GPA and test scores of an incoming Dartmouth student are highly competitive:

  • GPA: 4.09
  • SAT: 1490
  • ACT: 33

Dartmouth attracts a wide variety of students from diverse cultural, social, and financial backgrounds. However, the vast majority of these students share a set of values that Dartmouth honors and seeks to foster in its students.


Fostering a sense of curiosity and wonder about the world we live in is so important to Dartmouth that it’s one of the first words on the Dartmouth admissions web page. Students are encouraged to explore and develop their own thoughts while challenging their existing assumptions. The desire to constantly learn and grown drives the ideal Dartmouth student to achieve academic success.


Dartmouth cultivates a sense of integrity on campus for all students, staff, and faculty. Students are taught the value of honoring one’s commitments to themselves, their peers, and their communities.


The ideal Dartmouth student’s sense of wonder for the world doesn’t stop with simple curiosity. 60% of Dartmouth students participate in at least one off-campus study program before they graduate, and study abroad programs are a huge part of the Dartmouth experience. An adventurous spirit will fit right in among Dartmouth’s student body. Even during their first year, students are given the opportunity to embark on local trips coordinated by their returning peers.


Both on and off-campus, Dartmouth’s students are known for their affinity for collaboration and communication. This is due to Dartmouth’s campus culture that encourages open, respectful debate and teamwork. Students are inspired to uphold their social responsibilities to themselves and the larger world they live in throughout their time at Dartmouth.


Dartmouth offers a variety of programs for its student body to pursue their academic passions. Students are given the resources, support, and motivation needed to reach educational goals they never dreamed possible. Some of the most prestigious courses offered at Dartmouth include:

  • Global Studies (Ranked 6th nationally)
  • Economics (Ranked 8th nationally)
  • History (Ranked 9th nationally)
  • Political Science (Ranked 11th nationally)
  • Art (Ranked 11th nationally)


Dartmouth admissions take a holistic approach to finding the ideal students to fill its student body. Dartmouth encourages a campus culture of inclusion, integrity, and curiosity. The ideal Dartmouth student is the type of person who knows personal and academic growth doesn’t stop when class ends.

If you find yourself constantly asking “why?” and bringing together teams of your peers to find the answer, you’ll find yourself at home at this prestigious Ivy League school.

What You Need To Get Accepted Into Dartmouth

Dartmouth’s acceptance rate speaks to the highly competitive nature of its admissions process. Only 8.7% of students who applied to Dartmouth were admitted into the Class of 2022. Students who take the time to polish all aspects of their college application, from test scores to essay responses, will have the best chances of being admitted into this selective college.


Dartmouth uses the Common Application like a wide variety of other schools. The Common App allows students to easily keep track of deadlines, submit their essay responses, and send their finished college application using one website.

Dartmouth’s early decision deadline is November 1st. The regular decision deadline is January 1st.

If you plan on applying to Dartmouth or any other school that uses the Common Application, it may be beneficial to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the Common App.


Students are required to submit their official high school transcript. Dartmouth offers credit for AP classes, so students should make sure their transcripts include these scores as well. The holistic application process means that admissions officials will be considering your entire history of coursework and grades rather than just your GPA, so try to showcase advanced classes and consistent hard work through your transcript.


Dartmouth students are required to submit either an ACT or SAT score. Students who submit SAT scores are also asked to submit two scores from the SAT Subject Tests.


Dartmouth asks that students submit two writing supplements in addition to their college application. These supplements are designed to give admissions officials insight into what type of person you are and if you would be the right ‘fit’ for Dartmouth’s prestigious college.

Students looking to improve their essay responses should start by making sure they’ve answered the prompt clearly. This is no time to go off on a tangent; instead, focus on answering the questions at hand with maximum impact. Honesty and brevity are essential when trying to make a good impression with only a few hundred words.


The fee for first-year applications to Dartmouth is $90. However, fee waivers are available for students who face financial hardship.


Students applying to Dartmouth are asked to submit more than one evaluation, or letter of recommendation, that allows admissions officials a sneak peek into what it’s like to have you as a student. Learning how to properly ask for a letter of recommendation is key to landing solid evaluations that will increase your chances of being accepted.

Additionally, students are encouraged to ask a peer to submit the optional peer evaluation. These letters of support offer a look at your qualities beyond the academic world and how you support and encourage your peers.


Your chances of being admitted to Dartmouth rest on your entire academic performance, community involvement, and college application. Due to their holistic application process, no one test score or essay is responsible for a student’s admission to the college.

For students looking to increase their chances of being admitted to Dartmouth, the first step should be to focus on raising their GPA and test scores. Once a student has done all they can to improve their academic record, then it’s time to focus on writing irresistible college supplemental essays and showcasing their extracurricular activities.

Dartmouth's Campus Life

Dartmouth’s vibrant campus located in Hanover, New Hampshire is steeped in history and tradition. Students are not just taught the importance of taking responsibility for themselves and those around them, they are given the opportunity to do so. There are many ways one can spend their time at Dartmouth beyond the lecture hall, between taking time off to cheer on the Big Green on the playing field or studying in one of the Dartmouth’s many libraries.


Situated in the picturesque Upper Connecticut River Valley, Dartmouth’s campus life is teeming with a feeling of community with nature and those around you. Social life is centered around the Dartmouth Green, where many events and social gatherings draw students in. Elsewhere on Dartmouth’s expansive 269-acre campus, students can find state-of-the-art learning centers and historic libraries to expand their education.


With 28 active Greek chapters on campus, Dartmouth supports Greek life that helps students realize and reach their full potential. All chapters on campus are required to uphold 6 key values:

  • Scholarship
  • Leadership
  • Service
  • Brotherhood and sisterhood
  • Inclusiveness
  • Accountability

These values permeate every level of Greek life on campus. Students who participate in Greek life at Dartmouth are encouraged to take their level of personal responsibility one step further by honing their leadership and service skills.


Those who study at Dartmouth have access to a plethora of student organizations and clubs to join that enrich their college experience. Students looking for more traditional hobby clubs can join a hiking group or take a yoga class. Other students may be drawn to writing for one of the school’s various newspapers or joining one of the career-related groups to meet like-minded peers.

In addition to joining clubs and organizations, 75% of students participate in sports representing the Big Green. This includes 33 club teams in a variety of sports, ranging from casual to nationally competitive.


There’s a reason that almost 90% of all Dartmouth students live on campus. A variety of residence halls and living situations allow students to experience life with their peers in ways that create lifelong connections.  Student’s on-campus dining options range from the buffet-style dining hall nicknamed FoCo to a bakery and several other options.

Dartmouth’s expansive campus is designed to be walkable, though many students choose to bring bikes and cars as well.


Every year, returning Dartmouth students work to plan First-Year Trips for incoming freshmen to experience an outdoor orientation. These trips range from local Application Mountain trails to a trip to the far-off 27,000-acre expanse of northern New Hampshire wilderness known as Dartmouth's Second College Grant.

From Application To Career: What You'll Experience At Dartmouth

Dartmouth is known for inspiring students to explore their inner curiosity. This experience starts with the application process, goes straight through writing your essay and into your college years. Dartmouth looks to inspire you to look at your future with a curiosity that drives new innovations and discoveries.


Dartmouth students are encouraged to develop integrity and take responsibility. Therefore, a strong application should show your commitment to both your grades and your extracurricular activities. Your transcripts, test scores, and supplemental materials work together to create a record of consistency and academic excellence.


With less than 500 words total allowed for the Dartmouth essay responses, students quickly learn how to narrow their focus. A strong essay response is focused on the prompt and uses clear language. Your essay should be your honest response to the prompt, rather than what you think the admissions officials will think is clever or “correct”.


With the idyllic campus allowing you to connect with both your peers and the natural world around you, your years at Dartmouth will be years of exponential growth. Professors and peers alike will push you to achieve more than you ever thought possible. Life at Dartmouth goes beyond the classroom to focus on allowing students to experience the bigger picture and all that life has to offer, both at home and abroad.


As Dartmouth alumni, you’ll join the ranks of ambitious figures including famed American poet Robert Frost, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes. Dartmouth alumni are known for being creative, curious leaders and innovators in their fields.

Dartmouth alumni find themselves working in fields such as:

  • Research
  • Consulting
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Media
  • Technology

Your Future At Dartmouth

Dartmouth creates an environment where students can learn beyond the classroom. Students are encouraged to create deeper connections with each other in order to expand their own horizons. Dartmouth provides students with an enriching experience that many alumni retell fondly, often having more stories about life beyond the classroom than in it.

However, this one of a kind academic experience is extremely sought after. That means that Dartmouth’s admissions are extremely selective and that a student’s college application is a critical part of their admission chances.

WeAdmit counselors can help you tailor your Dartmouth application to showcase your achievements and talents. Our team of experts knows how to refine your college application from the first draft to a polished final form. If you’re serious about living a life surrounded by nature on Dartmouth’s historic campus, our counselors are here to provide the guidance needed to give you the best chances of admission.

Are You Ready To Become A Dartmouth Student?



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